Two Dead at Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is one of the world’s richest and most prestigious horseraces – Australia’s Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont rolled into one. So you can imagine the handwringing today after yesterday’s 2014 edition saw two of its superstar entrants die in the arena:

Pre-race favorite Admire Rakti collapsed just minutes after “staggering to the line” (the jockey said his mount “shuddered”). Initial report: “acute heart failure.” The other – Araldo – was euthanized for a broken leg. According to The Age, “…as [Araldo] made his way back to the enclosure…he was apparently spooked by a woman waving an Australian flag. He kicked a steel running rail and fractured a cannon bone as he thrashed out in fright. Subsequent scans revealed he had suffered seven fractures. The surgeon said the injured area looked like a ‘bag of ice’.” A “bag of ice.”

While the industry quickly dismissed the kills as anomalies – freak occurences – The Coalition For The Protection Of Racehorses reminds that in the past year about 125 horses have died during or shortly after Australian races/training sessions.

Watch as Admire Rakti begins his slow fade, just minutes from death:

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  1. Patrick,

    This is another terrible tragedy. Can you post the link to your post. I do not see it imbedded in your post when you sent out your email.

  2. For those who would like to claim a compromised heart – congenital in nature – for the cause of Admire Rakti’s “acute heart failure”, isn’t it astonishing that the “diseased heart” of this nearly seven-year-old horse (with 4 years of racing/training and 28 races under his belt) didn’t fail him a long time ago! What a sham…and what a horrific death. But just put up a screen, hide the disturbing death scene, and get on with the day.

    “Humans – who enslave…other animals – have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and ‘animals’ is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us…without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer.” – Carl Sagan.

    Stop pretending, racing supporters…Admire Rakti SUFFERED. And for what…

    • Thanks Joy for your tribute to Admire Ratki. What really haunts me is his behaviour pre-race in the tie-ups and especially when he refused to go into the barriers and the jockey Zac Purton hit him hard with the whip and he was forced in.

  3. Thanks Patrick for putting this up. I had to go away for 10 days and was offline. Admire Ratki should never have raced and should’ve been scratched. The information i have on him pre-race is heartbreaking but at this point in time it’s best i do not put anything in writing. Araldo was definitely a freak accident and strangely this is the first genuine freak accident i’ve come across for many years. I am waiting on the official release from Racing Victoria of the results of Ratki’s necropsy. If it was in fact a heart attack it would not surprise me given his pre-race condition and then the terrible stress of the race.

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