A terrifying incident unfolded at the French track Cagnes-sur-Mer when a groundsman found himself in a life-threatening situation as horses charged towards him at the start of a race.
Terrifying Moment Caught on Camera
Video footage captured the chaos that ensued as the starter lost control and allowed 16 runners to set off simultaneously.
Reminiscent of Previous Incident
This incident brings to mind a similar incident that occurred at Carlisle in October, where a groundsman was run over by horses.
A Narrow Escape
The groundsman in France managed to escape to safety just in time, narrowly avoiding being trampled by the 500kg beasts. However, his close call wasn't over yet, as another loose horse almost jumped into him during the commotion.
The chaotic scene also saw three horses fail to start and another rider nearly fall off. The starter was supposed to wave a red flag to signal the jockeys to stop, but they reacted too late. As a result, a siren had to be sounded to instruct the riders to pull up their horses.
Racing legends Mick Fitzgerald and Freddy Tylicki, who were in the Sky Sports Racing studios at the time, expressed their disbelief at the scene unfolding before them. Tylicki, who was paralyzed in a fall in 2016, called it a "disaster," while Fitzgerald compared the groundsman to a bullfighter narrowly avoiding being run over.
Punters Left Stunned
The incident left punters equally shocked, with one asking, "What have I just seen?" and another suggesting that the Benny Hill music should be played alongside the footage. Some criticized the series of failings, calling it "terrible" and questioning the difficulty of starting a race.
Winner Emerges from Chaos
Despite the chaotic start, the extended 2m1f handicap hurdle eventually went ahead and was won by 11-1 Jolifou De Guye.