Giovinco dies in first race at Ladies Day at Aintree

Aintree Racecourse
Aintree Racecourse -Credit:Liverpool ECHO/Andrew Teebay

A horse has died at Ladies Day at the Grand National Festival.

Racing TV and the Racing Post have reported that Giovinco died during the 1.45pm Mildmay Novice Chase at Aintree on Friday (April 12). The horse was being ridden by Stephen Mulqueen.

The horse fatality comes after big changes made by the Jockey Club in order to protect the welfare of racehorses and jockeys.

READ MORE: Ladies Day 2024 live - best dressed pictures and race updates

READ MORE: Ladies Day 2024 full race card, runners and odds at Aintree on Friday

A statement released in February said: "We leave no stone unturned in providing world-class standards of welfare for our participants and undertake a review after every Randox Grand National. These reviews look at a wide range of factors and the learnings from the process drive a number of changes, large and small, annually.

"In October we announced that one of the changes being made from 2024 would involve bringing forward the start time of the race, which has been 5.15pm since 2016. This was a decision we took after a number of participants and other racing stakeholders raised concerns about the long build-up to the race throughout the day and heightened tension as a result.

"These were not issues which had been identified as a problem when the race was previously staged at 3.45pm and 4.15pm. Bringing forward the start time of the Randox Grand National by 75 minutes to 4pm will also help us to maintain optimal jumping ground, as warm or breezy conditions can dry out the racing surface.

“We would like to thank both our broadcast partner ITV and the British Horseracing Authority for their assistance in helping to bring about this change to a race which remains a British institution, loved and watched by millions of people all over the world every year.”

Other changes introduced for the upcoming race include decreasing the number of horses running the Grand National from 40 to 34 to reduce the risk of incidents during the race. There has also been a number of targeted changes to reduce the opportunity for horses to build up too much speed at the start of the race.

This has meant moving the first fence 60 yards closer to the start to slow the early stages of the race and implementing a standing start that will apply to all races over the Grand National fences throughout the 2023-24 season and beyond.

An Aintree Racecourse spokesperson today told the ECHO: “During our first race of the day, Giovinco fell at the last fence and was immediately attended to by our expert veterinary professionals.

"After assessment, sadly they concluded the necessary course of action for the horse’s welfare was to put him to sleep. Our heartfelt condolences are with his connections.”

Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here