Animal Aid asks racegoers to stay away after Boxing Day carnage at Wincanton

Posted on the 4th January 2017

Animal Aid is asking the public to stay away from this Saturday’s race meeting (7 January) at Wincanton Racecourse after its Boxing Day meeting left three horses dead.

Western Cape was the first horse killed when he fell heavily at the last hurdle in the 2.15 afternoon race – he did not get up from his fall. Just over an hour later, two horses, Velator and Saint Raph, died as a result of a pile-up of eight horses in a ten-horse race over chase fences. Hollow Blue Sky, the sole survivor of the melee, refused to run when approaching for a second time the fence where the carnage happened. His jockey openly beat him with a whip in a vain attempt to get him to race on. There were no finishers in the race – an almost unknown outcome.

Wincanton is not unaccustomed to horse deaths. Since 2007, 38 horses have been killed at the racecourse. Four horses died in a single day’s racing on a previous occasion (19 March 2007).

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

‘The sickening scenes of dead horses and the brutal whipping of a horse at Wincanton shows the ruthless nature of the racing industry. Animal Aid is urging the public to stay away from Saturday’s race meeting out of respect for the dead horses and in protest at the blatant lack of concern shown by the Jockey Club-owned racecourse. They should have suspended racing at Wincanton until concerted action is taken to prevent such events from happening again – their silence on this matter is indecent and unacceptable.’

Notes to editors

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