Animal Aid

Call for immediate suspension of horse racing at Wolverhampton following fifth equine fatality

Posted 12 December 2006

Wolverhampton racecourse has just claimed the life of yet another horse - the fifth fatality since 6 November this year. The tragic circumstances surrounding the death of two-year-old Money For Fun were sickeningly predictable given that in the past few weeks, five horses have fallen at the track, nine have been brought down or were pulled up and one broke down after completing a race. Money For Fun was running in the ninety-eighth race meeting of the year - a record for a British track - when she broke her leg and fell, causing a five-horse pile up.

Animal Aid has today written letters to racing’s governing body, the Horseracing Regulatory Authority, and to the British Horseracing Board (the body responsible for racing’s fixtures), demanding that all racing at Wolverhampton is suspended with immediate effect and that a detailed inquiry is held into the deaths, with the results being made public.

Says Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘Wolverhampton Racecourse is playing Russian roulette with the safety and lives of horses and jockeys alike. How many more injuries and fatalities will it take before the regulators assume control of the situation? Animal Aid calls for an immediate ban on racing at Wolverhampton in order to prevent more deaths.'

Notes to editors

  • An Animal Aid study of available evidence - including 15,000 pages of race results - shows that around 375 horses are raced to death every year. Some 30% of these fatalities occur during, or immediately after, a race, and result from a broken leg, back, neck or pelvis; fatal spinal injuries; exhaustion; heart attack, or burst blood vessels. The other victims perish from training injuries or are killed after being assessed by their owners as no-hopers.
  • 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 live out their lives in a sanctuary or adoptive home.
  • Read Animal Aid's new report on breeding and slaughter
  • View our powerful 90-second web film: The dark side of horse racing

More information

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

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