YOUR SAY: Should the Melbourne Cup be banned?
THE Melbourne Cup controversy is sure to continue after Aidan O'Brien trained galloper The Cliffsofmoher became the sixth casualty of the race that stops a nation since 2013.
Heartbreaking scenes cast shadows over the spectacle as the four-year-old was euthanised trackside after he broke down early on in the 3200m race, reportedly due to a fractured shoulder.
The Cliffsofmoher joined Verema (2013), Admire Rakti and Araldo (2014), Red Cadeaux (2015) and Regal Monarch (2017) as horses who died during or after the race in the past six years, prompting various animal welfare groups and protesters to decry both the Cup and the wider racing industry.
READ MORE ON THE LATEST MELBOURNE CUP TRAGEDY
RSPCA Australia released a statement saying they were "deeply saddened" by the tragedy.
"The Cliffsofmoher is the sixth horse to die as a result of the Melbourne Cup since 2013, highlighting the dark reality of what is otherwise lauded as a national day of celebration and good cheer," the statement read.
The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses released their list of 119 horse deaths on Australian racetracks between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018, which equates to "one horse every three days".
The Courier Mail journalist Greg Davis countered calls for the Cup and the racing industry to be scrapped.
"The hysterical anti-racing campaigners need to get off their high horse," he opined.
"And once they dismount, they should go visit a working stable first thing in the morning before the sun comes up.
"They'd see hard-working, often lowly-paid people mucking out stables, feeding, cleaning and exercising horses as part of their relentless daily regime to pamper and prepare the majestic beasts that are like family to them."
Celebrity vet Dr Chris Brown mourned the loss of The Cliffsofmoher and detailed the catastrophic nature of leg injuries for horses in a Facebook post.
The Cup debate has been rife all over the country, and it has been no different in Gympie.
Here's what The Gympie Times readers had to say on the heartbreaking development:
Lauren Clark: These animals are athletes and just like you and I, they do break bones. The only difference, we can rest while the bones heal. Horses depend on all four legs. It's sad, but every day horses have freak accidents in the paddocks, competitions and yes, horse racing. If this horse had of (sic) broken his leg in the paddock, I doubt it would of (sic) even been published. Horse racing is one of the biggest horse sports and with so many horses there will always be casualties, you just don't hear about most of them.
Tracey Spencer: These horses are loved! They are well looked after and they love to race. No one in the Melbourne Cup would participate in animal cruelty.
Donna Leigh: I believe as a nation we can do better. (I'm saying nup to the cup).
Amanda Weeks: No surprise, stupid sport.
Jemma Daniels: Happens every year. Nothing but animal cruelty.
Cheryl Jess: The Melbourne Cup to me is a celebration for all the wrong reasons, this story is one of many over the years. Very sad.
Janette Miller: People have too much to say when they know nothing about the industry. We all can read headlines. Spend a bit of time learning how it really is.
Cassie Williams: The issue is undeniable animal abuse.
Where do you stand on the debate? Leave a comment and let us know.