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Racing too young

This is a discussion on Racing too young within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        01-14-2013, 03:21 AM
      #21
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maple    
    Sorry, but they don't care?? Seriously? The majority of people involved in racing have all ended up there for one reason - their love of the horse. We care about our horses as much as anybody else. In my time with the current trainer, we have had ONE horse breakdown and need to be euthanised; of 90+ horses in training at any time. We have horses in training that are 9 years old, and all of them are rehomed/sold to jumps racing when they finish with us.
    Yes, pardon, I should have said 'generally' & 'in my opinion', as there are always exceptions. I do believe the exceptions that are truly caring & happy to be in the racing industry either don't understand the damage that is done, or are there to try to make a difference. And while 9yo racehorses are an indication that your boss is likely better than most - the vast majority are washed up by then - that still doesn't say anything much for longevity(especially if they're sold on to jumps racing!), as what sort of percentage could you tell me are sound & healthy anywhere into their late 20s & 30's for eg?

    Quote:
    And lack of care??
    I wrote lack of care *in the regard of long term soundness*.
         
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        01-14-2013, 05:54 AM
      #22
    Banned
    I grew up on the race track, my Dad was a serious gambling addict. I actually owned a lot of horses because Dad as an owner, couldn't get into certain areas with children so he discovered that owners could not be denied access. So as children my sis and I owned maybe about 50 horses, that I can remember, so likely a whole bunch more.


    I am very familiar with the TB racing industry as a result.



    In an ideal world, horses would be racing at 4-5, not 2-3 however this can't work financially. Barns are not making enough profit to keep a none working horse that long.


    My personal foal, and I have not had one, despite a lifetime of horse ownership (I am about to turn 37) I do not feel experienced enough for a foal. So hypothetically, I would not sit on the horse until it was 4. I would not ride the horse until 5. They are just babies and it's our eagerness to force them into this sooner. But it's cultural, western riders start their horses often at 2, I think that's abhorrent, but it's the norm.
    loosie and Speed Racer like this.
         
        01-14-2013, 09:16 AM
      #23
    Banned
    Maple - thank you for your answer. I wasn't accusing, I was generally curious. I probably should have explained that in my post better. I think probably racing gets the brunt of this because of all the OTTB's that are injured, have ongoing issues, etc and it's more "out" than the rest of the sports if that makes sense.

    I have a young one that will be 2 in April. He is not even CLOSE to being developmentally sound in mind or body at this point. I don't see that changing in 3 months. Even if he was there, he'd still only be 2 and my feet would still be firmly on the ground. When actively looking to buy, if I even smelled a hint of backing before 3, I ran the other way far and fast. There's a lifetime ahead to consider for my horse.

    BTW - I'm a western rider ;). So to say it's cultural is a fairly large leap, IMO. It does occur of course, just like in any other discipline. I walked away from many english type horses that had already been jumped at 2-1/2 to 3. I'd never say that's the norm or cultural though.
         
        01-15-2013, 11:11 AM
      #24
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smrobs    
    Maple, I understand that you feel the need to defend the industry that you are a part of, and I respect that, but I have a very strong suspicion that the racing industry where you are isn't the same as the racing industry here.


    But, either way, when a horse is being used/trained/worked so hard at such a young age that they have to be retired/culled/dumped before they are 5, then something is seriously wrong in the entire process, whether it's racing or futurities or any other program.
    I've never said that the industry is perfect, infact I've said numerous times on this forum that things could change for the better. If they ever changed the ages, well that would be fantastic. It wouldnt change my view on the sport at all and it would only benefit people in the longterm. When you move away from flat racing to jumps racing, a heck of a lot of those are broken as 3 year olds, let off until 4 and then brought back in. They do have 3yo hurdles.... but a lot of the horses competing in those races are moving along from the flat racing scene.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BBBCrone    
    Maple - thank you for your answer. I wasn't accusing, I was generally curious. I probably should have explained that in my post better. I think probably racing gets the brunt of this because of all the OTTB's that are injured, have ongoing issues, etc and it's more "out" than the rest of the sports if that makes sense.

    I have a young one that will be 2 in April. He is not even CLOSE to being developmentally sound in mind or body at this point. I don't see that changing in 3 months. Even if he was there, he'd still only be 2 and my feet would still be firmly on the ground. When actively looking to buy, if I even smelled a hint of backing before 3, I ran the other way far and fast. There's a lifetime ahead to consider for my horse.

    BTW - I'm a western rider ;). So to say it's cultural is a fairly large leap, IMO. It does occur of course, just like in any other discipline. I walked away from many english type horses that had already been jumped at 2-1/2 to 3. I'd never say that's the norm or cultural though.

    Sorry if I came across bullish - not intended. You hear alot about OTTBs that are injured because those are the ones easy to make public. People are going to feel like they have "saved an animal" if they take on an OTTB from a rehoming program. What recognition will they get taking on the QH who was ridden too hard on the ranch, or the warmblood who developed a leg after being loose jumped at a year of age?

    The media's fascination with painting racing as this horrific sport where aimals break down all the time; brings in big viewing numbers. It makes for great debate and gets people talking. The cameras aren't following around all the horseshows/events/hunts. As I've said before - I can't change opinions, and can't make people like racing. All I ask is that people be aware we are horsepeople as well; we want our horses healthy and happy - just like everybody else.
         
        01-15-2013, 10:09 PM
      #25
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maple    
    When you move away from flat racing to jumps racing,...
    Shudder at the very thought of jumps racing, but then over here, they're not bred for it either, it's generally flat racers who are washed up or didn't make the grade they use...

    Quote:
    The media's fascination with painting racing as this horrific sport where aimals break down all the time;
    Hmm, yes, the media does usually like to portray the worst angles, but over here in Oz, horse racing is held in such high esteem that the media even paints very rosy pictures of it. I worked trackwork in my younger years & used to think nothing of it, until I started looking into equine development and talking to bodyworkers(including lectures with top professionals)

    Quote:
    The cameras aren't following around all the horseshows/events/hunts. As I've said before - I can't change opinions, and can't make people like racing. All I ask is that people be aware we are horsepeople as well; we want our horses healthy and happy - just like everybody else.
    Hmm, I don't go to horse events or watch them on TV these days because there are too many cringeworthy examples... even at olympic levels. But I do agree fully with you that just because someone competes, works in an industry, etc, by no means means they are necessarily don't care or are cruel to do so either. I do believe most instances of cruelty or harmful treatment is due to ignorance or misunderstanding though, which is why I think it's important to provide people with information/education. I do also appreciate & respect that my (strong & I believe well informed) opinion on this is just that - an opinion.
    Maple likes this.
         

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