Animal Aid

Twist Magic's death is just one of hundreds each year in racing

Posted 16 December 2010

The death of top race horse Twist Magic, who fell and broke a leg at Newbury yesterday (Wednesday), has hit national headlines. But his destruction is far from unusual. A horse dies almost every day on British racecourses. In fact, there was a second death of a horse yesterday, which received no mention in the national press. The unknown fatality was Gilsland, who collapsed and died at Bangor racecourse.

The British Horseracing Authority has refused over many years to make public the names and numbers of horses who are killed. Therefore, in 2007, Animal Aid launched an online database dedicated to exposing the high number of fatalities. Since that time, nearly 600 horses have perished on racecourses.

Says Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘Twist Magic’s death has been brought to the public’s attention because he was such a well-known race horse. Sadly, hundreds more perish each year without a mention. Animal Aid will continue to expose the shocking level of deaths on British racecourses and calls on the public not to support an industry with such an appalling animal welfare record.’

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

Notes to editors

  • View our powerful 90-second web film on racecourse deaths
  • Around 420 race horses are raced to death each year either on racecourses or during training
  • Of the approximately 18,000 horses bred each year by the closely related British and Irish racing industries, 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.

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