Time for a not so politically correct post. A lot of the fun was taken out of this Saturday's Kentucky Derby, when Eight Belles, who finished second, had to be put down after breaking both of her front ankles AFTER crossing the finish line.
I'll try to tread lightly here. Horse racing has been around for hundreds of years. It is a worldwide sport, and as beautiful a game as it is, there is a terribly real part of it - horses get hurt racing, and some have to be put to sleep. My dad worked for the NY Racing Association, home of the Belmont Stakes, for 34 years. He was on the track when Ruffian - the greatest filly who ever raced - broke her ankle in a match race in 1977. These things happen, and no one wants it to happen - they just do. Horses, whether on the track or in the field, are made to run, but they have a design flaw that put stress on their hoofs and ankles, and they break, whether running on the track or in the field.
I respect that people like PETA don't approve of horse racing for the danger to the horses, but I get very pissed off when they attack the jockeys for doing their job, and when people lie to make a point. The poor kid riding that horse was in more danger than the horse was when her ankles broke. Almost as many jockeys die every year as horses do, and I guarantee that the kid is more upset than you guys are. Everyone involved are emotionally atttached to the horses the ride, saddle, train or own. There are a few people much more unhappy than you are over this poor horse's death than you. To lie and say that he continued to ride her hard before the race was over was incorrect and a low blow.
As far as whipping a horse, it doesn't hurt the horse. Horse's skin is like leather, it only gets their attention - it doesn't injure them. Why do something that would hurt a horse? It makes no sense.
I don't expect PETA to be very analytical about any issue they get involved in. But when you're wrong, you're wrong. No one liked to see a horse be put down, but it's part of racing,a nd it's part of life. Barbaro was in agony for eight months when the doctors decided to try and overcome nature, but as usual, they lost. Such is life....