The RSPCA is calling for the immediate cancellation of 2012 jumps season after a fatality in the first race of the new season at Sandown yesterday.
The Patrick Payne trained Jotilla crashed at the second last jump in the Like Sportingbet Park on Facebook Steeplechase (3300m) and had to be euthanased after breaking its shoulder.
Jockey Rowan Waymouth was uninjured and was shocked to hear the fate of Jotilla.
“He just clipped the top of the jump,” he said. “I thought ‘He’ll get up, he’ll be right’. I thought he just corked himself, I just can’t believe the outcome,” Waymouth said.
The RSPCA has been running a long time campaign against the running of jumps racing while the State Government is sticking by the industry and guaranteeing its future.
President Dr Hugh Wirth last night urged the Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu to cancel the season after a dark cloud has already been thrown over the new season.
“As far as the RSPCA is concerned, the Premier should tonight call off the 2012 jumps season,” Dr Wirth said.
“They (government) are the only ones with the power to stop this nonsense.”
“Responsibility for the death of Jotilla today falls squarely with our government,” Wirth added.
“His owners were no doubt encouraged to enter him into the race because of the $10,000
government funded prizemoney for horses with a first time win.”
“It’s a complete farce that Racing Victoria Limited believes the future of jumps racing is bright because of improvements to safety.”
Racing Victoria CEO Ron Hines said that the incident had been forwarded to the Jumps Review Panel and there would be a follow up autopsy after RV chief vet Brian Stewart initially said that it appeared that Jotilla had fractured his shoulder.
The race was eventually won by Phaze Action ridden by Paul Hamblin and the running of the Celebrate Easter Saturday at Caulfield Hurdle (3300m) was completed without any serious incident.