The Cheltenham Festival

Posted on the 3rd March 2020

The notorious Cheltenham Festival will be taking place this year on 10 - 13 March. Every year since 2002, horses have died at the Festival. A total of 67 horses have lost their lives at the Festival since 2000.

Three horses died at last year’s event, and seven the previous year. At the root of the problem is racing’s regulator, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). It is responsible for race horse welfare but has failed to curb the number of fatalities in racing. In 2018, the BHA announced that it would undertake a review of the deaths at the festival that year. It took the BHA nine months to produce the report, and many of the recommendations fell well short of what is needed, and, above all, failed to address key issues such as the ‘win at all costs’ mentality of many jockeys at the event, the number of obstacles or the gruelling length of some races.

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