Melbourne Cup horse Anthony Van Dyck has been euthanised after breaking down around 350 metres from the finish line on Tuesday afternoon.
The Irish stallion, one of the favourites, appeared to suffer a leg injury and was loaded into a horse ambulance on the track.
Racing Victoria’s (RV) Executive General Manager of Integrity Services, Jamie Stier confirmed the death, saying a fatality report will now be prepared by the Racing Victoria integrity service.
“It is with sadness that we confirm that Anthony Van Dyck had to be humanely euthanised after sustaining a fractured fetlock during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington,” said Stier.
“The horse received immediate veterinary care, however he was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained.
“Our sympathies are extended to the owners of Anthony Van Dyck, trainer Aidan O’Brien and all his staff who cared for the horse and are greatly saddened by their loss.”
Animal welfare group Animals Australia responded to the news with a statement on social media, while Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi condemned horse racing.
Seven racehorses have died since 2013 as a result of the annual event that takes place on the first Tuesday of November.
In 2014, Admire Rakti collapsed and died in his stall after the Melbourne Cup, while in 2017 Regal Monarch was put down after sustaining an injury during the race.
The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses found 122 horses had died on Aussie tracks in one year, while ‘on average one horse will die on Australian racetracks every three days’.
This year Twilight Payment led from start to finish to claim the $8 million race, beating runner-up Tiger Moth and Prince of Arran in third place.
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