Haighton Moore has been stripped of the Accrington Gold Cup after it emerged the horse he rode to victory was, in fact, a brown cow. Suspicions were initially raised when Moore was a furlong ahead on the home straight and he paused briefly to extract a glass of milk from the animal's undercarriage.
The move left commentators bemused but in the post-race press conference Moore managed to sidestep accusations of wrongdoing by claiming he had to stash milk in the horse's undercarriage due to his calcium deficiency, and went on to add that he probably would not have made it over the finishing line without a glass of Ian Rush's favourite tipple. The British Horseracing Authority was unable to find any milk related rules in the racing rulebook, so were forced to accept Moore’s explanation and award him the gold-cup.
Yesterday the equine charlatanism was exposed when the results of the post-race doping test were released, clearly identifying traces of bovine blood in Moore’s victorious animal, Ermintrude. Initial attempts to anthropomorphise then solicit an explanation from the cow came undone when the animal laughed at its inquisitors and jiggled its teats in an inflammatory manner.
After Moore was tracked down at a nearby bell factory he said "With all the hoo-ha in the news lately around horse meat burgers and the rest of it, I was genuinely confused about which was which. I thought it was a bit small and a little sluggish on the bends but it had a lovely smile." Racing authorities accepted his explanation and will not pursue legal action, however due to a caveat in the Accrington Gold Cup rulebook that states cows may only be ridden on a leap year, they were forced to strip Moore of his prize.
The Accrington Gold Cup organisers have issued an apology to racing fans and vegans, and have promised a stricter horse selection process for next year’s event. It is not the first time a non-horse has won an equestrian competition. A Shetland pony won the 1972 Scottish Grand National after the rest of the horses died and a collage of dingoes won the Melbourne cup in 1983.