Anthony Van Dyck, pictured here at Churchill Downs before the 2018 Breeders’ Cup, had to be euthanized after an injury suffered in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup
Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse, “the race that stops the nation,” was marred by tragedy as one of the pre-race favorites, Anthony Van Dyck, broke down and had to be euthanized. The 2019 winner of the G1 Investec Derby was pulled up turning into the home straight, and was diagnosed with a fractured fetlock.
“It is with sadness that we confirm that Anthony Van Dyck had to be humanely euthanized after sustaining a fractured fetlock during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington,” said Racing Victoria’s (RV) Executive General Manager – Integrity Services, Jamie 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.”
Stier explained that a fatality report will now be prepared by the RV Integrity Services team as is standard practice.
“The fatality report gives consideration to the circumstances of the incident and any potential learnings to assist in the prevention of similar injuries in the future,” Stier explained. “The report will include the findings of a post-mortem which will now be conducted by the University of Melbourne Veterinary Clinic and we expect it will be several weeks before we have a completed report for consideration.”
Anthony Van Dyck’s jockey, Hugh Bowman, was uninjured in the incident.
Tuesday’s fatality marks the seventh horse to die after the Melbourne Cup since 2013.
The 2020 Melbourne Cup was contested without fans in attendance due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. The race saw a second victor from the barn of young trainer Joseph O’Brien, as Twilight Payment led all the way under jockey Jye McNeil. O’Brien won his first Cup in 2017 with Rekindling.
The runner-up, Tiger Moth, is trained by Joseph O’Brien’s father, Aidan O’Brien.
Tiger Moth was ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, who was assigned one of the largest fines for whip use in Australian racing history, per The Guardian. Race stewards fined McEvoy AUS$50,000 (about US$36,000) and suspended him for 13 meetings for using his whip 13 times before the 100-meter mark, and 21 times overall. Jockeys are allowed to use the whip no more than five times before the 100-meter point.
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