BEHIND THE SPORTS DESK: Cup tragedy unveils hard truths
RACING: THE horse that exited midway through the Melbourne Cup - the Aidan O'Brien-trained The Cliffsofmoher - was euthanised this week.
Described as a "tragedy" by veteran Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney, the UK raider pulled up lame as the field passed the finishing post for the first time.
Veterinarians rushed on to the track as soon as the race was completed as a tarp was erected around the fallen stayer.
But nothing could be done after it was determined the injuuries in his leg were "catastrophic".
But the incident has raised further calls for the industry to be heavily regulated, and even terminated, with many suggesting animal welfare is not a top priority.
But is there more the racing industry couyld do to protect its horses?
MOOSE ELKERTON: Horses death a sad occasion for all involved
WHAT happened in the Melbourne Cup this year is both shocking and heartbreaking.
But it does not reveal the racing industry to be cruel, vile or repulsive.
The Cliffsofmoher suffered a tragic injury, and as a result had to be euthanised trackside by the course veterinarian.
The choice was made to stop any further harm to the animal. To know the criticism and backlash they have copped from that sight, to me says they care more about animal welfare than public concern.
Many reports have surfaced since the "race that stops a nation" suggesting too many horses have died for the entertainment of humans.
One report released by the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses suggested 119 runners died as a result of racing in the past 12 months.
That is a tragic statistic.
But when you compare it to the fact that more than 43,000 individual races were held in the state of Victoria alone in that same time period, with each averaging 10 horses per race, it equates to less than one per cent of horses racing.
Of course I would much rather see that figure reduced to zero per cent and we are well on the way there, with improvements to welfare made each year.
The racing industry is not a cruel industry. Spend a day with any trainer in our town, and you will see the importance of each animal. You will see the love, the care and the admiration they feel.
It can always be better, but don't just condemn it as wrong.
JARRARD POTTER: More can be done to protect the horses
IN SPORT there's nothing perfect, and any sport or industry that claims to be perfect is kidding themselves.
With that in mind there's always room for improvement in the racing industry to try and minimise the chances of injury and death among horses.
What was witnessed by millions not just at Flemington but on TV around the world during the Melbourne Cup when The Cliffsofmoher was injured and forced to be euthanised was a tragedy and something no-one wants to see.
However, it happens, and in racing it unfortunately will continue to happen as many injuries suffered by horses tend to be close to untreatable, and euthanising the animal is the most humane solution.
That being said, I believe more can be done to protect the animals involved and improve their welfare. No sport is perfect, and without healthy horses there is no horse racing so that must be paramount in the industry.
More can also be done to help horses post-racing career after they've run their last race to make sure they live out their days in comfort and not disposed off like they're worthless.
The Melbourne Cup is the biggest race day on the Australian calender and holds a special place in the national psyche, and there's no better time to raise these concerns for animal welfare.
I don't believe someone has to devote their entire lives protesting for increases in animal welfare for their opinion to matter.