15,000 horses are bred every year, between Ireland and the U.K., for the racing industry.
Only a third of these horses make it on to become racers - hundreds of whom actually die, or are killed, during the course of a race. Thousands more are slaughtered, just because they are no longer of any use to their ‘owners’.
Most horses start 'flat' racing, which is sprinting along a course without fences, at the age of 2. Horses don’t reach full physical maturity until they are about 5 years of age. Which means that racing 2 year olds places enormous pressure on their underdeveloped limbs.
The extent of stress suffered by modern performance horses can be gauged by the incidence of a condition called 'exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage' (EIPH) which results in bleeding from the lungs during strenuous exercise. Some horses bleed severely and regularly, with blood leaking from their nostrils. Fifty-five per cent of flat race horses suffer the condition, increasing to 82% in horses aged 4 years and older.
Horses that make it to the age of 6 are 'progressed' to chasing, first in 'novice races'. These can cause an intolerably high percentage of falls, injuries and fatalities.
Those who survive serious injury can be expected to run at least a dozen races a year until they reach the age of 13. Around 5,000 racehorses end their careers every year. Many are owned by businesses or individuals who do not wish to provide for animals who can no longer provide a day's fun or the possibility of financial recompense. Concern for their welfare is non-existent.
Jockeys use a whip to make horses run faster or to keep them running when they tire. Frequently, jockeys receive a ban from riding for a day or two when they have used the whip excessively. Yet even when a ban is imposed, the race positions are not changed when a whipped horse has run.
What happens to ‘retired’ race horses? Or the many who just ‘aren’t good enough’ to race? Most are sent to Horse Abattoirs, where they are slaughtered for the meat trade.
Others are exported to foreign countries to be killed - a trade which has been operating on an on-going basis for years. It operates with no controls and involves the systematic export of live horses from Ireland in a way that is cruel and ignores EU Legislation.
Some even end up in laboratories, where they are used in live experiments.
ANIMALS ARE NOT OURS TO USE FOR PROFIT OR ENTERTAINMENT. BAN HORSE RACING NOW!