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“The Man Who Would Kill Horseracing”

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  • “The Man Who Would Kill Horseracing”

    Very sobering and disheartening article posted on Deadspin today.

    https://deadspin.com/the-man-who-wou...ing-1838098923


  • #2
    I confess I did not read the entire article.

    I would find it more credible if the author was aware that horses die of things like colic and getting cast in their stalls even when they aren't at a racetrack. Or have never even seen one.

    One of the problem's with PETA's reporting is that they compare the number of fatalities at the track with zero. They never take into account that horses find all sorts of ways to injure and kill themselves, even when they are just standing in a pasture.
    www.laurienberenson.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by LaurieB View Post
      I confess I did not read the entire article.

      I would find it more credible if the author was aware that horses die of things like colic and getting cast in their stalls even when they aren't at a racetrack. Or have never even seen one.

      One of the problem's with PETA's reporting is that they compare the number of fatalities at the track with zero. They never take into account that horses find all sorts of ways to injure and kill themselves, even when they are just standing in a pasture.
      Me either. Poorly written. And I guarantee more horses will founder or colic because of grass this fall than horses will colic or founder at the track due to conditions unique to the track.
      "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

      Comment


      • #4
        AAEP estimated a while back that at least 100 - 150 horses die every day from colic. Where is PETA's outrage about that? Will they take on The Creator who designed this one-way digestive system? Oh wait - it is only important to them if they can grandstand about the evils of racing, or carriage horses... or... anything in the public eye that gets them in the spotlight.

        Comment


        • #5
          I found this article annoying. However, he did write this paragraph "Horses die on the track for all sorts of reasons, and it happens in America with a frequency not seen in other racing nations."

          Is that true? Seems like that's the issue, and not racing itself (if it is, indeed, true, which I am skeptical of, don't get me wrong).

          Comment


          • #6
            One of my first vets said that in his opinion, horses were born attempting to commit suicide.

            I totally dislike grandstanding articles such as the one linked to. I just about don't find it distressed as so much of it is of poor, sensationalized reporting rather than factual, unbiased writing.
            Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

            Comment


            • #7
              Good heavens. Anyone aligned with p e t a has got to be nuts. Here are a few fun facts about them: https://listverse.com/2013/05/30/10-...ts-about-peta/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Alterration View Post
                I found this article annoying. However, he did write this paragraph "Horses die on the track for all sorts of reasons, and it happens in America with a frequency not seen in other racing nations."

                Is that true? Seems like that's the issue, and not racing itself (if it is, indeed, true, which I am skeptical of, don't get me wrong).
                Thats what I hate about crap like this, throwing fake facts out there with no links or credit to the actual statistics. Horses die at tracks, and everyplace else, worldwide from competition accidents to colic to stupid stable accidents to attempts at self destruction to just dying on their own. Even if PETA gets its wish, the idle horses are still going to die unexpectedly.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by findeight View Post

                  Thats what I hate about crap like this, throwing fake facts out there with no links or credit to the actual statistics. Horses die at tracks, and everyplace else, worldwide from competition accidents to colic to stupid stable accidents to attempts at self destruction to just dying on their own. Even if PETA gets its wish, the idle horses are still going to die unexpectedly.
                  Oh I truly do believe horses are constantly on a suicide mission. I just thought, what an odd thing to cite with no...citation. Wasn’t sure where the best place to look for stats was, because searching for TB death stats by country is bound to bring up melodramatic sites and not necessarily informed ones.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Alterration View Post

                    Oh I truly do believe horses are constantly on a suicide mission. I just thought, what an odd thing to cite with no...citation. Wasn’t sure where the best place to look for stats was, because searching for TB death stats by country is bound to bring up melodramatic sites and not necessarily informed ones.
                    You'd need to google the rate per 1,000 starts. We have more race horses in the US than any other country.
                    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The article may have issues but so does this thread, IMO. I’m just a (former) spectator who has loved watching racing since childhood. Not anymore. I’m well aware horses can be self destructive but so is the industry as a whole by its resistance to serious discussion including dismissive comments such as these. I’m not trying to pick a fight.....I’m truly saddened by this. (I’m not a PETA fan either.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RiverCityRider View Post
                        The article may have issues but so does this thread, IMO. I’m just a (former) spectator who has loved watching racing since childhood. Not anymore. I’m well aware horses can be self destructive but so is the industry as a whole by its resistance to serious discussion including dismissive comments such as these. I’m not trying to pick a fight.....I’m truly saddened by this. (I’m not a PETA fan either.)
                        RiverCityRider there have been hours, weeks, days, and months of serious discussion in the TB industry about how to make horseracing safer. Different track surfaces and maintenance options have been tried. Veterinary protocols have changed. Numerous research studies have been funded. Nobody who owns racehorses wants to have them get injured (or heaven forbid, die) on the track.

                        Over the last ten years, the mortality rate for racehorses has dropped steadily--even as sensationalistic reporting like this article make it sound as though nobody gives a damn. That's what led to the exasperated replies in this thread.

                        Fwiw, I see the same thing happening in eventing. People work hard to make the sport safer, but horses still die pretty regularly. Racing makes a hot-button target for the media right now but all horse sport participants need to be mindful that their discipline could be next.

                        I'd be curious to hear what kind of serious discussion you think the TB industry is not engaging in..

                        www.laurienberenson.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          LaurieB I know there are many in the racing industry who are committed to making racing safer and who are people of integrity and deep concern for the welfare of their horses. I also know that I am far less knowledgeable than most of the people on this forum. But the perception of enthusiasts, if not experts, like me is important too, especially for a spectator sport. So while I agree with you that I have seen many threads about how to make racing safer, I have also seen many comments that fall into the "yes, but...." category of either dismissiveness or defensiveness. I do not mean that as a categorical remark for all in the industry since I know that is untrue and unfair. And I agree with you that the same questions apply in eventing. I know eventers who talk about how the sport has become safer and others who complain the courses have become more dangerous. Again, I don't have expertise so I listen and try to learn but end up worried and confused.
                          I am sure it's true that for those of us less well informed, the stories about Santa Anita and Baffert will carry disproportionate weight and frankly *do* make it appear some do not give a damn. But I love the beauty and thrill of racing, so believe me, I am truly looking for ways to remain a fan.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            RiverCityRider , thank you. You are quite right that the stories that can be sensationalized grab the headlines--and the good work that is being done behind the scenes rarely gets a mention anywhere beyond the industry press.

                            The horseracing industry knows it has problems and safety--of both horses and jockeys--is its highest priority right now, even as the numbers of races and racehorses continues to shrink. I mentioned eventing above (whose "per start" mortality rate is comparable to racing's) but anyone engaged in any kind of horse sport needs to remain aware that ultimately we will all be examined under a media microscope--and by their standard of "zero equine deaths at any time" we will all be found wanting.
                            www.laurienberenson.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Someone get PETA in an uproar about AAEP estimating that 100 - 150 horses die from colic every day. Surely they can turn that into a great scandal of some sort and picket back yards, boarding barns, show barns, 4H stalls at fairgrounds etc., all across America.

                              RiverCityRider - this post is not being dismissive or defensive. It is just a reaction to the narrow focus that uninformed and spotlight seeking groups like PETA have. Such groups are completely dismissive of anything and anyone that does not get in line with whatever their current "outrage" is about.

                              Racing is probably the most transparent part of the horse industry... under the microscope and the bright lights - and yet PETA insists racing is the devil incarnate while ignoring far worse issues in other areas. Why? It brings them media attention.

                              We had a mare here break her pelvis in her stall overnight. Without getting cast, going down or setting foot on a track of any kind. Some horses can be encased in bubble wrap, put in a padded, velvet-lined stall and still find a way to kill themselves.

                              I mentioned eventing above (whose "per start" mortality rate is comparable to racing's) but anyone engaged in any kind of horse sport needs to remain aware that ultimately we will all be examined under a media microscope--and by their standard of "zero equine deaths at any time" we will all be found wanting.
                              LaurieB - exactly right.

                              I get very weary of being told how evil racing is, how all the horses are drugged and abused, how nobody cares etc. - and 99% of the time such lectures come from someone who has never set foot on the backside, who does not have a clue about horses or racing and has no understanding of the dedication, sacrifice and feelings that most of the people around these horses share.

                              Many years ago now, at Northlands Park on a cool spring night, a little cheap claimer named Papacito Sam came off the final turn and roared down the stretch on the outside in his usual style - gaining on the leaders until a few jumps before the finish line when there was a sound like a gunshot and Sam faltered, wobbled to a halt and slowly laid down in the dirt right at the line, his RF cannon bone shattered. His groom was standing next to me and she screamed, jumped over the rail and ran to him, crying. She held his head in her hands and soothed him - he settled at her touch and stayed down. The jock joined the groom, covered in dirt. Sam was quickly surrounded by those who cared for him - even those who had put the claim ticket in the box before the race and would have taken him back to their barn... all those horrible, callous people who did not care or shed a single tear (sarcasm, in case anyone misses my point) for a plain little bay gelding who loved to run...

                              It wasn't the Breeders' Cup or the Kentucky Derby. Not a Grade One winner. Just Sam and his people, huddled under the lights of a silent, respectful grandstand...

                              Yep. No one cares. <<< yep, more sarcasm

                              PETA and similar groups do not give a rip about the Papacito Sams. They reserve their outrage and protests for the more high-profile tracks - wherever they can get the most attention possible.

                              Last edited by smoofox; Sep. 24, 2019, 08:01 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by LaurieB View Post
                                I mentioned eventing above (whose "per start" mortality rate is comparable to racing's) but anyone engaged in any kind of horse sport needs to remain aware that ultimately we will all be examined under a media microscope--and by their standard of "zero equine deaths at any time" we will all be found wanting.
                                I think it is this, the zero deaths at any time, that drives the 'yes, but' style of either defensive or dismissive responses. The real participants in the sport, ie, not the bettors or public, but the breeders, trainers, grooms, exercise riders, jocks, others like many of the rest of us (that aren't already listed) etc know that zero deaths isn't realistic. Yes, a goal to strive for to get closer and closer to zero but not, IMO, achievable.

                                I know how the 'yes, but' appears to the unaware, but how else to respond when someone spouts unrealistic goals or sensationalized stats?
                                Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think if racing did away with two year old races, made sure all horses had turnout or handgrazing several hours a day, had more and better retirement options, it would go a long way to convincing the general public that the horses are not a disposable commodity.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I've been following this guy and his outfit for awhile. First, they're set up to allow no dissenting opinions within their social media infrastructure. Either agree with them or be banned. Secondly, this guy is very savvy in recruiting enablers within the media. I've read several columnists' work where one could almost say that he writes the column and just lets them put their name to it. The enablers rarely if ever seek countering opinions. Third, he and his group have demonized not just the sport of racing, but also anyone who participates--including grooms, hotwalkers, and fans. He's gone so far as to hijack a high school graduation ceremony just because Chad Brown was delivering the commencement address. Frankly he could care less about the damage he may cause in people's lives with the most extreme examples I've found is where followers on his group's Facebook page have openly expressed the desire to see jockeys killed or severely injured and these comments go completely unchallenged. Lastly, this guy knows very little about horses. Ask for any comment about anatomy and equine behavior and he has to reference other sources. His extremism is not driven by some great love for horses, it's more to do with imposing his extremist views on others. I would say he's a little borderline mentally ill (even one of his Facebook followers said he was "crazy") but that would be too dismissive of this threats.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by tinah View Post
                                      I think if racing did away with two year old races, made sure all horses had turnout or handgrazing several hours a day, had more and better retirement options, it would go a long way to convincing the general public that the horses are not a disposable commodity.
                                      Even though the Equine Injury Database (started by the Jockey Club in 2008) continues to show that 3yo's breakdown more than 2yos? That stronger legs are built with the bone remodeling done by the healing of micro fractures?

                                      Are you aware of current trainer and track facilities that have the ability to turn out or hand graze where possible? That horses may be sent off track for some R and R when they need it?

                                      What "more" retirement opportunities do you feel should be offered? How could they be "better"? You are right, not every horse gets offered the chance to head to a breeding farm or back to the breeder but there are opportunities for horses to be retrained to other disciplines, Retired Racehorse Project as well as many of the CANTER and related organizations that help to rehome TBs when their racing career is finished comes to mind.

                                      The public cannot be "force fed" a viewpoint. The public loves to read about drama and tragedy, not as much the happy, happy stories (about anything, not just horses). This information is out there and available already, but the public doesn't seek it out. They'd rather seek out the drivel and trash such as the individual in the first post and organizations like PETA whose mission in life (read their web page) is no animals owned by anyone for anything... full stop.
                                      Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by tinah View Post
                                        I think if racing did away with two year old races, made sure all horses had turnout or handgrazing several hours a day, had more and better retirement options, it would go a long way to convincing the general public that the horses are not a disposable commodity.
                                        The data shows that it's very important to a horse's soundness and longevity to race at age 2. What would really go a long way towards convincing the general public that horses are not a disposable commodity is to get your facts straight.
                                        "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

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