Please help to END steeple chasing in Australia...better safety rules are NOT enough

I hear the harsh metal grind as I am woken in the early hours,

the sound of a gate swinging heavily on its hinges.

Though it is not my own I raise my head,
listen intently and wonder what this day will bring.

I am fed, I am shackled, I am led from my cell,
though not free to roam.

My ward holds me tight,  something tells me I'm stronger than him but it is not worth the fight.

I have seen those who run, those who escape...

Their momentary freedom turns to panic as they realise,
though they may run, they have forgotten how to shake loose from man's heavy handed regime.

A wary allegiance has formed, I too feel the confusion of a soft, soothing voice being overwhelmed and pushed aside by an impatient rough hand.

There are those that look at us and feel literal anguish at our neglect.

They don't see a machine, a number, a dollar.
They see a soul in need of healing, an ear in need of a whisper.

An independent heart in need of asking, not force.


(C) Sarah Kearvell 2008


STEEPLE CHASING IS BLOOD FOR PROFIT
I am writing to you today to protest strongly against the continuance of Steeple Chasing in the Racing Industry.
I am fully aware of the profit it brings trainer, bookie and jockeys alike upon big race days such as Oakbank, and such a 'sport' is hard to ban with such a strong following of spectators..
The 12 deaths that have occurred already this year, 12 innocent animals literally ridden into the ground has not made nearly as much media coverage as the thousands of drunk imbeciles happily cheering on a horse doomed to it's death, some of these people even hope they would fall...it's ..exciting. Is it not?
Over the years we have seen many changes in The Racing Industry, given it high injury rate..to riders and handlers. We have seen the introduction of helmets, chaps, safety boots and more recently, rider's vests, designed to soften the impact of a fall from a race horse.
What improvements have the horses had? What concern for their safety? Very little...and certainly not enough.
PLEASE take the time to sign this petition, it will be sent to the Victorian Racing Association..Steeple Chasing must be STOPPED not modifiyed.
Why?

Because it is brutal.

It is beyond the horse's capabilities.

Sooner or later, they will fall.

And they will be destroyed and replaced.
Thank you
Sarah
To rob.hulls@parliament.vic.gov.au
I am writing to you again to protest strongly against the continuance of Steeple Chasing in the Racing Industry.
I am fully aware of the profit it brings trainer, bookie and jockeys alike upon big race days such as Oakbank, and such a 'sport' is hard to ban with such a strong following of spectators..
The 12 deaths that have occurred already this year, 12 innocent animals literally ridden into the ground has not made nearly as much media coverage as the thousands of drunk imbeciles happily cheering on a horse doomed to it's death, some of these people even hope they would fall...it's ..exciting. Is it not?
 
"The fact is there is no solution. We must simply accept that in jumps racing, any racing, horses are injured and occasionally die.
If we can't accept that the sport has no future"
Matt stewart,
Racing Journalist for The Herald Sun,
16/06/08
 
Who are we to decide how many horses it 'ok' to slaughter so we can have the fun of a horse race?? The man has  made a fundamental point, "if we can't accept that the sport has no future".
It is nothing but a sport. cruel, dangerous, UNECCESSARY.
 
Over the years we have seen many changes in The Racing Industry, given it high injury rate..to riders and handlers. We have seen the introduction of helmets, chaps, safety boots and more recently, rider's vests, designed to soften the impact of a fall from a race horse.
What improvements have the horses had? What concern for their safety? Very little...and certainly not enough.
 
 
I am not making assumptions, nor am I some one that can be written of as inexperienced in the racing field.
I have been working in the racing industry for 10 years. I have also worked in a sports bar, attending to the punter's never ending obsession. I know about the profit the racing industry stands to lose. I know what these horses go through day to day, possibly only to fall and be destroyed.
In my entire time in the Race Industry, I refused to work for a Jumps trainer, strap (saddle on race day) a steeple chase runner or even attend a Steeple Chase Race Meeting.


Because it is brutal.


It is beyond the horse's capabilities.


Sooner or later, they will fall.



That much should be obvious when it has been shown that horses racing on the flat still fall, still get injured, still die in the name of entertainment. You may think me hypocritical to speak as I do after being involved in the Industry for so long myself but I took every opportunity to protect my horses (the horses put in my care to ride) from over work, neglect and cruelty, as I am now.



For 10 years I have been riding track work, strapping at (flat) races, educating yearlings, you name it. I have watched the brutalisation that some of these animals face EVERYDAY. I have an affinity with and a profound love for horses, their agility, kindness and strength.

 
All the things these trainers abuse for profit. 
 
Safety precautions are not enough to ensure that no steeple chase horse will injure itself, the changes to the hurdles are having little effect and horses are still at high risk of injury and death.
I urge you, please put an end to Hurdle Racing.
The Jockey has a choice, is aware of those choices and the implications they may have. They chose their career, they know and accept the risk. They choose their race, their ride.
 
A horse is a loyal creature.
It will run when you ask it to, as hard as it can. It will jump as far as it can..and further.
It trusts its leader (rider) to tell it what to do.
It will jump when it barely has the energy to lift it's feet..because you asked it to. 
It will fall, it will die and those for whom it died to entertain will say..."oh, how's the jockey?"
 
Steeple Chasing is a blatant abuse of animals for profit. It must end now.
 The undersigned share my disgust for this practice,

Thank you for you time
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