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Thread: Thoughts on the Kentucky Derby--love/hate Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-04-2014 03:05 PM
jetdog Love, love, love horse racing and have since I was 2 yrs. old sitting mesmerized in front of the TV when a horse race came on. Of course I love horses, all horses, but have a soft spot for Thoroughbreds.

I can see the dark side of the sport, the breakdowns, the drug overuse, people only caring about the almighty dollar, and not the horses involved. But I also see the spirit and will to win that the Thoroughbred has, the courage, heart, and fire. The truly good ones WANT to run, they will run out in their paddocks competing with the horses in adjoining paddocks - no force involved.

I also see the good side of the sport with owners like Zenyatta has; they truly care for her and are very charitable. They continue to contribute money earned through raffles of her memorabilia to Thoroughbred retirement organizations and other charities (breast cancer is one).

Or how about the owners of the Derby winner, California Chrome. They had multiple offers of $6 million for a 51% share in him BEFORE he won the Derby, and they turned it down. That was a gamble, and they proved cared about the horse, not just the money. I'm happy their gamble paid off! I had picked "Junior" (CC's barn name) months ago as my Derby horse so I was VERY excited to see him win.

Now I hope California Chrome stays sound and has enough left in him to compete well in the Preakness. Can't wait!


Also want to add that any type of completion or sport involving animals can have a dark side - the dirty little secrets or shortcuts that some people use to get better performances out of their animals. Look at the abuse in Tennessee Walkers, or in top level Western Pleasure horses, or even in some SCH/IPO trained dogs. There are cheaters, or people that just don't give a crap about their animals in every competitive venue. (unfortunately)

I wish horse racing could be viewed in a more positive light, and that more publicity could be given to the people out there working hard every day doing things the right way for the horses. Like how Art Sherman went to the track early this a.m. to check on Junior despite him having only gotten like 3 hrs. of sleep due to all the Derby festivities/frenzy. Junior was napping and Art didn't want to disturb him, so he took a nap at the barn too! Sweet.
05-04-2014 02:33 PM
alexg Very boring event, IMO. So is track and field, bicycle races, dog races.
05-04-2014 12:17 PM
Freestep I have a friend who is really into horse racing, owns and breeds TBs, and is vying for a Derby win someday. She is a huge animal lover, a vegan, and has tendencies toward AR, which seems at odds with her involvement in horse racing. However, I am glad there are people like her in the TB world, because without them, I fear that the culture of horse racing would be even more polluted with mismanagement, abuse, and poor ethical conduct. She really loves the horses and has a strong voice for their welfare; I don't think horse racing has to be an abusive practice and neither does she. It's actually been a long time since we sat down and talked, and I'd be interested to hear her current views on the industry.

In any case, I am happy to see a win by California Chrome, who was raised about 50 miles from me in a po-dunk Northern California town.
05-04-2014 07:54 AM
robk There is a dark side to every thing in life; sports, religion, politics, business, academics, even the dog world. You can choose which side to participate in.
05-04-2014 03:16 AM
sparra We don't get to see the Kentucky Derby but our equivalent is the Melbourne Cup..the race that stops a nation they call it....I love it.....I worked in a hospital in Scone......Australia's equivalent to Kentucky I guess when it comes to thoroughbreds and loved it.......worked with many champions......get to do things just not possible elsewhere cause they spend thousands on these horses.......it is a great sport.
05-04-2014 02:49 AM
LARHAGE I'm with Lee, there is abuse in all sports, I too have spent a significant amount of time in the TB industry galloping horses as well as caring for lay ups, that video that surfaced about Steve Asmussen was from PETA , enough said on that. While the fact is there are medications administered, the vast majority of the people care about the horses , yes some end up at slaughter houses but that isn't exclusive to TB's, and someone mentioned earlier that they were fearful for Wise Dan after he retires, well trust me no need , he is cherished deeply by his breeder who has his siblings as well. I've also been involved with Arabians, Saddlebreds and Tennessee Walkers, and while their are some horrible owners and trainers involved in the different breeds, the vast majority are not, like any animal industry, including dogs, the facts unfortunately are some people will do anything for an edge, I am grateful for the Thoroughbred industry, for without the contributions of some of the top owners and breeders , the cutting edge medical advances made in Veterinary medicine would not be available to all horse owners, advances that have saved the lives of a few of mine!!!
05-03-2014 11:32 PM
Susan_GSD_mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfstraum View Post
There are alot of good people in racing who care about their horses...

racing is NOT alone in injuries to horses....I don't think that percentage wise it is really any different than any other equine sport! Every breed and discipline has the potential for abuse - and people being people - animals - both dogs and horses do get abused....don't condemn the whole sport.

Lee
Lee,

I know there are a lot of good people who care about their horses, even in the racing industry. But I am SURE that the percentage of injury and abuse is much higher in racing, there is too much money at stake, and there are too many 'legal' ways to keep an injured horse on its feet and still running. Horses are run at such an early age, their bodies are not ready for it. Check out the horse auctions in Kentucky, not the big ones, but the smaller ones scattered around the state. You can find horses with every type of crippling injury a horse can have, and the only buyers for them will be the killers. The difference is that the majority of horse owners in other equine sports DO care, and they get the vet care and rehabilitation the horse needs. For the small race trainng stable, it's cheaper to buy the drugs to keep the animals running.

Not to say abuse doesn't exist elsewhere--look into the training and showing of the Saddlebred, for instance.

It is just so widespread in the racing industry, where they aren't running for ribbons, they're running for money. Greed is an evil motivator.

JMHO

Susan
05-03-2014 11:01 PM
wolfstraum There are alot of good people in racing who care about their horses...a few Ky Derby winners who went abroad to stud have been brought back by their breeders or owners to retire...Gato del Sol comes to mind as one of the first...

Popular horses, especially geldings often end up at the Kentucky Horse Park....so many of the bigger farms retire their seniors - mares and stallions....there are so many retirement farms for TBs - no, not enough I agree - but there are still dogs dying in shelters too! Racehorses are bred for racing...and most of them love it! I have had a couple part TBs - my one mare was from a Graustark son whose dam was a full sister to Bold Ruler, and I bred her to Ky Derby winner Spectacular Bid....I spent time at NBC and saw surgeries on race horses who broke legs - and on barrel racers and reining horses - racing is NOT alone in injuries to horses....I don't think that percentage wise it is really any different than any other equine sport! Every breed and discipline has the potential for abuse - and people being people - animals - both dogs and horses do get abused....don't condemn the whole sport.

Lee
05-03-2014 10:53 PM
GatorBytes For The First Time Ever Caught On Camera: Horse Racing Exposed – Drugs, Deception & Death | Collective-Evolution

Warning `~ believe there is some profanity in the video within the link.
05-03-2014 10:31 PM
lhczth I watch every year. Horses were my obsession until I couldn't afford them anymore. I had Barbie dolls when I was a kid, but they had to be jammed onto my Breyer horses so they could go riding. LOL I cut out images of horses, drew horses, read about horses. I never owned Thoroughbreds, though. Had some grade horses, Morgans, a pinto and American Saddlebreds. Gave my last horse away in 2007. My husband used to say I had horse on the brain. I still can not watch horses run without getting choked up even horses in movies (National Velvet kills me).
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