Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for the British Horseracing Authority, said:
“The fence was directed to be bypassed by Simon Claisse, the Clerk of the Course, and once this direction was given the direction markers were placed on the fence.
“There are always three direction markers used to indicate a fence is to be bypassed. Initially the direction markers were positioned across the fence but due to the casualties on the landing side Richard Lindley, Senior Inspector of Courses, decided that the markers be repositioned collectively on the inside of the fence for added protection of the injured persons.
“It should also be noted the hazard warning flag was deployed correctly and approximately two meters from the running rail. Additionally the person waving the flag was blowing a whistle alerting jockeys to bypass.
“The priority in any bypassing situation is the safety and welfare of the injured parties and those administering the treatment. In this case, there was a rider with a suspected broken leg. The direction markers were grouped together to give Richard Johnson and the medical team optimum protection at that time.
“The procedures used at Cheltenham today are the same as applied to all jump courses in Great Britain. Bypassing procedures have been in place since 1995/6 jump season and have always included the use of direction markers. With the exception of the Grand National course, the decision was taken when bypassing procedures were introduced that parts of fences were no longer to be jumped.
“We are always reviewing our procedures to ensure that they are working effectively and achieving their objectives”.