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Five Horses Killed in Two Days of Cheltenham "Festival"

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Five Horses Killed in Two Days of Cheltenham "Festival"

[Ed. Note: Watch Horse Racing: Behind the Glamour.]

From League of Cruel Sports
March 2012

The League has welcomed news that a full enquiry will be held following the alarmingly high number of deaths at this year’s Cheltenham Festival (UK) but describes the move as “too little too late”.

The League’s chief executive Joe Duckworth said: "This is the equivalent of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Obviously we are relieved action is being taken but it really is too little too late. Something is seriously wrong when an event has five fatalities in such a short time”.

The British Horseracing Association is to launch an investigation which will see the course’s safety and incident management come under close scrutiny.

The latest fatalities brings Cheltenham’s death toll to 21 in the past six years.

Joe Duckworth added: “It is desperately sad and we hope drastic changes will be made to prevent a repeat of this in future years.”

Scotsirish and Garde Champetre were euthanized on the first day after fracturing legs on the flat, along with Educated Evans, who broke a leg at a fence during the final race that day. Two more horses, Featherbed Lane and Abergavenny, also suffered from broken legs the following day and were also euthanized.

Yet another horse, Wishfull Thinking, fell and crashed through the rail taking out his jockey and a photographer.