“I have always disagreed with horse racing because most of the horses are usually too young to compete”
By JOHN STEVENS
PUBLISHED: 00:00, 14 March 2014
- Ruby Walsh created controversy when he said animals are replaceable after Our Conor suffered fatal fall at Cheltenham on first day
- One tweet: ‘Ruby Walsh I hope you get your skull crushed by one of the horses you’re so heartlessly flippant about…’
- On Wednesday, Mail reported how Walsh, who has twice won the Grand National, said there is a difference between death of a human and a horse
A star jockey has received death threats after he played down the death of a horse during a race.
Animal rights campaigners have accused the 34-year-old Irishman of being callous, while others have bombarded him with threats.
One tweeted: ‘Ruby Walsh I hope you get your skull crushed by one of the horses you’re so heartlessly flippant about. Animals should not die for sport.’
Another added: ‘Shame more jockeys aren’t killed instead of beautiful horses!!!!!! All jockeys are complete c**ts!! No horse is replaceable!’
While another wrote: ‘@Ruby Walsh Don’t worry if you die in a race, there’ll be someone to replace you too.’
On Wednesday, the Mail reported how Ruby Walsh, who has twice won the Grand National, said that there is a difference between the death of a human and a horse.
He said: ‘It’s sad, but horses are animals, outside your back door. Humans are humans. They are inside your back door.
‘You can replace a horse. You can’t replace a human being. That’s my feeling on it.’
Dene Stansall of campaign group Animal Aid told the Mail: ‘He has shown callousness for the animals that have earned him a good living.
‘It’s completely disrespectful. To treat the death of a horse in such a way shows that they are merely machines for people to make money.
‘Ruby Walsh is the leading jockey at Cheltenham and wants to support the event as much as he can, but you cannot disregard the lives of horses just because they are not humans.
‘We would expect more from him. This shows he has got little empathy for a horse that really suffered before it died.’
Ingrid Newkirk, founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), said: ‘Walsh’s comments expose the true emotion behind horseracing: greed. They are deeply offensive to anyone who has ever loved and lost a horse or other beloved animal companion.
‘Unlike Walsh, horses are not unfeeling but experience joy, anxiety, fear and affection, just as human beings do.’
Mr Walsh last night declined to comment on the threats against him. He told the Mail: ‘I didn’t even know about it.’ Dozens of messages criticising Walsh have been sent directly to his Twitter account.
One user, with the profile name Amy, wrote: ‘Do you hate horses because you are so short and this makes you angry?’
Another posted: ‘YOUR (sic) AN IDIOT!! ‘A horse can be replaced’ really??? So can jockeys so I hope you fall off a horse & get trampled!’
Since the furore, Mr Walsh’s father, trainer Ted Walsh, has compared Britain’s attitude on the issue to that in Ireland.
He said of the UK: ‘It’s a funny country. They can remember the names of horses that got blown up by the bombs in London but not the names of the people riding them.’
The British Horse racing Association has stressed that the welfare of horses is ‘paramount’ at races such as Cheltenham. “So I have to ask….why are they racing horses on flat or over jumps when the horses are not mentally & physically ready for such a task>”
A spokesman said: ‘Cheltenham Racecourse employs eight veterinary surgeons, whose sole responsibility it is to provide care to the horses throughout their time at the racecourse.
‘In the event of an incident on the racecourse, any horse affected will receive immediate attention and treatment from the racecourse’s veterinary team.” I.E put them to sleep, because they can be fixed but wouldn’t be worth any money to the owners or syndicate if they are not bring the money home;plenty more being bred for this very reason!!!”
‘Qualified paramedics and doctors are also on hand in the case of any incident involving a jockey.
‘If necessary, horses and riders will be transported from the course to receive further treatment at the most appropriate equine hospital or Accident & Emergency hospital.
‘British Racing is open and transparent about the risks involved in the sport – the BHA Veterinary team monitors injury rates at every licensed racecourse. Over the last 15 years, the equine fatality rate has fallen by one third to 0.2 per cent of all runners. “OK, then go look at the Animal Aids ” Race Horse Death”? That will tell you exactly where, when & who was the jockey….I don’t know of any other site where I could get that information from!! http://www.horsedeathwatch.com/“
‘Despite the best efforts of all involved, as with participation in any sport involving speed and athleticism, there remains an inherent risk of injury.’
STOP PRESS: REPORTS OF THIRD HORSE DEAD AT CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL
Posted 12 March 2014
‘Akdam died in a race that was rough messy and hazardous. No doubt racing’s apologists will offer yet another unconvincing excuse for why this horse suffered this violent end.
Animal Aid’s recent report points to Cheltenham as being the course on which more horses die than any other in the country. Akdam’s brutal end brings to 50 the number who have perished at the Gloucestershire course since Animal Aid launched the online Deathwatch database in March 2007.’
Stop press: It is reported this evening (Wednesday) that the Festival has claimed a third victim. Five-year-old Stack The Deck was destroyed after fracturing a knee in the 17.15 Champion Bumper.News Link:–http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_horse/ALL/3066//
The dark side of horse racing
Uploaded on 25 Mar 2008
Most people regard horse racing as a harmless sport in which the animals are willing participants who thoroughly enjoy the thrill. The truth is that behind the scenes lies a story of immense suffering.