Cheltenham Festival: Tragedy as horse Shallwehaveonemore dies on day one

Tragedy on day one at Cheltenham: Shallwehaveonemore dies in the opening race of the festival, with Gary Moore’s horse put down due to fatal injuries suffered falling at the final fence

  • Cheltenham Festival suffered a tragic first day after Shallwehaveonemore died
  • Gary Moore’s horse was put down after picking up fatal injuries following a fall
  • The incident came during the first race of the day – the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Cheltenham Festival suffered a tragic opening day on Tuesday as Shallwehaveonemore died following a fatal fall.

The incident came in the first race of the day – the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – with Gary Moore’s horse falling at the final fence of the race, which was won by Constitution Hill.

Medics and officials made their way to the scene quickly to attend to the horse, but unfortunately its injuries were too severe and it had to be put down.

A Cheltenham spokesman said: ‘Sadly Shallwehaveonemore sustained an injury in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

‘He was immediately attended to by our highly experienced veterinary team, but after extensive treatment it was determined that it was necessary to put the horse to sleep. Our thoughts are with his connections.’

Cheltenham has gone to extra lengths to protect horses competing at the races – this week laying out its safety protocols ahead of the festival’s first day.

Cheltenham suffered a tragic opening day as Shallwehaveonemore died in the first race

The Gary Moore-backed horse fell at the final fence and had to be put down after suffering severe injuries

The Gary Moore-backed horse fell at the final fence and had to be put down after suffering severe injuries

Racing authorities have been working hard to reduce the injuries suffered by horses amid pressure from animal welfare campaigners – with the racecourse announcing it had installed a horse weighing machine, built a equine hospital on site, as well as an X-ray machine at every meeting .

Other introductions include cooling fans in the unsaddling enclosure, a refurbished veterinary treatment box – 99 new stables, an equine solarium and rubberised horse walk stables in the pre-parade ring.

It came after Constitution Hill – the 9-4 joint favorite – took home the opening race of the day.

Nico de Boinville’s mount simply glided up the famous hill to account for stablemate Jonbon, with Willie Mullins’ Kilcruit well-beaten third.

The turning point of the Grade One was at the third-last flight, when the pace-setting Mullins-trained Dysart Dynamo crashed out, leaving the Henderson pair alone up front.

Crowds were watching the opening race unfold at Cheltenham after returning to the festival for the first time since the Covid pandemic

Crowds were watching the opening race unfold at Cheltenham after returning to the festival for the first time since the Covid pandemic

There was little between the duo going to two out – but Constitution Hill was going the better and soon took the lead.

The five-year-old, owned by Michael Buckley, quickly put daylight between himself and Jonbon to score by 22 lengths.

No other horse got into the race, with Kilcruit staying on to take minor honors another two and a half lengths away, as Henderson won the Supreme for a fifth time.

De Boinville said: ‘I knew it was going to be fast and furious and in fairness he did it like a piece of work. I was so happy going to the last. He could be anything, I’m sure he’d jump a fence as well. He’s got so much scope.

‘I didn’t really have a choice (to go for home when he did), he was traveling so well. They’ve gone a really hard gallop and he’s just picked the bridle up. I’m delighted for his owner Michael Buckley, he’ll be ecstatic.

‘What a way to start the week, what a legend.’

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