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  1. #1
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    Default 1956 Grand National....what happened to Devon Loch?

    Just curious if more educated eyes could tell from the video, what caused him to fall? Did he just slip? Or did he injure himself? Couldn't find a lot googling. At first I laughed, thought it was just bad luck. But if you watch them walk away, it looked like his front left was buckling under his weight...not sure if it was just fatigue, or if it was broken. Poor guy, though...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62fPL...layer_embedded



  2. #2
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    That question has been solidly debated ever since 1956 and even the jockey, Dick Francis, could not explain it. Horse wasn't damaged.



  3. #3
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    Pick up Dick Francis's book The Sport of Queens: The Autobiography of Dick Francis. His 1993 revision has a lengthy chapter on the race and his thoughts on the cause of the freak fall. He laments losing a race every jockey dreams of winning in such a bizarre fashion. He also wrote that losing that race in that way was integral to the man he became - and for that he had no regrets.



  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info...had never heard the story before, didn't realize it was such a huge event, much less an unexplained one. I love Dick Francis novels, have never read his autobio before.



  5. #5
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    Every now and then you'll hear the term 'He did a devon loch' which was a phrase coined after his famous fall.



  6. #6
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    Oh, and Devon Loch was 100% fine after that sprawling collapse.



  7. #7
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    You know watching that film, just before the final jump, if you look at Devon Loch's hind legs, they were almost "loose" looking for a better term? Like the human adage "my legs felt like jelly". I can see it clearly in the video starting around 1:04 and onward, look at his hind legs. He just looked spent...maybe like marathon runner whose legs just fall out from underneath him, it looks just about the same..


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    darkmoonlady, that's the impression I got. Maybe he just wasn't fit enough? Or was worked too hard that week? Or who knows. Being the Queen's horse, I can't imagine him not recieving the best possible care, but horses are still horses.



  9. #9
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    I think I remember Dick Francis' theory was that he recoiled from the sound. Francis said that the roar of the crowd in the stretch was unlike anything he had ever heard before on the track - people cheering for the certain royal victory. He says the horse hesitated a little in the stretch, then pricked his ears, then jumped back at the onslaught of sound as soon as he pricked them.



  10. #10
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    I always attributed it to the hand of God. The Crone on the Throne has never won, too bad that does not cause the overthrow of the empire but every little bit helps!
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy



  11. #11
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    Dec. 22, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by mintano View Post
    Every now and then you'll hear the term 'He did a devon loch' which was a phrase coined after his famous fall.
    Ouch. That's unfortunate. What a way to go down in history, especially for a good horse who otherwise had a successful career.

    Like the baseball player Tommy John whose name is now used to describe surgery for ailing pitchers.



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