Animal Aid


Posted 1 November 2005

Champion race horse 'Best Mate', at just 10 years of age, became the racing industry?s most high profile victim in decades when he suffered a suspected heart attack while running in the William Hill Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

A recently-published Animal Aid report on equine deaths - This Unsporting Life - demonstrates that more than 370 horses are raced to death each year in Britain. They die either on course, during training, or are destroyed because they are no longer considered commercially viable. Heart attack is a common cause of death. Other victims suffer a broken leg, neck or back.

Best Mate's death follows the high profile fatality in 2004 of the other 'people's favourite', Persian Punch'. He was another heart attack victim.

Said Animal Aid horse racing consultant, Dene Stansall:

"Horse racing is an intrinsically punishing and exploitative activity. The industry is producing more and more thoroughbreds every year and the burden placed upon them is increasingly demanding. Tears will no doubt be shed for Best Mate. But such shows of sentiment are meaningless unless action is taken to protect future victims. There needs to be real root and branch reform"

Notes to Editors

  • See Animal Aid's March 2005 report on deaths in racing - This Unsporting Life.
  • Contact details: Andrew Tyler 01732 364546
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast quality interviews

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