Pressure builds on Cheltenham and the British Horseracing Authority to suspend racing as three horses killed

Posted on the 15th March 2019

On the last day of the Cheltenham Festival, two more horses have lost their lives, one of whom died in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

In the first race of the day Sir Erec, a 4-year-old colt, who was hot favourite to win the Triumph Hurdle was killed. There had been rumours before the race that the horse had had a set-back last week. And minutes before the start of the race he had to be re-shod on his off-foreleg. That leg was seen to shatter just minutes into the race.

Later during the afternoon eight-year-old gelding Invitation Only was killed in the Gold Cup when falling at a notorious downhill fence.

The negative publicity surrounding the Meeting is growing ever stronger. The mainstream media had already publicised calls to stop racing at the Gloucestershire course after the death of Irish race horse Ballyward on the first day of the 2019 event.

This Animal Aid initiative is now a key focus as the only option to stem the tide of deaths at the notorious racecourse.

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

‘Animal Aid demands an end to all future racing at Cheltenham, and calls for the British Horseracing Authority to be removed as the welfare regulator of race horses as a third horse is killed at the Festival Meeting.’


Editors’ Notes

  • For more information contact Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall on 01732 364546
  • The names and details of all horses killed at Cheltenham since 2007 can be viewed can be viewed on our website Race Horse Deathwatch
  • Ballyward, who was killed on the first day of the 2019 Festival, was a seven-year-old gelding who was competing in the notorious National Hunt Chase – a demanding 4-mile race for novice horses and amateur riders – when he fell with fatal consequences. This particular race has, historically, been a death trap for horses and little has been done to improve its abysmal safety record.
  • Welfare concerns for race horses around the world are growing, with public outrage against the racing industry. Only last week in the USA, top racecourse Santa Anita, suspended racing after a succession of deaths at the track. The racecourse chose to put the welfare of the horses ahead of economic gain.
  • In October 2018, a debate took place in Parliament after 105,000 people in the UK signed a government petition to remove the BHA from their welfare role and replace them with a truly independent body who would have horse welfare as their only remit.

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