Investigation after racehorse fire death

RACEHORSE owners have pledged to investigate after a fire in a pressurised oxygen chamber killed a valuable thoroughbred.

Will Clarke

RACEHORSE owners have pledged to investigate after a fire in a pressurised oxygen chamber killed a valuable thoroughbred.

Newmarket horse racing giants Godolphin last night said they were determined to get to the bottom of what happened to House of Wisdom - an unraced two-year-old male.

The horse was receiving specialist treatment in the state-of-the-art oxygen therapy stalls, which are designed to speed up the repair of soft-tissue damage and help surgery scars heal.


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And although staff at the Moulton Paddocks Godolphin pre-training stables responded quickly to the fire on Friday afternoon, the animal was badly burnt and had to be put down.

The American made oxygen stall had been in Newmarket since April and similar units have been reported to have aided injury recovery for footballers Wayne Rooney and David Beckham.

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Simon Crisford, racing manager to Godolphin, owned by Sheikh Mohammed, praised the efforts of staff.

He said on Saturday: “We had a fire on Friday in a hyperbaric stall. Thanks to the vigilance of staff the fire was quickly dealt with but, very unfortunately, the two-year-old could not be saved.”

He said House of Wisdom was undergoing treatment for a hind suspensory condition at the time of the tragic accident.

“It seems there was a design fault and there will now be a full investigation,” Mr Crisford said.

The treatment, known as hyperbaric therapy, works by boosting the animal's immune system using pressurised oxygen.

As well as the internal investigation by Godolphin, the Health and Safety Executive is also expected to look into what happened.

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