Jet’s story is an all too common one. It is a devastating one and a clear reflection of an industry and a system that continues to fail animals.
Jet was raced for less than three years – the average for a thoroughbred racehorse. He won over $40,000 for his owners across NSW country racetracks including Muswellbrook, Gosford, Bathurst, Tamworth, Wyong and Scone.
Once his owners and trainer were done with him he was officially ‘retired’ from racing and rehomed – at which point the racing authority, his trainer and his owners absolved themselves of any ongoing responsibility or concern for his life and his care.
Between 2013 and 2020 he had three different owners. We don’t know how Jet was treated throughout this time or what his life was like, until he was passed to a fourth owner in mid 2020. By March 2021 the RSPCA had stepped in due to Jet’s poor condition and placed the then sixteen year old on a monitoring system and feeding regime.
One year later, Jet was rescued by Hunter Horse Haven. The images they took tell the story of just how well the RSPCA monitoring system worked for Jet. He was starving, was eating his own faeces and had even eaten parts of a fence.
Over fifteen long days and nights Jet was given round the clock monitoring, tests, veterinary guidance, small three hourly feeds, and an abundance and love and care. His carers slept by his side in his barn every night. But it was not enough to reverse the damage that was done. Jet’s heart gave out on the morning of May 1, 2022 and he was put to rest.
Jet’s last owner failed him. The RSPCA failed him. And the racing industry failed him.
Whilst Jet may have been ‘retired’ from the racing industry some years ago, this does not negate them of responsibility. Racing breeds approximately 13,000 thoroughbreds each year and expects the Australian public to take responsibility for almost all of them once racing has used them up and spat them out. Jet made over $40,000 for his owners and still, his life ended as a starved horse, who was only a shadow of himself. So long as the racing industry’s business model is one of breed, use, abuse and discard we will continue to see such suffering. It’s just not good enough.
Thoroughbred racing turned over $29 billion in wagering alone last year. Over $800 million was paid out in prizemoney. Yet thousands of horses still end up either killed or neglected. Meanwhile, the National Horse Traceability Register that Australians were promised has turned into an absolute farce (more on that soon).
Please TAKE ACTION now, for Jet and so many others in five easy steps:
1. Take the pledge to never bet on or attend a horse race again here.
2. Demand an Independent Office of Animal Protection that can adequately address animal suffering – something the RSPCA have proven time and time again they cannot. Sign here.
3. Send your love and gratitude to Hunter Horse Haven Inc. Rehabilitation, Rehoming & Sanctuary by making a donation to their work for horses here.
4. We need politicians who care about animals above the profits of animal abuse industries. Remember this at the polling booth.
5. Share his story