Cheltenham race week is a prestigious occasion in the racing calendar but each year it brings cruelty and suffering to horses taking part in these enduring races. One death is too many.

This year, the event takes place from March 10 to March 13, culminating in the gruelling Gold Cup race. To raise awareness of the cruelty of horse racing, we will be in Cheltenham high street campaigning with the Gloucestershire Outreach Advocacy Team on Monday, March 9 and Friday, March 13.

Last year during Cheltenham week we saw the tragic deaths of Ballyward, Sir Eric and Invitation Only. You can read our blog United Against Horse Deaths from last year’s campaign here.

According to Animal Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch, in 2018 Cheltenham racecourse recorded the second highest number of fatalities in the country. On average, nearly 200 horses die on racetracks across Britain every year, however the number of horses killed due to racing may be even higher as horses can be killed post-race due to injuries picked up when racing.

Around 1,000 horses from the racing industry are killed in slaughterhouses in Britain each year, according to the British Horseracing Authority.

And the horses suffer in life too.

The League also believes that if horses are to be raced, this should only be in races and events that are well within their capacity and that of their riders. That’s why we are urging the government to set up an independent regulatory body with horse welfare as its only concern.

The League is also against the whipping of horses, which has been shown to be ineffective and can cause painful welts. The use of the whip urges the horse to go beyond what it is able to comfortably do and can result in injuries and stress.

Our Gloucestershire supporter group is really pleased to be working alongside the Gloucestershire Outreach Advocacy Team once again to make the world a kinder and safer place for animals. You can find our events here.

If you are interested in getting active with the League Against Cruel Sports please think about joining or starting up a supporter group. By joining a local supporter group you can meet like-minded people, help at some wonderful events and contribute to end the suffering of animals in cruel sports.