For Immediate Release, Tuesday 3 January 2023
Open letter to Mr James Oldring CEO Perth Racing and RAWWA Re: Racehorse fatalities in WA
Dear Mr Oldring, CEO Perth Racing
I write to you seeking clarification about comments made by yourself and RWWA chief racing integrity officer, Mr Borovica in an article published on the ABC website on Monday 2nd January 2023.
As being open and transparent has for some time been the mantra of the racing industry, we sincerely hope you will respond.
Mr. Borovica was reported to have said in an article on the ABC website and I quote, “It’s unfortunate what occurred yesterday, but we race 2,000 races a year without incident, and we raced the subsequent race without incident.”
As the chief racing integrity officer, is Mr Borovica aware that just 2 days prior to CHILI IS HOT being euthenised, KASEM was euthenised at Belmont Racecourse after sustaining a fracture? This is clearly stated in the Stewards’ Report.
As the chief racing integrity officer, shouldn’t Mr Borovica consider the death of a horse as a result of racing or training as an incident? I assume the answer is yes. I assume it would in fact be considered a serious incident. This is without even mentioning the many incidents that appear in every stewards’ reports because as you say, horseracing is a “high risk” sport.
As our spokesperson Emma Madle stated in the article, our records show that 10 horses have been confirmed as killed as a result of a racing incident at Ascot Racecourse in a little over the last year.
For the purpose of accuracy, we submit the list of horses who we have recorded as being killed and ask you to please conduct your own research and advise if there’s any inaccuracies in our data.
The 10 deaths from Ascot Racecourse are as follows:
9 October 21 BATTLE STORM
6 November 21 BOOMTASTIC
13 November 21 SHE’S GOD TO YOU
4 December 21 GRINNING RUPERT
16 December 21 POCOYO
18 December 21 EXPRESSIONIST
4 May 22 SOMETHINGREADY
8 June 22 FORTY THIEVES
12 October 22 DISEGNO
1 Jan 23 CHILI IS HOT
How is it possible that Mr Borovica was not aware of any of the above deaths and was able to claim that RAWWA conducts 2000 races without incident every year? We have not even mentioned other deaths from other racetracks in WA.
In addition to the 10 horses mentioned above, we are seeking clarification of another horse, Ruatoria who sustained a serious injury on Nov 5 2022 at York Racecourse in Race 2. Despite this, he was kept at the racetrack until the conclusion of the last race and then transported approx. 2 hours to Murray Veterinary Services Clinic. We understand he was immediately euthenised on arrival. My question is why was he not immediately euthenised at the racetrack and why was he allowed to be transported at all especially considering the gruelling pain he would have been in?
We understand that because he was taken of course, it was not required that the horse was reported as deceased in the stewards’ report. The stewards report says,
”RUATORIA (T Turner) came under pressure from the 600m and when entering the straight, faltered in its action with its rider restraining the gelding and dismounting near the 200m. RUATORIA subsequently underwent a veterinary examination which revealed a suspected injury to the near-knee and was transferred to a veterinary practice to undergo further examination…”
It seems disingenuous that a horse can sustain an injury during a race and can be removed from the racecourse without there being any record of the horse being subsequently euthenised. This has the appearance of only serving to minimise the number of horses that are recorded as race day fatalities.
In the interests of being open and transparent, what is RAWWA and Perth Racing going to do to ensure that all deaths caused by injuries sustained on the racetrack are recorded and put on public record?
The death of CHILI IS HOT was no doubt a tragedy but the biggest tragedy is, that instead of making genuine attempts to curb the injuries and deaths that plague the industry to this day, the racing industry persists in trying to cover them up.
Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses