What Happened to This Retired Racehorse Shows What’s Wrong With Racing

Posted by 9 months ago | Permalink | Comments (15)

In a shocking case of neglect, Hope was found in a field in Wales, barely standing, emaciated and covered with sores.

In former years, Thoroughbred horse Hope had been used as a professional racehorse and competed in 43 races in the UK and Ireland. In fact, she’d been a champion, winning three races and placing in eight.

But after she stopped being used for racing in 2014, rather than enjoying the happy retirement that many people imagine awaits ex-racehorses, she was left to starve in a field. When she was found and taken in by The Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies, she was so weak and lame that she couldn’t even walk to the water trough. She had a badly infected foot, was covered with raw infected sores from rain scald and was so thin that her bones were protruding. Her condition was so critical that she had to be put down a few days after being rescued.

Hope’s story is heartbreaking. However, it reveals a wider truth about the racing industry, which breeds animals for a single purpose – making money – and routinely dumps even the most “successful” of them as soon as they’re no longer profitable. If these horses don’t end up forgotten and languishing in a lonely field like Hope, it’s likely they’ll be killed and turned into dog food or horsemeat, either here in the UK or exported on a gruelling journey to a continental slaughterhouse.

Of course, many racehorses don’t even survive that long, as they die from gut-wrenching injuries on the track or are jettisoned before they’re even fully grown if they’re not deemed speedy enough.

With the Grand National on the horizon, please share Hope’s story and spread the word that horse racing is an exploitative and often deadly “sport” that nobody who cares about animals should support.


  • Janie commented on March 1, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Big, big shame on the horse-racing industry ++ Racing itself fuels “gambling” and “addiction” – which is a destructive vice ++ But also that which they are doing to those horses involved – after utilising them to the utmost, for the purpose they want, and then just dumping and discarding them to the elements to die – This is so disgusting and criminal ++ And they should definitely be brought to justice.

  • Anna Mcknight commented on March 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    The problem is so widespread – not just with retired racehorses. Why do people go on breeding just to starve the horse later? Ot to send them to the knackers yard in dreadful condition with no meat on them?

    • David Griffith commented on March 2, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      The Government must put a tax on betting to cover these animals that are thrown away when their days of producing profits fade.

  • Tracey Wiener commented on March 2, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I am disgusted! How could some one do that to that beautiful amimal??

    • T. Ramachandran commented on March 19, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      The Racing Industry is so cruel not only to the horses
      but also to the Human Society. It promotes gambling
      addiction and destroys family values.
      Horse Racing should be banned in the U.K.
      in order to protect the families.

  • Mila Counihan commented on March 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    And I thought the British love animals :-O 🙁 Now I read about all horrible things as fox hunting, badger cull, etc. etc.

  • Denise Salmon commented on March 2, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Ban the grand national and make tougher laws for fat cat owners of the poor horses involved in this cruel so called sport.

  • Jean Gilliard commented on March 2, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Proving once again they ARE NOT animal lovers, they only lust for the money the animal can bring them.

    • bunker commented on March 3, 2016 at 11:50 am

      true so so true

  • Jean bishop commented on March 3, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    So very sad to read about this beautiful horse being treated so appaullingly and suffering after giving her best to her owners this is a criminal thing to do to her..there is no justice for these horses it’s all about the money they can make shame on all those in this cruel business this government should make the owners resposible for taking care of these beautiful animals shame on you who did this to her….

    • Tracey Sharp commented on March 19, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      It’s often not the race owners that do this but the horses are sold on to someone else

  • Sharon N commented on March 19, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Donate to the Race Horse Sanctuary to help retired racehorses. http://www.racehorsesanctuary.org

  • Tracey Sharp commented on March 19, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    But was it the race yard that left her like this, I doubt it, she was probably sold on to a new owner who didn’t look after her, that’s not the fault of the race yard

  • Trina owen commented on March 20, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I have a flutter myself but I am shocked at what I have just read I really thought the trainers and the jockeys cared about these horses the way they go on about them after they win a race I actually backed long dog and heartbroken to hear the horse passed away something needs to bensure done about the danger of the racetrack and poor hope it’s disgusting how she was treated and as for ruby Walsh I will not be following him anymore

  • Mansura commented on March 22, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Please end this cruelty 🙁

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