Millions tuned in for the return of the Randox Grand National 2022 on Saturday as Noble Yeats won the world’s most famous horse race, beating race-favourite Any Second Now into second place.
And while 40 horses started the 174th Grand National, it has been confirmed that one of the runners, Discroama, has sadly passed away.
Straight after the race it was reported that all horses had been safely returned to the stables, but it was later confirmed that Discorama—who was pulled up at the 13th fence with an injury—had been left lame.
Discorama’s trainer, Bryan Cooper, took to Twitter to share the heartbreaking news. He said, “We are heartbroken to have lost Discorama today at Aintree. Bryan pulled him up due to injury. Our condolences to his owners Andrew Gemmell & Tom Friel.
The race’s Veterinary Advisor, Professor Chris Proudman, echoed Bryan’s sentiment. “After the race, Discorama, who had pulled up while travelling on the flat between fences, was assessed further in Aintree’s veterinary treatment facility within the stables.
“Very sadly we determined that he had sustained an untreatable pelvic injury and it has now been necessary to put him to sleep on welfare grounds. Our thoughts are with his connections.”
Discorama was the third horse to pass away during the Grand National festival this year, with Solwara One and Elle Est Belle having died earlier on in the day.
The safety of the Grand National has been well-documented over the years, with 86 horses having died during the race itself since the first Grand National in 1839.
Although the course features 30 jumps in total, fences such as Becher’s Brook, Canal Turn and The Chair have caused consistent issues for runners over the years and were even altered in 2012 to improve safety.
Changes included reducing the drop on Becher’s Brook to make more of a level landing for the horses and reducing the fourth fence in height by 2inches to 4ft 10in.
At the time, Julian Thick, of Aintree Racecourse, insisted, “The safety and welfare of horses and riders is always our number one priority.
“It is not possible to eliminate risk completely in horseracing. But I am confident the proposed course changes will have a positive impact.”
But Discorama’s death, as well as two other deaths earlier on in the Aintree Festival has called into question the welfare of the horses at the Grand National.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said, “We are deeply saddened and concerned after the death of Solwara One at the Aintree Grand National Meeting. The death of any horse is always one too many so it is crucial that steps are taken to reduce the risk of such tragedies occurring.”