Target: Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia; Dr. Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria
Goal: End dangerous horse racing in Victoria and South Australia
The first casualty of the 2013 horse ‘jumps’ racing season occurred last week. A veteran horse, Scenic Buzz, was killed by owners at the Australian Sandown race after falling on his neck. The horse took the fall at the course’s very last hurdle.
‘Jumps’ racing involves trained horses jumping over three-feet high hurdles at racing speed. Experts say it is many times more dangerous than regular horse racing, which is already a controversial sport due to harm and injury caused to racing animals. Horses are terribly injured each year in jumps racing, and most of the badly hurt animals are killed. Nearly 20 horses died as a result of jumps racing injuries in the combined 2011 and 2012 seasons.
In South Australia and Victoria, where this type of racing is still common, there is an ‘allowable death quota’ for jumps racing horses. According to officials, the sustainable death rate for jumps racing is 15 times higher than that of flat horse racing.
Activists decry racing supporters who claim that horses enjoy jumping. In fact, jumping horses endure forced life-long training in preparation for competition. Animal rights advocates note that horses must rarely jump hurdles in the wild, and their bodies are not made to do so. This makes injuries on jumps courses unsurprising. Urge leaders in Victoria and South Australia to end the cruel practice of jumps racing.
Dear Mr. Premier,
The first horse to die this season in horse ‘jumps’ racing was Scenic Buzz at the Sandown track. Scenic Buzz was a veteran jumping horse and was killed after falling on his neck at the last hurdle of the race. Jumps racing is many times more dangerous than flat horse racing, which is already a controversial sport among animal rights advocates. Jumping horses are forced to hurdle meter-high fences, and many terrible injuries occur each year resulting in the deaths of several horses. Over the last two seasons, nearly 20 jumps racing horses have died on Australia’s tracks.
Nonetheless, jumps racing is still popular in Victoria and South Australia. Leaders must realize that this is an arcane and cruel way to treat animals, and horse jumping must end. Currently, leaders allow a certain ‘death quota’ within the sport, one that is much higher than that of flat racing horses. The idea that there is an excusable death quota for intelligent, loyal animals must end as well. I urge you to outlaw jumps racing in Australia.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: carterse via Flickr