It's Time to End Horse Racing in this Country

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Four horses have died in the last week getting ready for the Kentucky Derby race.

Two of them died from a running practice. Clearly they were exerted beyond their physical capacity.

And two were euthenized after aquiring leg injuries from a runnng practice.

These are not rare occurences. Horses are frequently killed or die at tracks all over the country on a regular basis.

The racing business people come up with their standard lip service saying that this is unacceptable and they need to do something about it. But they have been saying that same thing for years and horses are still dying for no reason other than the selfishness of their owners.

Let's just get rid of the business once and for all. Notice I didn't say get rid of the "sport" although that's what the people who are responsible for this travesty like to call it. IT'S NO SPORT. Certainly not for the horses. It's just a cruel and unnecessary business that needs to be banned.
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A famous book I have read: "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" - Hunter S. Thompson.

I enjoy the horse racing and small bets, even read biographies by famous jumps jockeys like our own A.P. McCoy in Britain and Ireland. I shall be watching the elite 3-y-o 2000 and 1000 Guineas this weekend. Flat races.

Am always heartbroken when horses and jockeys get killed or injured. So are the Trainers and Stablelads and lasses. It's an occasionally dangerous business. No question.

Nobody felt good after our own Derby winner, Anthony Van Dyck broke a leg in the crazy Melbourne Cup. We had a fatality in the crazy Grand National too this year. These big races are kinda NUTS really.

There are some things that make it worse. Big overcrowded fields, excessively high fences, hot weather, hard and soft tracks. Most fans and jockeys know this.

The thoroughbred racehorse also has very thin legs by breeding and is prone to break them on a divot in the course.

You could equally argue that Boxing should be banned. Pure Brain damage, IMO.

I'd be sorry to see the Racing go. But more could be done to reduce the risk.
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Now Steve, that is a lame comparison: boxing is voluntarily engaged, thus sort of self inflicted. Horses and bulls (in bull fights) didn't volunteer for exposure to semi-torture. And yes, I equally despise hunting.

BTW: the Hunter S. Thompson text you refer to is the title of an article, not a book title to my best of knowledge.
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If the racing lot actually cared about horses, they'd not shoot them because of a broken leg. That's just a money calculation. They try and justify it but most animal experts don't buy that. Shooting is easier.
Personally I fail to see why boxing exists. I can't see the entertainment in watching people maim and brain damage each other.
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An apparent human truism is, although we are the highest intelligent earthly lifeform, we are also the most cruel, ruthless, uncaring stewards of our fellow earthly lifeforms.

They don't shoot horses anymore...

They euthenase them with drugs. Fact is a horse doesn't often come back from a broken leg, and it's never the same horse again.

Horrible but true. You can't just stick them in a stall in plaster for 6 months.

It is curious that 4 horses died on the practice gallops at the Kentucky meeting. 2 collapsed, two injured. Sounds all wrong. Inquiries ongoing.

My sister was always one for the horses, starting with ponies:

Jean Horsing About.jpg

Probably watched "National Velvet" as a young woman. She could do a pretty good gallop and got to ride the big fast horses at the stable.

Me, I got to ride the old slow plodders, which just did what they wanted. Which was a slow plod.
Here is the official statemement from Churchill Downs regarding this problem:

“The safety and well-being of horses is a critical issue for which everyone in the industry shares responsibility; however, we will continue to take every measure to ensure that we are providing the safest possible environment for horses on our property”

What a bunch of horse crap that is. They already have studied things like track surfaces and have pretty much made them as safe as possible.

The simple fact is that pushing these beings to run fast and hard on thin legs is going to result in some bone breaks. And for those unfortunate horses whose legs can't stand the abuse it's going to be the end of their life.

This is all about money, money, and more money. For a whole industry. The owners, the breeders, the tracks, the sponsers, and the even the fans.

The one thing it's not about is the horses. They are just a disposable element in this big, big business.
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Aha, I may have got to the bottom of this woeful business in Kentucky!

Drugged or doped Horses.

Is it illegal to drug horses for racing?​

The answer to this question is complicated. Some drugs are legal in certain doses and in certain cases. Plus, each state has its own anti-doping regulations and rules (which further verifies the need for a single governing body to control doping). Not only does doping horses encourage cheating, but it is also harmful to the horses.

With that being said, there are some drugs that are completely banned in horse racing. Examples of these drugs are steroids or drugs that allow the body to send more blood to the horse’s muscles.

However, there are some drugs that are considered therapeutic. These drugs are not typically banned from horse racing. Sometimes they are used to ease or mask pain, but in a lot of cases, they are abused. However, due to varying regulations and the lack of a central governing body, it can be hard to determine at what point giving a horse therapeutic drugs turns into doping and/or cheating.

(National Geographic)

What drugs are abused in horse racing?​

There are two drugs that are legal to use in horse racing but are commonly abused. The first one is Lasix, which is used to treat human patients that have certain heart, liver, or kidney problems. But it can also supposedly “prevent bleeding in the lungs,” which is why it is often given to horses on race day. In actuality, the drug makes horses lose weight and run faster since it is a diuretic. Giving Lasix to horses has since been banned on race day starting in 2021.

The other type of drug that is commonly abused in horse racing is anti-inflammatory steroids. These are used to prevent pain and are often given to horses who are recovering from injury. However, it is often given to already injured horses on race day to make them able to race, which can actually make injuries worse because the horse doesn’t know when to quit while medicated. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, the new governing body, is designed to implement regulations, testing, and enforcement of drug abuse in horse racing.

(National Geographic)

What does this look like? Why did horses collapse and injure themselves in practise before Raceday?

Churchill Downs Inc. prohibited him from entering horses at any of its tracks for two years after his 2021 Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test. The horse was later disqualified from that victory in a ruling handed down last year.

Medina Spirit tested positive for an anti-inflammatory medication. It's considered a Class C drug, with a lesser potential to influence performance, but any level of detection on race day is a violation. Medina Spirit died after a workout in 2021.

Baffert already has served a 90-day suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission because of medication violations involving his horses. The suspension caused him to miss all the 2022 Triple Crown series.


Horse racing's new antidoping rules won't take effect until May 22 — two days after the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act that was created by the federal government nearly three years ago, antidoping and medication rules will be uniform nationwide. Penalties will be doled out to horses and trainers by HISA's independent enforcement agency with the goal of speedier test results, rulings and appeals.

While it's hard to say exactly how Baffert would have fared had the new rules been in place in 2021, surely it would not have taken nine months for Kentucky racing officials to decide to disqualify Medina Spirit and suspend the trainer for 90 days.

Altogether rather shocking. FWIW, there are a million thoroughbreds in the US, about 16,000 in the UK, but we really don't see these sort of problems in the UK, though I haven't dug into anti-doping regulations here.
Couldn't agree more. The city I live in, Calgary, is a constant reminder of animal cruelty in the annual Stampede Rodeo, which is a famous tourist draw. The real tell that the perpetrators know they are in the wrong is that they are literally as opaque about statistics as possible. The do not offer any, and only issue statements when something big happens like a race horse being put down, which happens often. All the other rodeo animals being put down are ignored because they are not big enough events to make the news independently, which happens in the case of race horses, and the Stampede never self-reports.
@system7 "They don't shoot horses anymore..." this is very incorrect.
In fact shooting is the least problematic method but apparently the horse racing public are too sensitive to hear the sound of the gun on track. Go figure....
A dead horse is huge and needs a big expensive hole for burial and a very long time to fully decompose while it pollutes ground water.
On the other hand however zoos, dog owners and such need a supply of meat for their birds, fish and animals but they cannot use a carcass full of euthanasia drugs (harmful to whatever eats it).
Humans also earn a living and die building your bridges and buildings.
While office princess whine about vacation time.

Race Horse is a specific bloodline and specially trained.
Overall cost for such a handpicked breed is tremendous.

A cheap racehorse is likely still 100,000 dollars
and some high class exceed 250,000 dollars

not including anywhere from 3 to 6000 dollars
monthly cost, not including training.

So claiming greed puts them to death.
It is the opposite, Greed more likely
guarantees they are treated rather well.

I assure you, no owner is interested in killing
Million dollar animals.

Having rescued abused Horses, from countless
Ranches and Farms. You should see how
real everyday horses are abused by broke
owners. None of them touched a track.
But suffered or died far worse
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Nearly a Million US people work in the Horse Racing industry! Big bucks. You know what that means about integrity!

Fact Checking:

Bear in mind that we have a different regulatory regime in the UK in horse-racing. Though to be fair, I think it gets abused quite a lot here too.

According to statistics, 7,500 horses enter and leave the 16,000 body of registered UK racehorses each year.

We have had a scandal involving a thousand horses a year being inhumanely killed for meat, mostly Irish ones sent over to Wiltshire, UK:

Scenes of workers taking potshots at horses, and often missing, horrified most people.

The authorities here only have jurisdiction at the racetrack premises themselves for testing and have zero-tolerance on all drugs. If it's on medication, it doesn't run.

Vets are expected to keep records of drugs given to horses.

Anabolic Steroids are out. A significant banned substance for young horses is Bisphosphonates, which is suspected to weaken a horses bones in the long run.


Still open to abuse, of course. As we know from the Olympics.

I think we can leave Rodeo riding out here for our discussion. Huge serious injury rates to riders and horses, but not horse racing as I know it.

Big money horse racing? Particularly at stud. Two of this years contenders in the 2000 Guineas One Mile flat race:

English horse Chaldean in the Frankel, Galileo, Danehill, Sadler's Wells, Northern Dancer blood line:


Lovely solid horse. Has Galileo's good looks. I think Frankel's stud fee is about £600,000. Galileo was about £250,000. These horses are/were more valuable than Lionel Messi and Ronaldo in soccer. Think £200 Million.

Frankel is considered the best racehorse of all time. 14 races, 14 wins and took the 2000 Guineas:

Auguste Rodin, hot Irish 13/8 favourite for the Guineas and fancied in the longer 1.5 mile Derby too:

Auguste Rodin.jpg

Funny stringy looking horse to my eye, from a very good Japanese sire called Deep Impact.

Enough said for now. I shall be down the bookies today. I think a pound on Chaldean at 5/1. Will liven up my Saturday afternoon watching the Races.
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Is there a difference, that can be distinguished in any great capacity between a recreational Horse Owner, a Horse owner who maintains the horse for a use to Haul Loads as tasks that are industry related, or a Horse owned by an individual who will use it as a performance animal in a competitive environment.
The same can be related to Dogs that are used to cover a variety of purposes.

All owners of animals whatever the intended purpose for the animal, are sharing a Joint responsibility and as a result share a common liability. In many cases when carrying out these liabilities the owners are acting within a Law that is in place, that ensures a owner offers a minimum that ensures the animals welfare is being catered for.

All owners are at risk of and in many many cases have experienced a occurrence where an animal they have a responsibility for has been exposed to a incident that has resulted in a injury, in some cases injuries incurred are life changing and in others the injury is fatal or the Treatment Option leaves euthanasia as the one to immediately stop the suffering that is being witnessed.

Most domesticated and sporting breeds of animals are in existence, only due to the Human Interest in their being owned.
There are breeds easily discovered, that are with a history of being once valued but are now on endangered lists due to the human loss of interest in the breed.

Is not the question, who has the right to own an animal and as a result of activities undertaken by the animal during ownership, it is acceptable for the animal owner to have an animal that has the unfortunate experience of incurring an injury, but in another case it is not acceptable for the animal owner to have an animal that unfortunately incurs an injury. In both cases an injury incurred can be life changing or even fatal.
Is it possible to even suggest one type of animal owner has a priority over another to be met with this type of saddening experience.

There is a Olden Days Agade, that states, "If you have Live Stock, then you are going to have Dead Stock". This to me is a forewarning that it is best to be aware that Old Age is not going to be met by all animals.

It could also be re-wrote to state, "If you have a fit for purpose athletic stock, then you are going to have unfit stock".
The animals owner is then left with options on how to best manage this situation, and decisions made might not always be to another's liking.
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