This Year Was The Lowest Melbourne Cup Carnival Attendance Since 1999

If you’ve ever wondered if the efforts of animal protection advocates was having any impact, this definitely proves it.

The famous Melbourne Cup Carnival, which comprises of Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Stakes Day and Oaks Day, has slowly but surely seen a decrease in attendance numbers in recent years.

And this year, it reached the lowest since 1999. Melbourne Cup Day itself hit the lowest attendance in 20 years.

This decline in attendance sits at around 25% since 2006. But you’ll probably work out that it’s no coincidence, since animal protection campaigns targeting the Melbourne Cup commenced just 2 years later in 2008.

Since then, the racing industry has been routinely exposed for it’s welfare issues: the lack of retirement plan, jumps racing, public floggings with the whip, deaths on track and in slaughterhouses.

Not to mention that horses have been consistently dying in the Melbourne Cup over the past few years, exposing a shocking statistic that this actually happens every 2.6 days year-round on Australian racetracks.

This year a horse died at the Melbourne Cup and then the next day, a jockey publicly punched his horse and was only suspended for 2 weeks. And this is an industry that claims to care about horse welfare.

It’s no wonder that the once-supporting-public can no longer take them seriously and are turning away in droves.

An industry that once operated without being held to public account, now struggles to maintain its social license. And it will only get worse until they realise they need to do better — much better.

3 Ways You Can Help Racehorses This Melbourne Cup Day (And Spring Carnival)

If you think the race that stops the nation is no cause for celebration, you’re not alone! Here are 3 really awesome ways you can help racehorses on Melbourne Cup Day.

1. Volunteer
There are sanctuaries across the country who are constantly cleaning up the mess of the racing industry by rescuing failed & former racehorses.

But maintaining and looking after them isn’t an easy task, and those caring for them can always use a helping hand.

Make a commitment to volunteer with your local horse rescue or animal sanctuary instead of watching the races on Melbourne Cup Day!

2. Donate or hold a fundraiser
This one is a sure bet.

Instead of putting money on the big race, why not commit to donate what you’d spend to an animal welfare group or sanctuary? Your money could go towards anything you choose – from long term campaigns for a racehorse retirement plan, to feed and vet care for an ex-racehorse at a sanctuary.

You can’t lose out when you’re putting your money on a kinder world for racehorses! Find out what fundraisers are happening around you.

3. Attend a protest
The only way that we will change the way horses are being treated in the racing industry is by raising awareness and keeping up the pressure!

If there’s a protest in your area, head on down to show your support. You can find a list of our own protests on our Facebook events page.

If you’d like to hold a protest, contact us, and we’d be more than happy to support. You can also download banners and posters on our resources page.