NORTH PERTH’S Rosemount Hotel refused to screen the Melbourne Cup this year after overwhelming feedback from online fans.
The pub put the moral question to its Facebook followers on November 1 following headlines of horse mistreatment in recent weeks.
Of more than 300 comments, the mood was near 100 per cent against the cup.
Cool Perth Nights director Andrew Ryan heads up programming at the Rosemount, and told the Voice it was “a vote of the people”.
“It was clear to me that a venue such as the Rosemount Hotel, priding itself on being a platform for diverse conversations and thinking, and operators and artists, should continue to pose questions on and off the stage,” Mr Ryan said.
“The venue has screened it in the past and it has gone well – moderately well – but we asked our followers and they were clear.”
One commenter urged: “No. Please don’t screen it. Have the courage to have a moral and ethical compass facing the right direction.”
Scrolling down, the Voice spotted just one pro-Cup comment.
Only one horse was hurt in the main race this year: last-place finisher Rostropovich has a stress-fractured pelvis.
Whether the industry was hurt by the protests is a bone of contention. Melbourne Cup crowds have dwindled from a 122,000 high in 2003 to 81,000 in 2019.
The winning horse’s part owner, former NSW politician Geoff Corrigan, acknowledged the animal cruelty allegations had “fractured” racing’s social contract. But he reckons the numbers on Cup Day dropped because it’s now competing with so many other big interstate horse events.
by DAVID BELL