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Just minutes after competing in the Melbourne Cup, The CliffsofMoher was put down.

Just minutes after running in the 2018 Melbourne Cup, The CliffsofMoher was put down.

According to the RSPCA Australia, the horse suffered a fractured right shoulder during the first 600 metres of the race and was euthanised on track.

Racing.com editor-in-chief Shane Anderson confirmed in a tweet that The CliffsofMoher “could not be saved”.

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Channel Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney described it as a “tragedy” when the four-year-old UK galloper pulled up lame during the first lap.

The CliffsofMoher is the sixth horse to die as a result of the Melbourne Cup since 2013. The RSPCA Australia says this statistic highlights the very real risks to horses from racing.

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RSPCA Australia has released a statement, noting the death of The CliffsOfMoher highlights the “dark reality of what is otherwise lauded as a national day of celebration and good cheer”.

“RSPCA Australia has long voiced its concerns about the welfare of racehorses, including the use of inhumane devices such as whips and tongue ties, as well as the risk to injury and death during races,” aid RSPCA Australia spokesperson Jane Speechley.

“Today’s tragedy is a stark reminder of the risks these horses face every time they run, and highlights that behind the gloss and glamour of Cup celebrations there is a dark reality.”

She added it was equally important to be aware of the pain and distress experienced by the other horses running in the Melbourne Cup.

“In that field alone, horses were hit with whips several hundred times at least, with the highest number of hits occurring in the final 100 metres, when they are already tired,” she said.

“The racing industry has much work to do across industry standards and enforceable regulations, to meet community expectations and care for the welfare of the animals involved.”

Last year, Regal Monarch fell during the race and was taken away in an ambulance.

Later that day, it was announced that despite desperate attempts to save him, Regal Monarch had died.

“Regal Monarch was immediately attended to by our veterinary team after a fall in race four and was transported to the University of Melbourne Veterinary Clinic in Werribee for further assessment,” said Racing Victoria head vet Dr Grace Forbes.

“It is with sadness that we can confirm that the horse has been humanely euthanised on veterinary advice as a result of the injuries sustained. This decision was made in the best interests of the horse.”

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