Animal Aid's Race Horse Death Watch was launched during the 2007 Festival. Its purpose is to expose and record every on-course thoroughbred fatality in Britain.
The horse racing authorities have failed to put clear, unambiguous horse death information into the public domain, preferring to offer complex statistical data rather than specifying, as Death Watch does, the names of killed horses, where the fatality occurred, who was riding the horse and the nature of the injury.
We have good reason to believe that the equine fatalities we are able to list on Death Watch, and which we have verified, fall some 30% short of the true total. Disgruntled industry insiders have, in the past, supplied us with documents to support that view. Since Death Watch was launched, we have periodically produced special reports detailing the scale of on-course deaths, the most lethal race courses, the nature of injuries suffered, and the relative dangers posed by National Hunt, Flat and All Weather racing. You can read those on the Death Watch Reports page.
Deaths on racecourses are just one part of the sorry story to be told about commercial racing. Animal Aid's extensive research over many years demonstrates that the industry treats thoroughbreds as mere reproducible commodities. It kills or dumps thousands every year when they fail to make the grade or when their racing days are over.
You can read our reports exposing the welfare problems associated with thoroughbred breeding, racing, and training, and the disposal of commercially unproductive stock on our main website: animalaid.org.uk/the-issues/our-campaigns/horse-racing/.
For horses killed racing in Ireland see: Race Horse Death Watch Ireland