Death toll at Cheltenham Festival hits ten year high with seven dead

Posted on the 18th March 2016

With the racing establishment desperately trying to dampen any news and debate about multiple deaths at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, another two horses have perished on the final day of the Gloucestershire meeting.

Long Dog became the sixth fatality of the 2016 Festival, and Montdragon was the seventh. This is the highest death rate in more than 10 years.

The six-year-old gelding Long Dog suffered a horrific injury, as his leg shattered between obstacles in the 3-mile Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Montdragon, also a 6-year-old, is reported to have died in the 4.50 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle run over two and a half miles.

The death of these horses follows the loss of The Govaness, Pont Alexandre and Rezorbi on Tuesday; No More Heroes on Wednesday; and Niceonefrankie yesterday (Thursday).

A total of 53 horses have now been killed at the Cheltenham Festival since the year 2000.

Says Animal Aid Horse Racing Consultant Dene Stansall:

‘The horses, who are supposedly cherished by the world of racing, are merely disposable commodities, as we have seen this week. The racing establishment and Channel 4 do their best to conceal the bad news, remaining almost silent as yet more horses fall victim to the greed and exploitation that characterise this annual, shameful event.

‘Channel 4 has offered a variety of excuses for not providing prompt news about the daily deaths at this year’s Festival. But it has been obvious to a great number of its viewers that the broadcaster was deliberately delaying making these announcements, as a matter of policy. The aim was to minimise the negative impact. Many viewers took to social media to voice their frustration and outrage.’

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