One of Britain’s top racehorses was shot in the head at a packed track and the moment was captured on these rarely publicized photos of a racehorse being put down.
After shattering his leg during a race, Wigmore Hall was shot behind a large temporary screen, put up on the track to prevent thousands of fans witnessing its final distressing moments.
The shocking photos have sparked a fresh debate about the sport.
The champion seven-year-old horse broke a leg and fell less than three furlongs from the end of a race at Doncaster in England last Saturday.
Afterwards, veterinary specialists said the decision to put a quick end to the animal's suffering was the right one and defended doing it at the track.
RSPCA's equine consultant, David Muir, said: "I can't see that the vet has done anything wrong or the racecourse, either.
"Shooting a horse is probably the most humane and quick way that you could put a horse down."
Animal rights group Animal Aid took the disturbing images.
"The racing industry should be ashamed of its track record," said group member Dene Stansall.
"Poor Wigmore Hall was one of a huge number of race horses who are destroyed each year."