Spanish tragedy: lorry fire claims the lives of seven racehorses travelling to Madrid

Horse Racing Madrid - La Zarzuela Spain where racehorses killed in fire were to race
Racing at the Hipodromo de la Zarzuela in Madrid, where the horses were being sent to continue their careers. Photo:

By Jon Lees

France: A fire on a horsebox carrying ten racehorses purchased at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale in Newmarket and destined for Spain has killed at least seven of its occupants.

The blaze broke out after a front tyre blew on a Spanish transporter lorry in the early hours of Friday as it reached southern France en route to Madrid. Only three horses survived with one taken to an equine hospital.

“The lorry had a blowout and it caught in flames,” said an agent from EAM Bloodstock which bought some of the horses for clients in Spain.

“There were strong winds which whipped up the fire. The staff managed to get three of the horses out, two are okay and already in Spain and one is in intensive care but seven horses died.

“The driver is okay but is in shock. One of the crew nearly died trying to rescue the rest of them.”

Tattersalls expressed its sadness in a tweet from its Spanish account, saying: “We are very sorry for what happened during the transport of the horses from Tattersalls to Spain.”

Horses consigned by both Coolmore and Shadwell Studs were believed to be part of the shipment, including Mexico City, a three-year-old No Nay Never colt who finished third a G3 for Aidan O’Brien and changed hands for 60,000gns. He is understood to have survived.

However Daayeb, a three-year-old, and two juveniles Hawaamesh and Just Awesome were among those that perished in the fire.

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