Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Racehorse Jumps Into Crowd

Written by PETA | May 9, 2011

Horse races aren’t just dangerous for horses—they can hurt people too. Seven people, including a 2-year-old girl, were taken to the hospital after a terrified horse leaped over an 8-foot fence and into a crowd of spectators at the Grand Annual Steeple race in Warrnambool, Australia. Banna Strand’s rider fell off in a dangerous pile-up during the first lap of the race, and the horse jumped over the wrong fence, landing in a crowd of about 50 people. Witnesses said the panicked horse continued to run, making almost a complete lap around the course before being caught.


Steeplechase racing was suspended in Victoria (one of only two Australian states where it is still legal) in 2009 after three horses died in two days at Warrnambool. Animal protectionists had asked Warrnambool to call off this year’s series of races after a horse died two days prior to the Banna Strand incident, “but they let it continue and the public paid the price,” said Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses spokesman Ward Young.

Horses routinely suffer serious and even lethal injuries in U.S. races too. During Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, Archarcharch was pulled up after incurring a career-ending leg fracture, Comma to the Top chipped a bone in his left front ankle, and Pants on Fire suffered internal bleeding.

You can help prevent these and other racehorses from ending up in the hands of slaughterhouse buyers at the end of their short careers by supporting PETA’s Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Retirement Fund

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • Sally says:

    People all over the world please email the Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu who is responsible. His email is: and tell him to stop brutalising horses and ban jumps racing forever.

  • Jackie Hickey says:

    Horse-racing is legalized animal abuse and it should be banned.

  • Get Real says:

    imforthewhales, that race originally started with 8 horses, only 2 finished and instead of putting the race on hold the authorities let this riderless horse go loose and this is the result, which contrary to what you said would of been very stressed. That is a debacle not a race and it happens all the time, 5 horses have already died this year and it has only been going for a couple of months, who knows how many have been injured, jumps racing in Australia is a bloodsport.

  • MA Moore says:

    Racing is a cruel spectator sport in which the animals have no choice and are viewed as commodities. Any racing of dogs, horses or any helpless animals should be outlawed!

  • Lin says:

    It is not just the racing & jumping that we have a problem with! It is the cruelty that they suffer in the name of training during their all too short lives ! Well said Summer!!

  • Sara Charania says:

    This is horrendous, when are we going to put a stop to this awful event which people describe as a “fun day out!!”

  • rani chandi says:

    horse racing is a cruel sport and should be banned.

  • imforthewhales says:

    First of all the horse was NOT terrified. He had simply lost his jockey and was simply carrying on with the race. The fence that was erected around the crowd looked like a jump, so he jumped it. So the fault here is by the jockey club for inviting a loose horse to jump into the crowd. Of course this is not uncommon in any sort of racing and could happen on the flat as well. Blaming jumps racing per se is a bit left of centre for this accident. Yes horses are big powerful animals…like hello… and can do a lot of damage to was unfortunate that the Warnambool folks didn’t put a bit more thought and care into where they placed fences and people. As far as the 360 idea goes, i have left a comment about this on the 360 pages on this site and eco-razzi.

  • Carmen says:

    Now I have a reason to loathe horse racing even more. As if working them to death for entertainment and money isn’t enough.

  • Get Real says:

    I’m from South Australia, which as it says above, is one of the two states that still allow jumps racing. Jumps racing is much more dangerous than flat racing because the mixture of jumping, speed, fatigue (jumps races are usually much longer than flat races) and a heavier jockey makes for a lethal mix and is inevitable that horses will continue to crash and die a very inhumane and needless death. I am very ashamed to know that South Australia still lets this bloodsport continue, even though the majority of the public and RSPCA are against it, ban it now!

  • Lisa says:

    This racing has to be stop! Right now! This is not sports to me. I hate horses racing, rodeo events, greyhound racing and bull fights, too. It sicken me.

  • Summer says:

    The racing industry is incredibly cruel and exploits horses then discards them to be killed. I work first hand with rescued racehorses and know how wonderful they are. The overbreeding, cruelty and ultimate death of these brilliant animals needs to stop now. The racing industry needs a complete and urgent overhaul with laws to protect the horses. You may not know that all racehorses bleed into their lungs from racing. This is insider knowledge that was told to me. Speak up for these wonderful animals now.

  • Jordan says:

    These animals need to be treated fairly and that means stopping this sick practice!

  • S Bavamala says:

    Leave them in peace. Ban/boycott horse racing.