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Veterinary Statement - The Cliffsofmoher

Racing Victoria's (RV) Executive General Manager – Integrity Services, Jamie Stier, has issued the following statement after the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington today.

“It is with sadness that we confirm that The Cliffsofmoher had to be humanely euthanised after sustaining a fractured right shoulder during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington,” Mr Stier said.

“The horse received immediate veterinary care, however it was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained.

“This was an unfortunate incident that happens infrequently, with Victoria having one of the best safety records in world racing.

“Our sympathies are extended to Coolmore and the Williams family, the owners of The Cliffsofmoher, jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien and his staff who cared for the horse and are greatly saddened by their loss.”

Ryan Moore was uninjured in the incident.


One of the key initiatives of Racing Victoria’s Equine Welfare Strategy is a three-year $5.25 million bone research project between Racing Victoria, the State Government and University of Melbourne which is aimed at the early detection and prevention of bone injuries in thoroughbred racehorses.

This research is being undertaken to reduce the incidence of fatal racing injuries such as that sustained during the running of the Melbourne Cup today.

The total number of flat starts in Victorian racing has averaged just below 43,000 per year across the past decade. During that same period, the horse safety record has averaged 99.95% with fatal racing incidents occurring in just 0.05% of starts – one of the best safety records in world racing.

(Today marks the fourth catastrophic limb injury sustained in the Melbourne Cup over the last 35 years. They are The Cliffsofmoher (today), Red Cadeaux (2015), Verema (2013) and Three Crowns (1998), noting that Red Cadeaux was euthanised two weeks after the race due to irreversible complications which arose with his injured foreleg.)

A post mortem will be performed on The Cliffsofmoher at the University of Melbourne Veterinary Clinic as is standard practice.