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Veterinary Statement: Melbourne Cup

Racing Victoria's (RV) Executive General Manager – Integrity Services, Jamie Stier, has issued the following statement after the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington today

"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,” Mr Stier said.

“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.”

Mr 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,” Mr Stier said.

“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.”

Hugh Bowman rider of Anthony Van Dyck was uninjured in the incident.

One of the key initiatives of Racing Victoria’s Equine Welfare Strategy is a five-year $6.2 million bone research project between Racing Victoria, the State Government and University of Melbourne which is aimed at the early detection and prevention of bone injuries in thoroughbred racehorses.

This research is being undertaken to reduce the incidence of fatal racing injuries such as that sustained during the running of the Melbourne Cup today.

Victoria’s raceday fatality rate is among the lowest in world racing with a safety record of 99.95% and a fatal incident rate of 0.05%. Racing Victoria is striving to reduce raceday fatalities towards zero.

Over the last 10 years, Flemington Racecourse has averaged two fatal racing accidents per year in flat racing.

Today is the 21st race meeting held at Flemington Racecourse in 2020 during which over 177 races have been conducted. Anthony Van Dyck is the second racing fatality at Flemington Racecourse in 2020.

(Today marks the fifth catastrophic limb injury sustained in the Melbourne Cup over the last 40 years. They are Anthony Van Dyck (today), The Cliffsofmoher (2018), Red Cadeaux (2015), Verema (2013) and Three Crowns (1998), noting that Red Cadeaux was euthanised two weeks after the race due to irreversible complications which arose with his injured foreleg.)