Legendary horse Nichols Canyon has suffered a fatal fall at Leopardstown during the Christmas Hurdle this afternoon. It fell around the halfway point of a high-class race ultimately won by Apples Jade.
Screens were erected around Nichols Canyon following the fall, with the sad news that the fall had been fatal filtering to the wider public a few minutes after the conclusion of the race.
The Mullins-trained horse had a magnificent record, and is the only horse ever to beat the great Faugheen - doing so in the 2015 Morgiana Hurdle. Winner of this year's Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham, Nichols Canyon had eight Grade One victories and garnered £700,000 in prize money.
Punters and those involved in the industry paid tribute to the fallen horse.
— Francesca Altoft (@FrancescaJane_x) December 28, 2017
Devastating news about Nichols Canyon. Awful awful news. What a horse.
— Kevin Coleman (@kvn_clmn) December 28, 2017
Sad news for Graham Wylie and connections of Nichols Canyon. When I met Graham a few years back he said to me 'I promise you, this horse will beat faugheen' and so he did. Such a legend of a horse RIP 😔
— Lewis Clark (@LewisClark1999) December 28, 2017
— Matt Chapman (@MCYeeehaaa) December 28, 2017
Racing is bollocks sometimes , Nichols Canyon one horse who definitely didn’t deserve that.
— Martin Chapman (@MartinChapman12) December 28, 2017
Gordon Elliott on Apple's Jade: "She is one tough mare. At home she has to be in front on the gallops all the time. Davy said if he had the race again he'd make more use of her, but they both did fine. Terrible about Nichols Canyon, a superb horse, it's very cruel."
— Declan O'Donoghue (@dodonoghue_race) December 28, 2017