Items

Forums
 
Stolen Horse Raced to Death
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   6th May 2017   •   1,632 views   •   0 comments


For many people all over the world, the Easter weekend is a very happy time – full of love, life and family. However, for a select few South African horses, the Easter weekend has become a fearful time of danger, pain and suffering. This last Easter, OTTBs Maximum Flo and Wavin’ Flag were two of these horses.

The two winning racehorses were retired at the Thoroughbred Horses Rehoming Centre (THRC). Though Flag was still awaiting rehoming, Max had been adopted, and was waiting to go to his forever home off the track with his new owners when disaster struck. Jenny Millington of THRC reported on Facebook on Wednesday 12 April that the property fence was discovered to have been cut, and the two horses were missing.

Over the next two days, the equestrian community banded together on social media, sharing pictures of Max and Flag far and wide. Search parties were sent out, including drones and helicopters, but initially all leads seemed to head to dead ends. Until, that is, word arose from local townships of an annual Easter Weekend ‘bush race’.

Bush races are a South African tragedy – informal races conducted in poor communities, usually involving local gangs, which take place on whatever space of ground is available – be it literal bush, sand dunes, or even tar roads. News24 explains that the races have no control or monitoring, and without regulations, horses can be beaten with whips, raced in makeshift ‘bits’ crafted from wire, and generally made to suffer without any concern for their welfare. Though officials know about these races and have often found abandoned horses after races have been held, no perpetrators have been caught.

Thankfully, after roughly 48 hours of intense searching, Max and Flag were found on Good Friday. Only, it was sadly not as ‘good’ as rescuers may have hoped. Wavin’ Flag, though severely sore and overworked, was returned safely home – but Max tragically succumbed to injuries sustained from the harsh unregulated racing, and had to be put to sleep. Jenny Millington of THRC reported to Sporting Post that though it broke the rescuers’ hearts to have to put Max to sleep after he had finally been returned safely home, they know that it was the right decision, as X-Rays had shown that Max had fractured his sesamoids beyond repair.

Wavin’ Flag is home and recovering well, but the tragedy of the ordeal remains all too real – especially given the risk of a repeat, with horse theft for illegal bush racing being an all-too-common occurrence. Luckily for all involved, the equestrian community is well known for its solidarity in times of crisis, and plans have already been put forward to collect donations in order to fund better fencing and security for THRC. Meanwhile, it is to be hoped that in light of this very sad report of one of many unhappy endings to Easter bush racing, enough attention may have been drawn to this issue to warrant a call to action to end bush racing once and for all.

Though for now, such a happy ending remains, unfortunately, a mere unrealised Easter miracle.

Resources:
Facebook.com
Sporting Post: http://www.sportingpost.co.za/2017/04/taken/
News24: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/retired-racehorses-stolen-for-suspected-bush-racing-20170419
Horse News More PB Articles About:  racing,
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Rescue and Abuse      Horse News More From This Author:  Polo the Weirdo
 Related Horse News
Bush Tracks - The Darker Side of Horse Racing
31st May 2017   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Winniefield Park
Unsanctioned or bush races are held at racetracks and they can be held in open fields using things like barrels, old rails or natural obstacles to mark the track. There is often no barrier and little space between the racers and t ...
Stolen Horse Raced to Death
6th May 2017   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Polo the Weirdo
For many people all over the world, the Easter weekend is a very happy time – full of love, life and family. However, for a select few South African horses, the Easter weekend has become a fearful time of danger, pain and sufferin ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Polo the Weirdo
400 Horses Killed Each Month Due to COVID Lockdown
17th May 2020   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Polo the Weirdo
The elongated shutdown of racing brings with it many great consequences, many of which are already beginning to show as owners, breeders and trainers alike are forced to begin euthanasia of horses they can no longer afford to keep ...
Why Equestrians Relate to Tiger King
23rd Apr 2020   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Polo the Weirdo
With the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, people the world over are doing exactly what one would expect modern man to do in a time of great crisis. They are binge-watching eccentric Netflix documentaries. The specific documen ...
How to Stay Sane During Lockdown - A Guide for Equestrians
11th Apr 2020   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Polo the Weirdo
With our current global pandemic, many equestrians the world over are suddenly being forced to face a horseless reality as entire nations enter lockdown. It is a miserable and testing time, but equestrians are tough. We’re gonna m ...
Equestrian In Lockdown
5th Apr 2020   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Polo the Weirdo
On the first day of lockdown, most of us sat in our homes. Silent, shellshocked, looking through old pictures of our horses and trying to come to terms with the fact that we had to be without them for 3 whole weeks. Worrying about ...
Dear Baby Horse - Regarding The Gate
29th Mar 2020   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Polo the Weirdo
I am a long-time sufferer of your shenanigans, and I am writing to express my concern about recent discussion and the pending decision to implement an exit the arena at any given opportunity policy. I understand that the decision ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Baby Horses Are Like Underwear
10th Nov 2019   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Polo the Weirdo
Yesterday, while dressing to go down to the stables and exercise the half-ton creatures that spend their lives trying to kill me, I got my foot stuck in a hole in my underwear that was definitely not supposed to be there. This mad ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Dont Hurt Me No More
19th Oct 2019   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Polo the Weirdo
Since I have had my Baby Horses, Sunny and De Niro, I have had one fall off each, which is really not bad going through all the toddler tantrums! Honestly, I was feeling quite proud of myself. Until today. ...
Baby Horse Diaries - If Baby Horses Could Name Things
28th Sep 2019   |   Horse Rescue and Abuse   |   Polo the Weirdo
If you’ve ever owned, trained, or otherwise interacted with a baby horse, you will know that sometimes they just seem to see the world differently to us. Whether it’s the shallow rain puddle that’s clearly hiding sharks, or the in ...
  View All News by Polo the Weirdo
 
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
198 Members Online 268,353 Registered Members 2,748 News Articles 11,677,329 Unique News Article Views 277,894,679 Website Views