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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Jake Bayliss

Second Grand National horse dies as trainer confirms 'very sad' news

Racehorse trainer Emma Lavelle has paid tribute to Eclair Surf after the animal became the second horse to be put down following Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree.

The horse, ridden by Tom Bellamy, had been taken to Liverpool University for treatment after falling at the third fence in the showpiece event. Though he was initially stabilised by medical staff at Aintree, his condition worsened and the news that Eclair Surf had been put to sleep was confirmed by his trainer on Sunday morning.

“We are very sad to report that having sustained a traumatic head injury in yesterday's Grand National, Eclair Surf lost his fight this morning,” Lavelle said. “He was looked after at the racecourse by a team of first-class vets before being transferred to Liverpool University who treated him all night, however very sadly it was not to be. He was an incredibly special horse, loved by everyone and he will be missed terribly.”

READ MORE: Grand National horse dies after race leaving trainer "heartbroken"

Chris Proudman, veterinary advisor to Aintree Racecourse, said: “We were sad to learn that Eclair Surf had to be put to sleep this morning. After his fall yesterday he was stabilised on course before walking onto transport back to the stables. Following further veterinary evaluation he was referred to Leahurst Equine Hospital last night. Everything possible will have been done for him and our thoughts are very much with those who loved and cared for him.”

It follows the news that Discorama had to be put down on Saturday evening, having pulled up before the 13th fence. Trainer Paul Nolan was left “heartbroken” by the news after the horse had suffered what was described as “an untreatable pelvic injury” by Professor Chris Proudman.

It is the first time that two horses have died in the race since 2012, with a further two horses also put down at the Aintree Festival. Solwara One became the first fatality after pulling up at the 1.45pm race on Friday, while Elle Est Belle was also put to sleep after collapsing due to a suspected heart attack at the end of the 2.25pm Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle on Saturday.

Speaking recently after the Cheltenham Festival, Ian Renton of the Jockey Club, said: "All our team here work absolutely tirelessly to do everything we can for horses and human welfare and that is absolutely paramount in everything we think."

In the last decade, British Racing has invested more than £20m into veterinary activities including research and education. The governing body also has self-imposed and enforced welfare standards which they say exceed national animal welfare legislation.

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