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

Posted by on March 1, 2016 | Permalink

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.