This is Wichita.
Irish-born horse, Wichita, was killed at Victoria’s Macedon Lodge on the 23rd of October after sustaining an injury to his hind leg. He was in rehabilitation for a fracture he suffered in Werribee trackwork.
In his three years, Wichita had been forced into nine different races that earned his owners over $400,000. This involved being shipped from Ireland to England, France and finally Australia. He was expected to race in the Catalana Stakes at Flemington before receiving his fatal injury.
Further to the death of Wichita, another four race horses were killed on the racetrack within the same one week period, in Victoria alone.
Hadley was killed at Benalla on the 23rd of October after his very first race. Stewards reports simply state the 4 year old gelding had ‘sustained a serious racing injury and was humanely euthanized’. Hadley’s total winning was $0.
Elite Princess was killed at St Arnaud on the 25th of October. Although racings database have the date incorrect and have her death listed on the 29th of October. She was only 5 years old, winning a total of $12,612.
Super Girl was killed after her race in Bendigo on the 28th of October after suffering a severe injury to her near foreleg. The mare is still listed as ‘active’ on racings database. She was only 6 years old with a total prize money of $170,335.
6 year old gelding, Involved, was also killed during a track injury which was first reported in the article discussing Wichita’s death on October 23rd. His total winnings were $42,729. It is not required for the industry to list training and track work deaths.
This is one state in one week.
It is also worth pointing out: Aiden O’Brien was trainer of both Wichita and the most recent Melbourne Cup victim Anthony Van Dyck. He was also the trainer of Cliffsofmoher, who was killed in the 2018 Melbourne Cup. Even still, he stated just hours after this years’ cup death “We’ll always be back, we’re bringing more horses here every year. Eventually they won’t have much room for us if we keep bringing them.”
If you’d like to know ways you can help out more, see 10+1 Ways You Can Help Horses During A Covid-19 Spring Carnival.
Cover image from MAURIZIO CATTELAN exhibition 2013