Animal Aid

The Spectre of Death Comes to Plumpton Racecourse

Posted 12 December 2007

… as six horses die at Sussex course in just nine days

Demo details

Date: 17 December 2007
Time: 1200 hrs
Location: Main Entrance, Plumpton Racecourse, East Sussex (B2116)

The spectre of death – representing hundreds of equine fatalities – will be present at Plumpton racecourse on Monday, 17 December. Animal Aid’s Victorian lady will be dressed in dark, gothic 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. Since its launch in March 2007, Race Horse Deathwatch – a website set up by national campaign group Animal Aid – has recorded the deaths of 115 race horses in Britain.

Plumpton has seen six horse fatalities in just nine days of racing since mid-March. Five of the horses were destroyed on-course due to injuries – and one, Mr President, collapsed and died at the starting line.

In addition to the on-course and in-training fatalities, thousands of unprofitable horses are killed every year. In September, Animal Aid filmed undercover at Potter’s abattoir in Taunton. The footage showed a succession of apparently fit and healthy horses, including racing Thoroughbreds, being shot in the head with a rifle and then butchered for human consumption.

Says Animal Aid Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘Throughout the year horses are perishing on racecourses up and down the country. Plumpton should be ashamed of its record, which saw six horses killed in just nine days of racing. We urge the public of East Sussex to boycott this equine death trap.’

Notes to editors:

  • The six victims were Crusset aged 9, died 26 March; Paradise Valley aged 7, died 26 March; Mitre Park aged 5, died 13 May; Titus Lumpus aged 4, died 23 September; Mapilut Du Moulin aged 7 died 22 October; Mr President aged 8, died 25 November.
  • Four horses (Mr President, Titus Lumpus, Mapilut Du Moulin and Mitre Park) were novices coming to a course with tight bends and a demanding steep run-in to the last fence.
  • Two horses (Crusset & Paradise Valley) died in the same hurdle race.
  • Of the approximately 17,000 horses bred by the closely-linked British and Irish racing industries each year, only one third go on to become racers. Around 6,000 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 report on breeding and slaughter
  • Visit Race Horse Deathwatch
  • View our powerful 90-second web film

More information:

  • For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546.
  • Images are available on request.

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