Members statement: Jumps racing


Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan)  — Jumps racing has delivered another horrific scenario, at the Mosstrooper steeplechase race day in Bendigo on Sunday. In a program of six events, seven horses fell — five in the first two events. Twelve horses did not make it to the end of their 3-kilometre-plus events. Something to Share did not make it out alive. The stewards report of race 6 states that the gelding made a 'faulty' jump at the 12th obstacle, suffered a catastrophic injury and was 'humanely euthanised'. Rider Braidon Small will require a medical clearance before riding again. The stewards report of the same race states that King Kamada was 'bought down' by the fallen Something to Share. A vet examination revealed the gelding to have blood in both nostrils that was attributable to trauma. Rider Lee Horner was reportedly heavily concussed. All in all, 14 horses were injured — five described as lame, two with blood in the nostrils, one with a pulmonary haemorrhage and others with a range of injuries. All were referred for veterinary clearance. How many will never be seen again? Seventeen horses were referred to the jumps review panel, including Something to Share.

The debacle at Bendigo prompted claims from trainers and others that Racing Victoria (RV) had put the health and safety of horses at risk because of the hard track conditions. One trainer said that he had warned RV two weeks before that the track was too firm. He believes that Racing Victoria is accountable for the casualties, and so do I. Once again it has put profits before animal welfare. It ignored advice that the track was unsuitable for jumps racing, and it failed to act on the day. It was obvious after the first two races that the jumps event should have been cancelled, but four more races followed, the last resulting in the death of Something to Share.