Animal Aid

Spectre of Death Visits Britain's Most Lethal Racecourse

Posted 25 March 2008

Date: 25 March 2008
Time: 1300 hrs
Location: Main Entrance, Sedgefield Racecourse, Stockton-on-Tees

The spectre of death – representing hundreds of equine fatalities – will be present at Sedgefield Racecourse on 25 March. 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 more than 400 horses are raced to death every year . Since its launch in March 2007, Race Horse Deathwatch – a website set up by the national campaign group – has recorded the deaths of more than 160 race horses in Britain.

Sedgefield racecourse tops the fatalities list of the 59 British racecourses, with 11 equine deaths since March 2007. Three collapsed and died, whilst others have died from a broken neck, a broken leg or other injuries. Two were killed during a single day of racing.

Says Animal Aid Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

‘Sedgefield is the worst course in the country, with an appalling record for killing horses. Eleven have died at this disgraceful place since March 2007. Throughout the year, horses are perishing 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. ’

Notes to editors:

  • The 11 horses who have perished at Sedgefield since mid-March 2007 are: Alfano (27/03/2007), Dundiclou (1/05/2007), Wrapitup (23/05/2007), Palais Tiff (10/08/2007), Rising Tempest (4/09/2007), Coronation Flight (2/10/2007), Lochanee (13/11/2007), Some Trainer (27/11/2007), Thenford Lord (11/12/2007), Always Ask (also 11/12/2007), Black Rainbow (26/12/2007).
  • 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 leaving racing each year, yet very few are properly provided for in their retirement.
  • View our undercover footage of horse slaughter
  • Read Animal Aid's report on breeding and 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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