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View Full Version : I saw a fatal jumps-racing accident today



fire_ball
04-04-11, 03:34 PM
First freaking day of jumps racing, two races, ten horses in total. I'm working in a bar with TAB and Skyracing, and keen to watch the jumps races. Race one went fine - four horses, only three finished. Race two - six horses, half way through race and have to pour someone a drink. Look up mid-pour and saw Casa Boy turning upside down. Broke his elbow and was destroyed.

Poor bloody horse. I was all for jumps racing but now... nah. Something isn't right here.

Feel so sad.

treacle
04-04-11, 03:45 PM
"I was all for jumps racing"

could i ask how you came to the conclusion that jumps racing was OK in the first place ?

fire_ball
04-04-11, 03:55 PM
Being that the eye of the public and officials are trained on jumps racing right now, with the intention of "tighten up or close down!", I was hoping that a concerned effort would be made to lower the accident rate. Maybe that "this season would be different!"

The UK seems to be able to run jumps racing without the high percentage of fatalities, but Australia just can't seem to do it.

Watching the horses run those races though, wow! The horses looked to be enjoying it more then the flat racing.

treacle
04-04-11, 04:04 PM
heh, it won't be a case of tighten up or close down, it will be a case of (try to) piss on everyones leg and tell 'em it's raining.

bunch of critters + fanging along at speed already = recepie for disaster ∴ why increase the odds by having them jump too ?

why couldn't we race mullet up clear perspex tubes instead ? oh that's right... not flashy enough... then again.. mullet are silver.... - but i digress... meh.

also just a general question to those who come across this thread: what is the body language that causes you/other people to beleive a horse is enjoying themselves ?

Chestnuts
04-04-11, 04:07 PM
why couldn't we race mullet up clear perspex tubes instead ? oh that's right... not flashy enough... then again.. mullet are silver.... - but i digress... meh.

Wow, what an idea - you're onto something there!

Flick_09
04-04-11, 04:40 PM
The problem with jump raing here is that they don't seem to teach the horses to jump before they get to the track then build the hurdles (from what I have seen) out of flimsy sythetic 'bush' that the horses dont respect try and go through hit a hard bit and flip.

In England for a horse to point-to-point they have to have hunted at least 7 times (might have been reduced). To spend 7 days on the hunting field with a letter from the MFH saying the horse behaved & jumped. To not be sent home in disgrace your horse has to have basic manners and schooling and know how to jump.
Hurdling doesn't require the horse to have hunted before I believe, but again the horses are often older, and have been taught to jump. Top trainers have indoor or all weather out door surfaces with portable hurdles that the horse are schooled over.

Ex-jumpers are very popular OTT in the UK becasue of the sound basic education they generally have.

From the few races I have seen here trainers seem to choose a horse that isn't winning on the flat and decide to run it over fences to see if it improves with the inevitable result that it goes terribly wrong. So they either need to rethink the rules and elegibility criteria OR ban them out right - which I think would be a shame.

Well that my thoughts anyway.

Speckled Potato
04-04-11, 05:19 PM
The problem with jump raing here is that they don't seem to teach the horses to jump before they get to the track then build the hurdles (from what I have seen) out of flimsy sythetic 'bush' that the horses dont respect try and go through hit a hard bit and flip.

In England for a horse to point-to-point they have to have hunted at least 7 times (might have been reduced). To spend 7 days on the hunting field with a letter from the MFH saying the horse behaved & jumped. To not be sent home in disgrace your horse has to have basic manners and schooling and know how to jump.
Hurdling doesn't require the horse to have hunted before I believe, but again the horses are often older, and have been taught to jump. Top trainers have indoor or all weather out door surfaces with portable hurdles that the horse are schooled over.

Ex-jumpers are very popular OTT in the UK becasue of the sound basic education they generally have.

From the few races I have seen here trainers seem to choose a horse that isn't winning on the flat and decide to run it over fences to see if it improves with the inevitable result that it goes terribly wrong. So they either need to rethink the rules and elegibility criteria OR ban them out right - which I think would be a shame.

Well that my thoughts anyway.

*like*

Uk jumps racing doesn't have the injury/fatality rate that we do because they actually A-teach the horses to jump; B- jump over proper fences. None of this flimsy crap that we have; and C - seem to train them a bit better.

Until Australia actually cotton onto this idea then nothing will change.

Nicko
04-04-11, 05:20 PM
I know a guy who used to train jump racers in the UK. They actually taught them to jump, in Australia, its just a gallop with fences.

sergundo
04-04-11, 05:23 PM
I was actually watching a steeplechase race today, and two horses out of the six starters both fell to the ground on one of the last jumps... Watching it I was thinking "Wow, they don't set them up very well, if they got better striding into the jumps then maybe they wouldn't get hurt, bash through the jumps or fall down... they would even make better time I think."
Cross country is not dissimilar to this kind of thing, however they are prepared better into the jumps... but really, they aren't extremely different to be honest.

sergundo
04-04-11, 05:26 PM
*like*

Uk jumps racing doesn't have the injury/fatality rate that we do because they actually A-teach the horses to jump; B- jump over proper fences. None of this flimsy crap that we have; and C - seem to train them a bit better.

Until Australia actually cotton onto this idea then nothing will change.

Sorry, I am just curious, but what leads you to believe that they don't teach them how to jump over "proper" fences? Are you in the industry?

darkhorse3
04-04-11, 05:31 PM
My issue is more that in the UK they breed for jumps racing, here very few breed for jumps racing and it is more reserved for failed flat racing horses - to give them a last chance. :(

join the dots
04-04-11, 05:53 PM
My issue is more that in the UK they breed for jumps racing, here very few breed for jumps racing and it is more reserved for failed flat racing horses - to give them a last chance. :(

Very true...

Just waiting for someone to come out with the old chesnut that jumps racing "saves their lives"....It is utter rubbish to suggest that without jumps racing more horses would end up in a can...With less indescriminate breeding in the racing industry less horses would end up in a can...

I would love to see it stopped... The risk factor is just unacceptable....

gdh
04-04-11, 06:57 PM
*like*

Uk jumps racing doesn't have the injury/fatality rate that we do because they actually A-teach the horses to jump; B- jump over proper fences. None of this flimsy crap that we have; and C - seem to train them a bit better.

Until Australia actually cotton onto this idea then nothing will change.

Exactly & that's the whole problem in a nutshell! the 1st 1/2 of both races was run at a farcically slow canter which enabled horses & jockeys to gauge take off point then the pace went on & the flimsy 'trip ups' did exactly what they'll always do when approached at speed.
2 of Musgroves came down today & none are better schooled than his.

oats and barley
04-04-11, 07:02 PM
The fences are too small for the speed they are galloping at & the horses cant judge their stride properly. I also would be a little suss about how much training some horse do actually get with jumping.
But the problem is that their are way more horses killed or die in accidents during training or flat racing but you dont see them nor are they reported by the media.

Horsesforcourses
04-04-11, 07:20 PM
In my racehorse strapping days I had my eye on a quirky slighly insane horse and when he finished racing at 7 I thought I would snap him up - his owners sent him onto jumps racing and he was killed soon after. Crap retirement for a horse that had won a fair amount of prize money. He finished racing fairly unsound too.

bellette
04-04-11, 07:28 PM
Racing= horse running for their lives.
Steeplechasing= horses jumping for their lives.
Abysmal.

QUARTERMILER
04-04-11, 08:01 PM
The uk has many fatalities a year .
http://www.animalaid.org.uk/images/pdf/DeathWatchone.pdf
There is a regularily updated website re the recorded deaths at each Uk track.
Higher jumps increase the death from cervical and spinal injuries as this clip clearly shows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj-8WqGVRZo

opensky
04-04-11, 08:03 PM
Sergundo - there is a big difference between riding XC and hurdles - (apart from training!) and that is there aren't a bunch of horses close around you, running on adrenaline and not set up optimally to clear the fence, just leaping over as best they can. Rgds

Pigeon
04-04-11, 09:00 PM
Horses in Europe are also bred to jump.

My husband trained jumpers for one year as a foreman. He was formerly a top showjumper with a big dressage background. His horses were all educated to showjump before they jumped hurdles. He only had 'hand me downs' from the trainer on the Gold Coast.

He only had a handful of horses and in the one year he won the Brierly and the Corrigan Hurdle and many more steeples and hurdles. He did not have one horse fall. Probably fortunate that nothing fell in front of them I must admit.

fire_ball
04-04-11, 09:43 PM
I was actually watching a steeplechase race today, and two horses out of the six starters both fell to the ground on one of the last jumps...

Was this an Australian race? The race I watched had six starters and four finishers, with one horse being killed

Jenny Barnes 1
04-04-11, 11:35 PM
Last two horse events I've been to horses have died (cross country and showjumping and no they were not even on the course when it happened), in the last race at Warrnambool another horse died (flat race), sadly it happens as many of you would know they can even injure themselves in the paddock.

There were two jumps races on Saturday at Oakbank but nothing happened so there was no sensationalised coverage.

Fair Embrace
05-04-11, 12:12 AM
I completely agree that the jumps design is now flawed, horses don't respect them as they are not a solid obstacle hence thinking they can jump straight through them. I will argue that these horses are not educated properly, but hey, we can all give our opinion on matters we know nothing about.

What I find absolutely disgusting is that a horse falling at a jump and being euthanased is considered a more newsworthy item than a jockey who took his own life a week ago. I guess the media couldn't tug on your heart strings with that one though............
Maybe I'm being biased, that jockey was my friend and I didn't know the horse:-(

So I guess everyone will jump on their misinformed band wagon again and lobby to get jumps racing banned, before you do I implore that you look at the bigger picture, cause one jumps racing is gone I know which equestrian discipline cops it next!

Anubis
05-04-11, 06:47 AM
My sorrow for your loss Fair Embrace. Unfortunately suicide is a subject organisations like the ABC will only touch on in passing. It is out of respect more than anything and yet in a way the subject should be brought into the light so people can see the underpinning issues. That said I dread how the commercial orgs tend to treat the topic

I agree re Jumps racing and education. I would like to see a much more "English" system with older horses purpose trained for the job.

Was a clerk of the course for a while. Saw a lot of horses die. Presided over more than a few sad little deaths on course. Rarely made the media.

Fair Embrace
05-04-11, 10:06 AM
After giving this subect alot of thought, this is my conclusion;

My husband loves those wildlife documentaries where animals eat each other etc, I don't so I don't watch them.
I'm not a big fan of showjumping nor some methods used to train them, so I don't watch it. I don't like the way I've been told many rodeo horses are treated so I don't go to rodeos (I don't actually know for sure that they are mistreated but that's what I've been lead to believe), so if you have an issue with jumps racing for the time being I suggest you don't watch it.
We, in the industry, are trying to improve jumps racing, unfortunately we meet brick walls at every turn due to the anti jumps brigade.
People in nracing are not cruel, we are not sitting there thinking to ourselves, if this one falls I won't have to feed it tonight. We are also not the ones who sit in protest at the races with our banners cheering when a horse falls. Like most horse people racing enthusiasts also cringe when they see a horse fall.

So where do we draw the line? I sure someone said that horses find jumping un natural and if given the opportunity will run around an object rather than jumping it, well that is bs! Many horses love jumping and it is not at all un natural for them! Maybe having horses jump anything should be banned, while we're at it we'll ban horses travelling at fast speeds, and we'll ban them going up hills, I suppose that leads us to banning them going down hills, we'll ban them racing around barrels, we'll have to ban them wearing rugs as this also could be considered un natural, really the list is endless!
Maybe people shouldn't be allowed to keep horses at all, that seems un natural, I mean if you leave your gates open will your horse/s stay on your property or will they go run wild and free??????
I will say it again, if jumps racing does get banned I know which discipline they will come after next and it won't be racing the next time.......

treacle
05-04-11, 12:08 PM
mine seem to hang around..... and it's not without much embaressment and personal arse kicking that i admit to having left the gate open... : /

edit: I do not argue that exercise / being ridden is bad for a Horse, on the contrary - it's a good deal for a Horse.... but if their reason for being is to be continually fanged/jumped/etc for a period of time... this is not useful/desireable to the Horse - maybe to the Human, but not the Horse.

sergundo
05-04-11, 08:02 PM
opensky; yes I know, I did point that out before I knew that was a difference. I was talking more in reference to stamina and jumping at speed, which is done particularly in the higher levels of cross country. Sorry, I forgot that I had to spell everything out for everyone to understand what I meant, I'm learning! :)
Fair Embrace; also my true condolences. However, I for one know that I would not like it if my dear friend's suicide was splashed all over the news, or even deemed as newsworthy... I would prefer it to be private... but that's just me.
I don't know where we got this "news" thing from though, none of this was showed on the news... it was on at the TAB section at my dad's work so I watched it whilst eating lunch. As soon as the horses went down the camera changed it's shot.

In regards to the build of the jumps; I think they are soft as if they were solid the injuries would be far worse... People are complaining saying they should be bigger and more solid... Hmmm... don't agree there. Interesting that the best trainer had two horses go down, which shows that it isn't to do with training.
There are horses killed semi-regularly cross country, and people too. Sadly, this happens, and I think it's unfair to target steeplechase in particular.

Jenny Barnes 1
05-04-11, 08:14 PM
In Victoria they changed to the soft yellow topped jumps that had a hard little a frame underneath and this caused a lot more problems with experienced horses falling after not respecting the fences and cantering over instead of jumping or somehow dragging a leg getting injured on the structure They brought these horrible obstacles in to placate the protestors and it caused many more problems than the old fences did. The newer jumps are more solid but do fall down flat when hit hard which is what they should do.

In Adelaide we went for 5 years without a bad injury to May 2008- and the only change to the jumps since the early 2000s (the blue ones used for hurdles) were white sighter lines that were painted across them as of two years back and extra padding added to the takeoff side. They do fall down flat when hit hard and have seen this happen last year (on the second lap the horses sort of jumped the flattened fence as they would a water jump in SJ).

At Oakbank on Saturday is seems the hedges have finally grown for the steeplechase course too.

opensky
05-04-11, 09:45 PM
The same arguments continue - since 1935! Note the 4 suggestions......(numbered list):

http://www.racingvictoria.net.au/news/JR/n_Historical_Feature_AJRA_HTML.aspx

Bats_79
05-04-11, 09:50 PM
Horses in Europe are also bred to jump.

My husband trained jumpers for one year as a foreman. He was formerly a top showjumper with a big dressage background. His horses were all educated to showjump before they jumped hurdles. He only had 'hand me downs' from the trainer on the Gold Coast.

He only had a handful of horses and in the one year he won the Brierly and the Corrigan Hurdle and many more steeples and hurdles. He did not have one horse fall. Probably fortunate that nothing fell in front of them I must admit.

Others would say that training them to "showjump" first would slow them down but it is good to hear that your husbands horses could actually win as well. Shame other trainers could't take a feather from his cap and learn as much.

midnightly
05-04-11, 10:16 PM
Thing is, that Eric Musgrove was a showjump rider ... and a very good one. His horses would have been trained to jump carefully, yet 2 fell.

We have some very good (excellent) jumping trainers. I don't know why the horses die, I wish they wouldn't fall and skid across the ground like motor bikes ... but I don't honestly think it's the trainers. If it were, then Musgrove's horses wouldn't come down.

It's a horrible "sport", akin to shooting deer (or the famous 'next door's poodle'). the horses are pumped, they're galloping, one horse takes off half a stride ahead, the next horse thinks "oh, I'd better take off now" and crash. Dreadful prostitution of the horse.

There is no answer, obviously. Except to remove jumps races from the face of the earth.

darkhorse3
06-04-11, 07:42 AM
Up until recently the media never publicised suicide as the policy is not to highlight people taking their own lives. On a rare occasion these days it might get a run because it is linked to another issue - bullying, custody disputes etc - but it is considered taboo to discuss as there is a fear that it could encourage others. Police will tend not to discuss suicide either and only relate to the death in a story as 'no suspicious circumstances'. It's a very sad and personnel tragedy for the family concerned so the media respecting this is not a bad thing.

In terms of jumps racing, I just think it is all about a flat race with a few bumps dotted between the start and finish - not the strategy of racing in England. I think it is too dangerous.