Horse Racing

Jul 4, 2008
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#1
I just wanted to know everyone's opinion on this shall I say in my opinion 'cruel' sport. After reading several articles on the filly Eight Belles (USA) that finished 2nd in this years Kentucky Derby. The filly broke both her front ankles in the quarter mile after she had crossed the finish line, she was euthanized immediately.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/05/05/eight_belles_injured_after_race.jpg
The racing world has always made my blood boil, the grand national is such a cruel thing to watch it really is as several horses thunder around the track many falling, injured and even death. Many deaths of these poor creatures fail to make it to public knowledge they are dismissed as 'accidental' or 'unexplained'.
http://www.horsedeathwatch.com/
Many people on this message board think that sitting on a 2 year old horse and walking it for a bit is wrong. So what are your opinions on these 2 year olds racing? The filly that lost her life in the kentucky derby this year was just 3 years old. It is a disgrace if I am being completely open with my opinions, but all in all it would be very interesting and insightful to hear your views on this subject. Thanks.

Yes I know Eight Belles was like 6 months ago but all I wanted was an honest opinion nothing else, as it is something I feel strongly about.
 
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tarkia

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Jun 2, 2002
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#3
I think racing is a very strong subject where people are either all for or really against it. I've grown up watching and visiting races.
I've been to quite a lot of races and when I was younger, like most kiddies - I'd cheer them on, you don't see any wrong to a bunch of horses racing then but nowadays if you look at the stats behind thoroughbred racehorses, there are over tripple the amount of horses racing on the track today in the UK compared to 8 years ago, this is quite alarming in my view.
Now my dad can't see anything wrong with the "sport" at all. With me I think that it's too much about money, people are greedy and trainers now have strings upon strings of horses in training for the track and only a small few of these will be successful. The rest of the horses are then sold on for a much lower price but some can have problems from being started so early.

Although racing isn't something that is going to be banned, I really don't see the need in whips and jumps. I don't see the sense in galloping an exhausted horse over a hedge.. no wonder there are fatal injuries. If we took away jumps and whips horses wouldn't have to push themselves beyond their capabilities just to please us.
 
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helenc

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Nov 27, 2003
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#5
If you do a search on here then there are lots of discussions about racing & they always seem to get rather heated.

I love racing. I think it's amazing to see the horses as true athletes doing what they're bred to do, love to do & trained to do. I actually prefer to watch jump racing, in fact when I was a bit younger I worked at a national hunt yard with some of these amazing creatures & had the pleasure of riding out 4 or 5 horses a day, teaching the young ones to jump & keeping up the jump training of the older ones.

I'm afraid you get horse deaths in all horse sports & also in leisure riding, especially on roads but does that mean all horse sports should be banned & we shouldn't be allowed to hack out on roads?

As far as whipping goes - there are strict rules that the jockeys have to follow & if they don't stick to them then they are punished (bans etc). Although I personally would like them to be tightened even more. The OP mentioned the Grand National - it does look scary & 40 horses starting is a lot but they have been doing so much to make it safer over the years.

Having said all of that - I really don't agree with 2yr & 3yr old racing. It's far too young to even be sitting on those horses, let alone them being in training & racing - it is no surprise really when these young horses end up with fractures & breaks as they haven't had the time to form correctly before being put into hard work.

I also really dislike the amount of wastage of horses & that the governing bodies should put something in place to try to stop this (not exactly sure what though) as there are thousands of TBs bred for racing every year, most of which will not be good enough to make the cut. I have been to bloodstock sales and seen horses being sold for £500 - £800 & some that haven't even sold, what is their life now?

I have 2 ex-racehorses already & I'd have more if I could but it's just impossible for me, I'd buy them all if I had the money & the space
 

Bay Mare

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Jun 21, 2004
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#6
I can totally understand the thrill of horse racing, I can't, however, agree with the realities of horses raced far too young, the wastage and much much more that goes on in the industry (for it really is an industry).
 
Apr 14, 2007
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#7
I dont like any racing where the horse is under 4 years old, and I dont like flat racing cos its boring! or any racing on fast ground.

I have no problem with National Hunt racing esp when ground is softer, nor with the Grand National. The press always hype up how awful it is when it is muddy ground for the race, but although more horses fall when its soft and deep, they hurt themselves a lot less than the ones who fall when it is hard fast going and they are all running too free.

I hated the dirt tracks in the US as the casualty rate was so high and am pleased they are introducing the more sophisticated all weather surfaces.

If we eliminated immature colts and fillies racing, dirt tracks and the like I think the fatal accident stats would go down to a reasonable level.
 

helenc

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#8
^^^^ well said :)

Don't really know much about racing on dirt tracks but when I worked with the racehorse we had a dirt track gallop, we only ever used it in perfect conditions as it really wasn't suitable after too much rain or not enough rain. I really don't think it would have stood up to excessive use & if the dirt tracks in america are similar to that then that could definitely help to cause some of the breaks/fractures/break downs etc
 

tandp

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Jul 9, 2008
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#9
Here's a little snippet of info for you!

Only 1 in 6 horses bred for racing ever make it to the track.

You hear people go on about indiscriminate breeding of horses by people who don't know what they're doing, but gosh, look at the professionals!

Though, I guess they can euthanase (sp) at the push of a button...or the pull of a trigger!

I like racing, the actual concept isn't bad, but I dislike very much how the horses are trained.

I challenge anyone to find me a race in which there is a field of confident, thinking horses, rather than scared horses who are running blind.

This is why there are so many injuries - the horses are tense, all the muscles and ligaments and tendons are tight and just waiting to snap. If the horses were more relaxed in the first place, there would be far fewer injuries.

But its just an opinion!
 

Soot

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Aug 7, 2007
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#11
I can totally understand the thrill of horse racing, I can't, however, agree with the realities of horses raced far too young, the wastage and much much more that goes on in the industry (for it really is an industry).

What she said.

Racing is exciting; it's fun to watch; I love the speed & I have many friends in the racing world. However, it's a shame that more money is made by risking young horses. If only they could grow into beautiful, mature creatures with filled out bodies & strong bones before being put to racing. It's like watching children distorting their joints & bones with intensive training - I hate it :(.
 

Roseanne

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#13
I don't like jump racing as I hate to see tired horses forced to jump the last few fences, and tumble down in a heap, probably with an injury or more! Of course jockeys are injured also, but they have a choice - jump horses don't!

However, I do love flat-racing - it's exciting to watch, and horses love to race after all!
I don't approve of under four-year-olds racing though - far too young and a real strain on their legs I think, resulting in stress fractures very often.

Roseanne xxx
 
Sep 14, 2007
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#14
I can totally understand the thrill of horse racing, I can't, however, agree with the realities of horses raced far too young, the wastage and much much more that goes on in the industry (for it really is an industry).
^^^ ditto :). I just tried to type it out in my own words, but you said it better :p. (i have a particular hatred for starting horses too young, which is my main gripe about racing)
 

lauren123

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Feb 3, 2007
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#15
I did see why they have to be raced so young and i dont mind them racing on flat but i hate it with the jumps and the ones with the bars across them:mad:. Theres to many injurys cause from it both to riders and horses
 

Gimp

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Jan 19, 2005
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#17
Horse over bred and started far far to young... and then you wonder why they break down so easily.

I am a strong supporter against horse racing.
 

beanz's mum

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Jan 18, 2006
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#18
if the horses didnt love it, they would let you know.

i really dont see the point in 'discussing our opinions' on this subject , none of you are going to stop or prevent the way racing industry/business/sport (whatever you want to name it) is run. so, the point of you sharing your opinions is exactly...?

i warn you things like this it will end up with tears and frustration.
 
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Lisa&Lady

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#19
I dont mind flat racing on 4yr olds or above, but I HATE hurdle racing.

I absolutely detest the Grand National. I cant be anywhere near a TV when its on.

:mad:
 

Gimp

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Jan 19, 2005
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#20
I dont think the issue is if the horses love it or not?

I would liken it to an industry myself... lots of componments being churned out to find a gooden... sadly that leaves alot of by products.