Increase in race horse deaths in 2018

Posted on the 6th February 2019

According to the racing regulator, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), more horses died in 2018 than the previous year, with 202 recorded fatalities. In fact, 2018 was the worst year for horse deaths since 2014.

There are no figures for how many horses were killed in training, nor how many were killed because they were deemed ‘no hopers’, or because no home could be found for them after their racing career, or how many ended their lives at an abattoir.

Animal Aid’s dedicated website, Race Horse Deathwatch, tracks and records all race horse deaths that we are able to discover. Unlike the BHA, which speaks merely in numbers and percentages, we record (where possible) all the details of each race horse killed as a result of racing – including their name and age.

The BHA has failed to curb the level of horse deaths in what is supposed to be a sport. If there were anything like this number of human participants killed in a sporting event, it would be banned. That is why we continue to campaign for an end to horse racing. In the interim, the BHA should be replaced with an independent body that can tackle the issue of race horse welfare and deaths.

(please note, our figure is slightly lower than the BHA’s figure because they do not publish the names of the horses killed).

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