Animal Aid

Cheltenham claims another victim: Matuhi

Posted 14 March 2013

The Cheltenham Festival claimed another horse victim when 10-year-old Matuhi was destroyed after falling at the final fence in the 4pm race and suffered ‘an untreatable spinal injury’. He was attended by vets behind screens, close to the main grandstand, for more than 40 minutes before it was reported that he was dead.

The David Pipe-trained gelding was rated an outsider for the 2-mile-5 furlong chase, which featured a crowded field of 21 other runners. Despite his outsider status, before his fatal fall Matuhi had been taken by jockey Brendan Powell to within reach of the front runners.

While Matuhi was still lying prone behind screens, the 4.40pm race went ahead as scheduled – bypassing the stricken thoroughbred.

Five horses were killed at the four-day Cheltenham Festival last year. A total of ten were killed on the course throughout 2012 – the highest number of fatalities for any British racecourse.

Says Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler

‘Matuhi was clearly exhausted when he fell at the very end of a long race and suffered devastating injuries. He had been whipped at least five times shortly before he fell. Matuhi is yet another in the long line of Cheltenham thoroughbred victims whose fate is a stark reminder that the Cheltenham Festival – notwithstanding the expensive, glossy hype – is ultimately about broken bones and animal exploitation.’

More information:

  • For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546
  • An ISDN line is available for broadcast-quality interviews.

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