Animal Aid statement on Royal Ascot: heat wave created unacceptable risk to horse’s lives

Posted on the 20th June 2022

Royal Ascot ends the life of at least one horse, with multiple whip offences also seen at this year’s event.

Horses have once again become the victims of the cruel and relentless horse racing industry, which continues to exploit them for ‘entertainment’ and profit.   

On the first day of the festival (14th June) we saw the tragic death of six-year-old gelding Star Safari following an injury suffered during his race.  

We also saw the tragic death of Arcadian Sunrise occur following what has been described as a short ‘mystery’ illness two days after his appearance at Ascot.   

On this same day as the death of Star Safari, two other horses, Bradsell and Lusail, were abused with the whip by being beaten excessively and hit in an ‘incorrect’ place. Due to the hot weather it was reported by vets that other horses, Marshall Plan and Surrey Gold, suffered from heat stress and an irregular heartbeat that was so severe that they couldn’t complete their races.  

Over the course of the festival we saw nine suspensions handed out to jockeys for whip offences. Animal Aid advocate for a complete ban on the whip in racing, this is backed up by recent polling of the public which revealed 72% of respondents believe that the whip should be banned in horseracing. 

Jockeys must be held to account not only for the rule breaking they have committed, but also for the harm they inflict on the horses. The racing industry must disqualify any jockey who breaks the rules, meaning they lose their placement and their winnings.  

Behind the façade of glamour and pageantry that is promoted by Ascot Racecourse and ITV Racing, there is an aftermath of animal suffering. While this cruel and deadly sport continues in Britain, we must at the very least see real action from the British Horseracing Authority to protect horses, beginning with seeing the use of the whip outlawed. 

Use our template to write to your MP about banning the whip

Read more posts...

‘End Animal Tests’ week of action announced

 To support World Day for Animals in Laboratories on 24th April, we are organising the ‘End Animal Tests’ week of action  which runs from Saturday 20th until Sunday 28th April.

Posted 18 Apr 2024