Sunday, May 4, 2008

My feelings about the horse racing industry

Eight Belles's euthanization and the Wall Street Journal article about Thoroughbred breeding have reminded me why I have come to abhor the horse racing industry.

Admittedly, I didn't think about it much before Michael and I rescued our horse, but since getting Panama I've started to take an interest in these things. What I've learned about horse racing astonishes and disgusts me:

* Because of a standardized way to determine a horse's age — their birthdays are legally all on January 1st of the year they were born, so a horse born later in the year can actually be introduced to racing at well under 2 years of age.

* Even when you don't take the birthday fibbing into consideration, these horses are babies. Two- and three-year-olds are not full-grown! Their legs are not yet fully developed at this age, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is a factor in the high incidence of injuries.

* These horses are literally raced to within an inch of their lives — and sometimes less than an inch, as poor Eight Belles found out. And when they develop problems in their legs, they are pumped up with painkillers to mask the injuries. It keeps the horses running, but ultimately it also exacerbates the injuries.

In my opinion, the horse racing industry as it stands today is unbelieveably cruel. Maybe it wasn't at one time, but a combination of greed and drugs seems to have made possible a whole new level of animal cruelty.

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1 Comments:

At May 8, 2008 at 10:29 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Hey Simon,

Please don't post comment spam -- especially promoting horse betting sites, when I've clearly expressed that I don't like the horse racing industry!

 

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