Taylor Swift Cancels Melbourne Cup Performance After Animal Rights Criticism

Australians may now have to wait until 2020 to see Taylor Swift in person but, considering the alternative, few are broken up about it.

Taylor Swift - Blank Space

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Last week, country-turned-pop star Taylor Swift was revealed to be performing at the Melbourne Cup this year. The singer was scheduled to perform two songs in the Mounting Yard on November 5, a great boon to Swifties considering she had no Australian shows planned for her post-Lover tour. It was less of a boon to animal rights activists.

“We’re targeting more and more of the next generation coming through,” Victoria Racing Club’s chief executive Neil Wilson said to the ABC regarding the decision to bring on Swift.

However, it seems no amount of rainbows and glitter will allow an injured horse to pass as a unicorn. While a few of Swift’s fans were excited to see her come to Australia, many more were dismayed and disappointed at her decision to appear at the Melbourne Cup, which has long been criticised for its treatment of horses.

Last year, racehorse Cliffsofmoher was euthanised on the track after breaking his shoulder. He was the sixth horse to die at the Melbourne Cup since 2013.

Fortunately for Australian Swifties, they need not be torn between passion and compassion any longer. The Victoria Racing Club announced yesterday that Swift has pulled out of her Melbourne Cup appearance, apparently due to scheduling problems.

“Regrettably, Taylor is no longer able to make it to this year’s Melbourne Cup, said Mushroom Events’ Michael Gudinski in a statement. “Changes to her Asian promo schedule have made it logistically impossible for her to be here. To all of Taylor’s fans, we hope to see Taylor in Australia in 2020.”

Though scheduling was the official reason given, many are happily attributing Swift’s cancellation to the widespread outcry at the initial announcement, as well as concern for animal welfare. It’s unclear whether Swift knew about the Melbourne Cup’s sordid reputation when she booked the gig, but fans are glad her name now won’t be linked with the event.

Australians may now have to wait until next year to see Taylor Swift in person. Even so, few are broken up about it considering the alternative.

The Victoria Racing Club has offered to refund any tickets bought from the time Swift was announced as performing.