by Tim Sullivan, Louisville Courier Journal This is no time for neutrality. With horse racing under unprecedented pressure to put its barns in order, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association finally weighed in Wednesday in support of a bill designed to prevent the return of a domestic horse slaughter […]
Source: By Valerie Hauch as published in thespec.com “A shared story of insight, love and success for our ‘Feel Good Sunday’ installment, today. Keep the faith.” ~ R.T. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “He’s special and he knows it!” To look at him now — a sleek chestnut Thoroughbred who flies over […]
An Editorial from the pages of the New York Times “A new threat to racing’s integrity is the opening of casinos..” At the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, racing fans will be watching to see if I’ll Have Another can duplicate its Kentucky Derby victory and claim the second […]
In 2007 the world was appropriately outraged when Michael Vick, an NFL superstar, was convicted of running an illegal dog-fighting ring. Dog fighting is widely considered the sport of thugs, and perpetrators are rightly rounded up and imprisoned. Americans have a somewhat different opinion of the “sport of kings,” however: Last year some 14.54 million people tuned in to what they did not realize were two of the most brutal minutes in television.
When a thoroughbred thunders past cheering racetrack crowds, it does so with the help of an off-track entourage of trainers, handlers and owners providing constant, doting care.
But for the horses no longer making money on the racetrack or in the breeding barn — when they become too old, injured or too slow to race — that attention quickly evaporates. And their future becomes anything but certain.
The case study is based on data published by the U.S. government and the Jockey Club. According to the study, an amount equal to 70% of the annual Thoroughbred foal crop, on average, die at slaughter each year.
“The polls have shown that the vast majority of those in racing want an end to the transport of their horses to any slaughterhouse,” said Jo Anne Normile, founder of Saving Baby Equine Charity and CANTER, the first organization to take Thoroughbreds right from the track to safe havens. “But for every Secretariat, for every Seabiscuit, there are tens of thousands of racehorses whose experiences on the back lots of the country’s tracks tell a different story.“
When it comes to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, the New York Times, reporter Joe Drape and the thorny problem of old race horses going off to be butchered in a slaughterhouse, there has been a lot of finger pointing of late. I’m not sure any of it has been constructive. Today, four days after Drape wrote a story in the New York Times that leveled serious charges against the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and the TRF responded with accusations that Drape is a lousy reporter who badly misrepresented the facts, the industry is no closer to solving a problem that has existed for as long as the sport has.
At the moment, the news is rife with stories about the level of equine neglect in the United States, with many of the articles blaming the “unintended consequences” of closing the US horse slaughter plants and calling for them to be reopened. But in reality, we are coming up on a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rid of this abominable practice once and for all. To understand this apparent paradox, one needs to get past unsubstantiated myths to the real forces at play in the market.
The impact of the recession and related downturn in the bloodstock market are strikingly reflected in the Jockey Club’s projection of the smallest registered North American foal crop in 32 years.