Fellow travelers, it's almost appropriate that the horse who won this year's Melbourne Cup was called Shocking, because I found the whole exercize shocking in the extreme. In fact it wasn't just shocking. It was appalling!

Firstly, it was extremely elitist, as races invariably are. Finding the fastest horse was highly discriminatory, since horses have a lot more to offer than just speed. And I'm sure they don't judge themselves merely by that criterion. Were their values considered? Of course not.

If the organizers had to have some kind of competition, then they could have opted for one that was a little more progressive. Why not one for most well-nourished horse? Or most environmentally aware trainer? Or the horse with the smallest carbon hoof print?

Racism, too, pervaded the event, since there were no Muslim jockeys.

Similarly, the exercise was extremely sexist. I mean, where were all the female jockeys? And the treatment of women viewing the grotesque competition was also deeply misogynist. When viewing the race, I was reminded of John Lennon's searing "Woman is the DELETED of the World". One line of that song was particularly pertinent: "We make her paint her face and dance!" - although they weren't so much dancing as tottering about drunkenly in their absurd hats. And what was even more disturbing was the fact that a lot of them seemed to be enjoying themselves. It's truly depressing to see women participating in their own oppression - particularly when other species are being oppressed as well.

Which brings me to the event's appalling speciesism: Why did the jockeys get to be on top, riding the horses? It should have been the other way around! And fellow travelers, did you notice how afterwards they handed the prize to the jockey, then interviewed him. But the horse did all the work. Why didn't they ask him how he felt?

Appalling. Just appalling.