Animal Aid

Race horse DeathWatch reaches a depressing milestone

Posted 4 July 2007

Animal Aid’s Race Horse DeathWatch is a unique initiative that has highlighted the large number of race horses killed on British racecourses. Since its launch on March 13th - the start of the 2007 Cheltenham Festival - Animal Aid has been able to record more than 50 race horse deaths.

‘Little Brick’, who was destroyed at Cheltenham, became the first victim in a rapidly growing list of fatalities that have shocked the public, media and Animal Aid.

The alarmingly high number of horses killed goes beyond previous estimates made by Animal Aid and puts pressure on the Horseracing Regulatory Authority to act. They have resolutely failed to put the numbers of horses killed both on and off-course in the public domain, while dismissing the deaths as accidental or unexplained.

However, horsedeathwatch.com has yielded considerable and important information in a short period of time. The interactive site compiles information not only on the individual horses, but on jockeys, trainers and the racecourses on which the horses are killed. For example:

  • Stratford racecourse has seen 6 victims
  • Wincanton racecourse saw 4 horses killed in a single day
  • WT Kennedy has had 4 horses die that he has ridden
  • Good to Firm racing ground has taken its toll, with 12 horses dying on the surface

Says Animal Aid Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘All of the deaths that occurred could have been prevented and each individual horse’s death is a sad indictment of a negligent and ignorant industry. Importantly, Race Horse DeathWatch shows the brutality of racing horses where money and entertainment come before their lives. It is no longer acceptable that huge numbers of horses should die on British racecourses. Clearly the industry cannot regulate itself in the interests of the horses it uses, and it is time for change.’

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