The League Against Cruel Sports has issued a statement following the tragic death of Copper Gone West today during the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Chris Luffingham, director of campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“This death shows starkly why the League has repeatedly called for tighter safety measures and the formation of an independent regulatory body with horse welfare at its heart.

“A total of 68 horses have lost their lives at the Festival since 2000 which is simply unacceptable.”

Figures released by the British horseracing Authority (BHA) show that in 2019 alone, 173 horses lost their lives during competitive races.

Chris Luffingham, said:

“One death is too many. National Hunt Racing is a hugely popular sport with the public, but this comes at a cost. We’ve all seen the hastily erected screens around the fallen animals, and experienced the heartbreak that goes with it.

“With an average of nearly 200 horses dying on racetracks across Britain every year it’s clear that racing needs to give horse welfare the priority.”



Notes to editors

Please contact the League’s Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected] for any image, comment or interview requests

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The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).