A horse died on the first day. Cheltenham The festival after the terrible fall during the National Hunt Challenge Cup race.

Eight-year-old Malinello, ridden by Gina Andrews and trained by Ben Pauling, crashed into the 16th fence and fell awkwardly. Cheltenham’s veterinary team joined as he lay on the racetrack, but Cheltenham later confirmed that he was dead.

A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, Malinello suffered an injury in the last race of the day. He was taken care of and evaluated immediately by the veterinarian team on the course, but he passed away very sadly. Our thoughts are with all connections.”

Animal welfare groups have expressed concern about the recent incident.

The final runs at Cheltenham were marred by the tragic death of the horses after declines in the competition. According to the well-established animal rights group Animal Aid, at least one horse has died every year the Festival has been held since 2000. The organization’s data shows a total of 73 horses have died after running at the event over the past 23 years. .

On Tuesday, Animal Aid called for an end to fence-jumping of the kind seen on Hunt Chase, writing: “RIP – 8-year-old Malinello was killed today at the National Hunt Chase, the infamous amateur riders’ race in Cheltenham. It’s time to ban Jump Racing.”

This RSPCA He tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to hear of Malinello’s death. Cheltenham Festival Today. We believe that racehorses should lead a good life on and off the track and should never be exposed to unacceptable risk of injury or death. We will discuss this matter with BHA.”

Owned by Martin and Lynn Jones, Malinello has raced nine times in his career, taking two wins and making nearly £20,000.