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Two Horses Die On National Jumps Day

MEDIA RELEASE

30 September, 2013

Two Horses Die On National Jumps Day

Two horses died amongst chaos yesterday at the National Jumps Day (29 September, Waikato), in the last races of the jumps season. The deaths brought the total to nine horse deaths in 2013, surpassing last year’s total, and animal advocacy group SAFE says it is a cruel entertainment. 

YANGMING, a 7 year old gelding, in the Rioch Hurdles, and ROBERTY BOB, a 10 year old gelding, in the Porritt Sand
Steeplechase, both suffered fractures in separate races and were put down.

SAFE says there is nothing to celebrate on Jumps Day. “This year’s toll  averages almost two deaths a month and is a side of jumps racing that punters do not see when placing a bet,” says campaign director Eliot Pryor. “The industry does not want to talk about the casualties that occur in jumps races every year. These deaths are an inevitable part of this so-called sport. It is not a question of ‘if’, but a question of ‘how many’. This is the cruelty of jumps racing.”

Horse injuries leading to euthanasia vary from burst arteries to fractured legs and spines. This year, one horse, Post Online, a five year old gelding, fell and suffered a suspected spinal injury. Another, Suspend Me, hit a fence and fractured an off-front elbow.

SAFE has monitored the casualty rate of the 2013 season and notified sponsors when horses have died in the race they sponsored. “We are confident most businesses would not wish to associate their brand with an event that kills horses.”

The death rate is only one indication of suffering, as in every race there is the chance of falls resulting in serious injuries. “A jumps race is a licence for animal cruelty,” says Mr Pryor.

The New Zealand jumps season runs from May to September. Jumps racing has a much higher rate of deaths and injuries than flat racing because the horses are pushed to leap barriers at high speed, something they would not do naturally.

The high death rate this year is a reminder of the cruelty inherent in jumps racing and SAFE, as well as urging the public to boycott events, will be demanding that the Minister for Racing, Nathan Guy, suspend this so-called sport in 2014.


Note for editors:
Death rate in New Zealand Jumps Racing season 2013
Rioch Hurdles, Waikato, 30 September  
YANGMING: Fell heavily at the third to last fence, euthanised after suffering a fractured left shoulder. 

Porrit Sand Steeplechase, Waikato, 30 September 
ROBERTY BOB: Jumped poorly at the fence near the 800 metres dislodging rider, found to have fractured
the left elbow in this incident and euthanised.

Karaka Demons Hurdle, Ellerslie, 24 August
THE MISSING LINK: Landed awkwardly after jumping the fence near the 700 metres. Fractured the right shoulder and  euthanised.

Phil's Motorcycles Hurdles, Te Aroha, 9 August
TED'LL DO: Faltered on landing when jumping the fence approaching the 1000 metres. Fractured  near hind leg and euthanised.

Phil's Motorcycles Hurdles, Te Aroha, 9 August
ST PICASSO: Misjudged the fourth fence and fell. Euthanised after bursting an artery.

Martin Bosley Restaurant Hurdles, Wellington, 13 July
SUSPEND ME: After hitting the fence near the 1400 metres fractured the off-front elbow and euthanised.

Business Houses Hurdle, Marton, 6 July
POST ONLINE:  Fell after jumping the second-to last-fence and suffered a suspected spinal injury. Euthanised.

LJ Hooker Steeple, Manawatu, 15 June
ISSYOSLER: Failed to rise at the fence near the 1400m. Sustained a severe injury to near-side shoulder and was euthanised.  

Warrnambool, Australia,  14 June
MIKIYAMA (NZ): Jumped awkwardly and fell. Vet exam revealed muscle tear and the horse was euthanised the following day.

Grant Plumbing Hurdles,Trentham, 8 June
BLAME ME: Fell badly and suffered injuries to the right fore-shoulder. Euthanised.

ENDS

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