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Melbourne Cup parade is met by Nup to the Cup activists in 2022

The two sides of the Melbourne Cup: As a Who’s Who of horse racing parade through the streets, angry animal activists bare their claws

  • Animal rights activists descending on the first Melbourne Cup parade since 2019
  • The protesters were seen yelling at the procession and holding up graphic signs
  • Among parade were retiring racing champions Almandin and Twilight Payment
  • Legendary horse trainer Gai Waterhouse said she was glad to see a large turnout

Angry animal rights activists have crashed the Melbourne Cup’s annual parade, with dignitaries and horse racing royalty heckled on the streets. 

Hundreds of racing fans flocked to the city’s CBD about midday on Monday to watch the city’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp formally receive the trophy.

But Nup to the Cup demonstrators made their presence felt at the first parade since 2019. 

They waved signs depicting horrific acts that have allegedly been committed against horses and yelled ‘horse racing kills’. 

A dramatic photo showed the city’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp seated atop a convertible with the Cup, while protesters waved signs calling for jumps racing to be banned.

Animal rights protesters were spotted on the sidelines of Monday's Melbourne Cup parade (pictured, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Victoria Racing Club Chairman Neil Wilson during the parade)

Animal rights protesters were spotted on the sidelines of Monday’s Melbourne Cup parade (pictured, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Victoria Racing Club Chairman Neil Wilson during the parade)

Demonstrators (above) flocked to the midday parade to yell at the procession and hold graphic signs

Demonstrators (above) flocked to the midday parade to yell at the procession and hold graphic signs

The march featured accomplished jockeys, racing royalty and thoroughbreds walking across the Princes Bridge and into Federation Square. 

A marching band led the procession which included retiring champions Almandin and Twilight Payment and horse trainer Gai Waterhouse.

Ms Waterhouse told onlookers she was thrilled to see such a big turnout. ‘It’s fantastic,’ Ms Waterhouse said.

‘(The Melbourne Cup) embraces all age groups. It embraces all nationalities.

‘To think that everyone stops tomorrow for a minute-and-a-half to watch the race, it’s fantastic.’

She has trained two of the main competitors for Tuesday’s race. 

Once the procession arrived at the square, Victorian Racing Club Chairman Neil Wilson and Lord Mayor Sally Capp presented the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup Trophy to the City of Melbourne.

Meanwhile, fired-up protesters pressed themselves against fence barriers and screamed ‘there’s no excuse’ for racing.

Protester signs showed graphic images and descriptions of alleged offences committed against horses by the racing industry (pictured, activists at the Melbourne Cup parade)

Protester signs showed graphic images and descriptions of alleged offences committed against horses by the racing industry (pictured, activists at the Melbourne Cup parade)

Protesters were spotted amongst racing fans (above) at the first Melbourne Cup parade since 2019

Protesters were spotted amongst racing fans (above) at the first Melbourne Cup parade since 2019

Dedicated horse racing fan Jessica Ryan said she was glad to see so many people at the parade and ignored the protesters.

‘I go to racing all year round. I know the ins and outs of (horse racing). Everything the protesters are saying is fake,’ she told The Australian.

‘Victoria has one of the best rehabilitation (programs) for race horses after racing.’

The Melbourne Cup is set to kick off from Tuesday with thousands expected to head to Flemington for the 3pm race.

Recent growing support for movements like Nup to the Cup have seen critics begin calling the famous race ‘the race that divides the nation’ as a nod to its famous slogan, ‘the race that stops the nation’.

Victorian Racing Club Chairman Neil Wilson and Lord Mayor Sally Capp presented the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup Trophy to the City of Melbourne (above) following the parade

Victorian Racing Club Chairman Neil Wilson and Lord Mayor Sally Capp presented the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup Trophy to the City of Melbourne (above) following the parade

The protest (above) is believed to have been organised by 'Nup to the Cup' which advocates against the Melbourne Cup on the grounds of alleged animal abuse

The protest (above) is believed to have been organised by ‘Nup to the Cup’ which advocates against the Melbourne Cup on the grounds of alleged animal abuse

Communications Director of Nup to the Cup Kristin Leigh said more people are growing tired of seeing horses exploited for financial gain.

‘Melbourne Cup is often seen as a day where we get together and celebrate, but what we’re celebrating is wrong,’ she told SBS.

‘In the past 10 years, eight horses have been killed at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day from injuries they sustain.

‘Because recovery is expensive, time consuming and really difficult for a horse, they will just euthanise them on the track.’

The eight horses to die at the Melbourne Cup in the last decade were Rose of Peace in 2012, Verema in 2013, Admire Rakti and Araldo in 2014, Red Cadeaux in 2015, Regal Monarch in 2017, The Cliffsofmoher in 2018 and Anthony Van Dyck in 2020.


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