The Cliffsofmoher has been killed after fracturing his right shoulder in the Melbourne Cup.
This is not a freak accident. He is the 5th horse to die in as many years at the Melbourne Cup.
In 2014 Admire Rakti collapsed and died in his stall after the race, and Araldo broke his leg and was euthanised. The following year Red Cadeaux shattered a leg and was killed on the track and last year, Regal Monarch died after a dramatic mid-race fall at Flemington.
How many more fatalities will it take before we call time on this disgraceful demonstration of national senselessness?
While media coverage focuses on silly hats, behind the scenes of this abusive industry, horses used for racing are made to run to the detriment of their health. Before they’ve even finished maturing, these 500-kilogram animals are forced to race at breakneck speeds while being whipped and pushed past their limits, supported on ankles as small as those of humans.
Of course, horses die at lower-profile racing events all the time: 119 were pronounced dead on Australian tracks between August 2017 and July 2018 – that’s one animal every three days.
They die of cardiac arrest, haemorrhaging, ruptured aortas, and broken necks, legs, or pelvises, and that’s without mentioning the thousands of horses bred for the industry who don’t make the grade and are abandoned, neglected, or sent to slaughter.
PETA has sent a letter to Victorian Minister for Trade and Investment Philip Dalidakis asking him to replace the Melbourne Cup Day public holiday with a day that is more respectful to animals and more representative of Australian values. Considering Australians hate cruelty to animals, commemorating a day on which horses routinely die in the Melbourne Cup is fundamentally un-Australian.