Sir Erec had to be put down moments after the first race of the final day at the Cheltenham Festival.Sir Erec is the second fatality of the festiva
Sir Erec had to be put down moments after the first race of the final day at the Cheltenham Festival.
Sir Erec is the second fatality of the festival this year after Ballyward died on the opening day.
Pentland Hills ran out a shock 20-1 winner of the JCB Triumph Hurdle, the opening event on the final day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.
Trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville, Pentland Hills found plenty after the last, galloping up the famous hill to claim Grade One glory, having won a Plumpton maiden event on his only previous start over obstacles.
However, the race was marred by the tragic moment hot favourite Sir Erec broke down mid-race.
Sir Erec stumbled over a fence, snapped its leg and collapsed on the course before green screens were erected.
Trainer Nicky Henderson paid tribute moments after its death and said: ”What a gorgeous horse Sir Erec was. Your heart goes out to them. We’re all a family and JP is a big part of our team. He’s one of the great men of national hunt racing. That was not fair at all.”
While winning jockey Nico de Boinville said: “You never like to win a race when that has happened but it is the reality of the sport.
“Thoughts are with Sir Erec’s connections.
“But take nothing away from my horse. He made a bad error at the first where he over-jumped it and recovered well after that.”
“It’s a real sickening moment, to go from that excitement and that anticipation and suddenly that happens,” ITV pundit Ed Charmberlin said.
Legend jockey AP McCoy said: ”We’re absolutely heart-broken about Sir Ere,” McCoy said.
Winning jockey Nico de Boinville gave his condolences to those connected with Sir Erec.
“You never like to win a race when that has happened but it is the reality of the sport,” he said.
“Thoughts are with Sir Erec’s connections.”