Local News

Melbourne Cup 2018: Australians boycott the race that stops the nation

Nup to the Cup!

By Anita Lyons
The Melbourne Cup is one of the biggest days in the Aussie calendar, but some of the population are boycotting it all together.
This year, #nuptothecup is trending on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - with the wider public and celebrities alike, jumping on board to avoid the festivities due to their belief that it is "cruel to the horses".
Instead, pubs, restaurants and bars are throwing "anti-horse racing" lunches and picnics around the country, for those who do not wish to participate.

Why "Nup to the Cup"?

The race that "stops the nation" has been a highlight of the calendar year since it's first race in 1861, however, it has since attracted backlash from people who believe the horses are pushed too far for profit and fun.
The Greens party of Australia, whose tagline is - "the disgrace that stops the nation", have chosen to support the cause by releasing the following statistics.
  • 10,000 horses are sent to slaughter each year
  • An average of 137 on track deaths per year
  • More than 50 per cent of all racehorses have blood in their windpipes
  • Over 85 per cent have lesions in their stomachs from racing

Celebrity supporters

Dean Wells, Married At First Sight
Reality star Dean took to Instagram this morning, urging people to boycott the Melbourne Cup due to it being "cruel, corrupt and pointless".
"Please don't support melbourne cup this year. Just google search horse racing cruelty corruption and take a look at the seedy underbelly of this strange, archaic practice. A lot of people are slowly realizing the truth, [sic]" he captioned the video.
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Some of his followers jumped at the opportunity to agree with the reality star.
"I can't believe there are so mean people out there that have no idea what goes on behind it all," one comment read. "Sometimes I feel like we should ride people around and whip them to go faster and if the don't perform well or Break a leg then just shout them. If you know what I mean [sic]."
While others, felt he needed to be more informed:
"Hhmm not sure you know enough about the industry to pass comment eg how well most horses are treated compared to the law of nature," one person wrote.
"Sure there is the odd bad horse owner/trainer but not so many. Just saying ..... back here in NZ I will be attending a CHARITY luncheon fundraiser supporting "children with life limiting illnesses" and their major funding comes from this "Long Lunch" which uses the Melbourne Cup to raise $100k+ ...... so not everything in racing is bad .... said to balance things out. [sic]"
Angie and Yvie, Gogglebox
While they haven't explicitly written any comments about the subject, the pair have re-tweeted other tweets, specifically about how researchers have found that more than half of the horses they studied used for racing had blood in their windpipes.
David Campbell
Host of Today Extra on Channel 9, David Campbell, also chose to re-tweet in support of #NupToTheCup.
According to the tweet by Animals Australia, "flogging an exhausted animal in the pursuit of gambling profits is violence to animals plain and simple. This is nothing to be celebrated. #MelbourneCup #NupttotheCup #LoveHorsesnoRacing"
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Industry Insider weighs in

So what really happens to these horses?
Now to Love reached out to an industry insider who has the inside track on the way these horses are treated.
"Horses get injured in racing just like humans do," they said. "These horses live a pretty amazing life and are well cared for. In fact, these horses are bred for horse racing and actually love to race."