Written by VIVIAN GRANT
In the U.S., racehorses are bred for speed and little else. The small percentage of horses bred for racing who make it to the track are commonly given injury-masking or enhancing drugs and raced either to death, or to a condition where they can never be anything other than a yard ornament. Many who die end their days in a slaughter house.
There are many wonderful people in the horse racing industry who care, but they are as impotent as a geriatric stallion, and have made little headway in reforming their sport and protecting the horses who perform for it.
The final nail in the coffin to horse racing may be driven in by the gamblers, who are finally, at long last, asking, “How sound is my bet?” The answer is, it isn’t. It cannot be when you have no idea as to the truth of the condition of the horses running in the races you are betting on.
In a blog post entitled, “A Beautiful Sport, an Ugly Industry,” written by JOE MEAGHER for The Rail in the New York Times, he states:
Which of us studying The Daily Racing Form is privy to the magic piece of unpublished betting information? That would be: which horse got the cobra venom/milkshake/thing-with-no-name this morning?
It’s not just drugs. Nearly as awful is the industry’s refusal to punish habitual offenders with appropriate penalties. You lose a race that you bet on, and it turns out that the winner was saddled by a guy who could be in Leavenworth but is instead plotting his next “everybody does it” assault on your betting account.
Many advocates would like to see horse racing die, and are trying to bring about its end based on the inhumanity of it. This has fallen, for the most part, on the deaf ears of the power brokers within horse racing. Horse lovers, however, may not have much longer to wait. The betting element, an integral part of horse racing, is steadily losing confidence, and when the bettors disappear, so will horse racing.