Two horses have been killed in the last two races on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Mossback, who is trained by Gordon Elliott and saddled by Lisa O'Neill, fractured a front leg in a race that was won by favourite Rathvinden. Course vets then humanely put the six year old down.
Race winner Rathvinden also seemed in some discomfort after the race and was unsteady on its feet due to tiredness. It was unable to attend the winner's enclosure once the race had finished but several buckets of water were thrown over it and it recovered.
Rathvinden won the race after Mossback's fall (Credit: PA)
There were more incidents in the final race of the day when two horses were involved in a fall. Le Rocher and Report to Base both went down in the 5:30 Novices' Handicap Chase.
Report to Base was fatally injured in the fall and became the second horse to die on the first day of the festival.
The race was won by Mister Whitaker who was ridden by Brian Hughes.
In the biggest race of the day, the Champion Hurdle, favourite Buveur D'Air took home the prize. The seven year old French horse, owned by Nicky Henderson and underneath jockey BJ Geraghty, beat off competition from Melon and Mick Jazz to win.
Ruby Walsh rode 2015 Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen but failed to place. He also received a two day ban for excessive use of the whip. Patrick Mullins was also banned but the bans will not take effect until after the festival.
Featured Image Credit: PA