Just hours after the Melbourne Cup, Rostropovich’s name has flooded social media feeds as it was confirmed the racehorse was treated to veterinary care.
After reports emerged that the five-year-old had been taken to an equine clinic after sustaining a suspected cracked pelvis, Racing Victoria released a statement saying the horse had been found lame after pulling up last.
“Racing Victoria (RV) stewards advise that the Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig-trained Rostropovich was inspected by RV veterinarians following the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse today and was found to be lame,” read the statement.
“After receiving veterinary care on the course, the horse has been transported to the University of Melbourne Equine Centre for further assessment.”
Six racehorses have died since 2013 as a result of the annual event that takes place on the first Tuesday of November.
In 2014, Admire Rakti collapsed and died in his stall after the Melbourne Cup, while in 2017 Regal Monarch was put down after sustaining an injury during the race.
On Tuesday animal rights activists protested outside Victoria’s Flemington Racecourse to take a stand after greater public awareness was sparked by the ABC’s recent 7:30pm coverage revealing hundreds of registered racehorses were being killed at slaughterhouses.
Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi said a Royal Commission into the horse racing industry was needed.
“Year after year we see the needless painful deaths of horses, including five in the last six Melbourne Cups,” she said. “More and more people are recognising that animals never win when gambling profits are at stake. That’s why I say ‘nup’ to the cup.
“After all the evidence of animal cruelty and racehorses being sent to slaughterhouses in appalling conditions, we urgently need a Royal Commission into cruelty in horse racing to hold the industry to account.”
The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses found 122 horses had died on Aussie tracks in one year, while ‘on average one horse will die on Australian racetracks every three days’.