Over one thousand five hundrednamed horses have died on British racecourses in the past ten years. Horseracing is where a jockey rides a horse around a course at a full gallop, thehorse with the utmost speed and stamina will win. Sometimes there are multipleobstacles they have to tackle. Unfortunately this can be too much for thehorses and can lead to seriously injury or all too often death. I knowsomething needs to be done now to reduce the death rate for these innocentanimals and an unfortunate jockey or two. Some would argue that the horseswere bred for racing and it wouldn’t be the same if the courses changed, sincethey have been that way for years. As someone who knows a little about horses,I know the horses are bred for racing but not to the level of difficulty someof these course are today. If you look at the number of falls throughout theyears then you will see that it’s far too high.
Aintree is known for being themost unforgiving, the reason being is that it’s known for having the world’smost dangerous jump. Despite having caused so many horses to fall and so manydeaths to its name, little has been done about it. I find this appalling. Ifthey removed this jump or changed the angle it’s jumped a, it would reduce thenumber of deaths and falls, resulting in more horses racing to the finish line,more people cheering therefore making it more exciting? Watching a horse falland die is not a nice event to witness.
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As it is often described as a tangledmess of limbs. It should not be put down to ‘bad luck’ because it should nothappen in the first place. I know it’s not just Aintree that has a few, toomany, fatalities to its name. Sevenhorses died at the Cheltenham festival in 2016. That’s seven too many.
AnimalAid released an image of the Cheltenham track, it pinpointed where the horsesdied and the details of the horses. Four out of seven horses died on the trackfrom either falling or collapsing. The other three all suffering from leginjuries were destroyed. There are two parts of the course the old and new,four died on the old course and three on the new course.
From this evidence itproves that both the old and new course is that little bit too demanding forthe horses to complete, unscathed. From 2000 to 2016 fifty-three horses havedied at the Cheltenham Festival. The largest number of horse fatalities in asingle year was eleven, in 2006.
This needs to be changed before more helplesshorses are harmed or die. The ages of the unfortunate horses at the 2016festival ranged from five to ten years old. Alot of the time horses are just too young to race. Going back to the 2016 Cheltenhamfestival when at the tender age of five years old a horse called Rezorbi felland broke his neck. Tragic. Usually at five years old horses are still learningand are still considered babies, you should only start to try riding a horse ataround three/four years old. For a young horse to be galloping a minimum of twomiles with fences is cruel.
Anotherhorse called Montdragen also died too young and I feel, in the worst waypossible. He collapsed and died. This horse was so exhausted that he physicallycouldn’t go on. Horses do what they are told to please us humans, he diedbecause we wanted him to keep galloping. At the age of five or six it’s too extremefor them and will mentally affect the horses as well as physically. This couldlead to them freaking out next time they are made to go in the starting box,with the chance of causing injury to themselves and their jockey. It is not safe.It’s heartbreaking to think that most of the people watching don’t even care.
Or know. Thereare often legal and illegal drugs used on the horses. The drugs can be used tohide any pain the horse is in.
If they are not sound then they can’t race, ifthey are not racing them they are not making money. These drugs may also beused to keep them running instead of resting and getting treatment. This cancause an even more serious injury to arise.
Which can be justified if they win,can’t it? Trainers get a ban for a few months or a couple of years if they arefound to be giving racehorses illegal drugs but I think if they are going tocreate more pain for horses by keeping them running then they don’t deserve to trainhorses ever again. It’s disgusting to think that after however the long theirban is they can just go back to what they were doing in the first place. It isanimal cruelty and needs to be stopped now. Imagine you are a top athlete andyou injured yourself but you only get injections or pills and told to carry on (whilstfeeling whatever side effects the drugs have). These unlucky horses are notseen as living just pawns in the racing game. Somejockeys see horses as being an object rather than a sensitive, bright animalsthat can think for themselves. Jockey Ruby Walsh caused a stir when he wastalking about the death of a race horse called Our Conor when he said “You canreplace a horse”. This provided us with some evidence of the attitude that sometrainers, jockeys and spectators have towards the horses.
Horses are only worthsomething if they are on the track, running for their lives. Let’s be truthful everyoneis there to see if the horse they bet on will win them money. I know personallythat horses are bet on to try win money and so the person who bets will watchtheir horse perform. It’s all about the money. But when the horses retire theirworth is apparent… Mostretired racehorses that aren’t good enough to make it on the track are sold andturned into dog food.
They could have made some money for their owner, but oncethey are finished they are considered worthless. Thrown aside and the next, morebeneficial horse brought on to replace them. Have a think, could that winninghorse be in your dog’s dinner tonight. How gracious. Some of the horses thatdon’t make it have so much potential and could be out competing making someonehappy for twenty years than a dog for five minutes. One of my friends owns aretired racehorse, he is magnificent and brave. To think that he could havebeen thrown away unsettles me and I don’t think my friend would ever thinkabout it.
These horses deserve a second chance at life. A better life. Inconclusion I know that it would be impossible to stop horseracing all together becauseof the jobs it provides and money for the economy, but far too many horses diefor the sake of entertainment. It is unnecessary. To put the horse and riderslives in jeopardy is not something that should be happening.
I think, and I’msure you will agree, that the least they could do is make the course easier,put a minimum age of seven on horses competing so they aren’t too young andinexperienced, give horses that don’t make it to the tracks a second chance andgive retired horses a nice safe retirement home. We need to think about thesafety of the horses and the jockeys to prevent further bereavement.