Query re: Cheltenham Festival Races

19 Mar 2012 20:19 #1109394546 by LynnGwyneth
Query re: Cheltenham Festival Races was created by LynnGwyneth
Dear Nat-friends,

I am a non-horsewoman, but a horse and animal lover in general. I'm a member of the ASPCA and donate money to causes supporting kindness to animals.

I'm writing because I received the following in my in-box. I don't know the background of this race, but I do know that Nat attended, as did most of England, and that it's a long-standing tradition.

They're asking for money. I don't want to create a firestorm on the board of debate, if indeed this might. So if this *is* an inflammatory post, please reply to me privately at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I love this board and site and don't want to "foul my own nest". :)

Anyhoo, here is the text I received. Could someone tell me if the organization who sent it has a hold on the right end of the stick and if they are worthy of a donation in your opinion?

"England’s Cheltenham Festival is coming under scrutiny and drawing ire from the public and animal welfare organizations after five horses were killed in only two days of racing.

Scotsirish and Garde Champetre were euthanized on the first day after fracturing legs on the flat, along with Educated Evans, who broke a leg at a fence during the final race that day. Two more horses, Featherbed Lane and Abergavenny, also suffered from broken legs the following day and were also euthanized.

Yet another horse, Wishfull Thinking, fell and crashed through the rail taking out his jockey and a photographer (video).

‘The news that five horses have now been killed in just two days of racing at Cheltenham confirms the reputation of the Festival as a bloody and unforgiving event. The race that claimed today’s two victims could easily have killed more, given the numerous alarming incidents. It featured an insanely crowded field of 28 runners, who would have found it difficult to position themselves safely when approaching the numerous obstacles. Adding to the risk was the noisy, frenetic Festival atmosphere in which the horses have to race. Cheltenham has now killed 38 horses since 2000. Calling it a sporting event is a travesty,’ according to Animal Aid.

Many believe the track was too hard due to dry weather, but officials had watered it and are claiming they had no reason to believe it was unsafe. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will be launching an investigation, but appears to be playing down the deaths.

“There is a threshold of fatalities over the year at Cheltenham that would trigger further careful analysis, but we are nowhere near that yet,” said Robin Mounsey, the BHA’s communications manager.

The RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports also spoke out about the deaths and expressed concern over the use of whips. Five jockeys were punished for using them excessively and inappropriately.

“Any death on any racecourse simply cannot be justified,” said the RSPCA’s equine consultant David Muir.

According to Animal Aid’s website Race Horse Death Watch, 804 horses have died on tracks in Britain in the last five years, which doesn’t take into account the number of horses who have died and continue to be killed in accidents off the track or are sold to whoever will take them because they’re not making anybody any money. Sadly, the death toll will continue to rise for nothing more than greed and entertainment."

Thank you for any responses, or explanations.

πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἐχῖνος δ'ἓν μέγα

Ἀρχίλοχος (c. 680 BC - c. 645 BC)

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