I haven't updated for months I know, but I've meant to - there is so much going on for Sante & I right now - and its all fantastic! We're having a blast. But I want to write about something else. Something I need to get off my chest.
Its the Jumps Racing Industry in Australia.
The flats / jumps season has just started and already there four deaths and countless other falls.
Jumps racing is only legal in two states - those being Victoria and South Australia. All other states have banned it- deeming it cruelty to animals.
On Saturday Java Star suffered a burst aorta, plunged through a jump and broke his neck. He died instantly
A week earlier Squire Rex fell in the hurdle trials and was "humanely euthanised. a further two horses fell in that race.
A week previous to that Hammerblow fell in a hurdles race in South Australia
And the first death of the season happened in Victoria just overa week before that.
This is hot on the tale of RVL's promise to end jumps racing at the end of the 2009 season, only to backflip due to pressure. The wrote themselves a brand new rule book including KPI's on how many deaths / injuries etc they had to stay under within a season.
Last year they failed 2 out of 3 of those KPI's.
This year isn't looking much better, and the season has only just started.
So what't the problem with jumps racing? Why all the deaths?
Most people don't know this but trainers / breeders don't "breed" jumps racers. The jumps racers are all throw aways from the flat racing industry. Horses that have either fallen in a flats race. Or shown inferior skill, stamina and speed on the flat. So the racing industry will tell you they give them a second chance by giving them a start on the jumps track. Whereas, any logical person can see its a last ditch effort to recoup lost money on the animal. I ask you - how is it logical to put an animal with prooven inferiority of stamina, speed and skill, into a race nearly TWICE the distance of flats racing, with jumps!
The Jumps enthusiast will argue that they are doing them a favour by saving these animals from the knackery, but Australia's racing industry is responsible for sending over 18,000 horses a year to the knackery. You can't tell me their doing any favours by prolonging the life of around 200 odd flats racers to risk certain death on the jumps track. what about the other 17,800 horses their still killing? They need to come up with a better plan me thinks!
The Jumps enthusiast will argue that horses LOVE to jump, its what they're DESIGNED for. Its not actually. Horses aren't designed to jump. They are the only jumping animal with eyes on the sides of their heads. They cannot see the jumps infront of them. Showjumping & Cross country is different - the speeds are slower, they have time to sight the jump - and the injury rate in these sports is comparitavely low.
Jumps Racing horses run at a jump at a flat gallop, with a rider who is whipping it. The horse is in full flight or fight mode - he's surrounded by up to 8 other horses all galloping, and any rider who has been on a group ride when one horse starts to run, knows the herd mentality is to keep up. Horses don't race because they love it. They race because all the other horses are, and their instinct tells them there is danger - don't be last!"
The jumps enthusiast will tell you the fact that horses lose a rider and continue to jump the jumps race without the rider is evidence of the fact they love to jump. This is not the case. They continue to jump in a blind effort to keep up with the herd and their perceived safety. There is a video on youtube of a horse falling, breaking both its legs and continueing to TRY to run after the other horses. This horse loves jumping? I don't think so?
People TELL themselves horses love to do this so they can sleep at night. So it makes them feel better.
While we're on it - let talk about whipping. Racing Victoria will tell you there is nothing wrong with whipping, that the horses can't feel pain from the padded whip. We are talking about animals that are so increadibly sensative, they can feel a single fly land on their back. A single fly. And RVL want to tell us that they cannot feel pain from a jockey whipping them absolutely full throttle with everything he's got? The stupidity of these people is astounding.
Moving onto the injuries. In a 15 year study FUNDED by racing victoria. It was found that jumps racing horses were 18 times more likely to suffer a catastrophic injury resulting in their death They were 120 times more likely to suffer a fatal cranial or neck injury, and they were 3.5 times more likely to die of sudden death (heart attack etc) than any flats racing horse.
Those numbers are disturbing. And yet, Jumps Racing continues.
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