The man in the suit — Elio Celotto on the life of a horse racing protester

by RUSSELL JACKSON | 27 October 2016
Cross-posted from The Guardian
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As the Melbourne Cup gets under way on Tuesday, horseracing protester Elio Celotto will be enjoying a far different day of festivities to racegoers

Caslon Quote Left BlackIt’s Monday 2 November, 2015, and the intersection of Flinders and Swanston is closed off for the annual Melbourne Cup parade. The air is thick with the smell of horse manure and the abrasive, tinny sound of a budget PA system with too much treble blasting out race calls of years gone by.

Between two long barricades on Swanston Street passes a motorcade of horse trainers, jockeys and those strange celebrity “ambassadors” that Melbourne’s Spring carnival thrusts forward each year to an apparently receptive and engaged audience – the hundreds of thousands of Melburnians who pour through the gates of racecourses around Melbourne to bet, be seen and most of all it increasingly seems, get thoroughly trousered.

On one side of the crowd, which is never more than two or three spectators deep at any given point, stands a tall and elegantly-suited man of about 50. He could pass for, I think to myself, a solicitor or an accountant from a nearby building, or potentially a racing fan. He seems mildly perplexed but calm as he paces past a dozen police patrolling the festivities.

Directly parallel, outside Young and Jackson’s hotel, stands a scruffy, sunburnt man of about the same age. He’s hurling abuse. “You should be ashamed of yourselves,” he bellows across the parade at one point. I politely inquire whether I can ask him a few questions about his objections to what he’s seeing, a request he declines with a loud and almost sarcastic, “No comment,” and then, after a brief moment’s reflection, a far more emphatic “Fuck off!”

The man in the suit, I find out ofter listening to him read through a megaphone the names of 127 horses he says have died on Australian race tracks in the preceding 12 months, is Elio Celotto, a veteran horse racing protestor and the head of the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR).

A small but determined group, CPR formed in 2008 as a single issue animal rights organisation and continue to peacefully protest at major race meets, lobbying the racing industry for major reform because, they say, nobody else will. Continue reading »

Horse racing protester Elio Celotto (left) of the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses will spend Melbourne Cup day staging a peaceful protest near Flemington Racecourse. Photograph: Supplied.

Turn your back on Premarin type drugs and seek alternatives for symptoms of menopause

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as it draws to a close we urge women to please turn your backs on Premarin type drugs — tablets and cream — and seek another treatment for menopausal symptoms.

There are alternatives.

Work with your doctor to find something to help you other than drugs made from pregnant mare’s urine — for your sake as well as the innocent mares and their byproduct foals.

Crazily I have had doctors argue with me that the Premarin family of drugs are not made with conjugated equine estrogens derived from the urine of pregnant mare. The absence of the word “equine” on the packaging is proof enough for them.

Of course “equine” was removed some years ago. Yes, we heard about it and we know how and why. I assure them that the key component of the drugs taken from the estrogen rich urine of pregnant mares remains the same. End of discussion.

I share this with you in case you encounter this argument yourself whether it be with a physician trying to prescribe it to you or when trying to warn someone who is taking it.


Jane Allin put together a list of alternatives to drugs such as Premarin, Prempro, Duavee and Duavive (See also pdf version at the end of this post).

Duavee by the way is the name given to Aprela when it was approved by the FDA during the last federal government shutdown and is being peddled in Europe under the name Duavive.

We asked Jane to review her report on alternatives and give us any updates. This is what led to Jane’s recent post on Tuesday’s Horse regarding the helpful properties of rhubarb. See Breast cancer, menopause and yes, rhubarb.

This in turn launched me on a vegan rhubarb recipe hunt which you can find here. See No need to sweat menopause when you can chill with some rhubarb.

Other than that there are no notable changes.

Please keep reporting those Premarin television and magazine ads!

Thank you.

Alternatives to Drugs Made with Conjugated Equine Estrogens by Jane Allin (pdf, 7 pp)

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It’s National Mule Day

Updated 4:04 pm to add dressage video.


It’s National Mule Day. Let’s pay tribute to this multi-faceted and much used equine.

National Mule Day is recognized each year on October 26.

A mule is a hybrid cross between a male donkey and a female horse. The mule possesses the strength, intelligence, patience, perseverance, endurance, surefootedness and even temper of the donkey.

Appaloosa mare with beautiful Appaloosa mule offspring.
Appaloosa mare with beautiful Appaloosa mule offspring.

Did you know that George Washington played a significant role in the development of the mule population in America? He recognized the value of the sturdy animal in agriculture and became the first American breeder.[1]

It didn’t take long before mules found a place in the grim business of war. A mule’s hide and hooves are tougher than a horse’s, and endure heat better. They carry heavier loads for longer distances, and eat a third less than horses doing the same work. [2]

Use #NationalMuleDay to post on social media.


In the second half of the 20th century, widespread usage of mules declined in industrialized countries. The use of mules for farming and transportation of agricultural products largely gave way to modern tractors and trucks.

However, in the United States, a dedicated number of mule breeders continued the tradition as a hobby and continued breeding the great lines of American Mammoth Jacks started in the United States by George Washington with the gift from the King of Spain of two Zamorano-Leonés donkeys.

Mammoth Jack Mule. Pinterest.
Mammoth Jack Mule. Pinterest.

Hobby breeders began to utilize better mares for mule production until today’s modern saddle mule emerged. Exhibition shows where mules pulled heavy loads have now been joined with mules competing in Western and English pleasure riding, as well as dressage and show jumping competition.

First mule ever makes it to the US Dressage Finals.
First mule ever makes it to the US Dressage Finals.

There is now a cable TV show dedicated to the training of donkeys and mules. Mules, once snubbed at traditional horse shows, have been accepted for competition at the most exclusive horse shows in the world in all disciplines.

Mules are still used extensively to transport cargo in rugged roadless regions, such as the large wilderness areas of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains or the Pasayten Wilderness of northern Washington state.

Mules from Bishop Mules Day in Sierra Madre. Pinterest.
Mules from Bishop Mules Day in Sierra Madre. Pinterest.

Commercial pack mules are used recreationally, such as to supply mountaineering base camps, and also to supply trail building and maintenance crews, and backcountry footbridge building crews.

As of July 2014, there are at least sixteen commercial mule pack stations in business in the Sierra Nevada. The Angeles chapter of the Sierra Club has a Mule Pack Section that organizes hiking trips with supplies carried by mules.

Pack mules of the Himalayas.
Pack mules of the Himalayas.

Amish farmers, who reject tractors and most other modern technology for religious reasons, commonly use teams of six or eight mules to pull plows, disk harrows, and other farm equipment, though they use horses for pulling buggies on the road.

During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the United States used large numbers of mules to carry weapons and supplies over Afghanistan’s rugged terrain to the mujahideen. Use of mules by U.S. forces has continued during the War in Afghanistan (2001-present), and the United States Marine Corps has conducted an 11-day Animal Packers Course since the 1960s at its Mountain Warfare Training Center located in the Sierra Nevada near Bridgeport, California.

Mules at war. US Marine Corps training center.
Mules at war. US Marine Corps training center.

Three darling mules mug for the camera. From Photo Credit: Nardemann.

• Mammoth Jack Mule. Pinterest. See more
• Pack Mules of the Himalayas. See
• Mules from a Bishop Mules Day celebration; Bishop, California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Pinterest. See
• Mules at War. Fascinating read. See
• First ever mule makes it to US Dressage Finals. Horse Nation. See


Horse Fund launches “What civilization owes the horse” t-shirt campaign

“The history of mankind is carried on the back of a horse.”

We have long been inspired by this quote and have turned it into a t-shirt campaign to raise awareness about the relevance to mankind of the domestication of the horse.

Nigel Tallis of the British Museum wrote these words about the horse and civilization:

“For 5000 years the horse has been an ever present ally in war and peace. Civilizations have risen and fallen on their backs. Evidence of the horse’s use is seen everywhere. Yet somehow, following the increasing pace of mechanization in the 1930s, we have so quickly forgotten how indebted we are to the domestication of this magnificent animal.”

"The history of mankind is carried on the back of a horse" t-shirt campaign.
Click image to buy.

Prices start at $16.00 for a youth tee and $18.00 for an adult tee. Also available on sweatshirts and hoodies. Shop now.

Please share far and wide. Thank you.

Blog Horse Fund

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