An anti-racing group opposed to the Melbourne Cup has refused to apologise after a member called for jockeys and racing fans to be murdered in a poem the organisation has tried to play down as ‘satire’.
The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) actively protests all racing events, including horse racing, greyhounds and harness racing, including major events like the Melbourne Cup.
CPR held a protest event to this year’s event at Flemington, with a handful of people turning out to its Nup to the Cup event at Flemington & Kensington Bowls Club.
The event included raffles, Farshuns on the Field – which involved humans racing instead of horses – along with live music and a DJ.
But it was a poem recited at the event which caused outrage after the performer called for jockeys and racegoers to be killed to end the Melbourne Cup forever.
‘Every silk-suited, flat-capped tiny jockey little small being, cover their corpses in the big green screen,’ he ranted.
‘Show it on the TV and then fill ’em full of lead, from one to 24, ’til every f***ing jockey is dead.’
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No racegoers were harmed at the 2023 running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse
While the person filming the poem was shocked by the those statements, the pro-CPR crowd in attendance can be heard cheering in support.
‘Then get all the jaunty lads and all the horsey girls and drown them in the mud,’ he continued.
‘And the fashions in the field, let’s splatter that s**t in blood.
‘And every broken bookie family, whose dad has lost the house, and every drunk driver’s victim, and every beaten spouse.
‘Tell them it’s done, we’ve done it. The Cup is finished, no more death sport racing. No more gambling.’
The man then switched gears, gesturing toward Flemington Racecourse and pointing out the Victorian Racing Club and the revellers inside celebrating the Melbourne Cup.
‘Let’s euthanise the lot, en masse, turn them all to glue and leave nothing but the grass,’ he yelled.
‘And if you still want to race after all that’s done and said, go stand behind a f***ing horse and let it kick you in the head.’
Sky Racing form analyst Brad Davidson was one of many who called CPR out for the performance, posting: ‘What absolute vile human beings.’
Canberra Raiders hooker Zac Woolford also spoke out against the rant, posting: ‘This is disgraceful. Borderline jail disgraceful.’
Southern FM radio host Jayden O’Halloran added: ‘Professional protesters who don’t care about horse racing for the remainder of the year?’
CPR has responded to the criticism, but did not apologise for the man’s actions.
Pictured: The statement released by the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses about the poem performed at their Nup to the Cup event on Melbourne Cup day
The man’s ‘satire’ about the horse racing industry included violent threats against jockeys and racegoers
The event included ‘Farshuns on the Field’ which saw humans race instead of horses
‘The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses has and always will be against any form of violence – it is literally why we exist,’ the statement read.
‘We understand the artist who performed his poem at our event spoke every word as a form of satire but had we been aware of the piece before he performed it we would not have allowed it to go ahead.
‘For the simple fact that it may be taken literally by some (intentionally or not) and that certainly does not reflect our views or position as an organisation, nor the views of those who attended or supported the event.’
The statement then tried to shift the attention to the alleged mis-treatment of race horses.
‘There is horrific violence taking place against the most vulnerable right across the world and that does not exclude our racing stables, tracks, slaughterhouses and knackeries that are all part of the horse racing business model,’ it read.
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‘It is not something we subscribe to – it is something we seek to end.’
The ‘artist’ himself described his performance as a ‘metaphor’.
‘The poem is a satire on the racing industry’s complicity in the deaths of its horses,’ he said in the statement.
‘I struggle to believe those seeking to create outrage are taking it literally.
‘I didn’t run the poem by anyone in advance of perforrming [sic] it because I assumed anyone present would understand it as metaphor – however difficult the subject.’