I AM astounded by the claims and comments by D Fillingham and Rita Johnson about the whipping of horses etc (Letters, October 18), in particular with the statement by D Fillingham that “if horses don’t make the grade, they are destroyed”.

For the past ten years, I have been a member of a leading racing club which owns typically 15 to 20 horses in training and 11 broodmares. During my membership, none of our horses have been destroyed.

If any of the horses do not meet the standards required by the club, the following applies: 1) If the fillies meet the standard required for breeding, they are retained as broodmares 2) Should horses be fit for racing, they are entered into sales 3) Any horses retired or not meeting the above criteria are either offered to club members or passed on to a charity for retired racehorses and are retrained for other activities such as dressage, show jumping, etc, and found suitable homes.

If Rita Johnson has attended York races for 60 years but does not agree with whipping of horses, what a strange way to enjoy a day out.

GT Cooper, Dringthorpe Road, Dringhouses, York.