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Four horses die on final day of Cheltenham Festival

THERE were four equine fatalities on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, taking the total for the week to six.

Three came in the concluding race, the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase, when Alcester trainer Dan Skelton's North Hill Harvey and Henry Oliver's Dresden both suffered what proved to be fatal falls.

It emerged later in the evening that Henry de Bromhead's Some Plan had also been lost following the race, where he was a faller at the last fence.

Harry Skelton, who rode North Hill Harvey for his brother, was reported to have escaped serious injury, although he did go to hospital as a precaution.

Cheltenham communications manager Sophia Dale said: "North Hill Harvey was humanely euthanized with a suspected pelvic injury and Dresden was humanely euthanized with a suspected back injury. Harry Skelton is fine and he is up and about."

She added on Friday night: "Unfortunately Some Plan suffered an injury in the seventh race today and was humanely euthanized this evening. Our thoughts are with connections."

Earlier in the day, Katie Walsh was unshipped from Sandsend before the last in the Randox Health County Hurdle and it was later confirmed the Willie Mullins-trained runner had suffered a fatal injury.

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