Regal Chamber was a mare born into the racing industry in 1994. According to the Australian Stud Book, she raced nine times, winning two of her races. The best result for her owners was a 3rd in the 1997 Golden Slipper.
She was raced only another three times before being used as a breeding mare at the age of four years old. She had not even reached maturity.
Regal Chamber produced 19 foals in 20 years, spending more than 90% of her life after racing pregnant. Every year she was forcibly mated with a stallion while at the same time having a foal at foot. Somewhere between 3-6 months of age, her foal would be taken away from her, just like she was taken away from her mother at the same age, to be trained and then raced, exploited and then discarded.
Regal Chamber is an example of what the racing industry values in a horse. She even got a considerable write up in the Winning Post. She was valued firstly for her ability on the racetrack, but more importantly, for her ability to produce progeny year after year, some of whom were very lucrative for the industry in racing and/or breeding, overall resulting in millions of dollars in prizemoney and horse sales.
She was a money making machine.
After her 19th foal was born, and at 24 years of age, she was ‘retired’ from breeding, though a much more accurate description would be she was ‘discarded’. The owners from the stud where Regal Chamber came from had four such mares needing to be re-homed. If it wasn’t for Dianna White from Lakeside Animal Sanctuary Inc. (LASI) who received these horses in poor condition, they would have been killed.
Regal Chamber lived to a considerable age for a horse but especially for a racehorse. The reason why is because she was of financial benefit to her owners.
In the 18 months that she spent at LASI, her new foster mother, Dianna White, loved and cared for her like a best friend. Regal Chamber came to her with all sorts of problems including a partial prolapsed uterus, blood infection, kidney and liver failure, chronic diarrhoea resulting in weight loss, fractured teeth with infected abysses and other health issues. In her time at LASI, her veterinary costs and health care totalled in excess of $40,000. Her previous owners paid her a surrender fee of just $1000.
Diana contacted Racing Qld for assistance, however, they said because she was a NSW racehorse she was out of their jurisdiction and they couldn’t help.
Being a NSW breeding mare, Diana then contacted Racing NSW for assistance, however, at that time, said they couldn’t help because she was now in Qld.
In the end, Regal Chamber was abandoned by everyone except Diana, who gave her the best 18 months of her life, even if she was struggling with her health. On January 12, 2021, Diana had to make the traumatising decision to relieve her. Regal Chamber was euthanised with her heartbroken carer by her side.
This is as much a tribute to all the animal rescue groups like LASI as it is to Regal Chamber, who, despite being exploited for the majority of her life, found the love and care she deserved through Diana White. Without these organisations, many thousands more horses and other animals would end up at the knackery or slaughterhouse.
CPR is now lobbying the industry to fund rescue organisations like Lakeside Animal Sanctuary Incorporated who desperately need support. Though it should never be their responsibility, so long as the racing industry breeds horses only to later discard of them, those cleaning up their mess at the very least deserve support. They are only there to serve the horse and try to give back to them what they always deserved- a decent life.
Learn more about LASI here