Spectre of death haunts ladies’ day at Royal Ascot

Posted on the 15th June 2015

To remember the four horses who died at last year’s Royal Ascot meeting – Flat racing’s most prestigious event – Animal Aid staged a ceremony on Ladies’ Day, Thursday 18 June.

Outside the main entrance of the Berkshire course, Animal Aid’s visually stunning ‘Spectres of Death’ unveiled a tombstone inscribed with the names of the horses who perished: Case Statement died from a broken lower leg; Inchila and Sir Graham Wade suffered a fractured pelvis; and Tiger Cliff collapsed and died after the race.

See the demo photos

That Ascot has serious problems in need of urgent attention was made clear just last week when the Racing Writer of the Year, Alan Lee, declared in the Times that Royal Ascot is ‘a stage on which jockeys have regularly been guilty of a win-at-all-costs attitude with the whip in the principal races’.

In fact, whip abuse and on-course fatalities are problems that beset courses around the country. In 2014, 189 horses died on British racecourses and there were 586 breaches of the British Horseracing Authority rules against excessive whip use.

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

‘Last year’s deaths went almost unreported amidst the pomp and ceremony of Royal Ascot. In fact, many racegoers may not have even been aware of a single horse death let alone four.


Animal Aid’s Spectres of Death are at the meeting to compel visitors to reflect upon the price horses pay so that they can be entertained. Royal Ascot dresses itself up as an impossibly chic and high-class event when in fact it is part of a grubby industry that is rooted in gambling and horse exploitation.’

More Information

  • For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546; on the day 07780 756957.
  • An ISDN line is available for broadcast-quality interviews.

Notes to Editors:

  • A database of on-course fatalities can be viewed at Race Horse Deathwatch
  • View our powerful 90-second web film
  • The ‘Spectres of Death’ are played by:
    Victoria Eisermann:
    Former model, CEO and co-founder of K-9 Angels, and radio host. Victoria’s passion is saving animals.
    Pola Pospieszalska:
    Polish pop star, co-founder of K-9 Angels, and animal rights activist.

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