Melbourne Cup Resources




Issues arising from the holding of the Melbourne Cup and from horse racing generally

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Animal welfare   images/racingdemoplacards-conversation-aap-jamesross.jpgHorse racing must change, or the court of public opinion will bury it ( 22 Oct 2019
Thoroughbred racehorses are already documented from the day they are born through to the end of their racing career.

To prevent subsequent mistreatment, this monitoring needs to continue from when they stop racing through to their death, Professor Phil McManus from the University of Sydney says. (For image source, see article.)

It's not just about your feelings, okay? The best end for a racehorse might be the knackery ( 25 Oct 2019
Horse (Image:The Converation, Flickr)Calling for enforcement of an outright ban on retired racehorses being sent to an abattoir or the knackery for slaughter might make some people feel good.

However, making more of these horses live to an old age could cause more suffering than a properly managed earlier death, PhD candidate Cathrynne Henshall says. (
For image source see article.)

The ugly side of the Melbourne Cup ( 2014
Many race horses suffer injuries and many are not euthanased at the earliest opportunity when they should be.

And what happens to the horses when they are retired from racing? Animal rights activists and Racing Victoria give their views.

Whipping (Image: The Conversation, AAP)Whipping doesn't make horses run faster or safer ( 30 Oct 2020
Four researchers say whipping horses makes no difference to horses' speed, horse steering or jockey safety.

BTN: Horse Whipping ( 22 Sep 2009
There are differences of opinion over whether whips hurt horses, and even over whether they are really effective anyway.

Horse Whip ( 24 Mar 2015
ABC program Catalyst takes a medical and scientific approach to examining the issue of whipping race horses.

The dark side of the Melbourne Cup (archived from 1 Nov 2013
In this speech presented in the NSW Legislative Council, Greens politician John Kaye argues that the Melbourne Cup perpetuates:
- the social harms caused by gambling, and
- the exploitation of horses, with "appalling animal welfare outcomes".

Gear worn by horses in the Melbourne Cup ( 5 Nov 2018
An illustrated outline of the various types of gear worn by Melbourne Cup horses. Some are for safety (such as boots and bandages) while there is controversy over others (such as tongue ties).

Children and gambling   Maths and English program may prevent teens from developing gambling problem ( 13 Oct 2014
Included in the story is information from the Responsible Gambling Foundation that "about 3-4 per cent of teenagers could already be classified as 'problem gamblers'."

Spoof KidBet ad mocks sports betting advertising ( 9 Oct 2013
A mock betting advertisement features in a new campaign drawing attention to the increased exposure of teenagers and other young people to gambling advertisements on television.

Cup sweeps a gambling risk for young: welfare group (ABC News) 5 Nov 2007
An ABC news report which states that (at least one state's) Education Department guidelines require parental permission before children can become involved in Melbourne Cup sweeps.

Economic and social downside



Spring Racing Carnival glamour hides dark side of problem gambling ( 26 Oct 2017
Substantial numbers of people who bet on the horses gamble more money thasn they can afford to lose.

Melbourne Cup: Should you really be celebrating? ( 4 Nov 2013
From the perspective of employers, it needs to be remembered that Melbourne Cup workplace activities have the potential to lower productivity and to be offensive to some employees.

For example, employees can be opposed to the Cup on the basis of:
- family and religious valuess
- animal rights considerations, andd
- the general association with gambling and alcoholl

See also Animal welfare below.

Economic benefits   Melbourne Cup a winner for national economy (
30 Oct 2014
What are the economic benefits of Australia's biggest horseracing event?

Social licence   Why horse-racing in Australia needs a social licence to operate ( 3 Nov 2017
Presents infographics on the advantages and disadvantages of the horse-racing industry.

    See also our Gambling education page, and Gambling activities with a Melbourne Cup focus

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