Melbourne Cup remains controversial

The Melbourne Cup is an annual horse race first held in 1861. It is the most important Australian Thoroughbred race of the year and according to many, and one of the most prestigious races in the world.

“The Melbourne Cup’s reputation may be a little scratched but plenty of Australians still like to give it a trot,” writes the Guardian. “Attendances at meetings have been dwindling and fewer Australians are gambling on horse races – but those still having a punt are spending more.”

Animal rights protesters targeted the Melbourne again this year, joined — inexplicably — by anti-lockdown activists.

Seven horses killed in past six years

There have been seven horse deaths in the past six years at the big race, prompting Racing Victoria to introduce new safety measures. That equates to one death every 2.5 days.

According to the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses‘ annual report, at least 149 horses died on Australian racetracks between August 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021, alone, with the most common cause being a catastrophic injury to the front legs.  Note: We do not like the use of the word died. A horse was killed. To say he died makes it sound like it was the horse’s fault, or choice.

In an article in The Conversation, Dr. Alex Russell points to an analysis of Melbourne Cup tweets from last year that had #nuptothecup, #horseracingkills and #animalcruelty in the top 10.


Official Blog of the Fund for Horses

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