Massive crowds attend Santa Marija horse races in Victoria
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The Santa Marija horse races were held in Victoria on Monday afternoon as part of the programme of activities for the feast.
Races got underway at 2.30pm along Republic Street in Victoria, Gozo with prizes presented at the end by the Minister for Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo and the Mayor of Victoria, Dr Samuel Azzopardi.Last year the Animal Welfare Directorate said that the races should be held in the early morning or late evening, a statement that was welcomed by SPCA Malta and the Animal Rights Group, which also called for the races to be held at Ta’ Xhajma Race track It also brought comments last year from Deputy Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare, Tony Tyler, who said that, “equine welfare must be the first consideration of any horse race organiser. Factors such as temperature, surface and the facilities available to ensure that horse can compete without undue stress or risk of injury should be uppermost in organisers mind.”A team from the Animal Welfare Directorate were on site in Victoria yesterday, in order to monitor and ensure the animal’s welfare, it said.
Photographs of Santa Marija races 2016 by Alain Salvary