There were more than 66,000 people at the first day of racing as two horses fell.

Two horses died on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival after they fell during races.

This puts this year’s festival halfway to the four that died last year. Seven died in 2016.

Mossbank sustained a shoulder injury and was then “humanely put down” after he fell at the 18th hurdle in the National Hunt Chase.

Report To Base, also six years old, fell at the ninth in the Close Brothers Novices’ Chase and was fatally injured.

The sad news comes on the day when more than 66,000 people visited the world-famous event for the first day of a four-day festival, according to Gloucestershire Live.

An article on the PETA website said: “Two horses have already died on the first day of Cheltenham. Mossback lost his life after falling at around 5pm and, just 30 minutes later, Report to Base was also fatally injured.

“More deaths are likely to follow over the coming days, as heart attacks and fatal injuries such as broken necks, backs, and legs are commonplace on the track. Four horses died during the four-day festival in 2017.”

Buveur D’Air won his second Champion Hurdle, beating Melon in a tight finish. Buveur D’Air is the sixth horse to win the Champion Hurdle more than once. The last to win two straight was Hardy Eustace in 2005.

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Report To Base, who was fatally injured at Cheltenham Races today, taking part in a race at Exeter earlier this year.
Report To Base, who was fatally injured at Cheltenham Races today, taking part in a race at Exeter earlier this year.

The 4-6 favorite gave trainer Nicky Henderson a record seventh victory in the race, but only after battling back after being passed by 7-1 shot Melon on the uphill finish.

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