Bailey Mason

About Bailey Mason

Bailey Mason is part of The Big Smoke Next Generation program. He is a 16 year old passionate animal rights activist and vegan from Sydney.

Darren Weir is just one horse trainer, animal cruelty is an industry problem

This week, Melbourne Cup-winning horse trainer Darren Weir was charged with animal cruelty. I fear he is the just the tip of an industry-wide iceberg.

 

 

Melbourne Cup-winning horse trainer Darren Weir has been charged with animal cruelty offences, and I’m not surprised because the horse racing industry is inherently cruel.

In January this year police raided Darren Weir’s properties and found electrical shock devices called jiggers, used to force horses to run faster. Jiggers are torture devices. They should never be used for the pain they cause animals. Horses continue to face stomach-turning abuse at the hands of the revolting horse racing industry but the celebration of Melbourne Cup continues each year as people turn a blind eye to cruelty.

Darren Weir was known for being a leader in horse training even training the horse Prince of Penzance, which ridden by jockey Michelle Payne, won the Melbourne Cup in 2015. Race-goers couldn’t possibly imagine that behind the scenes these beautiful horses are tortured, but that is the reality. Weir was charged with nine offences including three counts of “engaging in the torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying” of a thoroughbred racehorse and three counts of “causing unreasonable pain or suffering” to a racehorse.

Claims that racehorses are treated like royalty are nothing but a lie as these horses are being tortured for the sake of money and to feed the gambling industry.

 

The Melbourne Cup will no doubt be under more intense scrutiny this year because of the horrific charges against Darren Weir. It is becoming the race that shames the nation and it could soon be in the history books as more scandals come to surface.

 

The charges against Weir have come at the worst time for the racing industry as it enters its Spring racing season. It’s another PR nightmare for the industry and Taylor Swift’s cancellation of her performance at the Melbourne Cup is the least of their concerns with these bombshell charges.

Animal Rights activists from the group Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses protested the premiere of the new film Ride Like a Girl for the positive portrayal of Michelle Payne’s Melbourne Cup victory on Darren Weir’s trained horse. The protesters loudly disrupted the screening of the film, chanting “horse racing kills” and held posters of racehorses in abattoirs. Ride Like a Girl shockingly glamorises horse racing and even portrayed the shamed horse trainer as an animal lover, despite the controversy. Horses continue to be pushed too far on the racetracks often leading to life-threatening injuries, but sadly the film failed to address this issue of animal cruelty. It would not have been a family-friendly movie if the director had scenes of horses being abused, but that is the harsh reality of the horse racing industry.

The Melbourne Cup will no doubt be under more intense scrutiny this year because of the horrific charges against Darren Weir. It is becoming the race that shames the nation and it could soon be in the history books as more scandals come to surface.

 

 

The Big Smoke Next Gen is a program which matches professional and experienced writers, academics and journalists with students who wish to write non-fiction articles and voice their opinions on what is shaping the nation.

For more information about our program at The Big Smoke, or to become a mentor, please contact us.

 

 

 

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