Please, will you donate today so we can rescue as many horses and donkeys as possible, transport them to safety, treat their wounds and ensure they can live out their lives in peace?
Illegal bush horse racing is a terrible scourge in poverty-stricken parts of the Northern Cape in South Africa. In this horrifically cruel “sport,” horses and donkeys are forced to race each other while spectators bet money on who will win. There is zero concern for animal welfare. Horses and donkeys are pushed to the brink, and it takes a shocking toll on their bodies. To force them to go faster, riders flog them with wire whips that lacerate their flesh, causing terrible wounds.
The poor creatures are forced to endure race after race with no rest or medical care; frequently, they are ridden so hard that their legs break, or they collapse from exhaustion and are left to suffer in excruciating pain.
Unsurprisingly, this makes horses and donkeys wary of humans, and they often try to run away. To avoid this from happening, when an animal is caught, an eye is gouged out to make it easier to capture from its blind side the next time they want these equines to race.
This blood sport is increasingly popular amongst callous local people – even children as young as 13 are encouraged to take part in the cruelty. The horses’ physical condition and health are of no concern to their owners, so the animals receive no medical care. If they die – so what? They often just steal another one.
Our partner Have A Heart Equine Sanctuary (HAHES) routinely rescues horses and donkeys from this disgusting “sport”. Recently, HAHES received a tip-off about a mother horse named Sundance and her two-week-old foal, Gracie. They were being raced for money, and HAHES was determined to save them.
By a stroke of luck, HAHES spotted the pair wandering along the side of a busy road and immediately loaded both horses into its horse box and moved them to safety. But that was only the beginning…