Horse racing enthusiasts look forward to the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing—the Kentucky Derby (May 5), the Preakness Stakes (May 19), and the Belmont Stakes (June 11). Yet, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of races going on around the country during this same period of time. They receive little or no attention except for local coverage and maybe not even that.
Along with the little attention they get, there is less attention paid to the horses who are euthanized following break-downs either during or immediately after a race. Or to the jockeys who are severely injured or killed.
Horses are majestic creatures that deserve better lives than what the racing industry gives them. Few are turned out to graze on fresh grass. Few get a long “foalhood” during which their young bones can fuse and mature before hard work. Few make it long in the racing industry. Yet, many die trying. While on the circuit, many wind up being raced beyond their capacities and often under the influence of a wide variety of drugs—legal and illegal—all to win a purse, no matter how large or small.
But what of the wannabe race horses? The ones born into the industry but who never make it to the track? Many of them are sold for slaughter.
When you think about it…race day has nothing to do with horses and everything to do with some people’s desires to control a living, breathing, sentient being—even if it kills themselves and their horses.