Four horses dead at Musselburgh Racecourse

Posted on the 4th December 2018

Harrowing scenes of race horse suffering were witnessed yesterday afternoon (3 Dec) at Musselburgh Racecourse in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The winner of the first race, Kensukes Kingdom, was badly lame at the finish and was subsequently destroyed. As the afternoon progressed, events took a turn for the worse with a further three horses dying in the space of just 90 minutes.

The afternoon’s second victim was a 12 year-old chestnut gelding named Smart Ruler. He was seen to suddenly drop away from the other runners and wobble as he came to a halt. He then collapsed on the racecourse with fatal consequences.

In the next race, six-year-old gelding Sierra Oscar was seen to pull up with a broken leg, whilst another horse took a crashing fall at the final obstacle. Shortly after the race was over, Sierra Oscar was destroyed.

Two races on, and a young five-year-old called Leather Belly was running on the final bend of the race when he too broke a leg that had a fatal outcome. This was just the second race that he had competed in.

In the eleven years that Animal Aid has recorded race horse deaths, only twice has there been this number of fatalities in a single day on an individual racecourse.

Already exceeding deaths in 2015, 2016, and 2017, Animal Aid has recorded 182 victims for this year across Great Britain – all as a result of racing.

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

‘It is unforgiveable that horses are dying on an almost daily basis. The situation is becoming increasingly dire for the horses whose lives are in serious danger every time they step onto a racecourse. This must end. Animal Aid will pursue its campaign to remove the British Horseracing Authority from their position as horse welfare regulators. Their position is untenable as they are, shamefully, failing to protect race horses.’

Editors’ Notes

  • Visit our online database Race Horse Deathwatch for our list of horses who have died while racing
  • For more information, contact Dene Stansall at Animal Aid on 01732 364546

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