Sunday, May 4, 2008

Eight Belles' fate gets the media's attention

Last night I blogged about Eight Belles, who was euthanized with two broken legs after coming in second at the Kentucky Derby. That kicked off a post this morning about Thoroughbred breeding — or should we say inbreeding — and the ills of the horse racing industry.

It seems like most people "in the know" prefer to look the other way, much as the cameras did yesterday after Eight Belles fell. The people involved in the industry have too much at stake to admit how harmful horse racing is to the hroses, and they or the media or both manage to keep it under wraps as much as possible — meaning that most average people don't know what's going on in the horse racing world.

So I was pretty pleased this morning when I saw a follow-up article about Eight Belles injury and euthanization: "Is Horse Racing Breeding Itself to Death?" by Sally Jenkins. Although the headline focuses on breeding, the article itself talks more about the disastrous results of breeding — the injuries and the deaths.

According to the article, there are about two "career-ending breakdowns" in the United States every day. I don't know how often "career-ending" translates into "life-ending," but regardless, that's a lot of pain and suffering that a horse has to suffer for the sake of human entertainment.

The article is a clear call to reassess the horse racing industry. Thank you, Sally Jenkins!


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