A racecourse in Ireland has been cleared over the deaths of five horses in a day during a meeting on June 13.
Ireland’s Turf Club has concluded its investigation and found that the track at Clonmel Racecourse, in Tipperary, was not responsible for the deaths, noting that no trainer of jockey had blamed the track condition for the fatalities.
The day of steeplechasing claimed the lives of Ballintotty Boy, Milan Elite, Oscar Pearl, Lisgreen Lad and Areyouforreal.
The Turf Club, in announcing the findings of its inquiry, said it took into account events leading up to the race meeting and during the fixture.
It said that in the lead-up to the fixture, the clerk of the course had carried out his pre-race day inspection at Clonmel on the morning of Wednesday, June 11. He then issued a message saying the ground was yielding following 11 millimetres of rain since Monday.
The track foreman contacted the Turf Club press officer the next morning and a message was issued shortly after 8am saying that the ground was now good to yielding, with a forecast of warm and generally dry weather for that day and for Friday.
A further ground update was issued at 8am on the morning of the meeting saying that the ground was now good following a dry and warm day on Thursday.
The clerk of the course walked the course with the racetrack foreman at lunchtime on Friday and found the ground to be good, with a good covering of grass. The ground was officially given as good at that point, but was subsequently changed to good to firm after the fifth race.
The investigation concluded that there had been no need to water the ground in the lead-up to the meeting.
While there was no doubting the fact that the ground dried considerably on the day, no complaints were received by either the clerk of the course or the stewards from owners, trainers and riders regarding the condition of the ground.
There were, the inquiry noted, three withdrawals due to the change in ground and in all cases the stewards allowed the withdrawals without penalty.
No trainer or jockey attributed the fatalities to the state of the ground, the inquiry noted.