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Protesting at a Horseracing Meeting

From Sandra Isobel Kyle
Facebook posting, May 14, 2022

The hardware that "race" horses are foced to tolerate is excruciatingly painful.


As activists it is easy to despair when we see how slow progress is for our beloved animals, so sometimes we have to cheer ourselves up by counting the victories...

For example, this week Melbourne announced that it is banning horse-drawn carriages after a years-long campaign led by a friend of ours, Kristen Dresden.

I thought of this win today when I was in Hawera with Elin, Summer, Tommy and Debbie, to protest a horseracing meeting.

Thank Heavens no horses were killed or injured, but the Steward’s Report is filled with telling details:

  • jockeys reprimanded for excessive whip use
  • horses found to have an elevated heart rate
  • jockeys called out for over-racing in early and middle stages of races
  • a horse going down in the float on the way to the races
  • a horse who had his saddle slip
  • a jockey charged with careless riding (dismissed by the Adjudicator)
  • a jockey reprimanded for not keeping his mount straight.

burdened Horse

Elin and Summer also got footage of horses literally being pushed from behind by four men into the starter gates. I find this really hard to witness, and is the proof that horses don’t want to race, despite what the Industry says.

How long before we have another victory for the horses? Like the end of all horseracing forever....

Summer and Elin are instantly recognizable as horse advocates in Taranaki, but I could get into the meeting, no problem. I found wondering around the grounds depressing - not least because of people who looked as if they could ill afford it lining up to gamble, and the smell of booze that permeated the air.

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