The Coalition for the Protection of Race Horses has staged a rally in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall today.
Two horses were killed on Wednesday at Cranbourne racecourse as a result of injuries from severe falls at the jumps race meeting. They are the first deaths for the 2015 jump-racing season.
The Coalition for the Protection of Race Horses has asked supporters to contact the racing minister, Martin Pakula, and leave a polite message asking him to end jumps racing.
The rally, stationed outside Myer in the Bourke Street Mall, had a group of about 40 supporters, most of them holding signs, chanting “Ban jumps racing” and “We’re the only voices these animals have”.
One tearful and passionate female supporter sported a sign that read “Is the party really worth it?”.
Jordan Sosnowski, advocacy director for Australia for Dolphins, was at the rally in full support for the ban of jumps racing and hoped the rally would raise awareness about what jumps racing is.
“It’s completely inhumane, the number of horses killed as a result of jumps racing is incredibly high compared to normal racing, and I think its an archaic practice.”
Victoria is the only state apart from South Australia that still allows jump racing, and it is estimated 58 horses have died on the track since 2006.
Ward Young, from the Coalition for the protection of races horses, said: “We [Victoria] could be left with the only state that allows jumps racing, as South Australia is now looking to get rid of it as well.
“We want it to be made illegal here and we feel that the government is taking voters for granted if they ignore the calls of the public who want to see this cruel sport ended.”
Some passers-by heckled the protesters, although a few stopped to grab signs and join in. – Georgia Simpson
Top photo by Jake Benoiton.