Easter Sheep Race Canceled Due To Vegan Protest

Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom has been racing sheep since 1991
UK Sheep
The RSPCA expressed concerns the sheep are 'frightened' by the events

Online protest from vegan activists has lead to the end of annual Easter sheep races at the Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom in Shropshire.

Sheep races

The establishment is host to two annual races, called the Sheep Gold Cup, and Sheep Grand National.

Similar to a horse or dog race, attendees would guess the winning sheep, and were given a badge or rosette if they guessed correctly.

Since the event's 1991 inception, sheep were made to run the race wearing toy jockeys on their backs, and jumping over low fences.


A Facebook group called Lambentations sparked the online protest against the races, calling them 'cruel and unnecessary'.

The petition launched by the group received nearly 50,000 signatures - creating enough controversy that Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom cancelled this year’s event.

Sheep Welfare
One RSPCA representative expressed concerns about the heat and a lack of drinking water

Concerning practice

Ginny Reid of the RSPCA expressed concerns about the use of sheep for entertainment.

She said: "Our main concerns are that sheep are easily frightened and exposing them to a large number of potentially noisy people may be stressful."

She also voiced concerns about heat, transportation, lack of drinking water, and the methods used to make the animals run.


A post on the Lambentations Facebook group celebrated Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom's decision.

It read: "VICTORY!! Lambentations has had its first success of the year - Hoo Farm have cancelled both the Sheep Grand National and the Sheep Gold Cup races!"

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Reuse this content
PBN Contributor:

Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.

(c) 2019 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved. Content must not be copied without permission.

Join the conversation

Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.

It's World Vegan Day