Five year old horse Cliffsofmoher was terminated by vets after suffering a fractured shoulder early in the race. Sources insist that the animal 'could not be saved”'.
Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney described the incident as ‘a tragedy’, with members of the public taking to social media to express their dismay.
The incident comes among increasing concern about the toll that horse racing takes on animals.
Cliffsofmoher was seen looking agitated before the accident, with Seven commentator Richard Freedman noting, ‘He’s really sweating up badly.’
Dean Wells from Married At First Sight has joined the chorus of condemnation against the race, sharing on Instagram: 'Horse racing is cruel, corrupt and pointless. Please don’t support melbourne cup. Just google search horse racing cruelty corruption and take a look at the seedy underbelly of this strange, archaic practice. A lot of people are slowly realizing the truth.'
Clare Verrall from MAFS also added her support, posting that she 'agreed so much'.
Six horses have died in the race since 2013. Two horses died during the 2014 Cup and another was put down the following year.