February 26: dark day for racing as four horses suffer horrific deaths on two British racecourses

Posted on the 27th February 2013

Four race horses were killed in one of the worst racing days in nearly a year. Three of the fatalities were at Catterick in North Yorkshire.

Three-year-old bay filly Crystal Peaks was the first victim. She suffered a serious injury during the 14.10 race at Lingfield All-weather course and was subsequently destroyed.

The 16.20 hurdle race at Catterick saw two horses die within minutes of each other. Ten-year-old Soft Spoken Guy collapsed and died having finished down the field in the arduous three-and-a-quarter mile race on atrocious ground that was cutting up under the horses’ hooves. In the same race, Stop On, an eight-year-old gelding, suffered a horrendous front leg break on the run-in to the line.

Within 30 minutes, Catterick’s third casualty, seven-year-old No Way Hozay, broke a hind leg when jumping the last fence in the two-mile Handicap Chase. His broken limb could be seen swinging wildly around moments before he fell to the ground. He was destroyed by vets on the course.

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

‘These disturbing deaths should not be seen as accidents or unforeseeable events; they are predictable, given the physical and mental demands made upon race horses up and down the country. Many of their win-at-all-costs handlers push them to their limits, asking these horses to run beyond their abilities, when difficult racecourse conditions present additional hazards.’

Further Information

  • For interviews: contact Dene Stansall or Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546
  • Visit Race Horse Death Watch for full listings of on-course deaths.

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