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Activists Demand End To Jumps After Another Death

Thursday, 6th May 2010

Animal anti-cruelty activists last night demanded that "jumps racing must stop" after Sirrocean Storm was euthanased yesterday after breaking its leg on the 2nd day of the controversial comeback carnival at Warrnambool in Victoria, reported The Herald-Sun. Coalition For The Protection Of Racehorses campaign manager Elio Celotto declared the latest horse death "should be the end of the sport". The John Wheeler-trained 6YO gelding Sirrocean Storm hit the 3rd obstacle in the $101,000 Galleywood Hurdle & broke the cannon bone in its offside hind leg & "was put down a short time later". The incident "comes as this Warrnambool carnival may determine the future of jumps racing in Victoria, which was suspended after last year's Grand Annual Steeplechase when only 8 of 14 horses completed the course". Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines told the newspaper: "It's very disappointing, but accidents will happen. I still think the new jumps are performing well. The tempo of the racing has improved & the horses are jumping the new jumps better than they did last year." And RV steward James Williams said Sirrocean Storm's injury was "rare" noting: "I've never seen something like that actual injury happen. The vet said he hadn't, either. The incident will be reviewed by the Jumping Review Panel next week." However Celotto insisted jumps racing "should not go on following the death" & emphasised: "We've always said you can't combine jumping & racing & expect it to be safe. It just doesn't work & this is proof. These latest jumps are supposed to be the safest jumps in the world. And we've already got double the death rate that Racing Victoria said was acceptable for jumps racing to continue. RV has given jumps racing a lifeline, but they've given jumps horses a death sentence & we want it to stop immediately." Celotto said suggestions the injury was rare or unusual was "smoke screening" by authorities to hide the facts & added: "They come up with all sorts of excuses, but at the end of the day horses die 20 times more in jumps races than in flat races. Making horses run long distances & jump at the same time is a recipe for disaster." Celotto said The Coalition plans a lunchtime protest outside Vic torian Premier John Brumby's office tomorrow (Friday).

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