There’s been a lot of coverage of jumps racing this week with the dramatic events at Warrnambool where a horse that had lost its rider landed on spectators after it leapt over a fence (that had been erected to stop loose horses getting out onto the road). Seven people were taken to hospital, with the most seriously injured including an 80 year old woman, a twelve year old and a two year old child. Six of the eight horses lost their riders and failed to complete the course, several of them brought down by other horses that had fallen.
Watch the ABC’s excellent story on jumps racing, it includes footage of the accident from in the crowd, as well as interviews with key figures in the debate, including the trainer of the horse that won the Grand Annual, Elio Celotto from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses and Bill Saunders from the Racehorse Outplacement Program. Click here to watch the video “Jumps Furore”.
Some have been calling this an unprecedented and freakish event, as if no-one could have predicted that a loose horse would jump over that fence. However, it has been pointed out on the Ban Jumps Racing Facebook page that only a year ago a horse called Toulouse Lautrec jumped over a six foot cylone fence after losing the jockey. Here’s a quote from this article on the Virtual Formguide:
“…Toulouse Lautrec continued on, jumped over the outside running rail as well as a six foot high cyclone fence and took off outside the course.
Warrnambool Racing Club chief executive John Green said Toulouse Lautrec was caught three minutes or so later “heading towards Gateway Plaza” but there wasn’t a mark on him.”
Video interviews with two of the key people keeping jumps racing going:
- Interview with Victoria’s Racing Minister, and member for Warrnambool, Dennis Napthine
- Interview with Chief Executive of Racing Victoria, Rob Hines
What you can do if you support the campaign to ban jumps racing:
- Email a letter to four key people in one easy step on the Animals Australia website (The Hon Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria, The Hon Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia, Dr Denis Napthine, VIC Minister for Racing, Tom Kenyon, SA Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing)
- Read the list of articles and vote in the polls on this page from Animals Australia
- Like the Ban Jumps Racing Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter to be kept up to date