An animal rights activism group are calling for an ‘immediate’ investigation into the Melbourne Cup after the tragic death of race favourite, Anthony van Dyck.
The horse was just 500m from the finish line during the highly anticipated race on Tuesday afternoon when it fractured its fetlock.
Vets quickly assessed the animal but found it was too badly injured to be saved and was euthanised soon after.
In the wake of the tragedy, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are demanding an end to the ‘disgrace against the nation’ and are asking for the horse’s veterinary records to be released.
Anthony Van Dyck was just 500m from the finish line when he suffered a broken leg with his injuries so bad he was soon put down
‘While the industry focuses on the money made from animal suffering, glossing over the bleeding lungs, broken bones, and death, the reality of the abusive racing industry is that horses are made to run to the detriment of their health,’ PETA spokesperson Emily Rice said.
‘Before they’ve even finished maturing, these 500-kilogram animals – supported on ankles as small as those of humans – are pushed past their limits, forced to race at breakneck speeds to the finishing line while being whipped.
‘It’s no surprise that in just the last racing year, 116 horses died on Australian racecourses. How many more deaths will it take before we call time on this disgraceful demonstration of national senselessness?’
Just one day before the big event was due to kick off, protesters from PETA and the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) descended on Flemington Racecourse.
Protesters from PETA and the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses are seen at Flemington Racecourse on Monday
Protesters donned horse masks while brandishing signs that read: ‘Nup to the Cup’ and ‘You bet, they die’
Within the last year, 116 racehorses have all died on the track after suffering fatal injuries or heart problems (pictured protesters at Flemington one day before the race)
Protesters donned horse masks while brandishing signs that read: ‘Nup to the Cup’ and ‘You bet, they die’.
Many brought along whips that upon being cracked let out blood-red smoke into the sky and onto their clothes.
Reports suggest around 5,000 racehorses are killed at a single slaughterhouse every year.
Within the last year, 116 racehorses have all died on the track after suffering fatal injuries or heart problems.
Anthony van Dyck marks the seventh Melbourne Cup horse to die from the last eight races.
Revellers are seen celebrating the race at Sydney’s Harbour View Hotel after no crowds were allowed into Flemington due to coronavirus restrictions
Patrons in Melbourne cheer on their horses during a televised screening of the race
Racing Victoria’s executive general manager Jamie Stier confirmed on Tuesday afternoon the horse had been put down.
‘It is with sadness that we confirm that Anthony Van Dyck had to be humanely euthanised after sustaining a fractured fetlock during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington,’ Mr Stier said.
‘The horse received immediate veterinary care, however he was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained.
‘Our sympathies are extended to the owners of Anthony Van Dyck, trainer Aidan O’Brien and all his staff who cared for the horse and are greatly saddened by their loss.’
Twilight Payment managed to take out first place in Tuesday’s race while the stands stood empty due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Jye McNeil riding Twilight Payment keeps his lead over favourite Tiger Moth during the 2020 Melbourne Cup
Jye McNeil holds the Melbourne Cup after winning on board Twilight Payment on Tuesday afternoon