Melbourne Cup is one of Australia’s biggest sport days, but one Sydney pub is planning to boycott the race altogether in 2018.
Sydney’s Newton Hotel has revealed it will not be celebrating the annual race on November 6. Instead, it will hold a ‘F***k the Cup’ event in a bid to protest the increasingly controversial event.
The annual racing event that “stops the nation” has been a highlight for many Aussies since it’s first race in 1861, however over the years it has attracted backlash from people who believe the horses are pushed too far for profit and fun.
In a recent Facebook post the venue explained: “We aren’t about horse racing… so instead we are becoming an island from all the other venues around us… that won’t be televising the Melbourne Cup or hosting some fancy lunch for suits to bet on some horse because it’s name is cute!”
The event will feature live and local sets and be a strictly ‘no black tie’ occasion, with all proceeds to go to Horse Rescue Australia, a charity devoted to care and rehabilitation of horses.
The post has received a slew of responses with the majority of commentators praising the pub’s decision.
One user said: “What a brilliant idea! Well done for not cashing in on an easy win (pun intended) to your cash flow. Props to you Newtown Hotel!”
Another added: “Good on you for taking a stand against horse racing.”
However, the event has also been criticised by others as “anti-Australian” and an example of pettiness.
Liberal MLC Peter Phelps told The Daily Telegraph the event was “petty”, adding: “The vast majority of Australians are going to be watching the cup — if people want to be grumble bums, they can be grumble bums.”
Another commentator on Twitter wrote: “Newtown Hotel is a far left wing establishment that is anti Australian, hates our Anzacs and now wants to start attacking other days.”
Over the years, the annual horse-racing event has been slammed by animal lovers who believe the event is cruel. In 2014, the controversial race ended the lives of two horses. Admire Rakti collapsed immediately after the race and died and Araldo broke his leg and was euthanised. In 2015, Red Cadeaux met the same fate.
The alternative event is the latest protest against the horse-racing industry after more than 1,000 people gathered outside the Sydney Opera House to disrupt the projection of The Everest barrier draw earlier this month.