End of a dream caught on camera

Two NZ horses, exported to Australia have died in recent jumps races, marking the start of the Australasian jumps racing seasons with carnage.

Seven year old Cliff’s Dream was one of the horses that died. Originally trained in Cambridge and raced in NZ flat races, he had made over $380,000 in prize money.

The day of his death was his very first jumps race at Warrnambool Festival in Victoria. He crashed at the second-last hurdle and his knee was fractured. Racehorses with broken legs are unlikely to be able to race again, so are generally euthanised; this was the case with Cliff’s Dream. Race officials did their best to hide his death behind screens, but it was caught on camera. 

Race enthusiasts try to justify jumps racing by saying it gives horses too slow for flat racing a second chance, but the grueling courses these horses are forced to race on, jumping fences at speed, are highly dangerous. Additionally, jumps races are usually much longer than flat races. Tired horses have a greater risk of falling and risking injury to themselves.

The previous week saw another NZ horse named Fieldmaster, euthanised when his leg was broken during trials at Cranbourne Racecourse. Tuscan Fire was another casualty at Warrnambool, killed after injuring his pastern.

14 horses have been killed in the previous three jumps race seasons in NZ.

How many more will die in jumps races both here and in Australia?

Victoria and South Australia are the only Australian states that still have jumps racing. In New Zealand we need to call a halt to this cruel and dangerous so-called ‘sport’.


  • The bets placed on jumps racing are the life-blood of the industry, but punters are literally gambling with animals’ lives. The reality is horses are dying on tracks every year and the casualties will continue to mount unless action is taken.
  • You can help. Show your opposition to jumps racing by signing the pledge.

13 May 2016