Helicopters of the Garware Aviation were on Wednesday banned from landing or taking off from the Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai by the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), a day after an unscheduled landing led to a mare's death.
"We have decided to ban Garware Aviation's helicopters since it made an unscheduled landing on the field on Monday," Behram Engineer, CEO of RWITC, told IANS.
He said helicopters were permitted to use the helipad at the Race Course between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm.
"After 4.30 pm, choppers are not allowed to land since amateur riding starts on the racecourse. In the morning, all horses are taken out for exercises before 9.30 am," Engineer explained.
"The Garware Aviation chopper came at 5 pm on Tuesday and hovered over our riding school for quite some time before landing. The deafening whir of the chopper scared the horse Golden Glitter. She went berserk and became hysterical. She tried to jump over a riding fence and her front right leg broke into two in the process," said Adil Gandhy, honorary secretary of Amateur Riders Club (ARC), which owned the mare.
Since the leg injury was found beyond surgical help, it was decided to put her to sleep, Gandhy said.
The race course helipad has been functioning for over a decade and over six choppers land and take-off from here daily.
Gandhy said ARC had bought Golden Glitter from RWITC a few years ago. She was about 10 years old and was formerly a race horse.