Animals Australia re-issued its appeal to Victorian Premier Baillieu to end jumps racing in light of serious injuries inflicted on spectators at the Warrnambool races yesterday when a horse who had lost his jockey jumped a 2-metre high fence into a crowd.
Glenys Oogjes, Executive Director of Animals Australia said today, "Graphic images from yesterday's incident shows the Grand Annual Steeple, the feature race of the carnival, in disarray. It is hard to fathom how the Baillieu Government cannot see the blindingly obvious: jumps racing is a deadly and dangerous bloodsport. This preventable accident demonstrated again that jumps racing not only puts horses at unacceptable risk, but also jockeys and even spectators.
"It is shameful that consecutive governments have left the future of jumps racing within the complete control of the racing industry despite this being an issue of enormous community concern. I now implore the Premier to step in and bring this legalised and public cruelty to an end before more preventable injuries and deaths occur." Ms Oogjes concluded.
Five of the original eight horses failed to finish the Grand Annual Steeple race due to falls or losing their jockeys before the halfway mark, and only two horses completed the grueling 5.5km course. Banna Strand lost his rider early in the race and bolted around the track and then over a perimeter fence into the crowd -- injuring seven people.
This terrible incident followed the death of 'Shine the Armour' after the 6 year old horse broke his neck in the first race of the 3-day racing carnival on Tuesday.
Print-resolution photos enclosed, or download from:
Animated photographic sequence: http://vimeo.com/23305315
All vision to be credited: Animals Australia
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