USA: It was the final race on the final day of the Fall Meeting at Grants Pass Downs – but the curtain came down on the action earlier than anticipated when the lights went out shortly after the start.
The small track, in the city of Grants Pass, Oregon, was plunged into darkness by an untimely power failure and when the leaders finally emerged into view, illuminated by the lights of the tote board, two horses were riderless.
Track announcer Jason Beem had just described the initial break from the stalls when he exclaimed: “The lights just went off. Somebody just turned the lights off! All the lights went off. I’ve got no clue what’s going on and hopefully everybody is staying safe out there, because we can’t see a thing. Unbelievable.”
When he next saw the horses he added: “And we lost a rider, we lost two riders – great.” Then he said: “Guys, pull up the horses.”
The two riders who came off their mounts, Patrick Henry Jr and Alex Anaya, were taken to hospital but escaped serious injury and no horses were reported injured, with the race declared a ‘no contest’.
The 22-year-old Anaya was announced as winner of the Fall Meeting riders’ championship, the Mexican’s first riding title.
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