Animal Aid

Leading Race Horse ‘Moonquake’ Dies of a Heart Attack

Posted 16 September 2009

Leading race horse Moonquake collapsed and died on Wednesday evening at Doncaster racecourse stables. The 4-year-old colt was due to race the following day at one of racing’s most prestigious meetings.

Owned by the racing empire of Godolphin, the young Thoroughbred had been raced 14 times, over two seasons, under three different trainers. Starting his career in England, he had a spell of racing over the winter in Dubai and Abu Dhabi before returning to Britain this summer. The horse had won three races but, on a few occasions, his form had dipped. His death mirrors that of another top Godolphin horse, Electrocutionist, who also suffered a heart attack, exactly three years ago, at the age of five.

Both horses were born in the USA and had been entered into demanding races and endured extensive travelling in their short lives. There are questions to be asked as to how seemingly fit, healthy, young horses die without warning. It is time for an independent inquiry into the training and racing regimes of Thoroughbreds, the strains put upon them by extensive travelling, and the genetic weaknesses that are being encouraged by the industry’s programme of excessive breeding and inbreeding from fashionable bloodlines.

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