Second horse destroyed just two weeks into jumps racing season
Just two weeks since the jumps racing season started, 10-year-old gelding Virvacity endured a fatal fall breaking his shoulder and was later destroyed on Saturday at the annual Easter race meeting at Oakbank in South Australia. This tragic death further highlights the dangers of jumps racing.
“The only way to stop these terrible fatalities is to ban jumps racing outright,” said Verna Simpson, HSI Director. “The risks can never be eliminated because forcing horses to jump fences at high speed is simply dangerous. HSI wants to see an immediate ban to protect these animals from further carnage.”
It was reported that another horse fell during the Great Easter Steeplechase event yesterday and was not immediately destroyed, but it was feared that the horse may be put down later. The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses stated that 11 of the horses to race yesterday had also raced on Saturday. The Coalition remarked how it was reprehensible that the racing industry allows these fatigued racehorses to compete in two major races in just three days.
Whilst the abhorrent cruelty of jumps racing has been recognised in most States causing them to make it illegal, South Australia and Victoria are the only remaining States where the sport is still permitted. Race officials argue that they do everything to make sure they have the safest possible race, but this is clearly not enough. The fact that there is such a high risk of death or injury to the horses alone should warrant an immediate ban.
The 2012 jumps racing season has already seen two deaths:
- Jotilla failed to clear a jump during the first race of the season at Sandown in Melbourne and was destroyed afterwards on 28 March 2012.
- Virvacity was destroyed after falling and breaking his shoulder at the Oakbank Easter racing carnival on 7 April 2012.