Latest Sports News

“We’re looking at thousands and thousands of deaths just to entertain people” – Animal Aid ahead of the Cheltenham Festival

With thousands of people streaming into Cheltenham this week for the 2024 festival, protestors flood the streets to relay an all-important message. 

The 2022-23 season saw 168 horse die following injuries sustained whilst on the racetracks with the most prevalent cause of death being the broken foreleg.  

For the Grand National, the 2023 event saw over 118 protestors arrested following their infiltration throughout the infamous race. 

During the competition, the harsh and shocking realities of the event unfolded – the rise in horse deaths across British racecourses since 2001 rose to a figure of more than 3,000.  

However, since then, the event is set to undergo a radical safety-related change in order to help and aid with both horse and jockey safety. 

As for the Cheltenham festival, 2023 saw the death of just one horse, Malinello, but this year, the message is still very much clear. 

Gordon from ‘Animal Aid’ was at the forefront of their message ahead of the opening race day.

“As with any animal sport, the animal doesn’t get a choice to participate or not, horse racing is particularly bad.

“You just have to look at the stats: every year in the UK alone 150 deaths take place on the racetrack and that’s just on the racetrack.

“There are the deaths that happen in the stables, deaths where the horses don’t make the grade, and many more instances.

“It’s like any athlete, you have to make the grade to be able to compete and if they don’t make the level, they need to be at then they end up at the yard.

“We’re looking at thousands and thousands of deaths just to entertain people and animals aren’t here for our entertainment”. 

Whilst many horses still make it off the course alive, they often live unhappy as Animal Aid report that every year thousands of horses who ‘don’t make the grade’ are discarded, abandoned, or even slaughtered. 

Horses bred purely for speed are usually pushed further than their natural capabilities and therefore whilst they may not counter any on field injuries, they may be more likely to suffer from heart attacks or bleeding on their lungs. 

Similarly, in some cases, legal and illegal drugs have been administered by trainers in order to help the horses run faster or even mask over the severe pain caused. 

Animal Aid reported that the jump races are ‘inherently more dangerous than flat races’ with it killing around 1 in 58 horses each year. 

The Cheltenham Festival draws in huge crowds with many viewing it as a ‘fun day out’ but very little see the harsh realities and dangerous position horses are put in for human entertainment.   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *