Yesterday the ‘race that’s stops the nation’ could have been the race to stop a career or even a life for Rostropovich who finished last in the Melbourne cup, appearing to suddenly slow down in the last 400m of the race.
Horse protection campaigners hold grave fears for four-year-old Irish horse.
Post-race updates are coming in that Rostropovich was unable to weight-bear and has a suspected fractured pelvis, and has been taken to Werribee veterinary hospital.
If Rostrovopich succumbs to his injuries, he will be the seventh horse in as many years to be fatally injured from the Melbourne Cup.
Campaign Director for the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses Elio Celotto says the groups is worried about Rostropovich because they know that one racehorse dies every three days on Australian racetracks. ‘One hundred and twenty-two horses were killed in the last racing year,’ he said Rostropovich could become the 7th fatality in the Melbourne Cup in just 7 years.’
‘Even if Rostropovich survives, Australian racing has already demonstrated clearly that horse racing kills. Both on the track as these magnificent animals are pushed to breaking point, and at the doggers or abattoirs when no longer profitable.’
‘Rostropovich was whipped, tongue-tied and now injured – how’s that for a trifecta?
Mr Celotto said the Melbourne Cup might not be the only thing Rostropovich loses. ‘He could lose his life too. We seriously hope that Rostropovich doesn’t become another Red Cadeaux – kept alive until the carnival hype dies down and then euthanised.’
Local members and friends of the Animal Justice Party made a point of not participating in the annual event at a luncheon at Elixiba in Byron Bay yesterday. Animal lovers from all over the north coast joined in a chorus of ‘Nup to the Cup’ much to the amusement of passers-by.
Money raised at their event will be donated to the Coalition for Protection of Race horses.