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Old 05-04-08, 06:08 AM   #1
ThinLine
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Derby Tragedy

I find it disguestingly gut wrenching that an animal had to be put down due to the sheer enjoyment of human beings.
I am totally against horse racing, dog racing or any other kind of explortation of animals for the sheer benefit and amusement of human beings.

Greed and the lure of the almighty dollar brings out the incideous nature of our kind.
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Old 05-04-08, 08:08 AM   #2
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Uh... the horse broke both ankles. As I understand it, for an animal that must stand, it's a horrible injury.

Argue a lot of things, but euthanizing that horse was probably the most humane thing anyone could've done.
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Old 05-04-08, 08:25 AM   #3
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I think that ThinLine's point is that the racing is purely for human entertainment and as such, is an exploitation that lead to having to put the horse down.

My view is a little less dramatic. It appears to me that the top three horses are drawn up rather quickly after the race is done, while the others are allowed to run it out and settle down. I've never liked this, and it seems to be done to expedite the interviews and podium shots.

Race horses tend to be very well cared for, even if it is a side effect of human greed. The owners may not trully love these animals, but they do invest rather heavily to ensure that the people that care for them every day do.

This was a tragic event, but I don't join the "humans are evil" crew as a result of it.
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Old 05-04-08, 08:36 AM   #4
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Uh... the horse broke both ankles. As I understand it, for an animal that must stand, it's a horrible injury.

Argue a lot of things, but euthanizing that horse was probably the most humane thing anyone could've done.
I do agree with you and would do the same. Although I did have a dog once which lost the mobility of his hind quarters and I designed a wheel chair sytem for him, which I bought since they make them.
I procrastinated the inevitable but he just was'nt ready.

It is the events that lead up to the circumstance, not the actual outcome.
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Old 05-04-08, 08:41 AM   #5
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I think that ThinLine's point is that the racing is purely for human entertainment and as such, is an exploitation that lead to having to put the horse down.

My view is a little less dramatic. It appears to me that the top three horses are drawn up rather quickly after the race is done, while the others are allowed to run it out and settle down. I've never liked this, and it seems to be done to expedite the interviews and podium shots.

Race horses tend to be very well cared for, even if it is a side effect of human greed. The owners may not trully love these animals, but they do invest rather heavily to ensure that the people that care for them every day do.

This was a tragic event, but I don't join the "humans are evil" crew as a result of it.
+1
It was a little to over dramatic and I do concur that not all people are evil, just the ones I don't like.
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Old 05-04-08, 09:51 AM   #6
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I worked with horses for 20 years and had a little bit of experience with race horses. These horses, especially at the top racing level are extremely well cared for and meticulously maintained. I still think they race them too young and many of the most popular breeding lines in the US produce precociously fast horses that do not necessarily hold up well after a few years of racing. Investors in these young horses want a fast turn around on their buck, so these horses start racing by 24 months old.

Regular riding horses start their saddle training in their 2 yo year but are not usually ridden until they are 3, and are usually ridden lightly in their 3yo year and start serious training at 4 yo.

I am only a casual watcher of horse races on tv. If I am home and a race happens to be on I will watch it. But lately I cringe while I watch races, hoping nothing bad happens. On this race I breathed a sigh of relief as they crossed the finish line and all the horses seemed ok. I was even happy that the filly got 2nd! Then a few moments later I was horrified to hear that she went down.

When I was watching the pre-race show, they talked about Big Brown and how he had only raced 3 times previously and that he had bad feet (quarter cracks). Unfortunately, he will probably be used for breeding and pass on those bad feet.
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Old 05-04-08, 10:20 AM   #7
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I agree with eofelis...race horses are run too young. That is were the money comes into play. Why not push the age back to 4 years old? Why two or three if there is a higher probability that tragic events like this and Barbaro will happen.
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Old 05-04-08, 11:30 AM   #8
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They interviewed the trainer or the owner(well the guy with the cowboy hat) and he was on the verge or tears. It seemed like he had a genuine attachment to the horse, he raised it and has been with it for most of its life. Someone in that position would hope to do anything possible to save the animal... Plus they said the bones broke the skin...sounds grave to me, but thats just me.
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Old 05-04-08, 09:04 PM   #9
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Compound fracture -- for an animal like a horse which, unlike dogs or cats, pretty much have to rest on their four legs from birth on, its a death sentence.
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Old 05-04-08, 11:36 PM   #10
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I worked with horses for 20 years and had a little bit of experience with race horses. These horses, especially at the top racing level are extremely well cared for and meticulously maintained. I still think they race them too young and many of the most popular breeding lines in the US produce precociously fast horses that do not necessarily hold up well after a few years of racing. Investors in these young horses want a fast turn around on their buck, so these horses start racing by 24 months old.

Regular riding horses start their saddle training in their 2 yo year but are not usually ridden until they are 3, and are usually ridden lightly in their 3yo year and start serious training at 4 yo.

I am only a casual watcher of horse races on tv. If I am home and a race happens to be on I will watch it. But lately I cringe while I watch races, hoping nothing bad happens. On this race I breathed a sigh of relief as they crossed the finish line and all the horses seemed ok. I was even happy that the filly got 2nd! Then a few moments later I was horrified to hear that she went down.

When I was watching the pre-race show, they talked about Big Brown and how he had only raced 3 times previously and that he had bad feet (quarter cracks). Unfortunately, he will probably be used for breeding and pass on those bad feet.
I'm a longtime Thoroughbred Racing fan. My username, Dahoss, comes from my favorite racehorse. I agree they start racing these horses too early and many before 24 months. As far as racing goes, all horses are born Jan. 1 so a late foal isn't 24 months when it begins its' career. Sadly, they will keep on racing at 2, as they have for over 100 years in the U.S.
On a lighter note though, these horses are bred and trained to RUN. It is in their nature and most run as fast and far as they can. A thoroughbred's gameness is unparralleled!! Eight Belles died doing what she was born to do.........RACE.. While it is a tragedy, it is the truth. Before I get clobbered for this statement, realize what happens to the majority of thoroughbreds when they can no longer race............... they become glue and fertilizer! Thoroughbreds dont make good trail horses and if they have no value at the breeding shed then???................At least Eight Belles went out with her "boots" on!
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Old 05-05-08, 01:13 AM   #11
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Sad to see that filly go down. She didn't give up chasing the winner. I'm still surprised that both front legs were broken. I figured that it must've been a heart attack or anuerism and then both front legs broke.

Many tracks have converted to a kinda recent artificial surface which drains water better and is supposedly better for the legs of the horses. My understanding is that the newer surface makes for faster times. Unfortunately, the Triple Crown race tracks are less likely to convert for the sake of the record running times.
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Old 05-05-08, 02:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ThinLine View Post
I find it disguestingly gut wrenching that an animal had to be put down due to the sheer enjoyment of human beings.
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Although I did have a dog once which lost the mobility of his hind quarters and I designed a wheel chair sytem for him, which I bought since they make them.
I procrastinated the inevitable but he just was'nt ready.
There is something ironically hypocritical about this.

Is it not disgustingly gut wrenching that animals are made to survive beyond their time for the enjoyment of human beings?
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Old 05-05-08, 04:44 AM   #13
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There is something ironically hypocritical about this.

Is it not disgustingly gut wrenching that animals are made to survive beyond their time for the enjoyment of human beings?
Perhaps, although I loved that dog dearly, and to bring myself to do what should have been done was a matter of will. Which at the time I did not have.
My enjoyment was not one of monetary reward.

You make a valid statement.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:10 AM   #14
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I'm sure your dog loved you as well. And he was happy to stay with you longer, I'm guessing.

This is a very sad story indeed. It brought to mind how people raise fowl to fight. Or dogs. Money making and entertainment. Then just throw them out. Not saying this is the case here (regarding cruelty) but in all cases make money.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:23 AM   #15
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Sad to see that filly go down. She didn't give up chasing the winner. I'm still surprised that both front legs were broken. I figured that it must've been a heart attack or anuerism and then both front legs broke.

Many tracks have converted to a kinda recent artificial surface which drains water better and is supposedly better for the legs of the horses. My understanding is that the newer surface makes for faster times. Unfortunately, the Triple Crown race tracks are less likely to convert for the sake of the record running times.


I thought Churchhill Downs had converted to the synthenic surface?

So now it's three years in row a horse has put down after the derby?

Something has to change.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:33 AM   #16
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I find it disguestingly gut wrenching that an animal had to be put down due to the sheer enjoyment of human beings.
I am totally against horse racing, dog racing or any other kind of explortation of animals for the sheer benefit and amusement of human beings.

Greed and the lure of the almighty dollar brings out the incideous nature of our kind.
I used to work at a ranch that did trail rides in the mountains, for summer campers, handicap/blind camps, church and cooperate groups. We have had injured horses put down, because of the sheer enjoyment of humans.

Instead of putting them down, we will keep them alive and take bets on how long they can suffer before dieing, might as well make some money at it.

We are at the top of the food chain, lets get rich.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:39 AM   #17
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Not a fan of horse racing here. I cannot condemn it, but I am uncomfortable with the way it is done nowadays.

They need to put some new blood into the Thoroughbred. They are ridiculously large, fast, ill-tempered animals on legs that cannot handle that kind of punishment.
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Old 05-05-08, 11:27 AM   #18
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My ex- was into horses, owned one, showed it occasionally, but didn't race. Said racing was horrible for horses, especially jumping events like steeplechase. Nothing to back it up, other than she loved horses and was definitely more knowledgeable about them than me, so I believed her.
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Old 05-05-08, 12:01 PM   #19
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I believe it was the trainer interviewed this morning on the Today show...

He said that more race horses injure themselves and have to be put down because of injuries they get while running in the fields during their free time than on the track. It was also stated that only 0.5% of horse races result in a horse being put down.

I may be off a little on one or both of these points, but something to the effect.

While that statistics by themselves are useless, they point out angles that would be interesting to explore in more depth.

If indeed 1 of 200 races ends up in a horse that dies, it seems cruel to me. Figuring 15 horses per race on average, this means that every time a horse races they face a 1/3000 chance of not surviving. That is a high price for these noble steeds to pay for entertainment.
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Old 05-05-08, 01:24 PM   #20
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MAN! I could go for some horse steak right about now.
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Old 05-05-08, 01:28 PM   #21
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The Sport of Kings....


Only a 'king' could make a creature so expendable.
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