At 3:00pm on the first Tuesday of November every year, Australia’s most famous race is held.
Melbourne Cup is, traditionally, known as the race that stops the nation. More recently, though, it is the race that divides the nation.
Every year, animal activists use the race to remind Australians of the conditions of horseracing and the fatalities that frequently occur. Undoubtedly, the chorus of condemnation against the horseracing industry grows louder each year.
Whilst defendants of the industry will claim racehorses have good lives, animal activists say they are abused from young ages and, often, mercilessly killed when they are no longer commercially viable.
Below, we have collated the facts about the state of the horseracing industry in 2020.
Deaths in horseracing.
From the period between August 1 2019 to July 31 2020, 116 horses died in Australia on the track or soon after racing, according to the annual Deathwatch report. This equates to about one death every three days. Of these deaths, 45 of the horses had been raced as a two-year-old.
The Melbourne Cup specifically has witnessed six deaths in the past seven years.
In 2013, four-year-old Verema snapped a bone in her lower leg, about 2000 metres in. A green tarp was erected and Verema was euthanised.
In 2014, Admire Rakti dropped dead in his stall following the race. Not long afterwards, another horse, Araldo, was euthanised after sustaining a broken leg.