Racing critics told to get off high horses

admin | 杭州桑拿
4 Dec 2018

ANIMAL LOVER: Willow Park Stud owner Glenn Burrows. Picture: Simone De PeakTHE backlash over the death of Melbourne Cup horses Admire Rakti and Araldo has shaken the Upper Hunter horse industry.

Willow Park Stud owner Glenn Burrows – a horseman of almost 35 years who lives and breathes thoroughbreds – has sympathised with the shattered teams who cared for the horses, and gone into bat for the industry saying that ‘‘no one wanted to see anything bad happen to them’’.

Cup favourite Admire Rakti ran last in the race and died afterwards in her stall of acute heart failure.

Araldo was spooked by a punter waving an Australian flag and became entangled in a fence, shattering his pastern bone.

Mr Burrows is ‘‘disgusted with the attitude of some people’’ who are lashing out at the industry and claiming that it is full of cruelty and animals that are mistreated.

He said the negative comments on social media showed the people who wrote them obviously ‘‘knew so little about the whole industry’’.

‘‘They are just blindly having these radical comments without any foundation,’’ Mr Burrows said.

‘‘If they fully understood the industry, then fine, have an opinion. But until such time, shut up.

‘‘The horse industry is not a job, it’s a lifestyle – because so much time and effort goes into it.

‘‘A lot of the staff I’ve got here are on very average money and they’re doing it for the love of the animals.’’

ANIMAL LOVER: Willow Park Stud owner Glenn Burrows. Picture: Simone De Peak

Mr Burrows left school at 16 to work in the industry after becoming ‘‘besotted with horses’’ and said he would love to live the life of a racehorse.

‘‘If I died and got the chance to come back, I’d love to come back as a thoroughbred racehorse because we care and love them so much 24 hours a day, seven days a week,’’ he said.

Australian Racing Board chief executive Peter McGauran agreed the tragic deaths ‘‘understandably raised questions in the wider community’’. But assuming the annual death rate was 125, as claimed by the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, the fatality ratio was only 0.07per cent out of 189,259 starters in 19,511 races.

He said the fatalities were ‘‘unpredictable despite the care of stable veterinarians and regulatory veterinarians on duty at every race meeting in Australia’’.

And most autopsies found there was ‘‘no detectable pre-existing condition’’.

He said the industry was ‘‘amongst the most regulated and accountable industries’’ in the country and the board was ‘‘proud of our animal welfare standards’’.

The coalition protested at Flemington after the deaths, saying the industry had extensive animal welfare problems.

It has launched a ‘‘Horse Racing Kills Campaign’’ to highlight its position and called for two-year-old racing and whip use to be banned.

It reminded punters that the two deaths on Tuesday followed that of Melbourne Cup runner Verema, who died after last year’s race.

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