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Taylor Swift cancels Melbourne Cup performance amid animal rights criticism
American signing star Taylor Swift has cancelled her performance at the upcoming Melbourne Cup.
Organisers announced Swift as the horse race's headline act earlier this month, but, as of today a joint statement from the Victorian Racing Club and Swift's promoters Mushroom Events advised that “a recent change to Taylor Swift’s Asian promotional tour means she will no longer be able to perform at this year’s Melbourne Cup.”
The singer had been criticised by animal rights groups, who accused her of "endorsing animal abuse".
Six horses have died at the Cup since 2013, including one horse who was euthanised on the course last year after fracturing his shoulder.
The Cup's organisers have not confirmed who will replace Swift as the headline act on 5th November.
Michael Gudinski from Mushroom Events advised “regrettably, Taylor is no longer able to make it to this year’s Melbourne Cup. Changes to her Asian promo schedule have made it logistically impossible for her to be here.”
However, the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, the group that led calls for a boycott, believes Swift cancelled as a result of their campaign.
In a petition posted last week, the group said the singer was "either completely unaware of the cruel reality of horse racing or she has put money before compassion by agreeing to perform" at the races.
They added "if she cares at all about other animals the way she appears to care about cats, she will cancel her show and use her voice to make a strong statement that animal abuse is unacceptable."
Victoria Racing Club Chief Executive Neil Wilson said Swift's cancellation would be "disappointing for everyone".
By contrast, the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses said they were "absolutely delighted with the news".
Coalition spokesperson Kristin Leigh advised "the pressure on Taylor Swift to cancel her performance was significant. Her fans did not want to see her supporting animal abuse.
"Whilst the reason being used by the racing industry is a scheduling mix up, it appears to us that she has responded to those calls."
Images: Taylor Swift (top, courtesy of Universal Music/Mushroom Events) and the entry to the Flemington Racecourse (below, courtesy of Victoria Racing Club).
20th September 2019 - 2019 Royal Melbourne Show opens following week of record ticket sales
11th July 2019 - Backlash sees Nicki Minaj pull out of Saudi Arabia festival
30th April 2019 - Mushroom Group launches new neighbouring rights venture
15th December 2018 - Animal activists disrupt Sea World dolphin and seal shows
9th February 2018 - Stardust Circus reveals death threats and abuse from animal activists
7th November 2017 - Gamblers urged to watch out for Melbourne Cup scams
4th November 2014 - Melbourne Cup marks massive peak in Australians gambling on horse racing
23rd April 2010 - Global Tour Marks Melbourne Cup’s 150th Anniversary
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