Lumping horse breeds collectively not a good suggestion

A number of days in the past, a cable tv information community had a five-minute expose’ on the latest equine deaths at Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont Park.

It was an agonizing 5 minutes for me as they began detailing the 12 horses that died throughout Kentucky Derby week and ended with the demise of a thoroughbred one race after the Belmont Stakes.

That put a damper on Derby week that stretched out previous the mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes and on to the information channels thereafter.

Not solely did a serious cable information community do that prolonged piece, PBS additionally bought in on the act, as effectively, stating that 901 thoroughbreds died final yr and, as of this writing, an extra 136 have suffered the identical destiny to this point in 2023.

One other publication described how “a legacy of black-market doping and lobbying teams are killing ‘the game of kings’ additional lamenting, “unrelenting propulsion ripping via channels of deep flexor tendons and shock-absorbing fetlock ankles, each ounce of a thoroughbred’s weight is condensed into aluminum shod hooves, bred so skinny and small they common simply 4 inches throughout.”

The painful rhetoric continued as a workers reporter wrote, “it’s then-in these second(s) of racing fury, when a horse’s each capillary is flushed huge in a 250-beat-per-minute frenzy {that a} pharmaceutical meets the arterial gasp of oft-leaking valves, sending deadly numbness crashing via the animal’s veins.”

The article goes on that the blame is shared by “ruthless trainers, grasping horse homeowners, shady veterinarians and observe executives, paid-off sporting regulators, lawmakers greased with lobbying cash and judges who slow-walk already watered-down security legal guidelines.”

And one other nail within the coffin…once more, quoting, “And after they fall, relatively than be inconvenienced by costly medical remedy and unprofitable restoration time, we kill them.”

These traits listed above could also be true to a minute a part of the business however, since my first writing 60 years in the past, I’ve come throughout many, many trainers, homeowners, and veterinarians who’re the epitome of honesty and integrity. (Not too positive concerning the politicians!)

From Edgar Leonard approach again when to Dancer and Haughton and on to Girl “J” and Linda Toscano and Wally and Ake, our business is filled with hard-working personnel from the darkness earlier than the solar rises to the darkest of the midnight hours.

And, as for the remark about costly medical remedy and unprofitable restoration time, when a horse—or ANY animal—is writhing in ache, effectively, any wise attendant would favor euthanizing to place the equine athlete out of its extreme ache.

Sure, there are those who try to cheat the system…and a few do succeed.

However not too long ago, jail sentences and heavy fines have began to place a dent in that sector with an uncommon quantity of transparency that all of us hope will get even broader protection to enhance the fame of the whole business.

The actually unhappy factor about this was that every one breeds are lumped collectively in castigating horse racing—any type of horse racing…and that features our grand sport of harness racing.

Equine deaths cowl all breeds from thoroughbreds to quarter horses to hunters and jumpers and, sure, harness racing…and so they happen—not simply in North America—in each nation the place equine exercise is on the menu.

The thoroughbred deaths in the usA. are within the highlight now and going through the wrath of journalists in search of a narrative—and transparency is nice—however lumping all breeds that embody racing is, in my eyes, ridiculous.

Heck, Mount South was destroyed on the Uttoxeter Course after it broke down after a bounce hurdle.

The Pinkn was destroyed after hitting a hurdle injuring a foreleg on touchdown on the Newton Abbot Course.

Alongside Got here Story hit a fence on the Hexham Course, broke a hind leg, and was destroyed.

Hiway One O Three was destroyed after colliding with one other horse leaping a fence at Kempton Park.

Hill Sixteen fell and died from a damaged neck at Aintree.

There are only a handful of what can—and has—occurred within the equine business.

And, when you’ve by no means heard of those tracks, it’s as a result of they’re on the different aspect of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sure, it occurs all over the place to each breed with the equine business which is only a drop within the bucket in the whole world of sports activities.

It’s a tragedy when one single demise happens on a racetrack, however, as we’ve cited earlier than, God performs no favorites with regards to athletics…and there are tragedies in each single exercise thought-about as sport and that includes wholesome and well-trained athletes.

There are some 8,000 sports activities all over the world from A to Z—archery to Zui Quan (drunken boxing)—and the record of accidents and deaths in these sports activities is, perhaps, longer than the space of the Belmont.

You assume horse racing of any kind deserves extra scrutiny?

It’s estimated that over 50,000 deaths occur every year within the U.S. alone because of traumatic mind accidents…and one of many newer crazes is SLAP FIGHTING.

Sure, contestants slap one another foolish with a single slap or repeated slaps to the pinnacle which may trigger demise. (Some are slapped so laborious that they fall down, can’t stand up and appear to be they need to be euthanized, too.) Slap combating leagues had been shaped in 2017 realizing the outcomes may lead to demise!

Artur Walczack is one instance of this as he was slapped so laborious suffered a mind bleed and died of a number of organ failure.

From baseball to boxing…from soccer to soccer…(effectively, possibly not chess)…from bull driving to snowboarding…there are accidents…there are deaths.

However the thoroughbred and standardbred are two very totally different breeds and “occasions” are altering.

Thoroughbreds are recognized for, in fact, their velocity and appear to have that refined look as they might be a bit taller and leaner than the standardbred—very elegant they’re.

Our beloved breed, the standardbred, is extra docile, has extra stamina (we’ve data on the books for 100 miles, 50 miles and 30 miles, to call just a few) and are very versatile. I feel they’ve a way more sturdy look and, in latest generations have been bred for extra velocity than sturdiness as many harness horses can tempo a closing quarter mile in “thoroughbred” time—:25 seconds! (We do have some tall ones, too. (Bear in mind the large French bred trotter New Hat?)

Sure, the variety of thoroughbred deaths is worrisome, however, once more, realizing that ONE demise is ONE too many, it was reported that the standardbred business over the previous a number of years had lower than 100 deaths in whole.

Opponents say that even 100 is just too many…and they’re proper.

However our sport is only one of hundreds of thousands of occupations with all involving the chance of dying.

Heck, I’m driving on my technique to work on I-95 proper now the place over 40,000 had been killed on highways. I hope I don’t get killed in visitors.

by John Berry, for Harnesslink