Emotional reunion with injured Cup horse
The horse that suffered a stress fracture to its pelvis during the running of the Melbourne Cup is on the mend.
Rostropovich ran last in the race that stops the nation because of the injury but after initial fears about his wellbeing, there's good news for the five-year-old's connections as he shows positive signs in his recovery.
The horse was taken to the University of Melbourne Equine Centre after the race and Racing Victoria (RV) later said he was in a stable condition and had been confined to box rest for the near future.
Rostropovich's strapper Alice Barnett has developed a close relationship with him and revealed she was "devastated" by his injury, but was heartened by the fact his recovery is going to plan.
Speaking to Racing.com at Oaks Day on Thursday, Barnett said: "Really positive at the minute, really happy with the progress he's making. Each day he continues to improve and we're really happy.
"The team behind him are doing a great job and we're just so happy with the progress he's making right now and we just hope it stays that way."
Barnett has been to visit Rostropovich and while it was hard to see him at less than one 100 per cent, their reunion was a happy one.
"He was so happy to see me. He called out to me and came straight to the door," Barnett said. "I came with a kilo of carrots and he loved them.
"I'm just going to continue to keep going because I do miss him a lot and seeing the empty box at the stables is quite hard, but I love him and he's my pride and joy.
"The mornings are quite hard at the minute, but it's so good getting to see him yesterday.
"I owe the horse everything, he tries so hard and I just love him so much that I have to see him and I'm just so happy with the progress he's making."
Rostropovich continues to make excellent progress under the care of the team at U-Vet Werribee Equine Centre. He is comfortable, bearing weight on all four limbs and eating and drinking well. The outlook is very positive.— Lindsay Park Racing (@lindsayparkrace) November 6, 2019
ANIMAL WELFARE GROUPS REACT TO INJURY
Animal welfare group PETA lashed out after the Melbourne Cup, saying Rostropovich's injury is indicative of the cruelty horses suffer in racing.
"Rostropovich is the latest in a long line of horses who have been seriously injured or killed during the disgrace that stops the nation - the Melbourne Cup," PETA's statement read.
"While media coverage focuses on silly hats, the reality of the abusive racing industry is that horses are made to run to the detriment of their health. These 500-kilogram animals - supported on ankles as small as those of humans - are pushed past their limits, forced to race at breakneck speeds while being whipped.
"In June, PETA revealed that some 3000 Australian horses and their offspring had been cast off by the racing industry and killed for meat in South Korea. How many more horses have to suffer or die before we call time on this disgraceful demonstration of national senselessness?"
NSW Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqui also released a statement, saying: "This is just so tragically predictable. Year after year we see the needless suffering of horses, yet nothing changes. I really hope Rostropovich recovers fully."