Monday, February 15, 2021

Hype and hysteria doesn't help horses

 As an animal lover it distresses me to read reports like the following:

Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) are saddened but not surprised to learn of two horses who were killed and dumped on the beach on December 28 whilst the Tolaga Bay Races continued.

Spokesperson, Frances Baker said, "Right in front of the crowds eyes at this family event was the shocking and devastating reality of using horses to race, one whom broke both their legs and the other who had a heart attack. This happened whilst families cheered and betted on their lives."

"This is no different to the horses suffering on a regular basis on the racetrack, except that the beach races were not as prepared to hide the bodies with green screens and quickly drag them away. Heart attacks and fractures are common in racing."

She said, "After being shot in the head, those horses were not given the dignity they deserve and were left dumped on the beach without cover very close to the shore."

"NZTR had issued the betting licence for this event. Again, NZTR have blood on their hands. Deaths on and off track are common when using animals for entertainment."

I thought I'd seek a little more information about the event:

Mrs Jefferd said they had a team of highly-trained stewards, volunteers, horse wranglers and vets on board at the races, but sometimes these things happened.

“We have full procedures in place for our volunteers and people on the day. We had two vets on the day with one on call and they were the ones who make the call”.

Attending vet Bob Jackman said one horse collapsed and was unable to be moved without further suffering, while the second horse sustained fractures to both front legs.

“Events such as these are very uncommon, with only one other instance having occurred in the 35 years of my attendance.

“The overarching concern in these situations is that any animal suffering must be minimised, and after assessment of the animals and discussion with the owners, both horses were shot.”

Mr Jackman said these sort of incidents happen occasionally on any farms with horses and euthanising them promptly is standard practice.

The attending vet says these sort of events are very uncommon in direct contradiction of the spokesperson for CPR.

There is an element of risk to both horses and humans when it comes to racing. The humans of course participate voluntarily. For me it always comes back to the fact that most thoroughbreds (and standardbreds) would not exist if they weren't bred for racing. And contrary to what outsiders believe most people involved in the day-to-day training and care of these horses cherish them. They are the ones that hurt the most when one is lost in an accident.



The Slippery Slope said...

What a life for a racehorse!
The best of everything and a quick end if you're suffering.

There are far worse ways to go.

pdm said...

Lindsay I know what that woman means.

We had a family day at the Tolaga Bay beach races in the early 80's, I was in my late 30's and nearly had a heart attach myself when the very attractive young lady sun bathing about 6 feet away from us stood up - topless. Lucky mrspdm was there to `slap me down'. lol.

ps I am a racing fan and have a few quaddies most Saturdays - love thos % bets. Good coverage for a small outlay and a good interest.