Race horse suffers horrific fatal injuries after running loose in a blindfold

Posted on the 15th June 2017

The racing industry’s welfare regulator, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), despite a prior warning from a leading trainer¹, failed to make simple changes to Starting Stall procedures that could have prevented five-year-old mare, Just Marion, from running loose in a blindfold, which ultimately resulted in her tragic death.

The horse was seen leaving the Starting Stalls in the 5.15 race at Brighton on Monday (12 June) riderless and with a blindfold still covering her head. As she ran blind, chasing on the heels of the other runners, she collided with the running rails. As the group turned the bend towards the finish she continued in a straight trajectory crashing through the stand side rails. This resulted in her receiving horrendous injuries – comprising multiple fractures. She could not be saved and was destroyed at Arundel Equine Hospital.

Animal Aid has expressed concern over Starting Stall procedures in the recent past.2 In September 2016 Animal Aid witnessed the death of a horse called Mukaynis, whose near-foreleg was shattered, having become trapped in the starting stall gates at Doncaster Racecourse. Yet the BHA does not appear to have taken any action to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

In varying circumstances, around 200 horses are killed on British racecourses each year.3 Many of these deaths could be easily prevented.

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

‘The British Horseracing Authority must ensure that the highest possible safety measures are in place at racecourses to protect horses from serious injury and death. They are aware of many problems but fail to take meaningful action. Those whose responsibility this is, should be made answerable and shamed for their failures.’

Editors’ Notes

  • For more information contact Dene Stansall on 01732 364546

1 https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/johnston-calls-for-straps-on-blindfolds-after-brighton-fatality/289320

2 http://metro.co.uk/2016/09/12/shocking-footage-shows-distress-of-racehorse-after-breaking-his-leg-6123961

3 http://www.horsedeathwatch.com

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