A Day at the Races in Australia can mean many things for many people. For the punters, it can be anything from a relaxed social outing to a drunken stupor. From enjoying watching horses be beaten around the track, to being bored AF. From having a minor flutter, or cracking a huge win, to losing everything you own.
A Day at the Races can also mean many things for the horses who are forced to participate. But none of them are good.
One such day is Saturday 18 March 2023 – just for example.
BANTAMWEIGHT reared and fell over in the parade ring.
ODIN OMEN reared behind the barriers, fell backward and struck his head on the turf (reportedly reacting to the cross-over nose band).
HEAR ME OUT reared while being forced into the barriers, hit the outside rail and dislodged his rider.
Nine jockeys rode their horses so carelessly they were reprimanded or suspended.
Fourteen horses finished the race noticeably lame to varying degrees.
Four horses suffered lacerations to their legs
Nineteen horses were “over” whipped to varying degrees
TAKING STEPS coughed up blood after the race
NASHIRA had blood in his mouth
Eleven horses suffered heat stress (several were noted to be affected by the heat pre-race but were still forced to race before succumbing to the terrifying condition).
LAWS OF INDICES was noted to have suffered a ‘degree’ of EIPH (bleeding in the lungs)
Another three horses bled so badly from their lungs it came out both of their nostrils (EIPH grade 4).
At least one horse suffered from dehydration.
MR CASHMAN was found to have a wound above his right eye so was prevented from racing
NOKONDI hit the running rail and returned lame in two legs.
BANJO SHARK hit the running rail, fell and suffered abrasions to all four legs.
GINAN was found to have a tongue laceration but was still made to race (with the exemption of not having to wear a tongue-tie).
Seven horses displayed a poor race recovery
BELLA DAYS was noted to have suffered “multiple abrasions”.
IN THE BOAT sustained wounds to his fetlock and heel.
Two horses displayed irregular heart rhythm.
MINTO D’ORO suffered severe muscle cramps.
Ten horses dislodged their riders,
Two horses died.
Rest in Peace Lockitineddy – the three-year-old whose pelvis broke in his first ever race, and Florescent Star – who clipped the heels of another horse and fell resulting in her being killed on the track.
Of additional important mention, on this day in Race 8 at Rosehill NSW, filly LEARNING TO FLY was being raced for the fourth time since turning two years old just six months ago. She was reported to have been “restless” in the barrier and reared on several occasions. Whilst being raced she struck the heels of another horse, blundered badly, lost her rider and ran riderless – chasing the herd for the remainder of the race. She is now reported to be severely injured.
They and every other horse raced that day suffered fear, pain and stress.