A DISTINGUISHED vet has published a report which shows many claims by the anti-horse racing lobby are wildly inaccurate.
Dr Meredith Flash, a vet and PhD student at the University of Melbourne, Australia, published her findings to the Australian Veterinary Association.
She said claims that racing two-year-olds was cruel were wrong and that similar claims that horses were worn out by the sport were also wrong.
The report is a direct and research-based challene to the propaganda of Australia’s anti-racing activists, including the RSPCA.
Dr Flash said: “In this age of social media, echo chambers and post truth, we need to set our emotions aside and look at what the real facts are saying, not what the meme with the cute picture and catchy line wants you to believe.”
It has been widely regarded that a majority of thoroughbred racehorses begin their careers at the tender age of two.
In fact, the RSPCA claim, on the ‘Knowledgebase’ section of their website, that it is “a large proportion”.
However, Dr Flash has expelled that myth with the evidence that a mere 13 per cent actually race as two-year-olds, and only a third even enter training at that age.
In fact, those two-year-olds were more likely to enjoy a longer career than horses that didn’t race until they were three or older.
Those later starters were six times more likely to race for just one racing season.
It means claims that two-year-old horses racing is detrimental to the health and vitality of horse untrue.
There is an age-old adage in horse racing that at the end of their racing careers animals are only fit for the slaughterhouse.
But Dr Flash’s research disproves this, providing detailed evidence to where racehorses go following their Australia racing career.
Half are re-homed, a quarter circulate in the breeding industry (as stallions or broodmares), 14 per cent are deceased, nine per cent move into new careers and two per cent remain in racing as 10-year-olds.
Finally, the RSPCA’s ‘Knowledgebase’ website claims that “out of 1000 pregnancies … only 300 foals will actually race”.
If this statistic is referring to live foals, it is suggesting 33 per cent will reach the track.
But Dr Flash’s report suggests that double that figure is actually the truth – it’s 65 per cent.
Her findings paint a far different picture to the propaganda of the anti-racing lobby.