Winx’s brother slaughtered for meat
The biological half-brother of champion racehorse mare Winx was killed in South Korea after a career in racing, turned into meat and possibly eaten, it has been revealed.
New studbook data, uncovered by Guardian Australia, has revealed that the male horse Bareul Jeong, who shared a father with Winx, was killed for the purpose of being turned into meat.
Winx and Bareul Jeong were sired by the same stallion, Irish horse Street Cry.
Bareul Jeong, older than Winx, was born in 2006, and was shipped to Shout Korea, where he was intended to be used as a racehorse.
Winx was foaled three years later, in 2011, and went on to win an incredible streak of 33 races.
She was retired this year, in April, and had a set of stamps honouring her announced by Australia Post.
While Winx and Bareul Jeong biologically share a father, a horse trainer said the two horses are not considered "related in horse racing terminology", and would only be considered true siblings if they came from the same dam (female horse).
Official racehorse pedigree is determined by its maternal side.
The horse that sired Winx is also likely to have sired as many as 10,000 other horses.
The studbook recording the usage changes of Bareul Jeong over the course of the thoroughbred's life shows the horse was assigned to work as a racehorse for some time from 2008.
But in 2010, Bareul Jeong was marked to be killed, with a translation of the studbook showing changes the horse's usage from "racing" to "meat", grimly detailing that the horse would be subject to "processing of bulk meat".
While there are two dates recorded in the studbook for the end to the horse's life, 2010 and 2015, the most likely date of the horse's death was the earlier recorded date of July 2010.
At this time, the horse saw a vet due to having a strained ligament in his leg, according to The Guardian. This was just over a year after Winx was born.
The news of Bareul Jeong's fate comes amid a number of revelations about the treatment of prized thoroughbreds in the South Korea.
Footage obtained by PETA shows the retired thoroughbreds sent to their death in an infamous abattoir.
This includes the beating of Dynamic Tank with a pipe. The chestnut gelding is the son of a horse that won the infamous Kentucky Derby.
Dynamic Tank, the son of Derby winner Big Brown, was raced for three years and won a massive $A257,856 in prizemoney, but was then sent to Nonghyup abattoir.
Another Australian racehorse, Road To Warrior, a four-year-old horse, was bought for $45,000 and spent only 15 months in South Korea before being sent to slaughter at Nonghyup.
Placed in small cages, the horses are beaten on the head with metal poles, until they duck their head under an entrance, which forced them into a kill box.
The treatment, which causes extreme distress to the horses, is in breach of South Korea's local animal welfare laws.
Under different circumstances, the treatment of exported horses would come under some scrutiny from Australian law enforcement under export guidelines, if the abuse had occurred at a local facility, or a facility subject to international monitoring.
"If the KRA (Korea Racing Authority) redirected just a tiny fraction of the profit it makes off the backs of these horses into retirement programs, this would spare thousands of them a terrifying death," PETA spokeswoman Emily Rice said.
"The Australian racing industry can no longer sell horses to South Korea and then turn its back, knowing these animals and their offspring will end up hanging by one leg in a slaughterhouse."