ANIMAL Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch was launched in March 2007 in order to keep a public record of every thoroughbred killed on British racecourses. it was initiated because the racing authorities refuse to put such information into the public domain.

By the start of this month Animal Aid had recorded the deaths of 426 horses - which equates to one death every two racing days.

The most recent victims are two young horses Businessman and All Spin aged just two and three years. Their deaths at Ripon and Newcastle racecourses resulted from irresponsible riding by experienced professional jockeys. These horses would still be alive if rigorous welfare standards - of which jockeyship should be an integral part - were implemented by racing’s regulators, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). But while the BHA bears a heavy responsibility for the carnage that takes place on British racecourses, it is the betting and racegoing public who fund this exploitative industry.

Please remember, there is no such thing as a harmless flutter.

DENE STANSALL Horseracing Consultant Animal Aid