Tragedy after Crowley scores on Arcadius
Report: USA, Saturday
Percy Warner Park (Nashville): Iroquois Chase (Grade 1-jumps) 3m, 5yo+
IRISH jockey Brian Crowley was left in tears when his mount Arcadius (Jonathan Sheppard) collapsed and died soon after winning the Iroquois Steeplechase in front of 25,000 spectators in Tennessee on Saturday.
Jonathan Sheppard: trained winnerPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
The eight-year-old, formerly trained in Ireland, suffered a heart attack and aneurysm soon after capturing the $150,000 event.
According to tradition, Crowley trotted Arcadius up the hill for photographs after winning the race. The horse then returned to the cooling station and collapsed.
Racecourse vet Monty McInturff reported: "We got to the scene and his blood pressure was going quickly; he went very quickly. Arcadius had a pulmonary aneurysm; after the race, the artery ruptured."
Arcadius scored by under a length from Divine Ruling to take the Iroquois, one of the highlights of the limited US jumps season.
"The horse ran a valiant race," said trainer Jonathan Sheppard, speaking to Associated Press. "It's not like he was struggling during the race. The rider wasn't aggressive with his whip. After he crossed the finish line, I was talking to the riders of other horses that I had in the race. I looked over and saw that he was down."
McInturff added: "He was the best horse of the day - he honestly showed no signs of distress during the race. He won the big one. The horse ran beautifully. It was amazing to watch."