Racehorse Makes His Owners $620,000 Before Falling To His Death
After a tiny misstep on a very dangerous race track, a veteran racing horse is dead.
Twelve-year-old Rabbuka was running a jumps race, also known as a steeplechase - an extremely risky kind of racing during which horses are forced gallop and leap over obstacles at high speeds - when he tripped and crashed into the ground.
Rabbuka, who had raked in over $620,000 in prize money over the years, was euthanized after his fall.
Racing.com characterizes what happened at the races at Casterton in Victoria, Australia, like this, with Rabbuka's death coming in as an afternote:
Jumps jockey Paul Gallagher has gone to hospital for observation after a heavy fall at Casterton on Sunday.
Gallagher was conscious and seemed OK after his mount Divi Filius fell in the Moredun Hill Open Steeplechase (3800m) but was taken to hospital as a precaution. Divi Filius escaped without any major concerns.
It was one of two falls in the race with Eric Musgrove's veteran Rabbuka also mistiming a jump and taking a tumble.
Jockey Clayton Douglas bounced straight back to his feet after the fall but Rabbuka wasn't so lucky and was euthanized after suffering a serious injury.
Not so lucky is an understatement after this "tumble." Jumps racing is an incredibly unsafe sport that has already claimed the lives of four other horses so far this year. "These horses are underperformers in flat races yet they are not allowed to retire," the RSPCA of Victoria describes. "Instead, they are subjected to a dangerous sport where they are required to jump over high fences at high speeds, while running long distances. As a result jumps horses are highly susceptible to horrific falls, injuries and death."
Despite horses dying every year, jumps racing remains popular in Victoria.
But the dark side of the horse racing industry, everywhere from Australia to the U.S., is that horses are just means to an end. The industry, while loving the animals for their beauty and skill, sees their deaths as unfortunate casualties inevitable to the sport. On average, 24 horses die each week at racetracks across America.
After Sunday's little mistake that claimed Rabbuka's life, these stats are all that are left of him.