Club responds to RSPCA inquest

The RSPCA announced this week an investigation of alleged animal cruelty, following two deaths and dramatic horse rescues during the recent floods.

The Lismore Turf Club has issued this statement on the matter:

Firstly we would like to make it clear that no horses whatsoever died on the Lismore Racecourse Land, and absolutely no racehorses died at all, as a result of the floodwaters.

Former Chairman and Life Member of the Lismore Turf Club, Jack Riordan, said: "I have seen many floods in my time with the Lismore Turf Club, and I can say in all honesty that during the past 25 years there has never been a racehorse killed, or had to be destroyed, as a result of floodwaters breaching the Lismore Racecourse."

The horses that have been reported to have died were not from the Lismore Racecourse and were in no way connected with the Lismore Turf Club. They were stock horses that were in a paddock on an adjoining property.

A number of unfortunate circumstances, including motor vehicle breakdowns and accidents, saw one trainer with one horse being extensively delayed from evacuating his horse.

The rescue of this horse with the help of the SES has been reported and no further comment is needed except to say the horse has been checked by a vet and given a clean bill of health.

The Lismore Turf Club would like to stress that the stables on the racecourse land are leased by licensed trainers, and it is their total responsibility (not the Lismore Turf Club's) to ensure that their horses are evacuated when floods threaten. All trainers who lease stables from the club are aware of this responsibility.

The Lismore Turf Club has not been approached at any time by the RSPCA, and no club official has been notified of any ongoing investigation into the Lismore Turf Club.

"I understand that no trainers located at Lismore Racecourse have made any complaints to the RSPCA about cruelty to racehorses," said Ron Marriott, Chairman of the Lismore Turf Club.

"In fact, if myself or any other member of the LTC Committee were made aware of cruel treatment of horses stabled on the track we would take immediate steps to correct the situation.

"As far as the Lismore Turf Club is concerned the matter is closed, the racecourse, the facilities and stabled horses are in good shape, and we look forward to a successful Lismore Cup Day on Thursday, September 22."

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