Animal Aid

The Spectre of Death comes to Haydock Racecourse

Posted 17 October 2006

Date: 19th October 2006
Time: 1215 hrs
Location: Main Centenary Stand Entrance, Haydock Racecourse

The spectre of death - representing hundreds of equine fatalities - will be spectacularly present at Haydock Park this Thursday. Animal Aid’s Victorian lady will be dressed in gothic, dark robes and will be wearing a striking hat that features a model racehorse tumbling over a hurdle.

This genteel but sombre protest is to highlight the fact that around 375 horses are raced to death every year. National campaign group Animal Aid has produced a report showing that 30% of these deaths occur during or after a race, with the remainder killed due to injuries received in training, or because they are considered to be no longer profitable.

These known deaths are just the tip of the iceberg. The fates of thousands of other thoroughbred horses remain an industry secret. Animal Aid is calling for openness and accountability within the industry, with full details of horse deaths being made public.

Says Animal Aid campaigner, Dene Stansall:

‘The horse racing industry deliberately conceals the horrific truth from the public. If people knew about the death and exploitation that goes on behind the scenes, all betting shops would go out of business.’

Notes to editors

  • For more information and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546 or Dene Stansall at the demo on 07780756957.
  • ISDN line available for broadcast-quality interviews.
  • Images are available on request.
  • Of the approximately 15,000 horses bred by the racing industry each year, only around one third go on to become racers. The fate of those who do not make the grade is uncertain. Around 5,000 racers are retired each year, yet very few go on to lead out their lives in a sanctuary or adoptive home. It is clear the horse racing industry is covering up what happens to its prize assets once they stop making money and are out of the public gaze.
  • For Animal Aid’s new report on breeding and slaughter, see
  • View our powerful 90-second web film at

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