Tuesday, May 6, 2008

An admission

Maybe it's just me, but I never "got" horse racing as a sport. Sure, the animals are incredibly beautiful, but the industry encourages ever-more muscled horses, which puts an incredible strain on the forelegs, hind legs, etc., making incidents such as this one inevitable: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/other_sports/20080506_Uncertainty_hangs_over_Eight_Belles_tragedy.html. Just two years ago, we went through the whole Barbaro soap opera, and again, it was much the same story. A horse breaks down either during or immediately after a race. In Barbaro's case, the horse lived another eight to nine months before the veterinarians realized that he couldn't be saved, unlike Eight Belles, who had to be euthenized right on the track minutes after the Kentucky Derby ended.

At what point do we as humans say that we're asking too much of these animals, all in the name of our viewing pleasure? Why is this "sport" even necessary? As an animal lover, I truly wonder about the answers to these questions.

1 comment:

Ogden said...

Horse racing isn't about the "sport", it's about the bets. If there were no betting there would be no horse racing, period. Can't say that as to real sports. As to the other element, when I was a kid there were only a few sports "events". There was the World Series, the Stanley Cup and the three races, Derby, Preakness and Belmont. This was before football and basketball had any real huge popularity, there were 3 tv stations, and the whole country watched these few things when they came on, because that's what the media put on. They were the ancestors of today's hyped up sports world, in which everything is an event on TV, complete with screaming fans, glossy cheerleaders, etc. Even cheerleading has become a sport! That's what turned horse racing into a "sport"- media hype.