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Transcript of Horse Racing
The Truth Behind the Glamor
Barbaro: America's Horse
Barbaro was an American thoroughbred race horse
Won the 2006 Kentucky Derby
Suffered a major injury after a false start in the 2006 Preakness Stakes that ultimately ended his career
His right rear leg was broken in 3 places and one bone was shattered into 20 pieces
Barbaro faced many complications after his initial 5 hour long surgery
He developed a condition called laminitis, a potentially life-threatening affliction caused from shifting the weight from one side to another for an extended period of time
Due to the laminitis, sections of Barbaro's left rear hoof were removed
Barbaro underwent five additional surgeries in addition to his initial surgery in attempts to attend to the laminitis that eventually afflicted all four of his legs
Barbaro's injuries were life threatening because his thoroughbred breeding was meant to optimize speed, not durability.
Horses, unlike other mammals, cannot survive with only three legs
In Barbaro's case, his broken leg led to complications in other his other legs as they attempted to compensate for his injured leg and eventually caused his death.
Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Barbaro's owners, decided to euthanize Barbaro on January 29, 2007, eight months after the colt's accident
Barbaro was only four years old
After his death, the horse racing industry took steps to address the shortcomings of the sport
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association created the Safety and Integrity Alliance to insure safety guidelines are met at tracks
The Barabro Memorial Fund was started and has raised of $1 million for lamintiis research
A bronze statue depicting Barbaro and his jockey in mid jump was placed at Churchill Downs in honor of the beloved horse
Barbaro's ashes are interred in the statue's base
Eighty Belle- Broke both front ankles after coming in 2nd in the Kentucky Derby and was euthanized on the track
Approximately 3,600 horses die racing or training for races over the past 3 years
25 horses a week die on race tracks around the country
History of Horse Racing
One of the oldest sports; has undergone no change over the years
Started as a primitive contest of speed and stamina between two horses
Bareback horse races and chariot races in the Greek Olympic Games 700-40 BCE
Also well-organized public entertainment in Roman Empire
China, Persia, Arabia, other countries in Middle East and North Africa
Europeans brought back horses from the Middle East during the Crusades
-Racing in medieval England began when horses for sale were ridden in competition in order to display their speed to the potential buyers
-during the reign of Richard the Lion-Heart (1189-99), the first purse for winning a race was given 40 pounds
earliest races were between two or three horses with a simple wager from the owners
-Use of Thoroughbred horses; mix of Arab, Turk, and Barb horses with English stock
The Triple Crown
Problems with Horse Racing
High concentrate diet of grains which often leads to gastric ulcers.
A horse will suffer an injury that will prevent him/her from finishing the race once in every 22 races.
University of Melbourne: study that found 50% of race horses suffer from Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage.
Problem: Expensive to restore a racehorse, they do not handle surgery well, and it is not guaranteed.
Result: Many are euthanized or sold at auction.
Tools used to bring out the "best" in horses include spurs, whips, and bits.
A horse may be whipped more than 30 times in a single race.
Isolation: 22 hours of the day, racehorses are kept in stalls that are barely big enough to turn around in.
Behaviors include swaying from side to side, walking in circles, and chewing on railings.
Owners will do anything it takes to win since the stakes are high.
They will give the horses medicine to mask the pain instead of allowing them time to recover.
Examples: Lasix, phenylbuatzone, cortiscosteroids, and Winstrol.
Milk-shaking: combination of baking soda, electrolytes, and sugar. This mixture is forced through a tube that is inserted via the nose into the stomach.
Many horses have died from this inhumane method due to the mixture accidentally entering the lungs.
Their Ultimate Fate
What happens to the racehorses after they stop winning or become injured?
These types of horses are known as "wastage."
Term used to describe the routine of getting rid of unwanted racehorses.
Sold for riding and events, but the majority will be sent for slaughter.
The transportation of horses for slaughter is poorly monitored.
These horses are packed into trailers with no water or food and injuries are common.
Transportation is stressful for horses which causes them suppression of the immune system.
At the time leading up to their execution, they are herded up.
They tend to thrash around to avoid being shot by a captive-bolt gun.
It leaves them unconscious until their throats are cut.
Seabiscuit & War Admiral
Man o' War
Horse Racing in a Just Society
Do We Have Justice For Animals In Our Society Today?
The simple answer is no, we don't have justice for animals in the society in which we live today.
For Garner, we need justice in order to have fairness and equality for animals
Justice is greater than morality alone and in our current society, animals aren't fully included in what we consider rights
Where do Garner's ideas fit in?
His ideas would probably be most closely associated with those of the animals rights theory in that we cannot justify the suffering that horses are put through in horse racing as an adequate reason for conducting it
Horse racing cannot be conducted in a just society
It allows for the exploitation of animals based solely on human desire
There is no justification for our racing horses, it isn't trivial to our survival as a race
What is Justice?
Justice can be defined as the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules or law of equity
The equal treatment of all sentient beings regardless of race, gender, species, etc.
The idea of "species egalitarianism" and the equal consideration of all species
You cannot say that the interests of humans are greater than that of animals
Abolitionist theorists believe that we have to end all animal exploitation including, but not limited to, zoos, circuses, and horse racing
In this theory, horse racing most certainly could not be condoned because it allows for the suffering of the horses, as has been explained. In a rights theory, there is no justification for suffering, it simply needs to be eliminated
The greatest good for the greatest number
However, allows you to sacrifice a few for the many
Garner's problem: the trivial interests of humans outweigh the interests of animals
In this theory, there might be room for justification of horse racing because the suffering of animals can be justified seeing as human interests come first
Horse racing is considered the King's sport and is viewed as the most glamorous of all animal sports
Millions of dollars are poured into the sport and celebrities, diplomats and wealthy patrons partake in gambling during the races
The ultimate goal for a race horse is the triple crown- The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes
The road to the triple crown however can be fraught with hardships and can even lead to death
The Jockey Club estimates that, on average, 25 horses die on racetracks each week
In the latest study, at least 365 horses died in California alone and 5 out of the 7 tracks with the highest incident rates were found in New Mexico
Ruidoso Downs, located in New Meixco, had the nation's overall highest incident rate
Retired or broken down horses are either sent to auction, where kill buyers could potentially purchase them or sent to slaughter usually in Mexico
In 2002, the horse racing world was rocked by the news that 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand was apparently killed in a Japanese slaughterhouse.
Over medicating and drug abuse is rampant in the horse racing community
Vets pump horses with medications that keep the horse racing, not healthy
Trainers often administer the drugs even though they are not legally certified, which puts the horse at risk
Australia has recently banned all use of anabolic steroids in and out of competition on horses older that 6 months
The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities have followed in Australia’s footsteps is calling for a world wide steroid ban due to the fatal consequences
Horses as young as 2 years of age race in the Kentucky Derby
Horses begin training and racing when their skeletal systems are still growing and unprepared to handle the pressures of running on a hard track at high speeds.
This leads to inevitable injuries and horses are often euthanized to avoid escalating vet bills
Horses' heartbeats can increase tenfold during a race, from a relaxed 25 beats per minute to an excessive 250 beats, leading to exhaustion, collapse, and sometimes, to a fatal heart attack.
Horses that are "failed" or retired sometimes are sold into jumps racing
Jumps racing is a type of horse racing in which the horses jump meter high fences at high speeds
This kind of racing has been found more dangerous to the horses than flat racing
Jumps racing consists of a longer course and jockeys are allowed to be heavier
The most common injury is broken necks
Jumps racing can be 10 times more dangerous than flat racing
A King's Sport
Thoroughbreds, horses specifically bred for racing, are muscularly more powerful than ever, but their bone skeletons seem to be getting lighter and frail.
The breeding season for thoroughbreds runs from mid-February to June during which studs, usually lucky retired racers, fertilize over 100 mares.
Thoroughbred races (flat races) range from 5 to 12 furlongs in distance
Furlong- one eighth of a mile or 201 meters