I completely agree with the sentiments voiced in this column, by William Rhoden:
Why do we keep giving thoroughbred horse racing a pass? Is it the tradition? The millions upon millions invested in the betting?
Why isn’t there more pressure to put the sport of kings under the umbrella of animal cruelty?
The sport is at least as inhumane as greyhound racing and only a couple of steps removed from animal fighting.
It’s hard to think otherwise after watching the brutal death of Eight Belles. And, of course, it’s not just high-stakes races like the Derby that are so hazardous. A recent article in the Times on an equestrian event included this paragraph:
A top rider in the Olympic equestrian sport of eventing was seriously injured after her horse somersaulted over a fence Saturday at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the nation’s premier eventing competition. Her horse and another horse, after a separate fall, were euthanized.
The simple truth is that asking animals to perform inherently risky stunts is not entertainment: it is cruelty.