Racing in France suffered a terrible shock last Saturday when apprentice Benjamin Boutin was fatally injured in four horse pile up at Argentan.
The twenty one year old who had recently moved to Pascal Bary’s yard succumbed to his multiple head injuries on Monday. Weighing room colleagues, trainers and stable lads, as well as France Galop and the PMU have spoken of their sadness at the passing of a young jockey in such tragic circumstances. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
Last Sunday saw the final weekend fixture of 2011 at Auteuil Racecourse with the Gr. 2 Prix George Courtois Chase (4400 metres) as the highlight on the card. Top female jump jockey Nathalie Desoutter put her recent injuries behind her when she rode Quarouso to victory for Jean-Paul Gallorini, who completed a 1-2 with his other representative Remember Rose taking second place a neck behind. David Cottin was serving the last of an eight day suspension for overuse of the whip and was replaced on board Remember Rose by young jockey Gaetan Masure and on his faithful partner Rubi Ball, who filled the third place position, by Jonathan Plouganou.
There will be one last meeting in Auteuil this week before France’s principal National Hunt track closes its doors for the winter and the majority of the jumping fraternity moves south to Pau and Cagnes-sur-Mer in search of milder temperatures.