Animal Aid: TWO HORSES DIE AT PLUMPTON’S SUNDAY RACES

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“All horses love to run, my horse loves to gallop (without any coaxing, i.e. kicked, whipped) on the beach; then she stops when she has had enough! But there is a big difference between letting them run freely & forcing them to carry on galloping, when they have given their all, by whipping etc. This just totally pxxxxs’s me off! Why? Because it’s all down to money!”

Two horses, both aged six-years-old, lost their lives at Plumpton Racecourse yesterday afternoon (Sunday 11 May).

In the first race of the day, Head Rush was pulled up injured, halfway through the two-mile hurdle race in which he was competing. Then, in the final event of the day, a National Hunt flat race, grey gelding Eastbury fell to the ground injured and was seen struggling to get up.

Horse deaths at Plumpton are not rare. Two other horses, Ironically and Business Mover, were killed in almost identical circumstances to yesterday’s victims on the same race day in May 2013. And a total of 29 horses have perished at the East Sussex course since March 2007.

Animal Aid says that urgent action is required by both the racecourse and the British Horseracing Authority to prevent further horse deaths.

For further information

  • For press enquiries, please call Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546.

Visit Race Horse Death Watch for full listings of on-course deaths.

Posted 13 May 2014: News Link:-http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_horse/ALL/3099//

 

 

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Abandoned Thoroughbred, Defense Team, rescued by South Florida SPCA

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“I would be first in line to pick up this stunning mare, how anyone could just abandon her is beyond my comprehension; there is no & never will be, a good enough excuse for this cruel crime, whilst animal organisation exist to help!. But a former race horse that costs thousands, then doesn’t race well, is more than often sent to slaughter or abandoned! I hope they find whomever she belonged to; then proceed with criminal charges! Then I hope Defense Team gets a forever home & is loved for the rest of her life!!!”

MIAMI, FL (February 17, 2014)

 Defense Team, a Thoroughbred gelding, was rescued today by South Florida SPCA. Laurie Waggoner, SFSPCA director of ranch operations, received  a mid-morning call from a Hialeah farmer who reported the former racehorse wandering along a road near one of his pastures, and that he looked “really bad…really skinny.” Waggoner and members of the Hialeah police department found the horse ambling roadside, eating grass.

If you’d like to donate toward the care of Defense Team, please visit http://www.spca-sofla.org/donate/donate-now and indicate that it is for Defense Team at checkout.

“His body condition score is a 1,” said Waggoner, referring to the lowest score on the Henneke System of Body Condition Scoring (view chart.) Fortunately, Defense Team does not appear to be lame or have any other major issues or injuries. He will receive routine vaccinations and a Coggins test, along with farrier attention to his hooves which appear to have been neglected for some time.

The horse’s tattoo number matched that of Defense Team, and SFSPCA learned he was foaled in Florida on April 6, 1999. He was purchased in Ocala, FL for $6,000, and raced only once at Calder on December 28, 2001 where he finished 11 out of a field of 12. (View pedigree.)

I will never comprehend why humans can throw animals out like trash; or just abandon them….heartbreaking!!!

Waggoner noted Defense Team seemed very happy to be found, loaded easily on her trailer and was welcomed to the SFSPCA ranch in Homestead with a nice, safe stall and a tasty flake of hay.

If you’d like to donate toward the care of Defense Team, please visit www.spca-sofla.org/donate/donate-now and indicate that it is for Defense Team at checkout.

Report horses or other large livestock animals that appear to be abandoned, abused or neglectedCall 911 for emergencies, or 305-4-POLICE (Miami-Dade, FL) for non-emergencies.

News Link:http://www.spca-sofla.org/abandoned-thoroughbred-defense-team-rescued-by-south-florida-spca/

13,000 horses face slaughter if Ontario racing industry collapses

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“If this is the case then they should put a ban on all race horse breeding NOW or else many more will be slaughtered because of pure greed…everybody wants that one special colt that will grow into a real money maker! They breed & breed looking for this special one, the ones that don’t make the grade like  Stardust Dancer (in picture) will simply go to slaughter…they won’t spend money on a horse, even if it’s just for food…if it’s not going to bring that money back! They don’t talk about these horses as sentient beings, they talk about them as if their inanimate objects! “
Toronto – The horseracing industry in Ontario, Canada is struggling and some believe it will face a complete shut down next year. If that happens, a government panel believes as many as 13,000 horses would be killed.

Oroville, California – Stardust Dancer pictured here, was owned by Gary Barber, CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer before being sent to slaughter auction at the age three for failing to win enough races.

The Toronto Star reports that it’s expected that at least two-thirds of the racing tracks are going to face a shut down and for those that remain open, they will have fewer race days and smaller purses. That all adds up to owners and breeders trying to justify maintaining expensive animalswith little chance of getting back their investment.

Thoroughbred owner Ian Howard says, “The question is, if (a horse’s) value is zero, how do you justify feeding them when you have no way to make a living anymore because the tracks you need to be in existence are gone?”“That’s when it gets ugly.”

Things got bad for the industry in the spring when the provincial government decided to cancel the agreement it had, to share money from the slots program with racetracks and the money ($345 million in 2011-2012) would be used for provincial health care and education instead.

Then The Star says a Horse Racing Industry Transitional Panel report last month estimated that about half the horses now racing, between 7500 and 13,000 animals, would be euthanized as a result, and there was little help offered in terms of moral or financial support. A finance report last week suggested that Ontario’s 17 racetracks will need to be consolidated to just 7 or 8 tracks for the industry to remain viable.

Glenn Sikura, president of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s Ontario division says, “It’s a sad reality.” “We’ve been so cautious not to talk about (mass euthanasia) in the industry because first of all, we’re all animal lovers and god forbid anything like that would happen.” The report estimates that between 20,000-30,000 people working full-time in the industry would also lose their jobs.

All eyes will be on the annual thoroughbred yearling auction at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack this week. How many horses sell and for what prices will signal how much confidence is left in the shaky.

Sikura says the sale makes up about three-quarters of the annual income for breeders and if prices fall below the $25,000 average from last year’s sale, it will spell disaster for some owners and put them out of business immediately. He adds, “If a $20,000 horse becomes a $10,000 horse, then the horse that used to bring $10,000 is now a giveaway,estimating it costs about $30,000 a year to care for a horsethat races regularly.

Some are now rallying to try to win public support to keep the industry alive, with an online petition hoping to collect 50,000 signatures. But since it started in February less than 10,000 names have been added. There’s also a website and a Facebook page that has collected fewer than 500 members.

News Link:-http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/331983

“Take a look at the following video, this was obviously before the government decided to stop money from the slots program! It’s all gone tits up now, & the horses will pay with their lives”

Value of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry

Published on 3 May 2012 by 

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry is part of a highly competitive global market. The industry contributes 60,000 jobs, $1.1 billion to the provincial government and $2 billion in recurring expenditures – all of which would be lost if the Slots at Racetracks Programs is cancelled in Ontario.

As a vet, I say: Ban this cruel spectacle – Grand National

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By LUKE SALKELD

Sprawled on the ground, limbs tangled, necks wrenched at agonising angles, the photographs of the fallen horses at Saturday’s Grand National were painful even to look at. Yet millions take pleasure in this cruel spectacle.

On Saturday the country gathered around its TV sets, anxiously clutching betting slips and sweepstakes pull-outs.

But I’m afraid I wasn’t among them. I cannot bear to watch a single moment of the race. To me, the Saturday of the Grand National is one of the most depressing days of the year.

I say this not because I am some kind of puritan killjoy but because, as a vet and animal rights specialist, I am appalled at the amount of suffering the horses have to endure.

Neptune Collonges runs clears as According to Pete and jockey Henry Haynes and On His Own and Paul Townshend fall at Bechers

Each year I dread the news of another horse having to be put down – ‘destroyed’ as some commentators thoughtlessly put it – after a gut-wrenching fall which leaves horse and rider stricken on the turf.

This weekend’s race was a particularly distressing spectacle with two horses dying after terrible falls. Nine-year-old gelding Synchronised, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup earlier this season, broke a leg and was put down.

According to Pete was also put down after falling on the second attempt at Becher’s. Two other runners, Killyglen and Weird Al, sustained injuries during the race.

As the owners of the winning horse Neptune Collonges opened bottles of celebratory champagne in the enclosure, tarpaulin fences were being hastily erected to shield the bodies of the two fallen horses.

 The Grand National might be a spectacle that captivates the British public, but for me it simply serves as a reminder of the absolute disregard for animals and their welfare which some humans seem to have.

For too long, the cruelty of the race has been blithely ignored by the horse-racing authorities and the race-going public.

It shouldn’t be like this. Sport, after all, is meant to be an uplifting activity, reflecting the quest for excellence and heroism in competition. But there is nothing remotely inspirational or heroic about forcing horses to gallop round a dangerous course at high speed and risk sustaining painful, even fatal falls.

In the Grand National alone, ten horses have been killed since 2000. And last month, the Cheltenham race meeting was overshadowed by the death of five horses.

We would not tolerate this callous approach towards human competitors.

If, in the Olympic Games, several athletes broke bones during, for example, the 3,000 metres steeplechase the event would either be dropped or the course drastically altered.

 Formula 1 motor racing, radical new standards of safety were introduced following a spate of deaths in the 1970s. These included improvements to cars and better layout of  tracks, measures which helped to achieve a dramatic fall in fatalities.

There is nothing like the same concern for horses’ welfare shown in the National. The deaths and injuries to the animals seem to be regarded as, at best, nothing more than inconvenient consequences of the race and at worst ‘just one of those things’.

The brutality of last year’s competition in particular – where only 19 horses finished out of a field of 40 – was compounded by the sickening sight of the exhausted horse, Ballabriggs, being whipped to the finishing line to win the race.

The central failing of the Grand National, as with all steeplechase racing, is that the horses are not physically designed by nature to leap over high fences. Their bodies are not strong enough, nor are their legs sturdy enough. Every time a horse jumps over an obstacle, especially with an added human load, it puts tremendous pressure on its two front legs as it lands.

Mankind has, of course, bred horses for specific tasks, such as mighty dray horses, with their tree trunk legs for pulling carts. But the bitter paradox of racing is that the breeding of horses for speed directly undermines their ability to cope with jumps. For what a racehorse owner wants is a thin, light creature which can move as fast as possible – exactly the type of horse most likely to be vulnerable when forced over jumps of more than five feet high.

 This is slightly mitigated by the fact that the truest thoroughbreds are generally kept for the flat races, with the sturdier animals competing over the jumps.

But even so, this does not alter the fact that these National Hunt horses are still bred for speed, and therefore they are required to operate far beyond the capacity of their bodies’ skeletal strength.

The problem is compounded by the uniquely arduous nature of the Aintree course, which is four-and-a-half miles long, having been extended by half-a-mile in 1975. The horses have to jump over 30 fences, which themselves are larger than those on any other course in Britain.

In truth, the Aintree course is so demanding that, over the last decade, only 36 per cent of horses have actually been able to finish the race.

The Grand National’s defenders claim that the horses actually enjoy the races, otherwise why would they carry on racing, sometimes even when their jockey falls off?

But horses are herd animals. Out of instinct, they will try to follow the leader of the pack or continue running because that is what they have evolved and indeed been trained to do. But there is no evidence they really enjoy jumping.

The tragedy of the National is that, if people were honest enough to admit it, the greatest attraction of the race is in the element of danger and the thrill of watching the horses tackle this highly risky challenge.

How can horses be so ruthlessly exploited to feed this national habit when we claim to be proud to be more compassionate than most other countries to our animals?

Having banned fox-hunting, bear-baiting and cock-fighting, we like to think ourselves morally superior to our crueller ancestors who used to revel in these practices. But the Grand National is little different to such barbarities.

In response to animal welfare campaigners, the British Horseracing Authority introduced a few cosmetic changes to this year’s National, such as imposing a higher age limit of seven years on all horses to ensure they are fully developed and have sufficient experience, and reducing the drop on the landing side of Becher’s by a few inches. But these steps did little to protect Synchronised and According to Pete.

There is only one way to stop the suffering of the horses and that is to ban the Grand National. If racing enthusiasts truly respected these noble, majestic creatures, they would be unable to tolerate any longer such needless cruelty  masquerading as sport.

News Link:-Dailymail.co.uk

“Well, if you read my post yesterday, it seems I am not the only who thought Synchronised shouldn’t have raced etc. etc….I rest my case”

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