Cheltenham Festival and Cheltenham Racecourse – in figures

  • The Cheltenham Festival holds the record for horses killed in a single day’s racing – with six fatalities on 16 March 2006.
  • A total of eleven horses died as a result of racing in the 2006 Festival.
  • In 2016, seven horses were killed during the Cheltenham Festival, making it the most lethal since 2006. Four horses perished at the 2017 meeting.
  • A total of thirty-three horses have been killed as a result of running in the Cheltenham Festival since March 2007.
  • A total of thirty-three horses have been killed as a result of running in the Cheltenham Festival since March 2007.
  • Cheltenham has been at or near the top of the league of Britain’s most lethal courses for at least 16 years.
  • In 2007, Animal Aid launched Race Horse Deathwatch, in order to make public all on-course race horse fatalities.
  • In 2014, Animal Aid’s Horseracing Consultant produced a detailed analysis, entitled Why more horses die at Cheltenham than at any other British racecourse, which looked into some of the problems with Cheltenham Racecourse. The report highlighted many dangerous aspects, including: crowded races; horses running over long distances often on challenging ground; unacceptable demands on novice horses; and stiff ‘unforgiving’ fences.
  • The report was mailed to the British Horseracing Authority, the National Trainers Federation, the Professional Jockeys Association, the Racehorse Owners Association, the Jockey Club and Cheltenham Racecourse. There were no responses.
  • On 28 January 2017, Many Clouds, the 2015 Grand National winner, collapsed and died after winning a gruelling race at Cheltenham. Animal Aid warned the regulator, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), ten months earlier that Many Clouds could collapse and die whilst racing. After winning the Grand National it was reported that he had physically suffered after racing and needed oxygen to recover. It was a tragedy that need not have happened.
  • Animal Aid’s Cheltenham Festival microsite features reasons to boycott the Festival, as well as downloadable versions of our reports and other Animal Aid horse racing reports.

 

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