RSPCA Victoria is demanding an immediate halt to jumps racing in the Australian state after the death of a horse in the first jumps race of the Victorian season.
The charity called on state premier Ted Baillieu to stop jumps racing after Jotilla’s death at Sandown yesterday.
Jotilla clipped the second-last fence and smashed his shoulder on hitting the turf. He was euthanised. A necropsy is planned.
The charity said the death of the former New Zealand racehorse was eerily similar to the death of Casa Boy at Warrnambool during the first race of the 2011 season.
“Responsibility for the death of Jotilla today falls squarely with our government,” RSPCA Victoria’s president, Dr Hugh Wirth, said.
“Not only was it the first race of the season, it was Jotilla’s first jumps race.”
Wirth continued: “It’s a complete farce that Racing Victoria Limited believes the future of jumps racing is bright because of improvements to safety.
“You’ll never make this sport safe – as we see time and again every year, with the countless deaths of horses on the jumps track.
“The Victorian Government has an opportunity to lead the way and ban a sport that is setting the animal welfare movement back decades.
“In New South Wales, jumps racing is a crime. According to Mr Baillieu’s government, it’s entertainment worth investing in. What a complete joke.
“The heart of the matter is that the death of Jotilla certainly isn’t the first death of a horse during jumps racing that we have seen, and certainly won’t be the last. It is absolutely appalling that the government sanctions this cruelty.
“I urge everyone to contact our Premier and let him know.”