I have written a blog about this before for this website, but I am now moved to write another one on the same theme, as I am very upset to hear of the recent deaths in one day of several racehorses here in the UK. On 26 February, four horses were killed on the same day, three of them at Catterick Racecourse in North Yorkshire. At this course two of the horses died almost at the same time.
The first victim was a 3-year-old bay filly called Crystal Peaks, who suffered a serious injury in the 14.10 all-weather race at Lingfield course, and was later put down. Then, two horses died within minutes of each other at the 16.20 race at Catterick; one was 10-year-old Soft Spoken Guy who collapsed and died, after racing on terrible ground which was cutting up under the horses' hooves. An 8-year-old gelding called Stop On suffered an appalling front leg break in the same race, at the end during the run to the finishing line. The third casualty at Catterick happened within about 30 minutes, as 7-year-old No Way Hozay broke a hind leg while jumping the final fence in the 2-mile Handicap Chase. His broken leg was clearly visible swinging around moments before he fell to the ground, and he was destroyed by vets on the course. I am just wondering what sort of a job it must be to work as a vet on the average racecourse: harrowing, to say the least! Certainly no shortage of work for them (usually euthanasia!)
These deaths are reported by the UK-based charity Animal Aid, which campaigns to abolish horse-racing, amongst many other animal rights causes. Dee Stansall, the charity's racing consultant said this:
“These disturbing deaths should not be seen as accidents or unforeseeable events; they are predictable, given the physical and mental demands made upon race horses up and down the country. Many of their win-at-all-costs handlers push them to their limits, asking these horses to run beyond their abilities, when difficult racecourse conditions present additional hazards.’
In fact so far, just in this month of February this year, fifteen horses, including the ones I have just mentioned, have been killed on British racecourses. To say nothing of the racing deaths and injuries in other countries of the world! You can view the list of casualties in Britain at this link here, a list which goes back to 2007. Animal Aid estimates from this list that around 420 horses are raced to death every year (just in this country). All so cruel, tragic and unnecessary. Why do these lovely animals have to die like this, so that humans can make money on them?
I hope I have managed to persuade anyone who cares about horses not to support racing in any way and that this blog gave you some food for thought. Your votes and comments are much appreciated.
Picture courtesy of www.animalaid.org.uk