Horse killed on opening day at Great Leighs Racecourse

Posted on the 29th May 2008

Animal Aid is calling for the suspension of horse racing at Britain's newest racecourse, Great Leighs, following the death of a second race horse after just seven days of racing at the course.

In front of the grandstand crowd, Impeller, a 9 year old gelding, fractured a pastern as he crossed the finish line in third place in the 3.35 Essex Racing Club Handicap. Due to the severity of the injury, the horse was subsequently destroyed.

His death follows that of St Andrews who suffered a fatal injury at the end of April when racing took place at the course ‘behind closed doors’.

The attrition rate at this brand new course is alarmingly high even when compared with the deaths that are regularly occurring at other racecourses across the country. Great Leighs is the first British racecourse since 1927, and the evidence so far is that the operators have spectacularly failed to address horse safety. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), as the industry regulatory body, has also failed to exercise its statutory duty of care.

Says Animal Aid, Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘The BHA has a duty of care towards the horses that run on British racecourses. Animal Aid is therefore calling on it to suspend racing at Great Leighs until a thorough investigation into the horse deaths has been completed.’

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