Tiger Rose (left), the Challenge Cup’s winner, taking a jump before Edwulf (left).
Jockey Derek O’Connor has confirmed that Edwulf got back on his feet after a near fatal incident that occurred during day two of the Cheltenham Festival, with the horse reportedly suffering from a seizure during the final stages of the 4.50 JT McNamara Challenge Cup.
Edwulf surged from the back of the field to become a strong contender in the race, though after hobbling over the last fence he could be seen struggling to regain his footing. Attendees at Cheltenham reported that screens were then placed around the horse, with many fearing the worst as a result.
Though the incident was shielded from the view of the public, those at the festival have stated that medical staff tended to the horse for an hour following the incident, causing the last race to be delayed as a result. Derek O’Connor, who rode the horse during the race, issued the following update on Twitter at the end of the second day of the festival:
Edwulf is up and gone back to the stable yard. Thanks.
— Derek O Connor (@DerekOConnor82) March 14, 2017
Though it’s still unknown what caused Edwulf to collapse following the race, jockey Joseph O’Brien has also issued an update suggesting that the horse is fighting fit once again. Speaking to ITV4’s The Opening Show, O’Brien said: “He’s in Three Counties Equine Hospital and Liam Kearns and everyone there has done a great job, and they did a great job with him yesterday on the track. It’s very positive this morning.
“They’re not altogether sure (what went wrong), they thought it may have been something to do with his heart, but his heart came back normal relatively quickly and then he got up. It’s very good news this morning.”
The race was eventually won by Tiger Rose, a 16-1 outsider.