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Review in to jumps deaths at Ellerslie

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/06/2016

A review is being carried out after three jumps horses died at Ellerslie on Monday.

The three horses, Tu Meta Peta, Musashi and Bahhton, were put down after falling and sustaining injuries in three separate races.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing said the review would be carried out in conjunction with Auckland Racing Club, the Racing Integrity Unit and New Zealand Jumps Inc.

"To have three incidents in one day, as we did at Ellerslie on Monday was most unusual," said NZTR's Matthew Hall.

"We are looking at all safety aspects in jumping races, both at Ellerslie and on a national basis."

Hall said the deaths on Monday were the first at a jumping race at Ellerslie for almost three years.

"We have done a considerable amount of work to minimise potential injuries in jumping races - including an annual audit of every jumps venue - and the statistics would indicate that this is working."

Three horses suffered fatal injuries last year while two died in 2014.

"There is always an element of risk, to both horse and rider, in all equestrian sports but NZTR is committed to doing everything we can to mitigate those risks," Hall said.

The deaths prompted animal advocacy group SAFE to repeat its call for a ban on jumps racing.

"Jumps racing is impossible to make safe, as by its very nature, there is a constant risk to the horse.

"Horses are dying on race tracks every year and the casualties will continue to mount unless action is taken to ban jumps racing," it said.

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