Friday, 23 October 2015


Every year here in Australia over 20,000 racehorses are destroyed because they couldn't run fast enough, don't have potential,  get injured or were unable to be sold for enough $'s ... they are the wastage of the racing industry, the side the racing industry would like to see 'hushed up' ... but a fact regardless.

Prunda - One of Harry Hattons top performers in the 60s
Some might get reclassified and used in steeplechasing, the end result often the same and a high risk of injury and death.  Some are taken for use by the mounted police - and some of course do find buyers in the private sector just looking for a good hacking or dressage horse,  a better outcome for these, but % wise the number is very small.

 As a kid I spent every spare minute strapping racehorses,  hanging out with the up and coming jockeys at the stables of Harry Hatton and Fred Best and only saw the glamour of the industry and the hard work put in by the strappers and other stable staff.  Was this wastage a problem back then?  I don't recall it.  I am thinking that today it is a greed driven factor for the $'s.  Chasing after another Phar Lap - in its way no different to puppy farming and our overcrowded animal shelters across this country.  Horses are now throw away animals.  Racehorses, brumbies, unwanted kids ponies, old stagers that have done the hard years - all treated as 'wasteage'  Very sad.

Maureen Clifford © The ‪#‎ScribblyBark‬ Poet

They were once somebody’s darling they were once somebody’s dream,
they were once feted by thousands urged on by whip, hands and scream.
Now they wait in dark – dejected and they’ll no more hear the call
of “they’re off” because tomorrow is the last day for them all.
They don’t sleep in stables stately, they don’t get the brush and gleam
of a fine thoroughbred warmblood – now it’s rough – they hear the scream
of the fallen gone before them, and they know not yet the foe
but they fear the fate awaiting – and they know. Oh yes! They know.
It is hard to be unwanted; it is hard when one falls short
It is hard when expectations don’t equate to dollars sought
So just turn your back and leave them – sell them off and let them go -
they were once somebody’s darlings but seems now none want to know.
As the rows of Flemington roses pale and drop confetti blooms
the champagne, chicken and chance crowd have departed in the gloom
leaving a trail of trashed tickets, and a divot speckled course.
It is doubtful if one punter gives a stuff about the horse.

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