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Capped For Victory: The story of a racing industry victim
Posted 3 July 2009
The March issue of leading equine magazine Your Horse featured a four-page article entitled ‘Fit, Healthy and Being Slaughtered’. Animal Aid provided much of the source material for the article, which featured images from our undercover footage of horse slaughter at a Somerset abattoir. The article also included a photograph of 8-year-old Capped For Victory (seen here), who received ‘no bid’ at the Doncaster January horse sales. The caption stated: ‘After failing to attract a bid at the sales, Capped For Victory is just one of the [many] horses facing an unknown future’.
Animal Aid Horse Racing Consultant Dene Stansall, who attended the Doncaster sales and took the photograph featured in the magazine, went on to trace the horse – who was given away free – to a racing stable. The stable ran him just once in a Selling race (an event in which all horses are for sale). Capped For Victory finished a poor tenth of the 12 runners, and no one was interested in purchasing this racing ‘loser’.
Dene was concerned for Capped For Victory. He rang the trainer a couple of times following the selling race and offered the horse a home. But he was given the news that the horse was already dead.
‘Capped For Victory was a beautiful, gentle, young horse. His fate is typical of that which befalls thousands of race horses every year, who are unable to bring home the ‘winnings’ – they are soon cast out. There is a culture of apathy regarding the fate of race horses to be found among owners, breeders and the regulators. These people are fully aware of the dirty business of horse disposal. Horses are easily and cheaply replaced. There are thousands bred each year, half of whom will never race. And those who do can also soon end up on the same path as Capped For Victory. Animal Aid is vigorously pursuing this issue. And we now have the support of the 100 MPs who have signed a strongly-worded parliamentary early day motion (EDM) demanding that the racing/breeding industry be held accountable and responsible.’