It's the time for matching shoes and hats with glamorous dresses. Champagne will fill flute glasses, bets will be laid all in the name of high spirits, sociability and fun. But we could have all these things without subjecting horses to exploitation, whipping, broken bones and perhaps a violent abattoir death as we have recently seen.
This year one such party is being held at the beautiful, historic Adamshurst in Albury which is hosting the "Hooves with a Heart Luncheon". Yes, lets have a heart and think of the horses ground down by the strain of being raced for a profit.
The statistics are stark. In the last racing year there have been 122 horse deaths on tracks in Australia; one every 3 days. Over the last 6 years of Melbourne cups there has only been one year where a death has not occurred. It's a normal occurrence.
It saddens me but we really should remember the names of horses that have been killed at the Melbourne cup in the last six years: Red Cadeaux, Cliffsofmoher, Araldo, Admire Rakti and Regal Monarch. Admire Rakti collapsed and died in his stall after the race. Says it all don't you think.
Cassandra Pollock, Wangaratta
Phones not for us kids
Nowadays mobile phones are a part of us. Most of us cannot live without them. Sadly, they are turning into a terrible issue for children who use them.
Firstly, mobile phones are a massive distraction. They distract children from learning. Children get so addicted to their phones that they lose focus on study. This is a problem that needs to be eliminated. If not stopped now, then in the future children will struggle with their education. Some of my classmates have phones, and even though I have never seen them with it during class, I have still observed that they have changed academically and behaviourally.
Secondly, there is the issue of cyber bullying which is a massive problem all around the world. In Australia many children are bullied. In fact in my age group, one in three children are bullied. There are a lot of children that consider and commit suicide and even school massacres because of this. We need to prevent this together.
Finally, children are too young to use mobile phones. They have not yet developed the maturity and emotional strength. It is extremely risky for them to use phones, because there are many problems. I have experienced this. I always wanted a phone because I wanted to text my friends. However, my parents said that I was too young and not mature enough to have one and I can get one when I am 12.
I want parents to help their children and to teach them what is right and wrong. In fact, if everyone helps stop children using phones then there will be a massive improvement in their academic and social lives. I am saying this for the good of the children.
Ayesha Ahasan, Year 5 Albury Public School
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