Cheltenham’s notorious killer fence to be moved

Posted on the 26th July 2010

After three years of campaigning, Animal Aid has succeeded in getting Cheltenham Racecourse to remove a notoriously dangerous fence from its position at the bottom of the racecourse hill.

Since 1999, 34 horses have lost their lives at the Cheltenham Festival, which is staged every March. The second last fence (the 14th) on Cheltenham’s Old Course killed several of those horses and injured many more.

Animal Aid started correspondence with the Cheltenham management and the RSPCA in 2007, when Granit Jack suffered a broken neck after falling at the obstacle in November of that year. The most recent death came when Citizen Vic lost his life in similar circumstances at this year’s event.

Animal Aid has, over recent years, organised an annual demonstration at the start of the racing Festival. In 2010, supporters held ‘gravestones’ displaying the names of the 30 horses who had been killed at the Festival since 1999. Four more were to die at this year’s four-day event.

Says Animal Aid Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘The moving of this notorious downhill fence is a step in the right direction, but it must be made clear that Animal Aid does not support racing and will continue to campaign on behalf of the horses who suffer on a daily basis. Animal Aid’s Race Horse Deathwatch website shows the grim and depressing extent of the problem, with no fewer than 549 race horses killed on British courses since March 2007.

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