Animal Aid

Cheltenham 2010: One horse dead after just 75 minutes

Posted 16 March 2010

Within just 75 minutes of the start of the 2010 Cheltenham Festival, the event claimed an equine victim when Casey Jones was destroyed behind quickly erected green screens.

The nine-year-old Irish horse was brought to the ground along with two others when jumping a notorious open ditch fence during the 3-mile William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase.

Casey Jones is the 31st horse to be killed at the Festival since 1999.

Animal Aid has for many years expressed deep concern for all the horses who are forced to compete at the world's most demanding race meeting. This year, Animal Aid call into question the proposed running of Gold Cup challenger, Denman, after a worrying heart problem and a recent poor performance.

The national campaign group wrote to the British Horseracing Authority on March 4th asking what veterinary checks Denman would receive prior to the race. No answer has been received.

Says Animal Aid Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

Sadly for Casey Jones, Cheltenham has once again shown the true nature of the challenges it holds for horses. Thirty-one horse deaths at the Festival meeting since 1999 reveal the ruthless nature of the event and the vanishingly small attention paid to horse welfare.

More information

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

Notes to editors:

  • Of the approximately 18,000 horses bred each year by the closely related British and Irish racing industry, only around 40 per cent go on to race. Many of the 'low quality' newborns are destroyed, 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 7,500 race horses leave British racing each year, yet very few go on to a sanctuary or adoptive home.
  • View our powerful 90-second film
  • Read Animal Aid's report on breeding and slaughter

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