What’s wrong with jumps racing?

Jumps racing puts horses at unacceptable risk of injury and/or death. It is NOT like other equestrian sports. No other equestrian sport forces horses at full gallop, in a group, to jump fixed obstacles spread out over long distances (jumps races are much longer than flat races). Anyone who has watched a jumps race will know that for every horse that falls there are countless others that hit obstacles and almost fall as they land awkwardly, frequently dislodging their riders.

What’s happening in SA?

Last year a State Government-backed inquiry into jumps racing in South Australia gave the jumps racing industry three years (to the end of the 2019 season) to improve its animal welfare record.

Already we have had at least six serious falls resulting in horses and jockeys being injured – and one fatality. 

Statistics show that a horse competing in a jumps race is nearly 19 times more likely to die than a horse competing in a flat race. (University of Melbourne study, 2006)

 The Select Committee, chaired by Member for Reynell Katrine Hildyard, handed down its final report at the end of November.  You can read the report here. 

The vast majority of the 1811 submissions received by the Committee supported an end to jumps racing in SA. RSPCA South Australia thanks those of you who took the time to be a voice for these animals.

Thoroughbred Racing SA is now on notice to implement the report’s 28 recommendations over the next three years.

You can read RSPCA South Australia’s response to all the Select Committee’s recommendations here.

The jumps season ends at Morphettville in September. Between now and then the likelihood of more injuries and deaths is high.

More than 80 horses have now died in jumps races on South Australian and Victorian tracks since 2006. It is unknown how many more horses have been euthanased after sustaining injuries in jumps races. South Australia and Victoria are the only states that still allow jumps racing.

The RSPCA remains strongly opposed to the continuation of jumps racing – as do the majority of South Australians.

What can you do?

We can all help to end jumps racing in South Australia. Here’s how –

  1. Don’t attend race meetings that stage jumps races.
  2. Take action here.

Want to know more?

To hold a view on any issue, it is important to know the facts. Read more here. 


Cover: Wheeler Fortune – SA’s latest jumps racing victim. The five year old gelding was euthanased in front of hundreds of spectators after falling in the Somerled Hurdle at Oakbank on Saturday April 15 2017. Photo courtesy of the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses