Sunday, May 4, 2008

Is Horse Racing Brutal?

Via Incertus, a New York Times article by William Rhoden castigating horse racing in light of the putting down of a horse at the Kentucky Derby. Quoting.....

The sport is at least as inhumane as greyhound racing and only a couple of steps removed from animal fighting.

I'm not sure I entirely agree, if only because greyhound racing has a horrible reputation. Racehorses are treated pretty well in comparison; too much money is spent on them to risk their health, at least while they can race and/or breed. Of course, not much is said about what happens to the has-beens, but from what I gather many still enjoy a typical horse life after they're done racing. I do see the possibility of more injuries,though, because of the way these horses have been bred to be strong and fast and almost impossibly thin-legged.

In other horse-related items I've happened across, Dale over at Faith in Honest Doubt expressed his bafflement at people who enjoy horse racing (and NASCAR), and Slate has a number of posts, including the decline in track attendance, whether racehorses live up to an old saying, and the attempts of an Arab Sheik to win the Kentucky Derby.


Dale said...

Brutal? Maybe. Boring? Yes. ;-)

From what I've read/seen, horses love to run and love to race, and what you say about the care taken with these horses holds true. They seem to live pretty decent lives for the most part.

Horse have another advantage, or so it seems to me: they are very large. A persistently mistreated horse is simply harder to hide than many other creatures. There was a case here in Oregon a few months back where someone had almost starved a horse to death, and they got caught for this reason.

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