Death of Copper Gone West at the Cheltenham Festival – comment from Animal Aid

Posted on the 12th March 2020

Please find, below, Animal Aid's statement regarding the death of Copper Gone West at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Cheltenham Festival has yet again been exposed as a venue for animal cruelty as race horse Copper Gone West (IRE) lost her life in the Pertemps Network Hurdle today (12 March). The seven-year-old mare was seen to take what proved to be a lethal bump to her shoulder when surrounded by horses in a crowded field of 24 runners. She was quickly pulled up with a fatal injury and was destroyed on the Cheltenham course just minutes later.

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

‘Despite the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) review of Cheltenham in 2018 – due to an appalling record of deaths – their recommendations have proved futile in preventing horses dying at the Prestbury Park course. They have failed to limit the excessive number of runners in many races at the Festival and this is a cause of death.

‘Whilst Animal Aid does not support horse racing, a positive step for race horses’ safety would be to replace the BHA with an independent horse welfare body.’

Notes for editors

  • For more information, please contact Dene Stansall, Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant, on 01732 364546
  • Race horse deaths on British racecourses can be seen at: Race Horse Death Watch
Take action: ask for an independent horse welfare body

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