Ground water, soil composition and other factors can all combine to create a “natural” capacitor with the ground storing up millions of volts. Power plants, for example, must be grounded and any change to ground water patterns from agriculture or new housing developments can inadvertently produce a high voltage storage capacitor.
This may be what has happened at the Newbury track.
Two horses died suddenly in the parade ring before a top race in England as their handlers and spectators looked on.
Racing at Newbury was abandoned on Saturday after the horses, Fenix Two and Marching Song, fell to the ground and died.
Former champion jumps jockey John Francome told Channel 4 Racing: “Three lads involved looking after the first horse that came down said they got a pulsing feeling coming through the horse. It seems it was something electrical.”
Andy Turnell, the trainer of Marching Song, told sportinglife.com: “It looks like they’ve been electrocuted.
“My fellow (Marching Song) seemed perfectly all right and I was about to leg him up but he just went straight down.”
Fellow trainer Jonjo O’Neill said: “It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
The racecourse later announced that the remainder of the day’s racing had been abandoned as a precaution.
Handlers remarked they received shocks when removing saddles and surviving horses had burns from the metal bits. Horses metal shoes may have penetrated the ground and completed a circuit through their bodies. If a power line is found to be buried in the vicinity it will likely be a high voltage line to have killed two horses.