Pune: Mumbai season’s races were conducted at the Pune Race Course in the last week of November. Around 21 horses suffered eye injuries during the race. The poor race track conditions are said to be the reason behind these injuries to the horses. Equestrians are now demanding a subsidized treatment for their horses.
According to sources, the grass at Pune Race Course was cut short, which loosened the soil, making it unsuitable for contesting a horse tourney. While the horses started galloping the loose soil particles hit their eyes through back kicks. Back kicks are a regular feature at the Pune racecourse, but it has increased because the soil is being loose and is easily blown off.
Veteran trainer Narendra Lagad, who saw five of his horses suffering eye injuries said, “The injuries are not of any serious nature.” Another trainer said, “We have been asked to use pacifiers which act as goggles and protect the horse eyes from glare, dust, etc. It also covers the eyes without hindering vision.”
However, the horse owner’s association has demanded subsidized treatment for their injured racehorses at the club’s equine hospital. Shiven Surendarnath, President of the Western India Race Horse Owners’ Association, (RWITC) said “The RWITC should preferably give free treatment or at least subsidize it at their equine hospital. But there is zero accountability for the club’s actions. Why should the club’s hospital make a profit on the treatment from the owners for their fault.’’ Sources claimed that the person responsible for maintaining the racecourse has been sacked and corrective measures are being taken.”
Shiva Daga, the representative of the Animal Welfare Board of India at RWITC and head of its board of appeal, has asked the club officials to provide details of the incidents. He has also asked Chief Stipendiary Steward from where they bought the soil for the race track. But he hasn’t received any reply, he further added saying it’s not easy to get an answer from this club.”