A horse has suffered a horrific leg injury and been euthanised in front of a crowd of hundreds of spectators at an Easter race meet in the Adelaide Hills.

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Jump falls spark calls for races to be cancelled


VIDEO The Oakbank races have been marred by the death of a horse after a sickening fall during a jumps race. Source: 7 News Jump falls spark calls for races to be cancelled

Wheeler Fortune fell during the running of the Somerled Hurdle race in Oakbank, in the Adelaide Hills, on Saturday, the RSPCA said in statement.

"No one should be surprised that we've had yet another horse killed by this inhumane activity," RSPCA SA's Dr Rebecca Eyers said on Saturday.

"To witness this horse suffering such a catastrophic injury is an image I know I won't forget and I'm sure many others won't either."

The RSPCA says forcing horses to gallop long distances while jumping over obstacles is a "recipe for this kind of tragedy to occur".

The race was clean until the first horse caught the jump. Pic: Channel 7

"It will keep occurring as long as we continue to allow it," Dr Eyers said.

The five-year-old gelding fell at the last hurdle of the race and was euthanised on the track.

Jumps officials defended the sport after the first death at Oakbank in six years.

"People understand that horses are competitive animals and accidents happen," Frances Nelson of Thoroughbred Racing SA said.

Once one horse fell, others went with it. Pic: Channel 7

Oakbank Racing Carnival's Barney Gask said they are always looking to make jumps safer for horses and jockeys.

A total of 79 horses have died in Australian jumps races since 2006, 17 in SA since 2009.

South Australia and Victoria are the only states in the nation that haven't banned the sport.

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