‘More deaths are likely to follow, as horses used for racing commonly die of fatal injuries such as broken backs or are killed after sustaining broken legs’, says PETA
The death toll at the ongoing Cheltenham festival has reached three.
This year, Shallwehaveonemore, Born Patriot and Mindsmadeup have all died in the race week taking the number of horses that have died racing at Cheltenham since 2000 to 71.
According to animal welfare charity PETA, ‘more deaths are likely to follow, as horses used for racing commonly die of fatal injuries such as broken backs or are killed after sustaining broken legs’.
The horses that died on the racecourse
The latest casuality Mindsmadeup – an 11-year-old bay gelding – died while competing at the final race on the third day.
The equine had competed in 44 races over its lifetime.
“Sadly Mindsmadeup sustained an injury in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase,” a spokesperson for Cheltenham Racecourse said.
“He was immediately attended to by our highly experienced veterinary team, but after treatment it was determined that it was necessary to put the horse to sleep. Our thoughts are with his connections.”
Born Patriot, another horse, also had a fall the same day, and though he was treated and assessed on the course, he later succumbed to his injuries.
Shallwehaveonemore was fatally injured during the opening race of the Festival on Tuesday from a fence fall.
Tragically he was put down since his injuries were extremely severe.
‘Stop this horror show’
Several animal rights organisations have called for Cheltenham to be banned.
Animal Aid in a statement on Twitter wrote: “We’re devastated to have witnessed 2 more horse deaths at Cheltenham Festival today. All involved in this cruelty should feel ashamed.
“The racing industry constantly risks horses’ lives for entertainment & profit.”
Dene Stansall a horse racing consultant for Animal Aid added: “Far from being a festival, it exudes the worst in animal cruelty with a blatant disregard for the suffering it causes – horse deaths, agonizing injuries, and the brutality of whipping animals in public.
“An end to horse racing would stop this horror show – the Cheltenham festival should be the first on that agenda.”
Chris Luffingham is a campaigns director at the League Against Cruel Sports. He said: “For any horse to lose its life in the pursuit of a ‘sport’ is an unnecessary tragedy but this sickening death toll points to the need for new and much tighter safety measures to be implemented – we are calling for an independent regulatory body to be created with horse welfare as its only concern.
“We will also be calling for the ban on the whip which forces horses to go beyond what they are comfortably able to do resulting in deaths, injuries and stress.”
The League Against Cruel Sports is a leading animal welfare charity that ‘works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport.’
Truths about the horse racing industry
The festival is considered the pinnacle of the National Hunt racing calendar in the UK and fans view horse racing as a harmless, enjoyable, and profitable sport for humans and the animals.
However, many are oblivious to the fact that fatal injuries are inherent in horse racing and that their bets fund these deaths.
According to vegan charity PETA, horses bred for commercial racing are pushed beyond their natural abilities and forced to run at breakneck pace.
Those who don’t sustain horrific injuries on the track are prone to suffer heart attacks, bleed from their lungs, or develop painful ulcers and other health complications as a result of being pushed past their breaking point for human entertainment.
Moreover, even those who make it off the track alive, continue to face a life of misery and agony.
Every year, the industry dumps or kills thousands of horses– including spent Thoroughbreds and those who don’t “make the grade”.
They’re abandoned or sold to slaughterhouses for dog or cat food or as “prime cuts” for human consumption in Europe and Asia.
- Read: Ex SeaWorld orca trainer urges Brits to ‘think twice before paying to see marine animals performing tricks’
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