Animal Aid

One Hundred Horses Raced to Death Since Cheltenham Festival

Posted 15 November 2007

The death of two horses at Carlisle on 12 November, brings to 100 the total number of Thoroughbreds killed on British racecourses since the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Tom Scudamore rode five horses to death and WT Kennedy was at the reigns of four horses who died.

Stratford tops the list of the 38 racecourses at which horses have died since the launch of Animal Aid's Race Horse DeathWatch. Eight Thoroughbreds have perished at the Warwickshire venue, while Newton Abbot and Market Rasen have each seen three horses die in a single day of racing.

Race Horse DeathWatch was launched during this year's Cheltenham Festival. Its purpose is to expose and record every on-course Thoroughbred fatality in Britain.

The horse racing authorities have resolutely failed to put horse death information into the public domain, preferring to dismiss equine fatalities as 'accidental' and 'unexplained'. Even when several horses die at a single meeting, the term 'statistical blip' might be deployed. However, with detailed analysis provided by Animal Aid's DeathWatch, the industry can no longer hide its shameful statistics.

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

'Animal Aid is shocked and disgusted that 100 Thoroughbreds have been killed in just eight months. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) regularly states that equine welfare is at the heart of its agenda, yet these latest figures show that it is incapable or unwilling to regulate an industry that is killing horses on a regular basis. As always, greed and glory are put before the welfare of race horses.'

Notes to editors:

  • For more information and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546
  • ISDN line available for broadcast-quality interviews.
  • All of the 100 dead horses are named and details of where they were killed can be found at Race Horse DeathWatch
  • Around 375 horses are raced to death every year. See horse deaths report
  • Of the approximately 17,000 horses bred annually by the racing industry, only around one third go on to race. The fate of those who do not make the grade is unknown. Many are slaughtered.
  • View our powerful 90-second web film

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