The horseracing community has been saddened to hear of the death of Kauto Star. The two time winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and five time winner of the King George VI Chase was humanely put down at the Valley Equine Hospital in Lambourn on Monday 30th June. Kauto Star had incurred fractures to his neck and pelvis in a fall when out in his paddock and despite receiving first class veterinary care and treatment his condition deteriorated over the weekend.
Hattie Lawrence, the vet who treated Kauto Star at the Valley Equine Hospital said: "It is always very upsetting when we are unable to save any horse but when it is a horse which means so much and has given so much pleasure to so many people it is particularly sad.”
Clive Smith, the owner of Kauto Star, said: "I am devastated. He had been turned out in Laura's (Collett) paddock, as has been the case normally with him at this time for years, and we're not really sure how, but he injured himself - and it became obvious it was serious.
“The vets at Valley Equine Hospital did all they could but it became increasingly apparent the injuries were too serious and that it was in the horse's interests to be put down. The onset of secondary problems, pneumonia and laminitis, as a result of the horse being unable to put his head down and the increase of toxins in his body after standing stationary for so long, highlight the challenges faced when treating serious injuries in horses. I have to say Hattie Lawrence and the vets at Valley Equine Hospital did all they could and more. Kauto was kept comfortable throughout and not in pain when the decision to put him down was taken."
The very best veterinary care is provided for our racehorses. Since 2000, the sport has invested over £27m in veterinary activities, including research and education. A study by Liverpool University found that 62% of “traumatic injuries” (ranging from grazes to fractures) suffered by a sample of leisure and competition horses occurred in the field, compared to only 13% during ridden exercise.