Monday, November 05, 2007

Melbourne Cup parade

I was tramming up St Kilda Rd today at noon after my interview, when suddenly all the trams stopped just in front of the Arts Center. There were lots of ppl lining up along the street. It looks like I'm gonna hang around and be a spectator for the Melbourne Cup Parade!

This is an excerpt from the abc news:

No horses at Melbourne Cup Parade

Thousands of fans lined the streets of Melbourne's CBD today for the traditional Melbourne Cup Parade.

The threat of equine influenza meant the horses did not participate in the parade this year, however trainers and jockeys took part, making their way along Swanston Street to Federation Square in a convoy of convertibles.

Fans were able to catch a glimpse of the Melbourne Cup, as it was driven along the course of the parade.

Celebrities, including singer Delta Goodrem, were also a major drawcard.

Melbourne Lord Mayor John So (r) holds aloft the Melbourne Cup, alongside singer Delta Goodrem

Oh yes, she's been enjoying lots of publicity so far with her most recent album, "Delta". Her song, 'In this life' has been a hit in Aussie these past few weeks.

Trainer of Melbourne Cup favourite Master O'Reilly, Danny O'Brien, was among those taking part in the parade and he says he knows expectations are high.

"He looks like the real deal and he's a Caulfield Cup winner now," he said.

"Let's hope tomorrow he's a Melbourne Cup winner as well."

O'Brien says he is under no illusion as to how hard it will be to win the Cup.

"The thing about the Cup is you never know until they run in it," he said.

"We can speculate all we like, but it's the toughest race on the calendar and until a horse has proven himself in the Cup, you're never sure."

Dolphin Jo jockey Clare Lindop says it is the first year she has been involved in the parade.

"This is fantastic, I mean Melbourne loves a good parade don't they, it's fantastic to be here for this," she said.

"And tomorrow it's down to business."

After heavy rain on Sunday, some of the trainers were concerned the condition of the new Flemington track would hinder their Cup chances.

However, O'Brien says he is confident the turf will be of the highest standard tomorrow.

"I think with all that money that they spent on it and the renovation that's been done, it'll be justified tomorrow," he said.

'The track will be as good as any racing surface you see around the world and every horse will get their chance."

Cute kids riding 'horses'

Carson Kressley was also there. This is more info about him:

"Accomplished stylist, breakout television star, equestrian, author and now fashion designer Carson Kressley is out to make-over the world. Kressley is one of the stars of the hit original series “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” for the Bravo Network.complished stylist, breakout television star, equestrian, author and now fashion designer Carson Kressley is out to make-over the world. "

There was some sarcasm as well, reported in The Age newspaper:

The absence of horses also did not stop animal rights campaigners holding up placards of euthanased horses at the parade's end.

Their message: "Don't be blinded by the glamour".

This is a short article about their activities (you can find more here):

Do you attend a Melbourne Cup Function and support horse Cruelty inadvertently?
Recently, activists in Melbourne investigated a slaughterhouse, where they discovered horrific slaughter of discarded racehorses who were no longer profitable to the racing industry. The horses – many of whom were emaciated and injured – were confined to waiting pens before being shot in the head with a rifle, often in full view of other horses. Because of poorly trained staff, some horses were still struggling while they were being dragged to the kill floor, where they were skinned and had their limbs hacked off. Click here to see view video footage of the investigation.

Each year in Australia, around 18,000 foals are born into the racing industry. Less than one-third of them will ever race, and those that do will likely not race past their third birthdays. Horses who are no longer profitable are rarely retired to grassy pastures. Tens of thousands of horses are sold for slaughter every year. Some of their flesh is used in dog and cat food, and "prime cuts" are sold for human consumption in Europe and Asia.

It's not just the horses' deaths that are cruel – the horseracing industry is fraught with cruelty. Thoroughbred horses have genetic problems that are exacerbated by hard track surfaces, year-round racing schedules, and corporate owners who view horses as "investments" and race them too frequently in an effort to make more money. It is common for trainers and veterinarians to use drugs – both legal and illegal – to treat horses' injuries. Lasix is a legal drug that stops bleeding in the lungs while also masking the presence of other drugs in a horse's system. Phenylbutazone is a commonly used painkiller that allows horses to run with minor injuries, which may result in more serious injuries.

As long as people continue to breed and raise horses for profit for horseracing and related industries, they will also abuse and slaughter these animals. However, we can fight this cruelty in several ways. By boycotting racetracks and lobbying against the exploitation that they represent, we can reduce the number of horses who suffer for this abusive and costly "sport". Please boycott the upcoming Melbourne Cup and all horse races, and join activists in encouraging others to do the same!

Horseracingkills, a Melbourne-based animal rights group is holding a demo on Monday, 5 November, in Federation Square at 12 noon to coincide with the Melbourne Cup Parade of Champions, which finishes there. Please participate in the demo and help Horseracingkills show the dark side of horseracing. Meet behind barriers on Swanston Street between Transport Restaurant Bar and the Information Centre at 11:30 am. If you're able to attend or need more information, please contact Elio on 0412039788 or

For more information on the cruel horseracing industry, check out PETA U.S.' factsheet or visit

Thanks so much for everything you do for animals!

All the best,

Ashley Fruno
PETA Asia-Pacific



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