Melbourne Cup 2020: Anthony Van Dyck euthanised after late-race incident

Irish horse Anthony Van Dyck has been euthanised, after breaking down on the home stretch of the Melbourne Cup.

One of the favourites for the race, the horse was eased up by jockey Hugh Bowman and loaded into an ambulance afterwards.

He has since been put down, due to a fractured fetlock, which corresponds to a human ankle.

Anthony Van Dyck is the seventh horse in the past eight years to die on Melbourne Cup Day and the seventh horse to die as a result of the race itself.

"It is with sadness that we confirm that Anthony Van Dyck had to be humanely euthanised after sustaining a fractured fetlock during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington," says Racing Victoria executive general manager Jamie Stier.

"The horse received immediate veterinary care, however he was unable to be saved, due to the nature of the injury sustained.

"Our sympathies are extended to the owners of Anthony Van Dyck, trainer Aidan O'Brien and all his staff who cared for the horse and are greatly saddened by their loss."

Animal rights activists traditionally protest against the Melbourne Cup every year, with the hashtag '#NuptotheCup' trending on social media since Monday.

Animal rights advocates World Animal Protection Australia and New Zealand condemed the incident as another example of abuse at the iconic race.

"Another year and another horse dead after the Melbourne Cup," says executive director Simone Clarke.

"The Melbourne Cup really is the disg(race) that stops the nation.

"As we've seen this afternoon, racing exposes animals to significant risk of injury and sometimes death through trauma or emergency euthanasia.

"World Animal Protection opposes the use of all animals in entertainment, including the use of horses in the racing industry and other equestrian sports, where such use adversely affects their welfare."

Two years ago, the Cup was rocked by the death of Cliffsofmoher, who was euthanised in front of the grandstand crowd, after the horse broke its shoulder.

Stier confirms a fatality report will now be prepared, as per standard practise.

"The fatality report gives consideration to the circumstances of the incident and any potential learnings to assist in the prevention of similar injuries in the future," he says.

"The report will include the findings of a post-mortem, which will now be conducted by the University of Melbourne Veterinary Clinic, and we expect it will be several weeks before we have a completed report for consideration."

Tuesday's race was won by Twilight Payment, with Tiger Moth second and Prince of Arran third.