Little Josh became the second horse to die at the 2013 Aintree Grand National meeting once falling on Friday.
The 11-year-recent, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies and trained by his father Nigel, fell four fences from home within the Topham Chase, that was run over the redesigned Grand National fences. He suffered a fractured shoulder and was later put down by veterinary surgeons following treatment. It followed the death of Battlefront who collapsed on Thursday.
Aintree has altered the Grand National fences for this year’s meeting following a variety of horse fatalities.
The changes to the fences, that now have a core made of a lot of flexible plastic, instead of wood, and are lined by the traditional spruce, were trialled at the course in December 2012 and were welcomed by World Horse Welfare. Grand National-winning trainer Twiston-Davies paid tribute to Little Josh, who had finished seventh in last year’s race and won the Grand Sefton Chase at the track in December.
Changes have been created to the fences and the course has been shortened for the 2013 race.
The RSPCA’s David Muir told BBC Radio five live that he was looking ahead to the complete post-mortem results on Little Josh before any potential decision for further changes to the Aintree fences.
2013 Grand National alterations
- Begin to be moved forward by ninety yards faraway from crowds and grandstands
- Maintain most field at 40
- Changes to fence construction
- Additional user-friendly begin tapes with increased visibility
- Levelling the landing zone of Becher’s Brook
- Levelling out of landing areas
- Additional catching pen for riderless horses
Former Grand National-winning jockey Liam Treadwell was taken to hospital when falling from Regal D’Estruval throughout the race.
Andrew Lynch, who parted company with Mister First, was treated at the course’s medical centre.
Nineteen of the twenty nine runners finished the race, which was run over two miles and 5-and-a-half furlongs.
Treadwell will not have a ride in Saturday’s huge race at the Liverpool track while Lynch is because of ride Treacle.
Last year’s Grand National saw the deaths of Synchronised and According to Pete who became the ninth and 10th horses to possess died within the race in the past twelve years.
For this year’s race, the start can be moved 90 yards nearer to the first fence to attempt to slow the speed at that the horses approach the fence and also to manoeuver the horses away from the group and reduce the noise.
Jockeys have additionally been warned to “keep calm” at the beginning of the race.
Riders have also been urged to recollect that they must use the complete width of the course to avoid crowding around the inner line.