RIP, Copper Gone West: First Victim of Cheltenham 2020

Posted by on March 12, 2020 | Permalink

Copper Gone West is the first horse to die at the Cheltenham Festival this year, following a fatal injury.


More deaths are likely to follow, as horses used for racing commonly die of fatal injuries such as broken backs or are killed after sustaining broken legs.

At last year’s despicable event, three horses lost their lives on the deliberately hazardous racecourse.

How Horses Suffer in Racing

Horses bred for greed and speed are pushed beyond their natural abilities and forced to run at breakneck pace. Those who don’t sustain horrific injuries on the track may suffer heart attacks, bleed from their lungs, or develop painful ulcers and other health problems that come from being pushed to their breaking point for human amusement.

In some cases, drugs – both legal and illegal – have been administered by trainers and even veterinarians to mask pain so that horses who should be recuperating can instead be forced to run with injuries, making them worse.

A Survivor’s ‘Life’ After Racing

Even those who make it off the track alive are unlikely to live happily ever after. Every year, thousands of horses – including spent Thoroughbreds and those who don’t “make the grade” – are discarded like used betting slips.

They’re abandoned, neglected, or sold for slaughter, their flesh ending up either in dog or cat food or as “prime cuts” for human consumption in Europe and Asia.

What You Can Do

Cheltenham isn’t alone when it comes to exploiting horses – approximately 200 of them die on racecourses across the UK every year. Spread the word about this deadly spectacle.