Your thoughts on this terrible incident? 5 Race horses put down within a span of 2 days? Story inside->?

Five Horses Killed in Two Days at Cheltenham

England’s Cheltenham Festival is coming under scrutiny and drawing ire from the public and animal welfare organizations after five horses were killed in only two days of racing.

Scotsirish and Garde Champetre were euthanized on the first day after fracturing legs on the flat, along with Educated Evans, who broke a leg at a fence during the final race that day. Two more horses, Featherbed Lane and Abergavenny, also suffered from broken legs the following day and were also euthanized.

Yet another horse, Wishfull Thinking, fell and crashed through the rail taking out his jockey and a photographer (video).

‘The news that five horses have now been killed in just two days of racing at Cheltenham confirms the reputation of the Festival as a bloody and unforgiving event. The race that claimed today’s two victims could easily have killed more, given the numerous alarming incidents. It featured an insanely crowded field of 28 runners, who would have found it difficult to position themselves safely when approaching the numerous obstacles. Adding to the risk was the noisy, frenetic Festival atmosphere in which the horses have to race. Cheltenham has now killed 38 horses since 2000. Calling it a sporting event is a travesty,’ according to Animal Aid.

Many believe the track was too hard due to dry weather, but officials had watered it and are claiming they had no reason to believe it was unsafe. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will be launching an investigation, but appears to be playing down the deaths.

“There is a threshold of fatalities over the year at Cheltenham that would trigger further careful analysis, but we are nowhere near that yet,” said Robin Mounsey, the BHA’s communications manager.

The RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports also spoke out about the deaths and expressed concern over the use of whips. Five jockeys were punished for using them excessively and inappropriately.

“Any death on any racecourse simply cannot be justified,” said the RSPCA’s equine consultant David Muir.

According to Animal Aid’s website Race Horse Death Watch, 804 horses have died on tracks in Britain in the last five years, which doesn’t take into account the number of horses who have died and continue to be killed in accidents off the track or are sold to whoever will take them because they’re not making anybody any money. Sadly, the death toll will continue to rise for nothing more than greed and entertainment.

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    I agree in part with answer one, and the news is horrible. The same news or similar has been broacast about a TV show here in the USA, "Luck". A TV series basically giving jobs to some actors with less appeal than they used to enjoy. That TV show is reported to have lost 3 thoroughbreds in filming. While it can be subtle, one can read between the scripted lines to find the greed, and corruption, not just of breeders, but owners, trainers, jockeys, high rolling people who bet in private box seats, and I won't even go to the "Royals", or their stables, nor will I dare say it's a "sport"

    As an equine vet in my internship, and having horses, I find the entire experience disgusting.

    Part of the issue also is that one may have paid a million for a possibilty, and yet denies that with technology in 2012 and care, at least a horse can be saved and used as a brood mare or stud, still alive, though never to race again.

    Perhaps it's not much different than C**k or Dog fighting?

  • Jess
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    It seems to me that alot of the answers to this question have sterotyped people in the industry.

    It is terrible news, all of it! The horses death and the fact that it will slowly ruin the industry as it has in Australia. Jumps racing is only allowed in 2 Australian states and unless the death stats are kept down and betting and attendance up than it will get canned all together. And thankfully the industry is doing all it can to keep the sport going. An international investigation into the sport needs to be done, to make it safer! There are alot of factors that affect the game, breeding, tracks, jumps etc. As we are all facing the same fate if something isnt done!

    Unfortunately there are quite a few bad eggs in the industry that do do it all for the greed, but there are too many people involved that do love horses and the game to paint the whole industry with that brush!!

    I've worked in the industry for a fair while now and cant think of anyone in particular I know that is doing it for the greed, it costs way to much money!!! We love horses and we love racing!

    Also its not "greed" that is saying this but in most cases it is not commercially justifiable to keep a horse with a broken leg, and as harsh as that sounds that is how the industry works. It does work with money and well we cant have horses sitting in paddocks doing nothing and we cant always put a horse in a position where they can live life like that!

    Some people may think those comments are hypocritical but its hard to truly understand unless you work in this industry, and I found that out myself.

  • 8 years ago

    I think they need to make some major reforms at this particular race venue, as well as to the sport as a whole. 28 entries in a single race is WAY TOO MANY. Even the Triple Crown races in America don't allow that many entries at one time. That would be the first change I would suggest, if I had to make a list. You can't really prevent racetracks from being noisy- that's part of the sport- but there are ways to reduce the risk to the horses and to the spectators. The organizers of this meet need to take a look at the footing, the track designs, the fence heights, the materials the fences are made from, the length of the races, the AGE of the horses involved, and the medical conditions of the horses, and make changes where needed. Having an independent commission available to study each of these things would be very valuable, because it would reduce the claims of favoritism or bias from those directly affected by the recommended changes.

    It's a little hard for me to comment too extensively on the situation in Britain, because steeplechasing in America is much more of a grass roots sport that doesn't get anywhere near the level of publicity and media coverage that it does in Britain and most of Europe. Fatal accidents are rare in American steeplechase races, and the number of entries in most of them are small. Most of America's steeplechase races are held on seperate venues which are away from the major flat tracks, in fact. Even prestigious races like the Maryland Hunt Cup and and the Carolina Cup are held at their own venues. As for the whip issue, that's another thing that the RSPCA and the various racing commisions in Britain need to take a good hard look at. The various state racing commissions here have mandated the use of softer whips that make noise instead of stinging, and perhaps it's time that the British followed suit, and made such whips mandatory where you are, too.

    Source(s): I'm a horse owner/professional ( American) and a long time follower of racing and all other horse sports.
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    It is disgusting. I think that one of the major NY tracks has had 20 fatal ties since Dec 2011.(to present) Unfortunately as long as there is greed and the attitude in the industry that "I can always get another" there will be bloodshead on the race tracks. If more humans were dying things would change very quickly.

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  • poppy1
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Hi Scooter,

    This breaks my heart..All those Beautiful Horses died for greedy owners..They need to put a STOP to The England Cheltenham Festival..It's only a Death Trap for these Horses..

    Your Friend,


    Source(s): Little1
  • 8 years ago

    This will ultimately destroy the industry. The sordid secrets on the backside - especially how unsound runners "magically" can get healthy enough to race until a leg shatters in half - are slowly being dragged out of the shadows....and repulsing sports fans worldwide.

  • Sad. But then, steeplechase races are not the same as flat races. In Steeplechase, the horses are jumping fences and ditches and generally traversing the many intervening obstacles. Due to the very nature of the races, it is more dangerous than just running around a flat race course.

  • 8 years ago

    Thank you Scotty. Killing race horses is a big issue every where. Do we kill when a jockey or spectator is injured OR when they cant race OR when they arent earning owners a profit? It is a shame when ever a beautiful horse is put down other than OLD AGE or ILLNESS

  • 8 years ago

    It is the bloody breeders faults as they breed these animals are just too big and heavy for the legs and the courses they have to run on.

    The same happens on some of the big US races also

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    So what?

    Millions of humans die every day....BILLIONS of chickens.

    Everything alive WILL die.

    boo-hoo,get over it. Horses aren't magical/special/sacred.

    Blubbering to random strangers online won't alter reality,kid.

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