UPDATE: Regal Monarch has now reportedly died after his dramatic mid-race fall at Flemington this afternoon. He’s the latest in a long line of dead horses. 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.
It’s no wonder that between July 2016 and July 2017, 137 horses died on Australian racecourses. That’s an average of more than two per week, but racing coverage glosses over the bleeding lungs, broken bones, and death. How many more fatalities will it take before we call time on this disgraceful demonstration of national senselessness?
Horse Regal Monarch has been hurt and is apparently “not well” after a dramatic mid-race fall at Flemington today – Melbourne Cup Day 2017.
Regal Monarch was loaded into a float and escorted to University of Melbourne veterinary clinic for treatment as we await more news.
People still talk about the horrors of the 2014 event, when one horse fractured a cannon bone and was killed on the track and another collapsed and died in his stall after the race. The previous year, a mare lay on the ground with a shattered leg until she was killed. But the headlines hide the extent of the carnage: between July 2016 and July 2017, 137 horses died on Australian racetracks. That’s one every 2.6 days.
Horses used for racing typically weigh more than 500 kilograms, are supported by ankles the size of a human’s, and are whipped to make them run around tracks at speeds of more than 50 kilometres per hour while carrying humans on their backs. They’re victims of an industry that is rife with drug abuse, injuries, and race fixing, and many of their careers end at the abattoir. Few of these horses are retired to pastures, because owners don’t want to pay for a horse who doesn’t bring in any money.