Animal Aid

Three More Horses Killed on Cheltenham’s Notorious Racecourse

Posted 13 November 2006

The notorious Cheltenham racecourse claimed three more equine victims this weekend, with the deaths of Ol' Man River, Buailtes And Fadas, and War General.

Despite the deaths of eleven horses at the Gold Cup Festival meeting last March - the highest number of fatalities to occur at any race meeting - Cheltenham has failed to implement the recommendations published in July, following the Horseracing Regulatory Authority's (HRA) inquiry into the events that led to the carnage.

The HRA's recommendations included stricter veterinary checking procedures. But this will not be implemented until the March meeting in 2007. Had the new regime been put into practise for the weekend's Open meeting, two of the most recent deaths might been prevented. Both War General and Buailtes And Fadas collapsed and died immediately after their exhausting races. Ol' Man River was destroyed on Sunday after sustaining multiple fractures to his knee during the cross-country race on Friday.

Says Animal Aid Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

'Cheltenham has again failed the horses who race at the course. A total of 14 horses have now died from seven days racing at Cheltenham this year. Animal Aid calls for an immediate ban on racing at Cheltenham in order to prevent the deaths of more horses.'

Notes to editors

  • 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 that 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.
  • Animal Aid's new report on breeding and slaughter
  • View our powerful 90-second web film

More information

  • For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546 or Dene Stansall on 01724 278608.
  • ISDN line available for broadcast-quality interviews.
  • Images are available on request.

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