Increase in race horse deaths recorded by Animal Aid

Posted on the 22nd January 2018

Race Horse Deathwatch Review 2017

Animal Aid was able to find out about 159* horses who died as a result of racing on British racecourses in 2017. The number of fatalities is well above the 2016 Deathwatch figure of 136.

Animal Aid - Deathwatch Review 2017 Infographic

Of the 159 horse deaths, 123 (77%) were linked to National Hunt (NH or jump) racing. Catastrophic injuries included broken necks, spinal and pelvic injuries, and limb fractures. Other causes of death involved damaged tendons, and pulmonary haemorrhages (heart attacks). In flat racing, the majority of victims were killed as a result of ‘breaking down’ with an injury on the course. Starting Stall incidents also contributed to the deaths.

Two racecourses, shamefully, stood out above all of the others. Heading the list of Britain’s 60 racecourses in the sheer number of fatalities was Cheltenham with 12 deaths, followed by Southwell National Hunt (jumps) course with 8 deaths, as well as another victim on Southwell’s flat racing All-Weather surface. For the past three years these two racecourses have topped the league of the most race horse deaths in Britain.

*It is likely that a larger number of horses will have fallen victim, as many deaths will have been kept out of the public domain.

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