Race day marred by shocking fall
RACING: The festivities of Ramornie Handicap Day at the Clarence River Jockey Club were marred by a shocking race fall in the fifth race.
Three jockeys went down in the incident that resembled a car crash at the 200m mark in front of the race day marquees.
It is understood one horse, Stirling Osland-trained It's Relative which was ridden by former Grafton jockey Ben Looker, was put down.
Two other jockeys, Josh Adams and Jake Hull, were dislodged from Denver and Found Out respectively, but none of the jockeys had life-threatening injuries.
The three riders were taken by ambulance to the hospital for observation with concussion-like symptoms.
Chief steward Mark Holloway confirmed the other two horses involved had been cleared of any serious injury by a track vet.
"It is very sad to see, no matter what the day is, it is very disappointing to see and everyone in the industry takes it hard when we see a fall like that," Holloway said.
The fall caused a 15-minute delay to the proceedings during the CRJC's Ramornie Handicap Day with club chief executive officer Michael Beattie describing the incident as "unfortunate".
"It is always not a good thing in racing when you see horses fall or jockeys dislodged in races, you know it is inherently a dangerous sport but it is not something we want to see happen," Beattie said.
"Unfortunately from time to time it will occur, no matter how careful people are, things can go wrong and today is an example of that."
Beattie also shared his sympathies with the Osland stable and the connections of It's Relative.
"He certainly was showing plenty of promise, It's Relative, but again it is an unfortunate side of racing that from time to time horses can sustain career or life-threatening injuries," he said.
"As sad as that is, it is an unpalatable part of the sport that we have to learn to deal with."
Holloway said racing stewards would conduct a full investigation into the nature of the fall over the coming days.
"None of the jockeys have life-threatening injuries or career-ending injuries, which is a very important part of this incident. It is very sad for them that they won't be taking part in the rest of the Ramornie Day meeting and are unlikely to take part tomorrow.
"When there are delays in race meetings, it is difficult for the stewards to shuffle around and find time to get the meeting up and running again."