Beverley racegoers have miraculous escape
RACEGOERS at Beverley had a miraculous escape on Wednesday when a horse jumped out of the pre-parade ring and careered through the crowded enclosures before ending up inside the grandstand.
Bespoke Boy, who broke loose after being saddled, runs amok at BeverleyPICTURE: courtesy of Racing UK
The horrific incident could have had tragic consequences as the horse, wearing blinkers for the first time, ran headlong into a pushchair that only moments earlier had been emptied of a young child.
Bespoke Boy, who broke loose after being saddled, ran amok among the crowd at the Yorkshire venue, scattering racegoers in every direction before being recaptured, leaving everyone who witnessed the incident at the track and on Racing UK amazed that nobody had been hurt. The three-year-old, who was wearing blinkers for the first time, behaved well until exiting the saddling boxes, when he suddenly took off.
Ben Haslam, whose father Patrick trains Bespoke Boy for owner Wendy Lucas, said: "He virtually pulled Lucy, the girl with him, and myself off our feet. He just set his head and took off."
Once loose, Bespoke Boy created havoc, in an incident with eery echoes of a similar situation at the track in 2005.
He galloped headlong from the pre-parade ring to the main parade ring, breaking through rails, and then exited the parade ring before crashing into the disabled ramp near the winning post, narrowly missing a woman in a wheelchair and also a woman with a small child and a pushchair.
Bespoke Boy, who fell at this point, quickly got to his feet and cantered on, through part ofthe betting ring, before darting to his right and mounting the short stairs into the ground floor of the grandstand.
Once there, he followed the short corridor round to his right before coming to a halt when he could go no further outside the disabled toilets.
Trainer Bryan Smart was one of the first on the scene to catch the tearaway, who, once the blinkers were removed, was led away without causing any further problems.
Smart said: "I've never seen anything like that. It's lucky nobody is dead. It wasn't the horse's fault. He took frightand was running blind. He ended up in the foyer of the stands after mounting the steps, and once inside, he couldn't go very far."
Fellow trainer Tim Easterby was also at a loss to know how there were not lots of casualtiesin the melee.
"I saw it happen and I saw one man get nailed near the rails. He just never saw it coming and it ran into him. Luckily, it was plastic rails and they gave way, and the man was allright."
Graham Orange, public relations officer of Go Racing in Yorkshire, confirmed they were no casualties.
"It's miraculous that nobody was injured," he said.
Safety procedures are likely to be re-examined in the wake of the episode.
In August 2005 a woman racegoer had a miraculous escape when knocked to the ground by a loose horse at a meeting being covered live by Channel 4.
Racecourse manager Sally Iggulden said: "A few people got knocked over, but they declined medical attention.
"It was amazing that nobody was hurt. The horse knocked over a pushchair, and the child had been taken out of it only seconds earlier. Everyone was very, very lucky."
Bespoke Boy escaped without serious injury. Haslam added: "He has got plenty of cuts and grazes on him, but is otherwise okay. What happened is completely out of character for him. He's worn blinkers at home and has been very good in them."