Oliver Sherwood, jockey Leighton Aspell and fallen racing hero Many Clouds
A SEVERE pulmonary embolism was the cause of Many Clouds’ sudden death following the horse’s victory in Saturday’s Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.
An autopsy revealed the severe internal bleeding in the lungs rare and, said BHA acting chief veterinary officer Tony Welsh: “Episodes such as this are rare, and can occur in horses which have no underlying health issues, and amongst all disciplines of sport horses.”
A heart attack had been suspected, but no underlying issues were found in the examination. “In spite of the rarity of these incidents,” said Welsh, “as a sport we are determined to do more to understand what causes these symptoms, and whether more can be done to prevent it.”
Trainer Oliver Sherwood had previously reported that the horses had “wobbled’ on a couple of occasions following races, but this was confirmed as a common condition. “Post-race ataxia and similar symptoms are linked to an increase in body temperature after exercise and can be treated by providing the horse with water. It is not uncommon in racehorses or other sport horses.
“The post-mortem results have categorically proved that the symptoms exhibited by Many Clouds in the past were in no way present or associated with his sad death at Cheltenham.”
The horse’s owner Trevor Hemmings and the trainer had agreed that the post-mortem results should be made public.