Taylor Swift Cancels Performance Citing Animal Abuse Concerns

Taylor Swift has pulled out of a scheduled performance at Australia’s Melbourne Cup, the event’s host Victoria Racing Club announced on Saturday (Sept. 21), as animal rights activists, citing animal cruelty concerns, protested the singer’s involvement in the race. 

Swift’s cancellation from the Nov. 5 event, set at Flemington Race Court, was allegedly due to a “recent change to Taylor Swift’s Asian promotional tour,” the racing club said in a statement.

As of Sept. 24, no comment has been made from Swift or her team regarding the cancelation–or whether activists had an influence on Swift’s decision to not partake.

The death of Cliffsofmoher marked the sixth horse to die at the cup since 2013. Other horse casualties include Verema in 2013, Admire Rakti and Araldo in 2014, Red Cadeaux in 2015, and Regal Monarch in 2017.

Victoria Racing Club's CEO Neil Wilson said Swift's cancellation would be "disappointing for everyone".

But the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses said they were "absolutely delighted with the news".

"The pressure on Taylor Swift to cancel her performance was significant. Her fans did not want to see her supporting animal abuse," campaign spokeswoman Kristin Leigh said.

"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."

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.

It seems Taylor Swift, unlike many other celebrties, not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Thank you TAYLOR!