A distressing death for race horse Sandsend as he becomes the third victim at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival

Posted on the 16th March 2018

Racing at full speed and close to the end of the 2-mile Randox Health County Hurdle, 5-year-old grey gelding Sandsend (FR) lost his footing on Cheltenham Racecourse’s atrociously heavy, poached ground.

His near (left) foreleg shattered and he hobbled in great distress to a halt. He was quickly destroyed.

Sandsend is the third equine victim of the week to lose his life at the Gloucestershire racecourse that has an appalling reputation as Britain’s most dangerous racecourse for horses. It has been publicly stated that these are the worst ground conditions in the past 36 years. Racing should not be allowed in such circumstances, but it appears that racing must go ahead at all costs and sadly Sandsend is a victim of this.

Sandsend is the Festival’s thirty-sixth horse to die since the launch of Animal Aid’s Horsedeathwatch in 2007.

Says Isobel Hutchinson, Director, Animal Aid:

‘This devastating incident highlights the barbaric cruelty of this profit-driven “sport”. The brutal leg-break suffered by Sandsend was truly horrifying to witness. We can only imagine the agony and terror that he must have suffered, through no fault of his own. How many more horses will have to die, before action is taken to stem the tide of deaths? We believe that the current regulator simply isn’t fit for purpose, and urgently needs to be replaced with an organisation that has horse welfare as its priority.’

Notes to Editors:

  • For more information, contact Animal Aid on 01732 364546
  • For a list of all Cheltenham’s equine victims, visit Race Horse Death Watch

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