Emma Lavelle was heartbroken after Eclair Cerf passed away Sunday morning from injuries sustained in a fall during Saturday’s Randox Grand National.
The eight-year-old was one of the top contenders for the Aintree title, winning the Warwick classic chase before chasing Scottish national hero Win My Wings last week at Eider in Newcastle.
Eclair Surf looked set to miss out on the Grand National at the start of the week, but an unexpected defection knocked him off the reserve list.
Violently, however, he fell heavily against the third fence, and as he was stabilized on the track and walking through the transport to the racecourse stables, he was then taken to the Leahurst Mounted Hospital and his condition worsened overnight, leading to his euthanasia on track. foundations of well-being.
“We were optimistic when he left the track, but at night he became more and more insecure, and as he became more and more restless, it was not right to continue,” Lavelle said.
“He was in the right place to make those decisions and the team both at the races and in the hospital were great.
“You sort of sit and think about ifs and buts and why not, but you can’t sit and think about it.
“This is a real dump for everyone – both for the owners and for the team. He was an exciting horse for the future, but what can you say? »
Chris Proudman, Veterinary Consultant at Aintree Racecourse, said: “We were saddened to hear that Eclair Surf must have been euthanized this morning.
“After a crash yesterday, he was stabilized on the track before being transported back to the stable. After a further veterinary examination the previous night, he was referred to the Leahurst Mounted Hospital.
“Everything was done for him and our hearts go out to those who loved and cared for him. »
Eclair Surf was one of two fatalities at the Paul Nolan-trained Discorama, which was stopped by Brian Cooper after suffering a pelvic injury.
Nolan said: “I am devastated. But this is racing and you have to accept these things.
“He was a wonderful servant and gave us some good days, but all we can do is think about those few happy days and what he did for us.
“It’s just devastating to the owners and the yard and it’s just one of those terrible things, but that’s part of racing and that’s what it is.
“Unfortunately, I was unable to attend. My dad got sick at home and we had to come back from Aintree, so we’re with him now.
“He’s not good. It puts everything in perspective. We didn’t tell him that the horse was mortally wounded, (just) that he pulled a muscle and was at home – there are a few things that need to be said to soften the blow.”
In total, three people died on the day of the Grand National: Elle Est Belle fainted while overcoming the Betway Mersey rookie hurdle.
James Given, Director of Horse Health and Welfare at the British Racing Authority, said: “We are all very saddened by the fatal injuries at the Grand National Festival, although no one will be more upset than the trainers, owners and stable staff who provided unparalleled care for these horses at throughout their lives.
“Following a detailed review in 2011/12, BHA and Aintree Racecourse have jointly developed a number of important measures that have helped reduce the injury rate at the Grand National meeting in subsequent years. These included a modification of the Grand National cores. shells with more forgiving rubber construction; leveling the landing site of the fences so that the horses take off and land at the same level; significant investment in covering the running track and the introduction of modern “fogging” fans, among other things, to cool the horses after the races.
“However, wellbeing and safety are ever-changing commitments and BHA is constantly working with our racetracks to further improve the sport’s safety record and reduce avoidable risks. Every incident this week will be reviewed and this information will be based on relevant evidence. and an evaluation conducted as part of the 2011–2012 review. and in subsequent years. If other trends are identified that may be associated with increased risk, we will be able to act accordingly.