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Iroqoius Steeplechase

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  • Iroqoius Steeplechase

    What a tragedy! I don't know any more than what the news story reports:


    What's usually a fun get together ended in tragedy today.

    It happened at one of the most exciting events of the year in Nashville.

    The winning horse of the 71st Annual Iroquois Steeplechase, Arcadia, died immediately following the race.

    We're told the 8-year old horse finished the race and went over to the cool-down spot - then collapsed. The horse was quickly attended to by trainers and medical staff and was pronounced dead.

    We're told the cause of death is an aneurysm. Officials also said that the cause of death had "nothing to do with the race."

    Channel 4 News is in the process of collecting more information.

    Stay tuned to Channel 4 and wsmv.com for all the latest on this developing story.

  • #2
    I was there - right there.
    He jumped for fun, won easily in hand (well, ridden out, but in a laugher.)
    Pulled up fine.
    Got lots of pats by his loving caring jockey.
    Jogged back to the unsaddling/cool-out/stewards' stand area.
    Was untacked and his lovely old-timer groom started to lead him away and ...
    Boom. Fell with that notable stiff legged appearance.
    There were 2 dozen KNOWING EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL horsemen on top of it - cooling fans, hoses, ice. Immediately screened off.
    But the horse was already 'dead.'
    Total shock. Tragic. Distressing.
    But, for certain, aneurysm. No question. No fault ascribed by any, to any.
    Tragic end to a gallant lovely old campaigner.
    I got lots of lovely photos of him in the paddock with his old black groom (one of Sheppard's key guys, I'm sure) and tons of him running/jumping.
    Great racing. Really really sad ending.
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


    • #3
      Hunters Rest, will you please post some of them? I have never seen him. Sound like he was a grand horse! Godspeed.


      • #4
        I saw the news article...sounds exactly like what happened to that show jumper recently: went fine, pulled up fine, and then, gone. His connections must be heartbroken.
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        • #5
          More information here:


          According to the article an autopsy confirmed it was a pulmonary aneurysm. My prayers go out to his connections. What a terrible ending to a great day of racing.
          Last edited by FleabittenGray; May. 13, 2012, 02:10 AM. Reason: Added link


          • #6
            Originally posted by TB Hunter View Post
            More information here:


            According to the article an autopsy confirmed it was a pulmonary aneurysm. My prayers go out to his connections. What a terrible ending to a great day of racing.
            I wonder about the accuracy of that story. I know most may be close, but didn't realize they would be able to complete the autopsy that quickly. On top of that, they have lots of names and facts (regarding owners/jockeys) wrong.

            My heart goes out to the connections, I know the owner just recently lost an old retiree of his that was still living at Shep's barn, Ninepins.


            • #7
              I'm saddened to see this happen, especially to such a class horse, well trained, well handled, well loved. I'm on the west coast but my husband called to tell me. Farewell to a great one. My heart goes out to the folks involved.

              Betsy, I will look forward to seeing photos from the day.
              What would you try if you knew you would not fail?


              • #8
                By "autopsy" all they mean is they cut him open (sorry) and can see, very very very easily, that his heart .... burst.
                That horse of mine that I leased to Noel Ryan a few years ago for hte foxhunters timber series had this exact thing happen - was great, fine, won his race (at Piedmont), one stride past the wire staggered, lurched right - into the crowd, and expired.
                The vet told me that when their 'heart' goes, its the pulmonary artery leading from the heart that typically bursts and that their blood no longer goes where it belongs.
                A full autopsy isn't required in this case, if you follow.
                I don't think I'm ata level on this site to post pix but look on facebook. I have some (will have more) and Tod Marks (friend him, too) has others. I was at the 2nd last (great jump by Arcadius) and he was at the last.
                * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


                • #9
                  Not to quibble, but I just read the Tennessean story and saw nothing factually wrong on a quick glance.
                  * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by SteeleRdr View Post
                    I know most may be close, but didn't realize they would be able to complete the autopsy that quickly.
                    The veterinarian interviewed in the article/video owns Tennessee Equine Hospital, which has a surgical facility and is located only about half an hour away from the track. The state livestock diagnostic lab is also located in south Nashville. I'd imagine, given the public nature of what happened, that the horse was almost immediately examined after his death.

                    I had several friends at the event, a couple of whom where serving as officials, who described what happened the same way that Hunters Rest did. I feel terrible for the horse's connections. The ignorant, hateful anti-racing comments that are being posted on the WSMV Facebook page are disgusting.


                    • #11
                      It is not rare in eventing for horses to die this way, but they usually die on the XC course.

                      I'm now starting to wonder if pulmonary aneuryisms are more common when you combine extreme exertion with jumping.

                      How not rare is this in the flat racing world?
                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                      Thread killer Extraordinaire


                      • #12
                        There seems to be an increase in these types of deaths, and medications may be a common thread. Many of the newly touted drugs on the market failed to be safe for human use, and have moved on to the animal market.

                        Firocoxib (INN; brand names Equioxx and Previcox) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug of the COX-2 inhibitor (coxib) class, currently approved for use in dogs and horses. Firocoxib was the first COX-2 inhibitor approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for horses.[1]


                        I am also curious how many of the horses that have died in this sudden fashion were on ulcer meds and if any studies have been done.


                        • #13
                          There were just names on pictures that were incorrect. Like it's Toby Edwards, not Tony Edwards. There was another thing about an owner of a horse and name of a horse that was incorrect, but I can't recall the exact issues.

                          I was just curious about it because the Bloodhorse did not report that they had already done the autopsy and in talking with someone connected with the horse last night, they said it was a heart attack with a suspected aneurysm, but they wouldn't know more until about the 15th.


                          • #14
                            SteeleR - ahhh. I did not study the captions on the online version.
                            Really, I believe everybody tosses about the term 'autopsy' when in fact they mean they looked inside (using surgical tools onhand, there at the course, back by the stables where they took him in the ambulance) and could see clearly this was the cause of death.
                            Naturally, I'd expect, perhaps, more may be done should the owner/trainer/vet community at large wish it so.
                            Garden - No meds are acceptable for 'chasers other than a regulated amount of Lasix. I doubt any jump horse uses Firocoxib. Its more for creaky school horses not young fit hurdlers. I am wide open to correction but I'd be shocked if any use that medication at any rate, but don't you know it'd test, anyway.
                            No other meds are allowed, and you can be damned sure they will test Arcadius' blood for everything. His trainer is a Hall of Fame superstar and indubitably clean as a whistle.
                            I'll eat my hat (and yours) if there is anything except hay-oats-and-water (and the acceptable level of Lasix)
                            Arcadius was a $500k select yearling sale to Coolmore and raced in Ireland before returning to the US.
                            He was poor jockey Brian Crowley's first US win when he came here in 2009.
                            Brian was wrecked. Almost inconsolable, in tears and in shock.
                            That's the worst part, the impossible sadness that this big, handsome, gallant veteran was somebody's (no doubt somebodies''s'') all-time fave. I never met him but he just looked like a cool dude - big ole' ears, kind look, just stalking around the paddock with his smiley groom. : (
                            * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


                            • #15
                              Also, with all due respect, I'm not so sure (again, completely and honestly open to correction) that there are 'more' horses dying this way - I believe that it is merely that science can now easily identify causes instead of just saying 'Ohhhh! How sad. The horse died of ??? in his pasture.' Or '...on the jumping course.' Or '...on the track.'
                              * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by gardenie View Post
                                There seems to be an increase in these types of deaths, and medications may be a common thread.
                                I don't think so. I think you just hear about it instantly in the internet age.

                                I remember Mike Dupont's lovely horse - Hami, if memory serves- collapsed and died on the way back to the vans after winning the Eustis Cup in oh, late 70s or early 80s. Absolutely devastating. As it is whenever a horse is lost, whether racing or overnight, in its stall, or frolicking in its paddock.

                                It happens- recently, of course, in show jumping,and in eventing. Basketball players and football players and runners die unexpectedly, too, similar circumstances. And all tragedies.


                                • #17
                                  Oh. Informational tidbit of the day. For humans, it's an 'autopsy,' for animals, a 'necropsy.'

                                  But that is a full body analysis. As HR notes, if you suspect the heart, that's all you look at, and an aneurysm is quite easily recognized, as are several other cardiac issues.


                                  • #18
                                    Obviously don't have any stats, but it does appear to be more prevalent among jump racers that flat horses. Some very famous jumpers have died of aneurysms. Best Mate died of one post race, walking back to the paddock. The great Dawn Run died of one in mid race, actually in mid jump, in the Grand Course des Haies at Auteuil. Exotic Dancer died of one in his stall right after the Whitbread Gold Cup at Aintree a couple of years ago.

                                    The only major flat racer that comes to mind is Persian Punch, the great Stayer of recent years, who dropped 1/2f from the line in the 2m Sagaro Stakes at Ascot.


                                    • #19
                                      The accepted medical wisdom seems to be that horses don't have heart attacks that are like human heart attacks. What they have is "cardiac events".
                                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                      Thread killer Extraordinaire


                                      • #20
                                        Rather sad for all concerned from the grooms to the spectators

                                        Arcadius, a one time Coolmore horse trained by Aidan O’Brien, was rather special after he came to the US. He was the horse that gave 2010 trainer Jonathan Sheppard his 1,000th steeplechase victory. Also jockey Brian Crowley earned his first US victory aboard him as well.