August 28th, 2011.
The Grand National Steeplechase was off to a bad start with the death of a jumps horse. The fall and death of six-year-old Fergus McIver sparked outrage among protestors, who were rallying for a ban on the controversial sport outside the racecourse when it all happened…
Fergus McIver was killed during a jumps race at the Grand National Steeplechase today.
August 28, 2011
Reporting & Production: Brianna Piazza
VO: Within the first half hour of an anti-jumps rally at Sandown Racecourse today, protestors discovered yet another horse was killed during a jumps race.
Fergus McIver is the fourth horse to die in a jumps race in Victoria this year. He fell on the final jump during the first race of the day. Rider, Arron Lynch, escaped unharmed.
While speculation exists that Fergus McIver may have died of a heart attack, protestors are adamant that jumps racing must end.
IRENE COOPER: It’s no surprise that another horse has died – it’s a barbaric sport. It’s always on the cards that another horse is going to die. I don’t know why we still keep it.
WARD YOUNG: The majority of Victorians do not want jumps racing. The government needs to listen to these people that have put them in power and not the minority extremist group at Warnambool who get some sick entertainment out of this sport.
VO: In 2010 Racing Victoria overturned a ban on jumps racing. But the State Government will review the sport in two years’ time.
Victorian taxpayers are funding two million dollars for this controversial sport. Jumps racing is banned in all states except Victoria and South Australia, but some say a ban on jumps racing is extreme.
PETER JULIUS: Give the industry a bit of a break… it’s way extreme, they just don’t see the other side of it. They don’t know enough about the industry.
NOEL CUNNINGHAM: I believe horses are natural jumpers. The one’s I’ve seen really love it and really enjoy it.
VO: Racing Victoria declined Spectrum’s request for an interview and would not release a statement.
Brianna Piazza, reporting for Spectrum