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What do we do with them all? A euthanasia debate

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  • Originally posted by kcmel View Post
    I agree with this. In this age of simulcasting there is no need for so many regional tracks. Maybe limit it to one major track in each region. That would eventually lead to a reduction in the number of horses bred, and (hopefully) to an increase in the quality of horses bred. (Sorry, small time breeders and trainers!)
    I find this statement quite offensive. By that logic, we should then ban everything but A-rated shows, too. Everyone knows there is a glut of stock breed horses out there. Let's get rid of every show but a couple of the really big ones like Congress and the Dixie Nationals - that will limit the number of horses bred, right? What about all the grade stock being bred in backyards? Let's put an end to trail riding and fun shows - that will give those breeders something to think about, too. How f***ing elitist can you be???


    There is a lot of talk here about increasing the quality and decreasing the quantity of Thoroughbreds produced. The talk of quality illustrates a gross misunderstanding of racing and race breeding. And is a good example of why people in the industry get tired of listening to the pretty pony petters.

    The talk of quantity also has some problems with its basic logic. The majority of horses in need of homes are horses that are not suitable for racing because they have either become injured or they have proven themselves to lack any real talent - they are no longer suitable for racing. It is not the case that there are hordes of perfectly suitable horses out there waiting for an opportunity but no one has room for them because there is such a glut. Rather, in fact, fields are short at a lot of tracks - a sign that there is a shortage of suitable horses. Even if production were cut in half, there would still be the problem of horses that become injured or lack the talent to earn their keep. And, because racing is a business (which, evidently, is the heart of the problem for most of the pretty pony petters), even if stock is scarce, people aren't going to invest more to keep a horse in training that they can possibly hope to recoup.

    To answer the OP's question: I'm all for euthanasia, but as someone else pointed out, I have no doubt it wouldn't take long before certain groups jumped on us like they have dog racing. But, really, shouldn't these questions have been answered before slaughter was banned?

    Comment


    • Originally posted by SleepyFox View Post

      There is a lot of talk here about increasing the quality and decreasing the quantity of Thoroughbreds produced. The talk of quality illustrates a gross misunderstanding of racing and race breeding. And is a good example of why people in the industry get tired of listening to the pretty pony petters.

      The talk of quantity also has some problems with its basic logic. The majority of horses in need of homes are horses that are not suitable for racing because they have either become injured or they have proven themselves to lack any real talent - they are no longer suitable for racing. It is not the case that there are hordes of perfectly suitable horses out there waiting for an opportunity but no one has room for them because there is such a glut. Rather, in fact, fields are short at a lot of tracks - a sign that there is a shortage of suitable horses. Even if production were cut in half, there would still be the problem of horses that become injured or lack the talent to earn their keep. And, because racing is a business (which, evidently, is the heart of the problem for most of the pretty pony petters), even if stock is scarce, people aren't going to invest more to keep a horse in training that they can possibly hope to recoup.

      To answer the OP's question: I'm all for euthanasia, but as someone else pointed out, I have no doubt it wouldn't take long before certain groups jumped on us like they have dog racing. But, really, shouldn't these questions have been answered before slaughter was banned?
      Excellent post!
      Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
      Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
      Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne

      Comment


      • Why does it always have to come down to "pretty pony petters" vs. "dirtbag race trainers"? Those damn broad brushes whitewash the world with ignorance.

        Yes, racing is a business. It is entirely possible to be a responsible horse owner and concurrently run a solvent horse business.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by SleepyFox View Post
          I find this statement quite offensive. By that logic, we should then ban everything but A-rated shows, too.
          Not at all the same. My point is that since the majority of handle comes from simulcasting, as an industry racing does not need so many tracks. That doesn't have any relationship to your analogy. I really don't know why you find this statement offensive.

          Comment


          • I imagine her point is sort of like saying we don't need so many auto workers which is all fine and dandy unless you happen to BE an auto worker. It sort of hits home when people are talking about doing away with a portion of your industry.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

            Comment


            • Well, of course that is true. We probably don't need so many universities either .

              Comment


              • Wow, I am so impressed that this thread is still going, with so many great and constructive posts.

                There are some interesting things brought up. One is that the EU is not going to continue to tolerate importing meat with unknown contaminants in it. Where is Gail Vacca to elaborate on this? So basically, slaughter as we know it is going to change. The idea, I think, at that time (2 years ago, maybe 3) was that horses were going to be ranched like cattle and sold to slaughter the same way, and that race horses were going to be taken out of that loop. And I have said this before - if anyone with global connections really wanted to put an end to the exportation of horse meat to the EU, all it would take is a public campaign of awareness. It would not be hard.

                So if there is any truth to this, it would be wise to dismiss reforming slaughter (as it pertains to OTTB's, anyway). I think slaughter reform is the wrong way to go, anyway. It takes everyone off the hook and makes it too easy to just call the man and forget about it. These horses don't deserve that. It needs to be *easier* to call the man and have them euthanized, IMO, and the bill needs to have already been paid. If it's any harder than that it's not going to happen.

                Of course the only way to do this is for the JC to charge a fee for each horse registered, which would potentially also cut down on breeding which is no small bonus - and to charge a entry fee and a cut of every purse. I have no idea how you would run it from there but IMO the JC owes it to the TB to figure this out. And really.. yes, there would be backlash like there was with greyhounds, but no one was slaughtering and eating greyhounds if they weren't fast enough. It's not hard to make a case for euthanasia over slaughter, even my kids at 6 and 9 understand it's kinder to euthanize a horse than slaughter it or let it suffer.

                JMO.
                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                ---
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by kcmel View Post
                  Not at all the same. My point is that since the majority of handle comes from simulcasting, as an industry racing does not need so many tracks. That doesn't have any relationship to your analogy. I really don't know why you find this statement offensive.
                  Yeah, it is the same. If you want to limit the scope of one industry that you think fuels overproduction of horses, then it only makes logical sense that you should want to to limit the scope of all equine industries that lead to what you perceive as overproduction.

                  Handle, including simulcast revenue, goes to the individual tracks - which are individually owned and operated. It is not one industry-wide monopoly that owns the tracks. Tracks operate just like any other gambling operation - if they can obtain the proper licensing, they have a right to operate and the market can determine if they are successful. Anything short of that would be obstructing fair trade.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                    Racing would never want its broken horses out in public view, even for adoption.

                    What would $5 per start from the owners/trainers and 1/4 % of the total betting pools bring in for retirement? Surely the states could forego some of their cut, and so could the purses.
                    Originally posted by chaltagor View Post
                    Are you saying the CANTER sites aren't in public view? The track itself isn't in public view? What's the difference? Are all the horses available from CANTER broken?
                    I agree vineyridge. It is a don't ask, don't tell business and the racing industry has some serious pull on the media. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and American tradition.

                    chaltagor, the truth is this...unless you are an avid fan of horse racing or a horse lover visiting sites like this you don't know anything about the issues at hand or groups like CANTER. Take the Paragallo case for example, besides the trade papers and some regional coverage it was basically non-news outside the race world. One would *think* cruelty on that scale would be national news, but when it comes to racing...not so much. Gotta protect that image and keep those dollars coming in.
                    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Barnfairy View Post
                      Why does it always have to come down to "pretty pony petters" vs. "dirtbag race trainers"? Those damn broad brushes whitewash the world with ignorance.
                      But broadsides against the racing industry by people who obviously don't know much about the racing industry don't lead to greater understanding either. I feel the frustration expressed by Sleepy Fox and Jessi P.

                      What I don't understand is why the opinions of posters like Sleepy Fox who clearly are in the industry in a day to day way are dismissed so readily. She's telling you something--if you want to change the world, you don't do it effectively by imposing yourself on those you want to give tough medicine to. No one here is a horse czar and maybe the beginnings of a dialogue start with listening.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by equineartworks View Post
                        I agree vineyridge. It is a don't ask, don't tell business and the racing industry has some serious pull on the media. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and American tradition.
                        .
                        Yeah, the racing industry has such big pull with the media that it's biggest day of racing each year is banished to a cable channel and NTRA has to practically pay for it to be aired. The rest of the year is like three famous races on network TV.
                        You will not even see coverage of racing in newspapers or news sources outside of maybe those three or four select races, and then you're lucky if it's more than a 15 sec soundbite or a 1/2 inch of newsprint.
                        Yeah, pretty powerful alright.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Drvmb1ggl3 View Post
                          Yeah, the racing industry has such big pull with the media that it's biggest day of racing each year is banished to a cable channel and NTRA has to practically pay for it to be aired. The rest of the year is like three famous races on network TV.
                          You will not even see coverage of racing in newspapers or news sources outside of maybe those three or four select races, and then you're lucky if it's more than a 15 sec soundbite or a 1/2 inch of newsprint.
                          Yeah, pretty powerful alright.
                          you missed my point...the racing industry is selective as to who sees what, it is very much an "old boy" network. They like the private club they have created and want to keep it that way.
                          I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                          Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by tbracer65 View Post
                            Can't the Jockey Club start up a program & add on so much money to every foal that's going to be registered. Just increase the registration fee.... It would take a few years to get everything in order, but would eventually work out. To even the money up (covering all foals registered up till this date)they could take donations into a euthanasia fund now. Also -- it would be mandatory that the trainers NOT get reimbursed, but that the track pay for the euthanasia TO the vet & that the track get paid from the Jockey Club. Therefore tattoo could be checked by the vet. That would prevent all scam artists from getting money to put a horse down & then not doing it. Something along those lines....just thinking....
                            I register TB foals for riding not racing and don't want to be taxed unless all registries do the same for their breeds. Unwanted horses are not just TBs. There are many QHs, misc. crosses and yes even WBs in need of rescue/euthanasia. Racing should contribute perhaps. I like the % of winnings idea. However, if euthanasia were free, would it not encourage more low level horses being run into the ground? There would be no risk to claiming a cheap horse if you could get rid of it totally free.
                            http://TouchstoneAcres.com
                            Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Pronzini View Post
                              But broadsides against the racing industry by people who obviously don't know much about the racing industry don't lead to greater understanding either. I feel the frustration expressed by Sleepy Fox and Jessi P.

                              What I don't understand is why the opinions of posters like Sleepy Fox who clearly are in the industry in a day to day way are dismissed so readily. She's telling you something--if you want to change the world, you don't do it effectively by imposing yourself on those you want to give tough medicine to. No one here is a horse czar and maybe the beginnings of a dialogue start with listening.
                              I actually agree with you on this. My point was that both sides are making gross generalizations and getting nowhere fast.

                              Racing is in the limelight compared to other horse sports and as such, right or wrong, is going to be subjected to impositions from the public. The fact is there are unfortunately plenty within the racing industry who use up horses hard and throw them away like trash -- and I'm saying that as someone who loves racing, remains an active fan, and also as someone who has met many wonderful trainers and owners who do care and who have done well by their horses. I'm also saying it as someone who is actively trying to be part of the solution; I retrain exracers without being paid for it, I support CANTER and the TRF, I've fostered, and I've bought horses straight off the track.

                              Saying racing is a business is not an acceptable excuse for not having a plan in place for the unwanted horses the industry produces. The general public, upon whom racing still depends, is saying that slaughter is not a viable option. If you don't like what the outsiders are saying, you had better come up with a solution yourselves then or be prepared to watch more and more tracks go the way of greyhound racing in Massachusetts.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by omare View Post
                                I think some vets could do to be educated also--as many younger vets it seems do not want to put a "heathy" horse down unless you can convince them the horse is in severe chronic pain (not just unsound pasture ornaments). But who wants to have to argue with a vet or be required to let the vet "evaluate" whether a horse should be put down (i.e., pass judgement on your already painful decision).

                                I know they have a right to practice medicine that way, but I thought having to put animials down was a very real and unpleasant part of being a vet.
                                I have to respectfully disagree. Put yourself in our shoes. It is not the job of a vet to be your garbage disposal and rid you of your problems. Not everyone does research before deciding to euth. You must think quite highly of yourself that you need to "educate" veterinarians who have been schooled for at least 8 years in what you have not. Convienance euthanasias are one of the reasons that we are in this problem - the creation of a disposable society. Burnout is a very real part of this profession and instead of criticizing, you should be happy that your vet still cares enough about the animals that he treats to question wether this is necessary or if thei are other options. I have been in on countless euthanasias where the people simply did not know of a cure or another treatment (because they use BBs or the internet as their veterinarian) and had decided on euth without having all of the answers. Some of these we were able to treat and some of them not, but you really don't want an owner coming back to you a year later saying "why didn't you tell me that xx was treatable?".

                                All of that said, I do think that animals that are suffering should be put down humanely, and those are not the cases that haunt me when I sleep.
                                Holly
                                www.ironhorsefrm.com
                                Oldenburg foals and young prospects
                                LIKE us on Facebook!

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                                • Originally posted by Iron Horse Farm View Post
                                  I have to respectfully disagree. Put yourself in our shoes. It is not the job of a vet to be your garbage disposal and rid you of your problems. Not everyone does research before deciding to euth. You must think quite highly of yourself that you need to "educate" veterinarians who have been schooled for at least 8 years in what you have not. Convienance euthanasias are one of the reasons that we are in this problem - the creation of a disposable society.
                                  ^^^^^this...amen^^^^
                                  I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                                  Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by TouchstoneAcres View Post
                                    I register TB foals for riding not racing and don't want to be taxed unless all registries do the same for their breeds. Unwanted horses are not just TBs. There are many QHs, misc. crosses and yes even WBs in need of rescue/euthanasia. Racing should contribute perhaps. I like the % of winnings idea. However, if euthanasia were free, would it not encourage more low level horses being run into the ground? There would be no risk to claiming a cheap horse if you could get rid of it totally free.
                                    So there is no way one of your TBs might ever be in need of a home under any circumstances? Not to mention the one's with the least amount of earnings tend to be the ones who are the most in need of a home.
                                    McDowell Racing Stables

                                    Home Away From Home

                                    Comment


                                    • Several years ago I bought three mares off the track to be broodmares for a sporthorse breeding program. Mare #1 raced 44 times, had a good sporthorse pedigree and career limiting injuries (big ankles, pelvic fractures - healed and overall soreness and arthritis). She also had FABULOUS conformation. She was approved into the highest Oldenburg book and to date has produced several superior foals including an open jumper champion.
                                      Mare #2 was lame on a giant knee but had good conformation and great hunter lines (directly back to The Axe). By the time we figured out that she was not going to throw superior foals (two years), she was sound on the knee. She now is a lovely lesson and low level show horse adored by her adult owner. Mare #3 is still here. She was lame on both front ankles and was in foal to a racing stallion when I found her (on a trip to look at something else). She was not for sale as she had good "racing lines" for breeding, but as with most horse owners, she had a price and I liked her enough to pay it. She was my hunter, but her true calling has been as a sporthorse broodmare, where she has excelled.

                                      My point? Mares one and two would have been euthanized by most of the standards that we are discussing. Although I am anti backyard or fugly breeding, I am not put off by someone using some of these nice TB mares to produce future event horses etc.
                                      Holly
                                      www.ironhorsefrm.com
                                      Oldenburg foals and young prospects
                                      LIKE us on Facebook!

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Barnfairy View Post

                                        Saying racing is a business is not an acceptable excuse for not having a plan in place for the unwanted horses the industry produces. The general public, upon whom racing still depends, is saying that slaughter is not a viable option. If you don't like what the outsiders are saying, you had better come up with a solution yourselves then or be prepared to watch more and more tracks go the way of greyhound racing in Massachusetts.
                                        I'm actually not convinced that the general public really cares about what moves us on COTH. Someone on this thread said that racing is suffering because of PR problems. I think that's wishful thinking. You know what one of the most popular meets is in the country? Del (How many have died today) Mar. The track with day to day death watch being played out in the LA Times and the San Diego papers.

                                        A horse can breakdown today and 25-30,000 people can show up tomorrow. When's the last time Belmont had that kind of attendance outside of the Belmont S?

                                        I keep thinking breakdowns will be the end of Del Mar but people keep flocking there. I'm beginning to think that the "public" outside narrow focus forums like this one really doesn't care overly much. I know the people that I work with it's not a hot button on their radar.

                                        Comment


                                        • Bottom line is still this - A number of Thoroughbred racehorses die each week whether it is due to breakdown on the racetrack or being dispatched at a slaugherhouse.

                                          While we can debate all day long how preventable those deaths are from breakdown, the deaths at the slaughterhouse ARE entirely preventable except for one huge obsticle: The funding does not exist to keep them out of the slaughter pipeline.

                                          And yes, one can argue that there are plenty of other horses fueling that slaughter pipeline so it's not fair to single out racing, but I got drawn into the sport because of the beauty, majesty and spirit of the Thoroughbred. I simply cannot reconcile the appreciation of the Thoroughbred with the rather casual "oh well - they all gotta die sometime" attitude that seems to make it okay for these horses to disappear down that slaughter pipeline.

                                          So at the end of the day, do we simply give in to the inertia that bogs down this entire sport and give up trying to make a difference to at least some of these horses? Do we just stop caring what happens to the horse we cheered to victory a couple of years ago?

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