Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 17 December 2017

Wexford cut short due to safety worries

RACING at Wexford was abandoned after three races yesterday due to unsafe ground.

Two horses broke legs in the three races run and one rider, Paddy Kennedy, was taken to hospital with a suspected broken wrist.

Clerk of the course Paddy Graffin said: "I had concerns about remedial work carried out on the course six weeks ago and following two fatalities earlier today, I informed the stewards that I could not stand over the safety of the course.

"When I arrived here yesterday (Saturday) two and a half hours before the first race, I noticed that remedial work had been carried out on the track. A compaction breaking machine had been used. I believed the work had been passed by the inspector of courses (Val O'Connell) and rang him to confirm he was happy with the course.

"We had no problems with racing yesterday until the riders in the chase unanimously expressed concerns about the ground approaching the last fence," Graffin added. "We moved the entire chase track this morning and re-sited the last fence.

"Following an incident in the second race today when Sandpit House slipped up on the approach to the second last hurdle, I positioned myself at that point of the course for the following race.

"While there was no repeat incident there, another horse was injured further up the track and I then informed the stewards that I couldn't stand over the condition of the track."

Irish Independent

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