Animal Aid

Animal Aid to protest against multiple horse deaths at Wetherby Racecourse

Posted 29 May 2013

Following the deaths of three horses in a single day of racing at Wetherby Racecourse last week, Animal Aid’s Horseracing Consultant, Dene Stansall, will travel to the West Yorkshire course to remind those attending the Yorkshire Post Ladies' Evening event of the risk posed to horses in commercial racing. He will be accompanied by a supporter dressed as the ‘spectre of death’ – a Victorian lady, garbed in dark, gothic robes, wearing a striking hat that features a model race horse tumbling over a hurdle.

On 23 May, Milano Supreme, Distant Memories and David’s Folly were all killed after falling and sustaining fatal injuries in separate hurdle races during the afternoon. Milano Supreme took a crashing fall at the sixth obstacle in the 2.40 Selling Hurdle. In the 3.55, Distant Memories fell in front of the stands but was quickly hidden behind screens before being destroyed. He was ridden by jockey Richard Johnson and trained by Tim Vaughan, as was the third victim of the day, David’s Folly. This filly, just four years old, suffered horrific injuries that saw the lower bones of her right hind leg shattered to pulp.

The racecourse has a notorious record for horse deaths – and 23 May was not the first time that multiple deaths have occurred during a single day’s racing at the West Yorkshire track. On 26 April 2009, three horses lost their lives, and four were killed on 14 October that same year.

Alarmingly, seven horses have died as a result of falls at the course since Christmas alone, and a total of 30 horses have perished within the last six years.

The national campaign group has written to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to remind the regulator of its statutory duty for animal welfare at horse racing events, and to ask for a prompt and thorough inquiry into last week’s fatalities, followed by remedial action.

Says Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘Yet more horses have lost their lives at Wetherby racecourse. The British Horseracing Authority must launch a thorough investigation and then take firm action to remedy the shocking record of horse fatalities at Wetherby. We had hoped that tomorrow’s event would be cancelled in the interest of horse welfare, but as this is not the case, Animal Aid will be on hand to remind punters that “a harmless flutter” could mean more horse deaths.’

Demo details

Date: 30 May 2013
Time: 17.00
Venue: Wetherby Racecourse, York Road, Wetherby, LS22 5EJ

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