The Melbourne Cup was marred this year by the death of two horses, Admire Rakti and Araldo. Both were tragic but the death of Araldo was completely preventable and totally unnecessary. The incident highlights the need to remember that horses are flight animals and that they will shy at anything sudden or different. Even at home they will look askance if something has changed.
The directors and administration of race clubs should either have or consult experts on horse behaviour. Horses at big meetings with big crowds are likely to be very apprehensive and stressed already without the addition of sudden movements or things being waved around near them without warning. The VRC has responded by limiting the size of flags but even waving a small item in close proximity to a horse is likely to upset the horse. All race clubs, both city and country, need to consider safety protocols for horses and people to ensure that a similar incident does not happen again. A second fence set back a few metres is one thought. It was lucky that no person was injured or killed in the incident. Had Araldo kicked out or up he may have kicked the child and caused serous injury to the child as well as the fatal traumatic injury which he sustained.
Has anyone seen or experienced a tragic and avoidable incident such as this at any race course?