Photos: Melbourne Cup Protesters Recreate ‘Squid Game’ Scene Outside Flemington

PETA and Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses Collaborate to Protest Against Melbourne Cup

Melbourne – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has joined forces with the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) today to protest against the Melbourne Cup. A group of protesters created a “bloody” Squid Game–themed scene outside the gates of Flemington, carrying signs reading, “You Are the Horses” and “We Gamble on Your Lives”, drawing a link between the plot of the series and the way in which horses are treated in the cruel horse-racing industry.

Photos and video of the demonstration are available here.

“In Squid Game, the participants’ lives are gambled on, but at least they get to choose whether they want to play or not,” says PETA Campaigns Advisor Mimi Bekhechi. “Horses used in the Melbourne Cup are forced to race, whipped to the finish line, and discarded when no longer profitable.”

Eight horses have died at Melbourne Cup day alone over the past nine years. Last year’s victim was Anthony Van Dyck, who was killed after fracturing his fetlock during the race. In 2018, 5-year-old Irish Thoroughbred The Cliffsofmoher fell badly, breaking his shoulder. He was killed shortly thereafter. Other horses who died include Rose of Peace in 2012, Verema in 2013, Admire Rakti and Araldo in 2014, Red Cadeaux in 2015, and Regal Monarch in 2017.

“Much like the way participants in Squid Game are shot on the spot or fall to their deaths in the middle of games, horses used to race in the industry often collapse and die or are taken off to the side and killed right on the track,” says CPR Communications Director Kristin Leigh. “They are not treated as living, feelings beings, but rather as objects used for the amusement and profits of those more powerful than them.”

According to CPR’s Death Watch, 149 horses died on Australian tracks between August 2020 and July 2021 – that’s one every two and a half days.

A 2019 PETA exposé found Australian horses sold to the South Korean racing industry being slaughtered for meat. Even a foal fathered by the stallion Street Cry – who sired Australian racing legend Winx – was killed for meat in South Korea.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – recently filed criminal charges in the Magistrates Court of Tasmania, alleging that the whipping of horses at Tasmanian racecourses violates the state’s animal welfare laws.

For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.