Australian Turf Club inquiry launched

Stewards from Racing NSW have opened an inquiry in to alleged animal cruelty by the Mounted Division of the Australian Turf Club (ATC).

Allegations of mistreatment, illegal sedation and cruelty to horses surfaced in a Sydney Morning Herald report last month.

Racing NSW began to act following a mid-January incident at the Falls Music & Arts Festival near Byron Bay, where a horse and its female rider were injured.

Six horses at the centre of the allegations have been transported from their Centennial Park stable to a spelling farm while the investigation is in progress.

Horses in the ATC’s Mounted Division are retrained from racehorses retrained for everyday life. Continue reading Australian Turf Club inquiry launched

Hay List bucks the odds to return to racing

Hay ListIn early April 2012 champion sprinter Hay List, a six-year-old thoroughbred gelding – at the time the highest rated male sprinter in the world and the only horse to ever get close to beating Black Caviar, – underwent surgery for colic at a Sydney equine hospital.

On recovering from he was found to be non weight bearing lame in the near fore leg with swelling about his carpus. Soon after radiographs revealed Hay List had severely fractured his carpus and the owners and trainer were advised he would never race again and that even his survival was at risk. Opinions were obtained from leading equine surgeons around the world with advice ranging from do nothing and hope, to carpal arthrodesis and even euthanasia.

The horse was put into a tube cast and then returned to trainer John McNair’s property at Somersby on the Central Coast of NSW. Here he came under the care of specialist equine surgeon Nicholas Kannegieter and stable vet Brett Jones. On his return he was still Grade 4-5/5 lame, had extensive firm diffuse swelling around the left carpus, pain on even mild flexion and greatly reduced range of motion.

Further radiographs confirmed the severity of the injury revealing a comminuted fracture of the intermediate carpal bone with crushing and fragmentation of the proximal articular surface, multiple avulsion fractures from the caudal aspect of the distal radius and proximal radial, intermediate and ulnar carpal bones, crushing of dorsal articular surface of the radiocarpal and third carpal bones and damage to all major ligaments resulting in joint instability. Continue reading Hay List bucks the odds to return to racing

Owner rejects horse deaths finding 

The owner of 22 horses which died on a southeast Queensland property has questioned a finding that scrub ticks or botulism probably caused the deaths.

Steve Hogno said tests of horse-hair samples sent to a US laboratory had turned up high levels of heavy metals including manganese and zinc, among others.

“They’re saying they’ve got some of the highest levels of heavy metals they’ve even seen,” Hogno told AAP. “Now we’ve got to try and find out where they’ve come from.”

The US laboratory had indicated that ingestion of a toxic weed or outside intervention could have caused the high metal levels, Hogno said, and that he did not know why Biosecurity Queensland had reached such a drastically different conclusion. Continue reading Owner rejects horse deaths finding