Death threats for star Cheltenham jockey in row over dead horses

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“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 attacked on Twitter for comments describing animals as replaceable

  • 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.

Star jockey Ruby Walsh (above) has received death threats after he played down the death of a horse during a race. Above, Walsh on Faugheen celebrates victory in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle during Ladies Day at Cheltenham on Wednesday

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!’ 

Ruby Walsh created controversy when he said that animals are replaceable after Our Conor suffered a fatal fall at Cheltenham on the first day of racing. Above, Our Conor (right) ridden by jockey Daniel Mullins

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.’

‘Lacking respect’: Ruby Walsh, seen after taking a record sixth Mares’ Hurdle title at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday, has been attacked by animal rights activists

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.’

News Link:-http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2580575/Cheltenham-rider-Ruby-Walsh-gets-death-threats-row-dead-horses.html#ixzz2vxVLOWYQ
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STOP PRESS: REPORTS OF THIRD HORSE DEAD AT CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL

Posted 12 March 2014

A four-year-old horse, inexperienced over the jumps and ridden by a young, inexperienced jockey, became the second victim of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival. Akdam broke a foreleg racing in the 16.40 Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. On the Festival’s opening day (Tuesday), Our Conor suffered what turned out to be fatal spinal injuries in the Champion Hurdle race.Akdam was running in a hotly contested, crowded race, featuring 24 horses. His ‘conditional’ jockey, Josh Hamer, was up against leading riders including, AP McCoy, Tom Scudamore and Ruby Walsh.Akdam had been entered into 20 previous races, 11 of them hurdle events, the others on the flat or all-weather courses. In fact, he was bred to race on the flat but ended up at a very young age being put over jumps.Says Dene Stansall, Horseracing Consultant, Animal Aid:

‘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.

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Cutting off the Financial Lifeline to Hare Coursing – A Cruel Blood Sport

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The Republic of Ireland has become one of the last remaining countries in the world to allow hare coursing.

The cruel blood sport has already been banned in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and remains illegal in most civilised nations.

Coursing continues despite the fact that successive opinion polls since the 1960s have confirmed that a majority of Irish people want it made illegal. A Sunday Independent poll, for example, showed that eight in ten want this blood sport banned.

In 1993, the muzzling of greyhounds in enclosed coursing was introduced. As predicted by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports at the time, muzzling has failed to eliminate the cruelty from coursing.

Thousands of hares are snatched from the wild and chased by greyhounds. Some of the hares will be battered and mauled into the ground by the dogs. Some will sustain injuries so severe that they will die on the coursing fields. All will suffer the fear and stress of running for their lives.

Please join us in telling the Irish Government that it is now time to replace live hare coursing with drag coursing.

This would involve a simple transition from the use of live hares to the use of a mechanical lure. This lure is rapidly pulled along the ground and, through a system of pulleys, is made to emulate the sudden changes in direction made by hares. Drag coursing is practised successfully in several countries around the world, including the USA, Canada and Australia where live hare coursing is illegal.

We urgently need your help. Please respond to our action alerts below and help rid Ireland of this cruel blood sport.

News Link:-http://www.banbloodsports.com/

 

Despite a majority of Irish people wanting hare coursing banned, the cruel blood sport remains legal. Every year, thousands of hares are violently netted from the wild and forced to run for their lives in front of muzzled greyhounds. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is campaigning for a total ban on this blood sport. Please help us save the hares from coursing cruelty by responding to our urgent action alerts below.

ACTION ALERT:

Urge the Irish Prime Minister to ban hare coursing.
Email Enda Kenny: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Telephone: +353 (0)1 619 4020

Urge the Deputy Prime Minister to ban hare coursing.
Email Eamon Gilmore: eamon.gilmore@oireachtas.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 6183 566

Urge Minister Jimmy Deenihan to”Stop Licensing Coursing”
Email: ministersoffice@tcs.gov.ie
Telephone: +353 (0)1 631 3802

For information on Irish Council Against Blood Sports campaigns, visit:
http://www.banbloodsports.com

Sign an online petition
https://www.change.org/petitions/taoiseach-prime-minister-of-ireland-support-…

Follow us on Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/banbloodsports

Follow us on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/banbloodsports

As the campaign to persuade the Irish government to ban hare coursing continues,financial sponsorship is keeping this horrific practise alive.

The major sponsor is Greyhound and Pet World, which gives massive financial backing to hare coursing events. In particular it sponsors the annual marathon three-day hare coursing “festival” in which captive hares are terrorized and subjected to horrific injuries for three successive days on a converted racecourse.

Click the link below to send a message to Greyhound and Pet World, asking the company to cease all financial sponsorship of hare coursing in Ireland.

Link:-http://banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com/article-cutting-off-the-financial-lifeline-to-hare-coursing-105484931.html

Three in court over badger baiting

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THREE MEN HAVE appeared before a court in Co Down today after they were arrested by PSNI officers on suspicion of animal cruelty.

The men, aged 19, 21 and 42 have been charged with animal cruelty offences concerning the unnecessary suffering of a terrier dog and a badger. They have also been accused of interfering with a badger sett.

The BBC reports that the men were ordered by the judge to desist from hunting activities and to maintain a 9pm-7am curfew. A fourth man due in court could not attend for medical reasons.

The arrests were made in connection with the UK-wide Operation Meles, which aims to disrupt badger baiting activities.

What is badger baiting?

Badger baiting is a bloodsport in which badgers are hunted from their setts and pitched against dogs in a fight. It usually ends with the death of the badger, though the dogs can sustain serious injuries in the fight.

Sometimes, baiters cause serious damage to the badger by crippling it or breaking its jaws to prevent injury to the dogs.

Badger baiting is illegal in the UK and in the Republic of Ireland, and it is illegal to interfere with a badger sett.

Baiting is quite widespread across Northern Ireland, with thousands of badgers being killed this way ever year, according to David Wilson of the USPCA.

“The people who are involved and doing the damage are generally criminal gangs from urban situations who go out into the environment,” Wilson told TheJournal.ie. “Badgers are strange creatures: they will stay with a sett for hundreds of years and for generations, so they’re not hard to find. These people will open the setts a bit with spades and sent small dogs down to seize the badgers.

“They don’t even care about the danger to their dogs. Badgers are extremely powerful animals and some of the injuries on the dogs are beyond life-threatening – they just have to be put to sleep.”

He said that anyone who suspects badger baiting is happening should contact the police immediately.

Culling

There is a badger cull in place in the Republic of Ireland as part of the Department of Agriculture’s efforts to tackle TB in cattle. However, some researchers say there is little evidence of culling having an effect in the eradication of bovine TB.

Conn Flynn of the Irish Wildlife Trust told TheJournal.ie that a 12-year study in the UK found that culling badgers has no significant contribution to cutting the level of bovine TB. Instead, culling can force the highly-territorial animals to flee and spread into other areas, potentially spreading the disease.

The study found that cattle measures are the best way of controlling the disease, but there are restrictions on vaccination cattle due to export regulations.

Flynn says that a study is underway in Ireland to examine the effects of the oral vaccination of badgers.

He also says that tackling badger baiting is very difficult for gardaí, but that it happens all over the state and the Trust has received a number of reports of baiting in Meath and Offaly in particular.

News Link:-http://www.thejournal.ie/psni-badget-baiting-animal-cruelty-operationmeles-434490-Apr2012/

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