What’s going on here? Breed integrity in horse racing

It will likely be years before a firm rule either further restricting race-day Salix or banning it outright is implemented. In the meantime, the globalization of racing will continue. Considering many trainers and breeders overseas already view American bloodlines as suspect and “tainted,” now is the time to begin debating how we will ensure the integrity of our bloodlines when medication no longer allows us to hide our flaws.

This is the final paragraph of an article by Eric Mitchell called “Breeding Integrity”, writing for The Blood-Horse.

It follows the International Summit on Race Day Medication, EIPH and the Racehorse held at Belmont Park, June 13-14.

Begin debating? What’s to debate, except how best and how fast they can implement the changes necessary to bring American racing in line with other nations who have found effective, workable solutions to what appears to confound the industry in the United States, even after being properly schooled on exactly those points during the recent Summit.

Initial responses to this question are typically, it’s all about the money. Accepting that as a rational argument, because in America everything is always about the money, who in their right minds believe that they can continue to make money producing a flawed product that nobody wants to buy or use, or only use a year or two before it breaks?

In this case, of course, sadly the “it” is not actually a product, but a living, feeling being — the racehorse — who for the most part is abused from the beginning to the end of his or her career, and the only reason we are interested.

I admit I smirk at columnists and commentators who claim that horse racing is stronger than ever in North America. I wonder what planet they inhabit.

Mr. Mitchell at least seems to have his feet firmly planted on planet earth, but he may find himself in lonely company where he stands.

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Racehorse Performance Enhancing Graphic May 2005 NYT
Racehorse Performance Enhancing Graphic, May 2005, New York Times. This graphic accompanied an article by Joe Drape on racehorse doping. Click to enlarge.

Joe Drape who writes for the New York Times is a comrade of sorts, and has written about the doping of racehorses from what I can tell, around about 2005. During the Summit, Mr. Drape wrote:

The American thoroughbred industry has acknowledged recently that it is in trouble, and on Monday, its counterparts from around the world told it why: it races too often, allows race-day medications that prop up inferior horses and is paying the price for these flaws with plummeting sales at breeding auctions.

That was about a week ago. What happened?

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For further information, please see our in depth reports on breeding and drugs in horse racing.


Next up: Racing Through the Slaughter Pipeline

8 thoughts on “What’s going on here? Breed integrity in horse racing”

  1. You are not correct. Looking at the bloodline does nothing to assure a great animal without the correct support of the bone structure. My field studies show that any problem there may or may not be is not from bloodline but from support of structure. Since none of you in animal rights will use science then how can we believe what you say?


    1. What a hoot!

      None of us in “animal rights” use science? I beg to differ.

      It is you Skippy who seems to lack scientific knowledge.


      1. If you were schooled in science you would know that bone structure has to be balenced by a mineral/protein balance if it is not then no matter how sound a bloodline is it will fail. Since you told me you use science then I ask whos science? Mother Goose? Bloodline is not to blame for a flair in the horses performance but in lack of science in the owner/handler/trainer. If you are using science then come up with the journals. Mine come from field studies. We really love our horses. We dont do it because people pay us to tell lies and spread propaganda….Theres a huge difference between legit science research and the propaganda all you horse haters spread.


        1. I can understand your interest in the scientific basis of our arguments. What I don’t understand is why you feel it necessary to be rude, and you think we are all horse haters. In the meantime, please share your field studies.


          1. Because you have no science to back your claims. All your business does is excite emotions with no backing whats so ever. Animals are not human. They are animals with there own biological makeup and needs.


            1. Skippy, if you are looking somewhere to dump your anger and frustrations, may I politely suggest you go elsewhere. You are not entering into any meaningful dialogue, so you are wasting our time and yours. Thank you.


        2. I am more schooled in science than you can know. I am not sure we are talking about the same thing. Breeding for racing or ??????


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