Animal Aid

Spectre of Death Visits Ludlow Racecourse

Posted 4 April 2008

Date: 9 April 2008
Time: 1300 hrs
Location: Main Entrance, Ludlow Racecourse, Bromfield, Ludlow, Shropshire
Contact: Dene Stansall 01732 364546

The spectre of death – representing hundreds of equine fatalities – will be present at Ludlow Racecourse on Wednesday, 9 April. Animal Aid’s Victorian lady will be dressed in dark, gothic robes and will be wearing a striking hat that features a model race horse tumbling over a hurdle.

This genteel but sombre protest is to highlight the fact that Ludlow is amongst the most lethal racecourses in the country, having killed a total of five Thoroughbreds in just eight days of racing since last November. Four were destroyed after suffering broken limbs, whilst the most recent death resulted from a broken back. Three of the five victims perished during a single day.

Says Animal Aid Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘It is utterly disgraceful that five horses have died at this course in just eight days of racing since last November, and even more shocking that the British Horseracing Authority has come to the conclusion that three deaths in a single day were nothing more than unfortunate accidents. Throughout the year, horses are dying on racecourses up and down the country. If the public knew what they were supporting with their betting and course attendance money, they would turn their backs on this so-called sport.’

Last March, Animal Aid launched Race Horse DeathWatch – a web-based initiative that makes public every on-course Thoroughbred fatality. In the first 12 months, Deathwatch recorded 161 on-course deaths. Jockeys Richard Johnson and Tom Scudamore each had seven of their mounts die – more than any of their peers.

Notes to editors:

  • The five horses who have died at Ludlow since mid-March 2007 are: Perdiem (15/11/2007), Desert Inferno (6/2/2008), Terminal Bee (6/2/2008), Port of Morgan (6/2/2008) and East Tycoon (20/3/2008).
  • Of the approximately 18,000 horses bred each year by the closely related British and Irish racing industries, only around 40% go on to race. Many of the ‘defective’ newborns end up slaughtered for meat, while those who do enter racing suffer a high level of fatal injuries and stress-related illnesses, such as gastric ulcers and bleeding lungs. Around 6,000 British Thoroughbreds leave racing each year, yet very few are properly provided for in their retirement.
  • Visit Race Horse Deathwatch
  • Read our report Race Horse Deathwatch: The First Year
  • View our powerful 90-second web film
  • View our undercover footage of horse slaughter

More information:

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

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