Cheltenham Death Toll Rises to Four Horses
Four horses have lost their lives at Cheltenham this year. Consul De Thaix, a 5-year-old gelding, was the first to die after being put down following a fall on Wednesday afternoon. Toe The Line, an 8-year-old mare, and Hadrian’s Approach, a 10-year-old gelding, were both put down on Thursday evening. Current Event, another 10-year-old gelding , suffered a tendon injury and was put down on Friday.
— Irish Sun Sport (@IrishSunSport) March 15, 2017
These four fatalities add to Cheltenham’s ever-staggering death toll – which in 2016 rose to a 10-year high. According to Race Horse Death Watch, last year saw seven horses lose their lives on this intentionally treacherous course, and a further three died later in the year from injuries sustained at the festival, bringing the total to 10.
Of course, even those who make it off the track alive don’t always live happily ever after. When they get too old or stop performing well enough to be profitable, they’re often “retired” and sent to slaughter. Animal Aid estimates that around 1,000 horses from the racing industry are killed in abattoirs in Britain every year and turned into dog food or cheap meat. Others face horrific live-export journeys to Europe.