There were some unprecedented scenes at today's Cazoo Handicap, the first race of the Saturday at the 2022 Epsom Festival.
Just seconds before the horses were to be released from their starting stalls, jockey William Buick was head butted by the horse on his right hand side, Approachability.
Buick, who was jockeying Blue Trail and one of the favourites for the race, was in obvious trouble as he held the side of head while Approachability's rider Jason Harte put his hand across to apologise.
The apology did little to help Buick however, as the race starter went ahead and opened the stalls. Unfortunately for Buick was in no state to continue and held onto his stall as his horse Blue Trail sped off.
Derby Day drama! William Buick, on leading fancy Blue Trail, is head-butted by Approachability and is left in the stalls before the first race at @EpsomRacecourse 😲 pic.twitter.com/Pwyljji6qy
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) June 4, 2022
There was further controversy towards the end of the race as the jockeyless Blue Trail appeared to impede second place Grenoble at 25/1, who had made a late charge, and could have cost him the race.
In the end the victor of the opening race of Saturday at Epsom was Swilcan Bridge at 7/1, ridden by Hayley Turner.
While the presence of Blue Trail was a potential danger for Turner, she also thanked the horse for his assisting her.
"We were just staying behind the loose horse, he could have gone left or right. I had to be really careful.
"He gave me a nice lead actually and something to chase up to the line."
In third place was War Horse at 15/2, ridden by Andrea Atzeni.
Buick was checked on by the Epsom medical staff, but thankfully was uninjured other than the initial impact, while there will no doubt be an investigation into the incident and as to why the race was not postponed.
The showpiece race, the Epsom Derby, is due to begin at 5.30 pm.