York & North Yorkshire

Grand National: According to Pete owner will not return

Incident at Grand National
According to Pete was badly injured in the race and put down

The owner of a horse that was put down after falling at a fence in the Grand National at Aintree has said he will not enter horses in the race again.

Peter Nelson, who lives at Helperby, near Boroughbridge, in North Yorkshire, owned According to Pete, who fell at Becher's Brook on the second circuit.

The horse suffered a fractured leg and was put down at the scene.

Mr Nelson said horse racing would always carry risks but that he would not enter the National again.

Mr Nelson, who has a village garage and paper shop, said: "It's terrible. He was a family pet, part of the family.

"Everybody's absolutely upset. We've had loads of people knocking on the door.

"We've had loads of telephone calls and flowers given and bottles of wine.

"But all of that doesn't bring him back, does it?"

'Broken shoulder'

Mr Nelson said 11-year-old According to Pete was "in the prime of his life" and had recently run at Wetherby and Haydock.

"After the race we saw the loose horses running in and we were looking for him, but he never came."

Mr Nelson said ground staff at the racecourse then told him the horse was in an ambulance and was "very bad" and he was then told According to Pete had been put down.

He said: "It was devastating. We'd had him since he was a foal. We've still got his mother.

"We had a stable at the back of the garage and a little paddock for him to run in."

Talking about the race, Mr Nelson said: "If he'd have done well we'd have been chuffed for him, but it's a chance you take. You always think it's going to be someone else's horse."

He said he would never enter another horse in the Grand National race.

"No, I wouldn't," he said. "I couldn't go through all the pain again."

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