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While fashion victims are busy preparing their outfits for the race that stops the nation, the RSPCA is urging punters to open their eyes and see the real victims this spring racing carnival.

As the stakes rise the RSPCA is expecting the whipping of tired horses to be at its worst as the major spring racing events get underway this weekend.

“It’s Australia’s biggest racing carnival, we should be celebrating good breeding, good training and good horsemanship, instead we’ll see exhausted horses pointlessly beaten,” said RSPCA Australia Scientific Officer, Dr Jade Norris.

“A recent study by the University of Sydney’s Professor Paul McGreevy showed that the current Australian whip rules do not adequately protect horses nor are they effectively enforced. The rules are in urgent need of review.”

The RSPCA is calling on race-goers and viewers to reflect on what horses endure in the final stages of a race when they are repeatedly whipped.

“It’s time that everyone who takes something from this sport questions the impact that whip use has on horses and on the reputation of the industry.

Have a look at our high resolution video of the impact of whipping during racing – it will open your eyes to the reality of what flogging a tired horse actually means,” said Dr Norris.

The RSPCA is calling for an end to the use of whips as a performance aid in Thoroughbred racing and for racing sponsors to show the way by supporting hands and heel races only. There is no longer a place for whips in racing.

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