"Now I say that with cruelty and oppression it is everybody's business to interfere when they see it."

~Anna Sewell

Monday, January 26, 2009

There's something seriously wrong.

This article just says it all. I love the word tarnished. That describes the racing industry perfectly. Anyone into horses probably knows who this guy is. Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner died in a Japanese slaughterhouse in 2001. He had over $3 1/2 million in winnings, and look where he ended up. If a horse like this was sent to slaughter, what does that tell you about all the average horses in America? It can happen to any of them.

How do these butchers live with themselves? How do they sleep at night? Ferdinand should have lived out his life in luxury (as every horse should), but instead he was mercilessly butchered in some blood-bathed hell hole. It makes me sick. Sick doesn't even begin to describe it.
Exceller is another one who was killed in a slaughterhouse. More than $1,000,000 in earnings, and his owner allowed him to be shipped off to a Swedish packing plant. This horse defeated both Seattle Slew and Affirmed in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and this is what happened.

Looking at these pictures of when they were alive and in their prime, it's enough to make anyone ill. How can anyone not only harm, but completely butcher such incredibly beautiful and gentle animals? How can their 'owners' live with themselves? Do they have no conscience? No shame? Even the people who saw what was happening and did nothing to stop it. They're just as bad. Damn them all to hell.

Don't even get me started on Alydar. Lundy has a special place in hell waiting for him. I have no doubt that he murdered that horse. He's not a human being. Because of him, Calumet Farm's name lives in infamy and a beautiful, inocent horse is dead. His attorney can burn right along with him. Shitheads.

People like that have no business being alive.

And the sad reality is, most big time racing is like that. It's about glamor and money. The horses are disposable, as they breed more every year. Breakdowns are nothing but speed bumps to these owners because they're already up to their necks in money and they have other horses to fall back on. A $1,000,000 breakdown won't set them back too far. Therefor they don't care. They might fabricate some sap story for the media, but that's as far as it goes. These people have no morals. They're motivated by money and blinded by greed. Eight Belles is a perfect example.

Every time a horse breaks down, screens are put up to shield the audience from the gore. You know what? Forget the screens. They need to see it. They need to see how much the horse is suffering for their entertainment. The news media needs to broadcast every horrific detail. Then maybe some people would open their eyes and see the atrocities going on right under their noses. Instead, the cameras shy away from it and try to push it under the rug.

Do I hate racing in and of itself? Of course not. I am also well aware that Thoroughbreds love to run. They do not, however, enjoy being whipped 30 times every race or being run to the point of exhaustion and/or pulmonary hemorrhaging. Why not race them all at six years instead of 2 and 3? Whips are absolutely unnecessary, too. Horses are naturally competitive and will run as fast as they can without being forced, assuming they're fit to race, sound, and healthy.

I know not all racing is like this. But a majority of it is, and that's where I'm coming from. I don't think racing should be stopped, but it needs to be changed. A lot. We need to take a whole new look at what's going on and stop the cruelty. Prohibit the use of any kind of pain killers and steroids. Require that all horses are at least six years old and are 100% fit. Put a limit on how many horses can be bred each year and make sure all retired horses are cared for.

Take the time to consider that these are intelligent, sensitive creatures. Put yourself in their place. Think about what was going through Ferdinand's and Exceller's minds when they where shipped off to slaughter. I'm sure they were terrified and confused, but do you think their owners cared? Not a chance. It's the sad reality that a lot of people either aren't aware of or just blatantly disreguard.

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