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12 Jul 21 21:09
Date Joined: 01 Mar 07
| Topic/replies: 4,077 | Blogger: DIFERENT GRAVY 12's blog
British and Irish racing will find itself at the centre of a Panorama documentary next Monday that purports to shine an uncomfortable light on what happens to horses after their careers in racing are finished.

The documentary, which carries the title 'The Dark Side of Horse Racing', will be broadcast on BBC One at 8.30pm and is expected to focus on horses who are euthanised or end up in the food chain via British abattoirs.

It is uncertain who will figure in the documentary, although the Racing Post understands there will be British and Irish elements to the piece. Some trainers who have been contacted by the programme makers have elected not to comment at this stage due to the uncertainty over what will appear in the final cut.

A blurb advertising the documentary on the BBC website reads: "Horseracing is one of the most popular and profitable sports, a £5 billion industry in the UK and Ireland followed by millions. Panorama reporter Darragh MacIntyre investigates what can happen to racehorses when their careers end.

"The industry says that racing is now safer than ever, that the number of deaths on the track is falling and that the animals are looked after in retirement. Panorama discovers that off the track, many horses suffer career-ending injuries, and rather than being rehabilitated or retrained for life outside the sport, racehorses that have been owned and trained by some of the biggest names in the industry, have been put down, some meeting grisly deaths."

Neither the BHA nor Horse Racing Ireland wished to comment on the documentary without knowing the details of what will be shown.

Panorama has previously broadcast damaging racing exposes, with its 2002 episode entitled 'The Corruption of Racing' focusing primarily on poor practice within what was then the Jockey Club, prior to a 2008 episode called 'Racing's Dirty Secrets'. That probe ultimately led to trainer Karl Burke being disqualified for a year for associating with the warned-off gambler Miles Rodgers, while jockeys Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams also served suspensions for their respective roles in a race-fixing saga.
Pause Switch to Standard View BBC Panorama - The knives are out again
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Report Cantthinkofaclevername July 17, 2021 8:51 PM BST
Different Gravy - I have eaten horsemeat in France and it tastes absolutely nothing like chicken. Different texture too.
Report A_T July 18, 2021 10:50 AM BST
The BBC will find a tiny handful of the worst case examples and back them up with no concrete

the fact remains what happens to all the useless 2 year olds?
Report Carveth July 18, 2021 5:25 PM BST
Prior to the Panorama programme tomorrow on BBC One at 8.30pm its worth considering how horseracing fares in relation to the objectives below, that are set out on page 82 of the Horse Welfare Board's (an independent body set up by the BHA) A Life Well Lived: A new strategic plan for the welfare of horses bred for racing, 2020-2024:

In terms of public and political trust, we must be able to demonstrate that:
• The racing industry prioritises the welfare of racehorses over e.g. commercial considerations.
• The racing industry is responsible, ethical, open and transparent.
• The racing industry is responsive to outside concerns about welfare. Where these concerns relate to genuine welfare issues, the industry will address them. Where they are based on myths and misperceptions, the industry will take steps to build greater public understanding.
• Racing can be trusted to be self-regulating.
• British racing is a world leader in furthering the welfare of racehorses and of horses in general.

I can see that ITV Racing is trying very hard to inform and educate new and existing followers of horse racing via the Home-Schooling slot, showing efforts to protect horses during hot conditions (see bullet point 3 above) etc. as they did yesterday, there was a very brief mention during televised racing by Ed Chamberlain about horse welfare. The Panorama programme will no doubt take us into far more uncomfortable territory and will be played out in the court of public opinion.

I'm hoping the BHA will respond by outlining what progress has been made with the plan and what the potential barriers are. Horse racing often seems to struggle to come together to resolve issues e.g. financing and prize money, and this publicity is not going to make life any easier. These welfare issues need to be addressed, going beyond just a damage limitation exercise.

Note: the strategic plan is available from the BHA website via Regulation and governance/Equine health and welfare/Horse welfare board
Report cloone river July 19, 2021 12:28 AM BST
Maybe panorama should do a documentary on the BBC?
Report breadnbutter July 19, 2021 12:44 AM BST
Horse racing: Thousands of racehorses killed in slaughterhouses

Article just appeared on the BBC site.

Gorden elliot, ire,covert abattoir footage, 4000 dead horses, ect ect.

Banning hunting was the thin edge of a very big wedge.
Report casemoney July 19, 2021 1:42 AM BST
If Elliott is in the Focus again with new allegations he is finish,any mention of wired to moon animals running round Cheltenham ?
Report casemoney July 19, 2021 1:47 AM BST
It captured dozens of former racehorses being slaughtered, the majority of them from Ireland and the majority young.

Some of the horses shot in the abattoir had previous illustrious racing careers, winning thousands of pounds.

Three of them had been trained by Gordon Elliott at his state-of-the-art stables in County Meath, Ireland.

He told Panorama none of the three animals were sent to the abattoir by him.

The horses had retired from racing due to injury, he said, and were not under his care when they were killed.

Elliott said two of the horses were sent to a horse dealer "to be rehomed if possible, and if not, to be humanely euthanised" in line with the regulations.

He said he gave the third horse to another rider as requested by its owner.

And he said the first time he learned of their fate was when Panorama contacted him.

Yep Gordy involved again ,Time to walk me thinks
Report casemoney July 19, 2021 1:49 AM BST
Look forward to the Bisto Mob covering this on Saturday Grin
Report CROPSICK July 19, 2021 8:33 AM BST
Carveth i agree about oversupply but there are tens of  thousands of healthy young dogs put down every year, owners cant cope, novelty wears off etc and a lot of these dogs end up in dogs homes where after 3 weeks if cant be rehoused they are put down. 
  The BBC dont do a expose on this matter because they are anti-horse racing which they believe does not fit there new pro youth agenda.
Report Carveth July 19, 2021 9:02 AM BST
This quote is taken from the Richard Forristal article (Racing braced for Panorama episode that focuses on fate of horses after racing) on the Racing Post webpages:

One source familiar with the Panorama queries suggested
"You wouldn't imagine it will reflect some of the information that they are in receipt of, in terms of horses being rehomed etc. That's not going to be the tone of it. Clearly, there are some horses that simply don't have the temperament for another job, and there are times when euthanasia will be the most sensible option to ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands, but by and large trainers go to considerable lengths to avoid that option.

The difficulty will be how it's portrayed to an audience that is potentially already anti-racing and doesn't in any way relate to or understand that there will always be a certain level of attrition when it comes to livestock."

1.    There will always be a certain level of attrition when it comes to livestock

Do we have any sense of how big the problem is? So, if you followed a cohort of two-years olds over a five-year period how many would have ceased racing and for what reason? If the horse exchanged hands who was the horse’s next owner. Generating these data might not be possible until comprehensive traceability is in place (See 9 Outcome 2: Collective LIFETIME RESPONSIBILITY in “A life well lived”, Horse Welfare Board).

An alternative in the short-term could be to utilise Racing Post's Horses in Training. You should be able to link across years by horse’s name, the dam and sire. If the two-year old doesn’t have a name at the outset, then it will probably have a name by the time it becomes a three-year-old. Once all horses from the original cohort who have ceased racing have been identified the last trainer/owner could be approached/surveyed and asked what happened to the horse (may be the trainer would be easier, their addresses and emails are found in Horses in Training).

Data is also be needed on racehorses that are never raced, not sure what the best source for this would be (Weatherbys/Defra?). Comments from members suggest the horses being slaughtered are on the younger side.

2.    There are times when euthanasia will be the most sensible option.

Have trainers and owners been provided with guidance in relation to euthanasia by the BHA and if so, what is this guidance? The public would be expecting a degree of effort to be put into this before euthanasia becomes the only option. The outcomes might not be so good for the less able racehorses. Home Schooling on ITV Racing does feature retired horses when it can e.g., Sire de Grugy last Saturday but it would be good to know what happens to lower rated horses and those who don’t make the grade.

Epitaph: Horse racing has been slow to move with the times and may suffer the consequences. KeMoH states “the real problem is that racing is run by those who would happily bend over backwards to accommodate those outsiders, lets be honest, just want the sport banned altogether” (See the post "Why in there such fear about this Panorama Programme").

Personally, I didn’t consider horse welfare issues sufficiently as I should until the Gordon Elliot episode and thought it was only right to become more informed (the lightbulb moment). There will always be “outsiders” who disagree with a particular view but when those who are followers of racing (e.g. some Betfair forum members) start to come off the fence you know there is a problem. I suspect there may be people directly involved in racing who have felt this way but would rather not be the whistle-blower/bearer of bad news. Also, you do get a sense at times of a culture of secrecy and an over influential fraternity. This is not just confined to horse racing but does lead to mistrust.

In society a plethora of issues are effectively ignored and for others there can be a long-drawn-out process to resolve the issue (e.g. Hillsborough, will Grenfell Tower go the same way?). When an issue is ignored those who disagree start to react and positions become even more polarised and difficult to resolve. Is this where Horse Racing now finds itself?
Report skiptoomaloumacari July 19, 2021 9:51 AM BST
It's not really that horses are euthanized at the end of their careers...... That's always been a fact of life but they should always be treated with respect ie not how Mr Elliott treated that poor animal.....
Report xaar July 19, 2021 11:54 AM BST
what annoys me is the people who condemn racing while discussing it with their lovely friends around dinner while pushing dead animals around their plate Laugh
Report barstool July 19, 2021 11:58 AM BST
As was the case with the Greyhound industry two or three decades ago too many horses are being bred for racing. If a bitch had a litter of ten pups, there would usually be a couple of nervous ones and one or two that would not "chase". Taken across the industry that is 30/40% of redundant stock at the start of their careers. I have no figures regarding horse racing but would guess a similar amount never make it to the track. Most of these will be re-homed, which then makes the take up of retired stock much harder to find and a means of disposal becomes necessary. That is the crux of the problem. Any caring owner would find a nice bit of pasture for an animal in later life if it had served them well, but alas, to many they are mere "toys" or "tools".

Yet some want more racing, are they mad? Reduce the bloated fixture list now and reduce the breeding of all these poor graded animals. Limit the number of horses an owner can have in training and it will enable the horses to have a worthwhile value and Horse Racing will be a competitive sport again.

Very sad but not surprising to see one name mentioned already. It really is time to kick the Cowboys out of the Saloon.
Report sageform July 19, 2021 12:22 PM BST
Much harder to rehome during Covid19 restrictions I suspect. Very few equestrian competitions.
Report paulo47 July 19, 2021 12:29 PM BST
Totally agree Barstool , a racehorse retires at (say) 10 and lives to late 20s , its not just the bit of pasture , care is also required which costs . Thoroughbreds in particular are not out to grass  24/7 365 days a year.
Report breadnbutter July 19, 2021 12:37 PM BST
The word euthanized is problematic imo, its more a human term, humans are euthanized in hospices, horses are shot.

If we start euthanizing horses then they can't be used for food, either pet or human.

Seems such a waste if we can't use the meat.

On the Gordon Elliot picture, did anyone ever find out what the horses name was?

Seemed odd it wasn't mentioned, the horse with no name!
Report casemoney July 19, 2021 1:00 PM BST
The horse was named can remember what it was called
Report lead on July 19, 2021 1:02 PM BST
Morgan,I think
Report casemoney July 19, 2021 1:04 PM BST
Regarding the Irish Didn't the same thing happen when the Celtic Tiger stopped roaring a few years back  , hundreds were destroyed as the ownwers went skint
Report casemoney July 19, 2021 1:04 PM BST
Yes that was it Lead
Report Gordon63 July 19, 2021 1:13 PM BST
IMO the references to Elliot are 'sensationalist' and not particularly relevant i.e. 3 out of 1000s, however the far bigger issue is that the BHA continues to let the Industry down (I'll leave any views on IHRB to our friends across the water) with their blinkered focus on inclusivity/diversity and tinkering with making horse racing more non-(base)customer friendly whilst doing a very passable impression of Emperor Nero...including in last few weeks alone

1 the dead heat that wasn't
2 the reversal of one result whereas another with arguably more interference stands
3 disproportionate ban for an APPRENTICE for what was almost certainly an error of judgement
4 continued blind eyes for many many examples of non triers
5 continued over racing - why are there ANY AW meetings from May-September

the woes continue and the gravy train floweth
Report ashleigh July 19, 2021 1:29 PM BST
on the bbc lunchtime news now.
Report sageform July 19, 2021 1:32 PM BST
Gordon63, none of your list is relevant to the export of Irish horses to be slaughtered in UK abattoirs. What do you propose? Half as many races? That would cause tens of thousands of horses to be put down until the breeding industry shrinks to the appropriate size.
Report sageform July 19, 2021 1:35 PM BST
The BBC always big up a new edition of Panorama and many other of its programmes. It is their version of advertising which they claim to avoid. As they no longer televise any racing, it is fair game for criticism in contrast to Boxing which they cover and gloss over the awful consequences of.
Report Gordon63 July 19, 2021 1:50 PM BST
sageform, maybe perceptiveness isn't one of your qualities - I never said those points had anything to do with the subject of the programme BUT they are representative of the industry regulator failing on almost every count and unfortunately animal welfare is also failing.  there are ample amount of abbatoirs in Ireland so perhaps it's a taxation or regulatory issue which results in horses coming to UK to be slaughtered, the right people to address that question are the haulage companies and their clients who transport the horses...the breaches of welfare standards and the behaviour within abbatoirs should be subject of police prosecutions, you don't get much clearer evidence than CCTV

and yes I've repeatedly said there needs to be less racing, so if the breeders have less produce so be it, until the market corrects itself there are lots of people who would be happy to look after ex-racehorses which have a compatible temperament, i remember 'free to a good home' adverts in the past
Report xmoneyx July 19, 2021 3:58 PM BST
uk sends mega tons of rubbish to third world countries

it knows what will happen to it

irish trainers pay people to take horses to uk

they know what happens

were not talking little house on the prairie
Report DIFERENT GRAVY 12 July 19, 2021 4:38 PM BST
Whatever the outcome after tonights progamme airs.....

Not one breeder will volunteer to breed less horses!!!
Report sageform July 19, 2021 7:43 PM BST
The one area where the BHA have been negligent imo is the freedom of people like Matt Chapman and Luke Harvey to harass people on racecourses. Needs to be reviewed and preferably stopped. A racecourse paddock should be out of bounds to anyone apart from stewards, jockeys, trainers, stable staff and owners.
Report .Marksman. July 19, 2021 7:50 PM BST
Chapman is a really annoying character full of ... his own self importance.
Some one should push him in the Thames, please.
Report LoyalHoncho July 19, 2021 7:50 PM BST
Sorry - fewer.  Cool
Report .Marksman. July 19, 2021 7:51 PM BST
Fair play to him, he went in willingly!
Report sageform July 19, 2021 7:52 PM BST
He jumped in, shame they let him get out.
Report LoyalHoncho July 19, 2021 7:55 PM BST
Absolutely breadnbutter.  Thin end of a very big and powerful wedge, now powered by tens of thousands of sanctimonious hedgehog savers, empowered like never before by instant social media mob-making.
Report Tiger Tiger July 19, 2021 8:09 PM BST
In 2012, just 9 years ago there were 24,632 horses slaughtered in abattoirs in Ireland, the numbers have come down dramatically since then.  While Ireland and England are horrified at the thought of eating horses, 1bn people do so all over the world.

This is from March 2017.

However, at the height of the recession, in 2011, 24,000 unwanted horses were slaughtered for meat here.

Many thoroughbreds who failed to make it on the racing track ended up in abattoirs at the start of this decade, when the Irish economy began to slide. Most of the carcasses are exported to Europe, where they are eaten as burgers or steaks, or even roasts.

ISPCA chief inspector Conor Dowling said it can be kinder to euthanise an animal humanely rather than leave it open to neglect or abuse.

“We’ve seen so many animals abandoned in bad condition over the past 10 years,” said Mr Dowling. “It is certainly favourable for an animal to be humanely destroyed, or slaughtered for meat or put to sleep by a vet.

“It is a sad situation that this is what is required, because of over-population, but, sometimes, it might be the responsible thing to do.”

Globally, consumption has been on the rise since 1990, with horse meat commonly served in China, Russia, Central Asia, Mexico, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Belgium, and Argentina.

Mr Dowling said sport and race horses are now being slaughtered for food in Ireland.

“It could be horses who have reached an age where they can’t perform anymore, or who don’t make the grade,” he said.

“Some might have some sort of injury and be healthy enough to make the trip to the slaughterhouse, but not to live on indefinitely.”

The recent scandal of horse DNA found in frozen beef burgers sold in Irish supermarket chains has affected the demand for the meat, and has tightened up regulations on the traceability of meat ingredients all over Europe.
Report impossible123 July 19, 2021 8:10 PM BST
Any similar programme in France? They even eat snail there!

But, horseracing here is on the downhill; greed and the "bookies" (they do not take bets) have taken over!
Report doorman99 July 19, 2021 9:08 PM BST
Elliott and his former farrier Gavin Cromwell , there's a surprise, not!
Report xaar July 19, 2021 9:15 PM BST
nothing on the program after all the talk, pure cr@p
Report Rico-Dangleflaps July 19, 2021 9:28 PM BST
Report thehoffisback July 19, 2021 9:33 PM BST
Gordon works his string that hard that the weak die on the gallops.
You don't become a leading trainer in this sport from going easy on them.  Racehorses should be treated as racehorses.  It's a big investment which is ongoing, prize money needs addressing.  If you're looking for a pet buy a canary.
Report Facts July 20, 2021 9:17 AM BST
'....Gordon works his string that hard that the weak die on the gallops....."

Ridiculous statement !
Report Gagging July 20, 2021 11:28 AM BST
Impossible - u may have hit the nail on the head there - "thoroughbred snail racing" - could be cheaper to run then horse racing - the royal family could still be involved - photo finishes would be easier to resolve -and maybe we wouldn't need jockeys or whips.......
Report sixtwosix July 20, 2021 11:39 AM BST
Every Saturday morning we are forced fed that twee music and look at how happy horses are segment .......and then this .....nauseating
But the authorities are as much use as a wet newspaper  , those poor animals .
Report sparrow July 20, 2021 12:05 PM BST
When you look at the fortunes changing hands in this industry in bloodstock sales, betting, racecourses etc. it seems incredible that this sort of thing is going on. The BBC were right to highlight this issue and if the sport is to survive then it needs to stop this sort of thing happening as soon as possible.
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk July 20, 2021 12:17 PM BST
Kill the horses in a humane way reducing suffering/pain to a minimum
It's the least we can do for horses who give us pleasure.
Oh and don't treat them as sofas  if your fat @ss can help it
Report cardifffc July 20, 2021 12:39 PM BST
the sight of vyta du roc about to killed really upset me
Report Slicer July 20, 2021 12:53 PM BST
Some of the programme was sickening. The solution is out there but it's gonna cost.

1. The Industry is very wealthy as are race sponsors. Increase prize money by 10% & make the owners pay the 10% into a welfare fund.
2. There are enough animal welfare charities who will look after retired racehorses if they are funded. Give them the 10%.
3. No injured animal should be made to travel further than is absolutely necessary to be euthanised & certainly not internationally. The dispatch should be as soon as possible & by an immediately effective method.
4. Intensive supervision of abattoirs & vets supervising abattoirs which must be strictly regulated.
5. No healthy animal to be euthanised.
6. Hefty meaningful fines & banning orders for anyone associated with the industry not complying with regulations including lifetime bans.

Like many things in life it'll never happen because of vested interests & monetary requirement.
Report onlooker July 20, 2021 1:04 PM BST
Slicer 20 Jul 21 11:53 
Some of the programme was sickening. The solution is out there but it's gonna cost.

1. The Industry is very wealthy as are race sponsors. Increase prize money by 10% & make the owners pay the 10% into a welfare fund.
2. There are enough animal welfare charities who will look after retired racehorses if they are funded. Give them the 10%.
3. No injured animal should be made to travel further than is absolutely necessary to be euthanised & certainly not internationally. The dispatch should be as soon as possible & by an immediately effective method.
4. Intensive supervision of abattoirs & vets supervising abattoirs which must be strictly regulated.
5. No healthy animal to be euthanised.

- and just WHERE - in this UTOPIAN IDEOLOGY - are all these horse going to be Kept - fed, watered, groomed and exercised? ... for up to and around another 25 years of their lives?

The programme talked about 4,000 horses - the real figure ANUALLY will be much, much,  greater.

There is not enough land to build the desperately needed housing on - let alone fields of pasture for - what would become TENS of THOUSANDS of horses over a relatively short period of time.

'Finding  a home' for all 'retired racehorses is, surely,  a LOGISTICAL impossibility ... let alone an uneconomic one.

Harsh - But those are the undeniable Facts.
Report acey deucy July 20, 2021 1:13 PM BST
You make some great points there onlooker.
Report casemoney July 20, 2021 1:14 PM BST
Sparrow Spot on , Billions being spent on Cart horses among the big owners /stables

A % of any sale  / Sales should go to Welfare
Report casemoney July 20, 2021 1:17 PM BST
Could call it Veterinary Added Tax Happy
Report Slicer July 20, 2021 1:20 PM BST
Onlooker- you make some good points. As I said, will never happen.  However, if there is movement of the authorities in the right direction, at least that's better than the status quo. Where there's a will, there's a way, or some arguing relatives!
Report stewarts rise July 20, 2021 1:28 PM BST
Seem to recall reading that many unraced 2 yos in Ireland which couldn't find buyers last year were having to be euthanized. Surely this is at the root of the problem, too many horses being bred in the 1st place. Perhaps say a 5% sales tax for yearlings and another 5% for 2 yos to go into a fund for looking after retired racehorses or rehoming them may help, but as Onlooker says probably not enough people with land and the love of horses to rehome them all.
I do think that overbreeding in the hope of getting the golden goose is at the root of this sad situation.
Report DIFERENT GRAVY 12 July 20, 2021 1:49 PM BST
Report sageform July 20, 2021 1:59 PM BST
I have no issue with a horse being humanely destroyed but it is the traffic in horse meat for human consumption or pet food that is repugnant to many. Sir Peter O'Sullivan was able to stop the export of live horses for meat but not the import apparently.
Report stewarts rise July 20, 2021 2:12 PM BST
No point breeding horses you can't sell DG.
Report MJK July 20, 2021 2:19 PM BST
Anyone got a list of where all Nicholls and Hendersons' horses ended up after they stopped racing?
Report DIFERENT GRAVY 12 July 20, 2021 2:22 PM BST
Stop breeding on such a large scale and problem goes away
Report differentdrum July 20, 2021 2:24 PM BST

I have no time for Chapman, but do you really think worrying about him is comparable to what was shown in last night's programme?

Just to clarify you have no problem with healthy horses being shot?
Report ballyregan July 20, 2021 2:26 PM BST
euthanized (past tense) · euthanized (past participle)
put (a living being, especially a dog or cat) to death humanely.
was not happening imo
with cctv if panorama stuck hidden cameras in every business in the country though they could create a 30 minutes programme the worlds full of corruption and malpractice
Report ballyregan July 20, 2021 2:32 PM BST
plus i dont think most trainers treat every horse the same when they lose a star the trainer sheds a tear, eulogy created yet when they lose a lesser light it does not affect them or seems this way so horses ,imo they treat horses as just ways of succeeding careerwise, we are hypocrites also when a great horse dies you get a thread and fake adulation yet from people with zero connection to the horse really yet when a horse in a seller comes to an end nothings created every horse is the same imho.
Report Stevo July 20, 2021 3:03 PM BST
Not surprised that Pikey Elliot is mentioned.
Irish racing should take a good hard look at itself - Elliot should have been signed high for sitting smirking on that dead horse. Period.
Report CROPSICK July 20, 2021 3:14 PM BST
simple really, reduce the fixture list by about a third so we dont need as many horses then there will be a shortage of horses to go on to do other things dressage, eventing, hunting etc, this will make sure there is plenty of second homes for retired racehorse.
Also, the standard of horse being raced would go up (less races more prizemoney) meaning the cost of the horse would increase getting rid of the £1000 - £2000 rubbish being bred.
This could be done over a period of time so as there is not a mass cull of horses. It really is a problem of too much racing, and just note i bet in France that they dont bat an eyelid if thoroughbreds end up on the plate or not.
Report whodareswins July 20, 2021 3:25 PM BST
The horses were not euthanised, they were slaughtered.  There is a huge difference.  Euthanised suggests being put to sleep by lethal injection of anaesthetic.  The same way pets such as cats or dogs are sent off by your family vet.

One surprising thing was the horses were shot using a rifle, and it seems that is sanctioned by the British authorities.  Another was the horses were not under controlled conditions and could move, and that was sanctioned by the British authorities.  Third surprise was the horses were not stunned before being slaugthered.

The British authorities are the ones who should be put under the spotlight for sanctioning such practices.
Report duffy July 20, 2021 3:36 PM BST
Sickening seeing some of these horses meeting their end in this way.

Of course what we will never know is just how much the previous owners cared or otherwise if they knew how these horses would be destroyed or whether they were just satisfied to get rid!!!!
Report Punter #1 July 20, 2021 3:50 PM BST
they must breed more because all the members of the cosy cartel must have their gravy train kept going. A lot of the jockeys  and trainers now are buying and selling lovely little pin hookers and breezers! The big owners then kindly give them a big pay day. The party then continues! Some of the jockeys now even don't bother train because the money is easy this way. They then just go on tv and state how great mr and mrs or even his royal highness are to the game!
Report workrider July 20, 2021 4:00 PM BST
with cctv if panorama stuck hidden cameras in every business in the country though they could create a 30 minutes programme the worlds full of corruption and malpractice . A brilliant observation Ballyregan and so true.
Report duffy July 20, 2021 4:04 PM BST
workrider 20 Jul 21 15:00 
with cctv if panorama stuck hidden cameras in every business in the country though they could create a 30 minutes programme the worlds full of corruption and malpractice . A brilliant observation Ballyregan and so true.

Yeah, just strikes more of a chord when there are animals are involved.
Report onlooker July 20, 2021 4:10 PM BST
Think Panorama might find it a little difficult to film inside the Kremlin...

The Chinese Communist Party Headquarters ... and the Mansions that the multitude of African Dictator Despots live in ... Off our 'Foreign Aid' money.   Cry
Report MJK July 20, 2021 4:13 PM BST
Punter I've always thought that allowing jockeys to buy and sell horses was wrong. Riding in a race against a horse you have sold, or 'broken' shouldn't be allowed as its very feasible for a jockey to want the other horse to win, thus not being too bothered on his own horse.
Report casemoney July 20, 2021 4:25 PM BST
Why are they being sent over here ?
Report sparrow July 20, 2021 4:27 PM BST
workrider 20 Jul 21 15:00
with cctv if panorama stuck hidden cameras in every business in the country though they could create a 30 minutes programme the worlds full of corruption and malpractice . A brilliant observation Ballyregan and so true.

Just Panorama then?  Nobody else capable of investigating such matters?
Report jamesdean July 20, 2021 4:36 PM BST
Seems a fair point by, workrider, considering it is a Panorama program we are discussing tbf, sparrow.
Report Punter #1 July 20, 2021 4:37 PM BST
TBH MJK, its sickening to watch the racing on the tv with all the licking. Chamberlain dehumanised himself the other week expressing his pity and sorrow for Coolmore regarding Galileo and how good the pig owner was to give them an interview on feature on derby day. Ted walsh and family are on every media platform ambassadors for betting companies in the mix. That money they receive from betting companies should be passed on to gambling rehab for addicts, not those leeches.

I know i am going off on a tangent but all those deserve criticism because they try to keep all the gravy all to themselves. The animals are the stars of the industry but are treated the worst.
Report sparrow July 20, 2021 4:39 PM BST
I was thinking that horse welfare was the subject rather than the BBC but others attach far more importance to the latter.
Report Carveth July 20, 2021 4:41 PM BST
I was thinking who else on terrestrial TV carries out investigative journalism these days? Dispatches came immediately to mind. There seemed to be much more in the past or is that me looking through “rose-tinted glasses”? Panorama ran for an hour and was always a "must see" and then there was John Pilger. If you asked me where I would like some of my licence fee to go investigative journalism would be near the top of the list rather than into the pay packets of senior executives and celebrities. Many of the criticisms of the BBC apply to numerous other organisations, power resides at the top, reputations are at stake and there will be cover-ups.

If we have a vested or personal interest in a topic that’s under attack, we're never going to like it, but that's far better than existing in a highly secretive world that's completely beyond people’s control or influence. That’s my initial impression of the Oireachtas Agriculture committee hearing into issues relating to the Horse Racing Industry currently taking place in Ireland.
Report jamesdean July 20, 2021 4:44 PM BST
Horse welfare is the subject but it is Panorama you stick up for in your latest post. The irony is, you seem more bothered about sticking up
for the bbc/Panorama than you do the horse's welfare. The exact same thing you are moaning about what others are doing
Report Punter #1 July 20, 2021 4:46 PM BST
the racing industry is right to be investigated because there are lots of big companies making money off the back of what the horses do such as the tv production companies and their "expert pundits", catering companies, trainers, blood stock agents, breeders, betting companies etc.
Report ballyregan July 20, 2021 4:46 PM BST
investigative journalism is a very dangerous subject to get involved Carveth with I suppose, people can easily go missing if they take aim or go after or delve into dodgy subjects,people,topics
Report differentdrum July 20, 2021 5:01 PM BST
Before they talk about care after racing the BHA should address the suggestion by onlooker that it would be impossible to care for every horse.

Is that true. or not? If it is true how many healthy horses are being killed every year and why is it just accepted?

Racing loves to shout about the horses that sell for huge sums, but what about those that don't sell, what happens to them? That's something we never hear about.

It boils down to the constant cheerleading. Bad news is consistently buried.
Report ballyregan July 20, 2021 5:01 PM BST
bha are a funny organisation big issues rumours occur quite alot in racing but there preferred angle is to not even make a comment on them and remarkably it seems to work alot as some issues just drift away because of time.....
Report sparrow July 20, 2021 5:18 PM BST
jamesdean, as long as we agree it was right for Panorama to investigate this matter then there is nothing to argue about.
Report jamesdean July 20, 2021 5:24 PM BST
We agree on that, yes
Report doorman99 July 20, 2021 5:49 PM BST
Does any Irish horseperson on here know why they aren't put down in Ireland please. Must be a reason.
Report whodareswins July 21, 2021 11:02 AM BST
2018 Regulations dictate that CCTV must be used wherever the animal is alive.  This CCTV must be made available to inspectors.  So why the need for covert CCTV?

Several stories in local press about abattoir before Panaroma.
Report sageform July 21, 2021 12:54 PM BST
I will ask again what those opposed to the humane killing of any domestic animal would like to see happen instead. Should we repeal the laws that oblige Vets to tell owners of domestic animals that it would be more humane to kill the animal than to prolong its life further. This point is reached in the lives of the majority of dogs, cats, horses and other pets. Any owner who does not take this advice can be prosecuted and often are by the RSPCA. The issue is where should they be killed and by whom. For years, horses were seen, like cattle, sheep and pigs, as farm animals that were used as beasts of burden and then killed for meat. The laws have not caught up with the changes in the uses of domestic horses which is why the law needs changing. I would propose the following.
1. No horse can be taken alive from another country to UK for the purpose of slaughter.
2. No GB horses should be used for meat.
The economic consequences would be considerable but the concerned public will not go away. It will be expensive to burn or bury all of the carcases and that will also cause some opposition but what is the alternative?
Report differentdrum July 21, 2021 2:24 PM BST
The programme was specifically about ex-racehorses so I am not sure what referencing other animals has got to do with that discussion.

It seems as if many of these horses are not at the end of there lives. I will ask again are you happy to see healthy horses shot?
Report sageform July 21, 2021 2:44 PM BST
Yes but only close to where they have been kept and only if all of the welfare laws have been followed. The reason why I mentioned other animals is that the law is the same.
Report Carveth July 21, 2021 4:42 PM BST
Some interesting facts and figures from a Greg Wood (Guardian) article today:
87% of thoroughbreds slaughtered at Drury & Sons in 2019 (for practical purposes the only abattoir in Great Britain which takes ex-racehorses) arrived from Ireland. In 2020, it was 88%.

There are 14,000 horses in training in Britain at any one time, and 20,000 that race over the course of a year.

In Ireland, the latest equivalent figures are 4,552 and 9,248 respectively.

Panorama was content to say that the “vast majority” of horses slaughtered at Drury & Sons had arrived from Ireland.

Panorama claimed 4,000 thoroughbreds were sent to abattoirs in Britain & Ireland in 2019 & 2020, 2,000 annually. But since there are just two abattoirs in Ireland with a licence to accept thoroughbreds, it seems likely that the total of ex-racers from British stables that end up in an abattoir is below even the 200 per year implied by the relative numbers at Drury & Sons.

More detailed analysis of the age and racing experience of the thoroughbreds sent for slaughter could shed light on some of the reasons for the apparent disparity.

Ireland’s breeding industry, for instance is the biggest in Europe and the third largest in the world, with a foal crop of 8,500 in 2020. If it turns out that a significant number of these horses being slaughtered are simply surplus to requirements, what can be done to cut overproduction.

The World Horse Welfare chief executive said, Panorama’s programme “raises bigger issues than what appear to be shocking practices of one abattoir”.
Report sageform July 21, 2021 5:36 PM BST
I am amazed that such a large number are being sent here. Of course Drury and Co. should be observing the welfare rules but how have we arrived at a point where Ireland is not willing to slaughter their own surplus horse population and rely on Drury?
Report doorman99 July 21, 2021 7:49 PM BST
Totally mad and odd.
Report impossible123 July 21, 2021 8:22 PM BST
It was cruel and unnecessary sufferings; the executioner with the gun (not even hidden) was a sickening sight. That abattoir was the hiorses Auschwitz. Maybe the owners could be subject to similar scenarios!
Report Gordon63 July 22, 2021 11:26 AM BST
it seems days after the broadcast that we're none the wiser as to why Irish trained racehorses are sent (in some cases i.e. when injured, illegally) to UK for slaughter.  I think the BHA and Police (if necessary) should be questioning the haulage companies who've transported these animals and from there find out who has ordered and paid for the transport - as they say follow the money.  I wouldn't be surprised if there was some commercial advantage but we owe it to the racehorses who provide so much to find out. And according to what I've read recently the increased paperwork/regulations post-Brexit would eliminate any previous commercial advantage so the Irish abbatoir better get an extra shift sorted!!

The story is about the slaughter of racehorses and NOT about who broke the story or why - by all means question why others hadn't exposed or why neither the BHA or IHRB were aware beforehand or if they did, did they care?

Animal Aid placed the CCTV NOT BBC

Too much racing, too many horses - let's hope BHA/IHRB finally see sense and co-operate rather than finger pointing (e.g. Elliott Cheltenham ban prior to IHRB panel) and work on this to gradually reduce both to more sustainable and practical levels and if that means trainer A or jockey B has to find a new career then so be it, at very least it should address the constant whining from trainers about the difficulty of finding good stable staff.
Report sageform July 22, 2021 1:09 PM BST
Do the horse racing authorities have any sanctions on breeders? Breeders have no obligation to even send them to the thoroughbred sales do they? They could be sold privately as hacks and the BHA or IRHB would have no reason to be involved. Once they enter a licensed training yard the rules kick in.
Report sixtwosix July 22, 2021 1:55 PM BST
As each day goes on , I am feeling less and less like I want to continue with following this sport , 50 years and counting.

Transporting any animal to another country for slaughter is something that should have ended in other centuries .

It should be done as close as possible to the animals home and as humanely as possible .

For all the wonderful stories this year at Aintree and Cheltenham there is a barbaric ,cruel and nauseating stench in the sport .
Report Carveth July 22, 2021 3:37 PM BST
RICHARD FORRISTAL, Racing Post(RP) yesterday

"Over the past five years the number of thoroughbreds slaughtered at two Department of Agriculture-approved facilities in Ireland has halved. It went from 2,952 in 2016 to 1,549 in 2020.

Is that part of the reason why, as Panorama portrayed on Monday night, horses are being shipped from Ireland to Britain in large numbers to be slaughtered?" (Richard Forristal, RP)

"it's likely the dramatic reduction in thoroughbreds slaughtered in Ireland is linked to the market for exporting horses to Britain for slaughter, although the 2021 figures will be especially informative because of Brexit." (Richard Forristal, RP)

"One of the two certified equine slaughterhouses in Ireland closed at the end of 2019 following a fire, but, having spoken to people close to the abattoir scene here, the consensus is that the demand within the slaughter industry for thoroughbreds doesn't exist in Ireland, partly because they cannot access any critical volume, despite the market being there for it internationally." (Richard Forristal, RP)

"Trainers promote the happy-ever-after lifestyles of some of their most recognisable names, but yards that turn over hundreds of horses won't be able to make that happen for every horse.

Of course, many owners will ensure they are involved in the process, but many others are content to absolve themselves of that chore, so investment in the structures and policies for suitable aftercare of horses is paramount." (Richard Forristal, RP)

Education of the owners by the BHA/Horse Welfare Board (and the equivalent in Ireland) seems essential, some won't need it, but others will, before perhaps considering a more draconian approach e.g., licensing owners, asking them to sign off a document which states what their responsibilities are. I don't really mind what the solution is, but owners and trainers need to work together to explore the best outcomes. Ownership must be more than just turning up on race day.

"In Britain, where there is a lower per capita ratio of thoroughbreds, the Retraining of Racehorses charity is funded by various levies and contributions, including a £1.25 owners' tax on each entry. It draws on a broad spectrum of stakeholders, yet still RoR's pot in 2019 totalled just £708,837." (Richard Forristal, RP)

I was then wondering how all the other racehorse rehoming charities get funded? One had an appeal around the time of Cheltenham (The Racehorse Sanctuary), it appeared on the Reliant on Racing slot of ITV Racing but only raised an additional £2,000 via the Just Giving appeal (still open) whereas I think the WellChild Cheltenham appeal raised a substantial amount (over £200,000?) which made me feel that there was something amiss here.

"We have got to take heed of some of the points put forward in the programme, and we've made good progress on a lot of fronts. We do need to be able to have absolutely certain traceability when horses leave the sport, although at the sales when they are sold, and many go abroad, it's more difficult.

We bang the drum about how well they are looked after in training, but we need to make sure and make people appreciate how well they are looked after when they are no longer in training – 99 per cent are so well looked after." (Nicky Henderson, RP, JUL 21 2021)

I agree with Mr. Henderson, traceability is the key but without it we can’t say whether 99% is a valid figure or not.

In The Black Horse is Dying (published in 2020) William Jones makes reference to a law that Charles Haughey introduced as finance minister in Ireland "That made all income from stallion stud fees tax free"(Page 183). Jones says, “stallion owners, of which Haughey was one himself, didn’t even have to make returns about income they derived from their stallions”. Nearly forty years later "the EU banned it as an illegal state subsidy".

Perhaps the withdrawal of this subsidy, along with over-production, is now placing financial pressure on studs in Ireland?

So, the jigsaw is slowly coming together. It's a shame that all this information wasn't more readily available. It shouldn't be left to journalists, investigative programmes etc. to make sense of what is happening and relay this onto the public. Maybe industry insiders already knew the situation and hoped matters could be resolved “internally” via the Horse Welfare Board Strategy?

Sixtwosix - don't despair, this could be the moment when things start to move in a more favourable direction, although I accept this is based on the assumption that the authorities will respond effectively to current circumstances.
Report carrot1960 July 26, 2021 4:20 PM BST
Martin Wasylocha talks about the Panorama Programme

Racehorse owner and breeder Martin Wasylocha who's High Expectations was one of the racehorses featured in last week's BBC Panorama documentary entitled 'The Dark Side of Horse Racing' has spoken for the first time about the programme.

Wasylocha, whose red and white hooped silks are regularly seen on racecourses both here and in the UK and owned 2018 Cheltenham Festival winner Veneer Of Charm said: "I was the owner and also the breeder of High Expectations. He was a wonderful horse and provided me and my family with many fantastic days. I have been horrified with how my horse has been showcased in recent days, in the Panorama programme and then in subsequent press coverage."

"There is an obvious inference that I as the owner basically didn't care about the horse once his career finished. I find this extremely upsetting and unfair."

"From my point of view the facts are that the horse had a career ending injury at Bellewstown in 2019. I had an agreement with Gordon Elliott for the horse to see out his days on his farm at Cullentra. In early January 2020 Gordon called me and advised that the horse had further aggravated the injury and after veterinary advice, he advised me that in order to stop the horse from suffering he should be euthanised. I agreed and took it as the end of the matter. Perhaps I have culpability in not following up, but I just took it that it would be handled properly."

"When I saw the Panorama programme, I was shocked, angry and horrified that my horse could end up in an abattoir in the UK."

"I am of the opinion that the traceability of the horses currently employed is completely unfit for purpose. I don't understand why there is not a system in place for an annual return of horses which, when necessary, should be accompanied by a death certificate."

"I am enclosing a current picture of two of my horses, Pasghetti Hoops (foaled 1997, my first racehorse) and Hearthstead Dream (2001) both of which I still own and who are currently enjoying their retirement at my expense on a farm in Co. Meath. For the record, Pasghetti Hoops had career earnings of €525 and I estimate that between training, keep fees and other expenses that I have spent in excess of €200,000 on her over the years."
Report impossible123 July 26, 2021 6:34 PM BST
I firmly some in the horseracing industry esp trainers know about this despicable mistreatment of former/injured racehorses for years but merely acting irresponsibly deciding not to rock the applecart until the Panorama programme. This has to stop otherwise punters and the media eg terrestrial tv would not want to be seen to be supporting an industry that knowingly allowed cruelty to their servants in numbers annually.

I hope the BHA and government will outlaw this sickening activity and bring those flouting and circumventing present set procedures to book; profiting from cruelty to former racehorses must be stopped now and not tolerated a minute longer.
Report jamesdean July 26, 2021 6:35 PM BST
Punters will not give a fk
Report Carveth July 29, 2021 1:38 PM BST
I suspect most everyday punters will carry on as they have always done. The immediate impact will be reputational damage and, as Richard Hoiles said on ITV Racing this Saturday, how this is perceived by those outside of horse racing who watched the Panorama programme. Racing has its periodic crises, chooses to deal with the immediate issue, and then moves on. Whether that will be enough in this instance only time will tell.

There will be those where horse racing is more of a pastime who might possibly not engage with it quite so much. On the other hand, racecourses are trying to get more people through the gates, for a day out. These customers may be oblivious to the current machinations of racing and not wanting , or having the time, to delve into issues in the same way that some of us might.

One worry is that potential new recruits are deterred from joining the industry, or existing stable staff decide to leave, because of what has happened.

Bennett Liebman (Executive Director of the Government Law Center at Albany Law School and a member of the board of directors of the New York Racing Association) wrote an article “Reasons for the Decline of Horse Racing” for the New York Times (June 6, 2010). It is context specific (and partly historic) to New York, but there are some similarities. Will we go the same way?

The top of horse racing seems to be driven by the breeding industry and the monetary value this can bring. It is dominated by a small number of influential people. This is where its vulnerability lies. For example, if a major player decides to contract operations or leave the sport. Because so much money and employment are tied up with racing, racing authorities will probably tread carefully so substantial changes are unlikely to happen any time soon and are more likely to occur by osmosis.

The latest Racehorse Sanctuary (summer) Just Giving appeal will show how people in racing, and followers of racing, feel about this issue. The JustGiving weblink contains “campaign/summer-crisis”, so I’m assuming that’s what it is.

These quotes came from Mary Frances of the Moorcroft Rehabilitation Centre in a Racing Post article last week who told Panorama "Sadly, so many of them come to us with injuries and ailments that need time and without a doubt a large amount of funding" and “There is money available but there doesn't seem to be the understanding or the desire to put the money where it is needed." (Welfare chief condemns abattoir practices shown in Panorama documentary, Chris Cook, Racing Post JUL 19 2021)
Report skiptoomaloumacari July 29, 2021 2:08 PM BST
Surely no owner will trust Elliott now ...............hideous man............
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