This year Australia showed us yet again that there is an abundance of ways to enjoy Melbourne Cup Day that do not involve supporting animal abuse. And, whilst the majority of the public (and the racing industry no doubt) breathed a sigh of relief that the Melbourne Cup came and went without a horse fatality in the big race, those who follow more closely are all too aware that outside of Flemington this was sadly not the case.
In this newsletter:
Melbourne Cup Day was not fatality free
Australia on track towards making Cup Day a party FOR the animals
Squid Game outside Flemington
Derby Day winner bled as he crossed the finish line
AAMI and David Jones end all horse racing sponsorship
Australian Greens unveil transition plan to end horse racing
$1.1 million cash injection into the traceability register working group
Pregnant mares used in racing
Protest at the Warrnambool rodeo
MELBOURNE CUP DAY WAS NOT FATALITY FREE
At least three horses were killed on Australian racetracks on Melbourne Cup Day.
Whilst the Chris Waller Racing team celebrated their Melbourne Cup day win off the back of Verry Elleegant, another one of their horses was being carted dead from the course. Waller trained, six year old gelding, The Grinder, sustained a sesamoid fracture in Race 8 at Randwick and was killed. The team were posting Melbourne Cup celebration pics before his body had even gone cold.
Chris Waller has not mentioned the death anywhere on their socials. Had the death occurred in the Melbourne Cup, it would have been splashed across the headlines and Waller himself would surely have been expressing his out pouring of apparent grief.
We have also discovered two additional Cup Day deaths.
Three year old filly, Mikki Mouse suffered a fracture to her near hind tibia at the Morphettville track in SA and was subsequently killed. Racing.com edited the replay footage (see here) and the stewards report was delayed from being published until well into the following day.
At the Darwin Turf Club, five year old Daly Waters “went amiss” within 15 seconds of Race 1. He was found to be lame in both front legs and was later killed.
These horses were never given the new stringent vet checks before racing simply because the eyes of the world were not watching them. Whilst all were focused on whether a horse would die at Flemington, Mikki Mouse, The Grinder and Daly Waters deaths were ignored. At least one horse is killed on Australian racetracks every 2.5 days.
Read the full report here. This is not a Melbourne Cup issue. This is a horse racing issue.
Take the pledge to never bet on or attend a horse race here.
MEANWHILE AT FLEMINGTON…
there were concerns for second place Cup horse, Incentivise.
“He has inflammation in the near-side fetlock” managing owner Steve Tregea said. “They scanned it and didn’t see a lot but there was inflammation and fluid there and he was lame so we will see what the second scan shows.
“When you are racing horses, these things are always on the cards. It is disappointing but you just have to cop these things.”
The five year old gelding is now spelling and has been reportedly cleared of any serious injury.
Five year old mare, Tralee Rose, was taken to the U-Vet hospital after the big race with a laceration and concerns of structural damage but has since also been cleared of any serious injury. Her owner reportedly stating:
“It is gut-wrenching, she gave her all. She would have been running under duress and pain and everyone is a bit deflated.”
Persan suffered from heat stress. In Race 2, Shepard bled from the lungs to a degree that “may have afffected his racing performance” and Royal Crown pulled up with an irregular heart rhythm.
In Race 4, Lord Vladivostok was found to be lame in the right foreleg. He was beaten with the whip five times more than that allowed before the free for all beatings in the final 100 metres.
AUSTRALIA ON TRACK TOWARDS MAKING CUP DAY A PARTY FOR THE ANIMALS
People from all walks of life spoke up for animals in such a wonderful variety of ways this Melbourne Cup Day.
Check out this epic video which shows how Australia said #nuptothecup in 2021! (available here).
There were just so many #nuptothecup posts, parties and actions this year we simply did not have the time to find and include them all. We’re terribly sorry if we missed you.
The first Tuesday of November is absolutely becoming a party for the animals, rather than one at their expense. Huge love and thanks to playing your part in saying no to celebrating animal abuse by saying NUP TO THE CUP!
YOU ARE THE HORSES
If you’ve watched the hit series Squid Game on Netflix, you’ve probably already made the connection between the deadly games on the show and the real-life horrors of horse racing.
On the eve of the Melbourne Cup, CPR and PETA Australia staged a scene from Squid Game outside the gates of Flemington to demonstrate that gambling with the lives of others is wrong.
The comparison between horses and Squid Game players could not be made any clearer by the show’s writers. When viewers meet Seong Gi-hun in the first episode, he is betting on horse races. By the final scene, he realises he has become just like a horse for a group of sadistic, bored gamblers.
Much like the way participants in Squid Game are shot on the spot or fall to their deaths in the middle of games, horses used to race in the industry often collapse and die or are killed right on the track. They are not treated as living, feelings beings, but rather as objects used for the amusement and profits of those more powerful than them. The only difference is that the players on the Netflix show initially get to choose whether they want to play or not, unlike horses.
Watch our media edit here.
DERBY WINNER BLEEDS FROM THE MOUTH
Hitotsu was bleeding from his mouth as he crossed the finish line first in the Penfolds sponsored Victoria Derby 2021 at Flemington. Connections can be seen trying to hide the blood as he is paraded around the mounting yard. Watch the video here. We guess bleeding doesn’t look great for the winners pic.
Hitotsu’s tongue was tied down for the race.
A 2016 survey of Australian trainers by Findley et al. analysed 535 responses. Results:
a) 85% used tongue ties.
b) 78% replied that the most common reason for using them was to prevent the tongue moving over the bit.
c) Only 37% used ties when they suspected airway obstruction.
d) 23% reported complications after the use of ties, including lacerations, swelling, bruising and head shyness. [other studies have also observed difficulty swallowing, anxiety, ‘blue tongue’ and permanent tissue damage].
Mr Roger was also recently filmed bleeding in a race, however this was caused by exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage. Watch here.
AAMI AND DAVID JONES END ALL HORSE RACING SPONSORSHIP
Speaking of the Penfolds logo sitting behind an injured and bleeding Derby winner…
We are very excited to announce that AAMI are no longer a major sponsor of the Spring Racing Carnival! In fact, they are no longer a horse racing sponsor at all. Sadly, as you can see above, Penfolds took their place, so what once was AAMI Derby Day, is now Penfolds Derby Day.
AAMI are certainly not alone in making the right decision. Whilst the major fashion retailer won’t comment on its reasons, David Jones has confirmed with CPR that they will no longer sponsor horse racing and have not done so since being a major sponsor of the 2019 Spring Racing Carnival. This confirmation came to us just days after an article in the Australian Financial Review featured comments from the stores general manager of womenswear, footwear and accessories Bridget Veals.
“It’s not for David Jones to comment on political issues, but for a few years now we have thought of this season more in terms of occasions rather than spring racing.”
David Jones re-opened in Melbourne over the first weekend of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and though the Cup was going ahead to a reduced crowd, you wouldn’t know it from visiting the Chadstone and Bourke St stores, where there were no racing window displays as in previous years.
The article also featured once influencers, now owners and creative directors of vegan shoe brand Twoobs, sisters Stef and Jess Dadon, who did not shy away from speaking out against horse racing.
“Ninety-four per cent of our followers said they did not support the Cup,” says Jess Dadon. “But interestingly, 48 per cent said they once did – so attitudes are definitely shifting.”
While several brands contacted by The Australian Financial Review refused to speak about racing season, Jess Dadon predicts this will change soon.
“The expectation when we started in fashion was that you left your opinions at the door,” she says. “But now, customers – especially young ones – expect you to have an opinion, whether or not they agree with that. Give it a few years and every designer will be shouting this from the rooftops.”
We agree. The question is, will MYER move with the times or stick with this morally bankrupt industry that is dying a slow but certain death? Read the full article here (potential paywall, sorry)
Please consider taking a moment to thank AAMI and David Jones for their smart and compassionate decision by emailing AAMI at [email protected] and sending David Jones a message via their social media pages.
You can also take a moment to express your disappointment to Penfolds via email at [email protected] and cc their overarching company [email protected] and cc [email protected]You can also tweet them @penfolds and message them on their facebook page here.
Perhaps send them the video of Hitotsu bleeding in the Penfolds Derby whilst you let them know you will no longer purchase their wine so long as they sponsor animal abuse.
For our ’10 Reasons Why Your Brand Should Not Be Associated With Horse Racing’ and to sign our boycott pledge click here.
For more hopeful news, check out this article from The Conversation on Melbourne Cup Day on changing attitudes here.
AND IN GENERAL HORSE RACING NEWS…
AUSTRALIAN GREENS UNVEIL TRANSITION PLAN TO END HORSE RACING
“The transition plan that has been announced by the Greens consists of two steps. It involves the implementation of a horse betting levy aimed at funding the cessation of the commercial horse racing industry in Australia and the establishment of a Horse Racing Transition Taskforce.” More here.
Senator Mehreen Faruqi explained in her op-ed published by Junkee:“Our plan would establish a taskforce to manage the shutdown, and put a new one percent levy on all betting related to horse racing to fund a just transition. This levy is projected to raise $494 million over two years, and would fund transition activities such as rehoming the animals, retraining programs for workers involved in horse racing, and repurposing racetracks to be used as open green spaces with community facilities. The levy could be increased or extended depending on the activities decided by the taskforce.”
The Australian Greens have also noted the vast spaces racetracks occupy across the country and plan to see them transitioned into green spaces that provide for the entire community. More here.
Meanwhile, just days later in the NSW parliament, it was controversial for Abigail Boyd to even ask the NSW government to step in and ensure the horse racing industry enforces it’s own rules.
“In the horse racing industry, animal cruelty literally pays”, Ms Boyd said.
Watch her speech here. Thank you Abigail.
$1.1 MILLION CASH INJECTION TO TRACEABILITY
The National Horse Traceability Register, critical to improving horse welfare outcomes and horse and human safety, seems no further towards achieving its goals. A recently announced cash injection of $1.1 million is hoped to help spur it along.
It has been two years since the ‘Feasibility of a national horse traceability register for all horses’ report was published after a thorough consultation process, and twelve months since the working group to design the register was established.
“We need movement from the working group and a clear commitment to getting this register off the ground as a matter of urgency” said Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi, who spearheaded the initial inquiry. Read the full ABC article here.
EVEN BEING PREGNANT WON’T SAVE THEM FROM THE RACETRACK
The almost $1.6 million in prizemoney Sweet Deal has been used to earn for her connections was not enough to keep her off the racetrack whilst in-foal.
Sweet Deal was taken out of ‘retirement’ (that’s what they call being used as a breeding machine now), to be raced in the NSW inaugural Invitation – a $2 million race in which she placed 9th. They snuck in a race before and after that one too, resulting in her owners squeezing an additional $42,000 out of her across her three races whilst pregnant.
It is within the rules of racing to race mares up until they are 120 days in-foal.
Read the full article here.
RODEO PROTEST AT WARRNAMBOOL
Not only is Warrnambool home to one of the cruellest, most gruelling jumps races in the world, it will now play host to yet another horrid form of blatant animal abuse – the rodeo.
Bulls, horses and more will be treated in the most appalling manner in this vile form of entertainment. Sadly, horses from the racing industry also often wind up being exploited, terrified and harmed at the rodeo. Industry proponents would consider this a valid and acceptable “retirement” from the racetrack.
According to locals, the regional city in Victoria’s west has not hosted such an event in many years. Now, with $10,000 in support from the Warrnambool City Council, Warrnambool will regress to behaviour that belongs in the dark ages.If you live in the region, or can make the trip on Saturday 4 December, please stand on the right side of history and protest outside this event to help ensure the people attending know their support of such abuse is unacceptable and to see that the rodeo never returns.
A mini bus of protest attendees will be heading there from Melbourne. Please let us know if you would like to join them. Petrol contribution of $20 required. Protest details are on Facebook here. If you are not on FB please feel free to email us for more details at [email protected]
Huge love and thanks to the many caring souls who generously donated to our efforts over the Spring Racing Carnival. Your financial support allows us to continue our research, investigations, lobbying and advocacy for these beautiful beings who deserve so much better.
The task at hand is of mammoth proportions, but with passion, kindness, integrity and truth on our side, justice will eventually prevail. We’re here with you until it does