For Immediate Release, Saturday 30 January 2021
Harcourts Supports Animal Abuse – Activists Protest at the Harcourt Wellington Cup
What: Protest Harcourts and Wellington Cup Day
When: Saturday 30th January 2021 11am – 1pm
Where: Cnr Sutherland Drive and Fergusson Drive, Heretaunga, Upper Hut (outside Children First Early Childhood Centre)
Harcourts Real Estate’s support of the Wellington Cup demonstrates they are a major sponsor of animal cruelty and gambling problems, which flies in the face of the core values of their charitable arm – “people first, doing the right thing, and being courageous“.
Harcourts Foundation have been supporting charities since 2008; they state that they change lives and make dreams come true, and we are certain that this is the case for many individuals and businesses, but that should never give a free pass to also support industries whose very foundations are based on abuse and suffering.
Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) spokesperson, Frances Baker stated, “Corporate social responsibility is for progressive business models to contribute to the well-being of communities, but what about non-human animals?”
“Harcourts Foundation sponsor Wellington Racing Club, a club that will sell you the facade of glamour, whilst betting on innocent sentient beings that are forced to run for their lives, suffering from injuries or even dying horrifically on track for people’s entertainment.”
“Horse racing is considered 21st century legalised cruelty and it is losing it’s social licence. So much so, it has been on a financial decline for many years, relying on a bailout to recover from the Racing Industry Transition Agency’s $45 million debt.”
The Treasury’s own regulatory impact statement on racing industry reforms funded by taxpayers, recognises that generational change, the loss of social license and competition from other forms of entertainment, are behind the decline of the racing industry.
Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses NZ tried to reach out to Harcourts to discuss the negative impacts of horse racing but their request was rejected by the managing director stating, “I have no wish to discuss this further”.
“Despite providing information and resources to help educate and highlight the plight of a racehorse, they would rather turn a blind eye and continue supporting a so-called ‘sport’ that belongs in the history books.”
“Just because Harcourts have supported Wellington Racing Club for nearly 140 years does not mean it needs to continue, just like the other once accepted practices that have taken place in the past and are now strongly frowned upon such as the use of animals in circuses, rodeos and aquariums.”
“Last year, Park Rangers were shocked to discover their drinks were being stocked at Wellington Racing Club (an error made by their wholesale distributor) and stated, ‘We are not, and will not ever sponsor any event that is associated with animal racing’, turning down the offer of having their drinks supplied and promoted as part of the one of the club’s promotional deals for a special event.”
“Also, back in 2019 we approached a well-known company and advised them about what they were contributing to, they then cancelled their contract with Wellington Racing Club, another sign that the world is changing. Perhaps it’s time for Harcourts to reassess what they should be supporting and instead support cruelty free events instead” Ms Baker said.
The real truth about horse racing – what the industry will not tell you:
*Horses are fed concentrated diets leading to stomach ulcers.
*They display unnatural stereotypical behaviours because they are kept up to 22 hours a day in stables.
*They are forced to run for their lives, putting them in danger whilst being whipped by a human on their back, leading to heart attacks, lameness and fractures.
*Science shows us that whips hurt horses.
*Studies show that approx 90% of horses bleed deep in the lungs due to exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage.
*Horses are being unnecessarily killed on and off the track.
*Approx 3,000 horses are disappearing from the NZ horse racing industry on a yearly basis.
In 2020 we saw:
473 Occassions of excessive whip use
147 horses were fractious
263 total injuries
149 serious injuries
41 horses were found bleeding from the nostril because of being raced too hard
For More information: