Arcadius, a bay gelding, won $150,000 at the Iroquois Steeplechase at Percy Warner Park on Saturday before collapsing just beyond the finish line of the 3-mile race; where the horse was declared dead.
One of the five official veterinarians on the course, Dr. Monty McInturff (who various news outlets have reported as “Marty”), indicated that Arcadius died from “a heart attack” and potentially an aneurysm.
The Tennessean confirmed Monty’s assumptions as they reported that public relations director for the Iroquois, Jeff Bradford, had conveyed the findings of the autopsy report which indicated that the horse had died as a result of a bulge in the wall of the pulmonary artery known as a pulmonary aneurysm.
The horse, who was ridden consecutively for the fifth time by jockey Brian Cowley, raced for real estate executive Edward Swyer, Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, and the Hudson River Farm in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Trainer Sheppard was quoted by The AP having said in regards to Arcadius’ death:
“The horse ran a valiant race. And, it’s not like he was struggling during the race. The rider wasn’t aggressive with his whip. After he crossed the finish line, I was talking to the riders of other horses that I had in the race. I looked over and saw that he was down. The temperature was sixty-seven degrees on the thermometer in my car, and it was drizzling a bit. The course was firm but in excellent condition.”
Crowley, riding Arcadius, took the lead at the 18th national hurdle and then battled it out with Divine Fortune, ridden by amateur jockey Darren Nagle, after the final hurdle.
Dr. McInturff was quoted by The Associated Press having said:
“The horse ran a beautiful race. When he went down, we got to him very quickly and administered medications and an IV. But, his blood pressure dropped very rapidly and we couldn’t save him.”