Ethics of Horse Racing
 
 

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Ethics of Horse Racing

This is a discussion on Ethics of Horse Racing within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse racing ethical issues 2013
  • Unethical horse racing

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    05-06-2013, 09:42 PM
  #1
Weanling
Ethics of Horse Racing

Here's another thread I don't know where to put, so again if yall think there's a better place for it, feel free to move it.

Well, as the pursuit for the Triple Crown come around and the season for horse racing, I find myself keeping track and watching racing. Racing has always memorized me after watching the movies like Secretariat and Seabiscuit. I really like watching the beautiful thoroughbreds fly down the track nostrils flaring and looking majestic and powerful. I really like the sport and the horses and the competition, but I can't help but think about the ethics of racing. I know that the world of racing isn't perfect and that there have been trainers and owners that are horrible and really don't care anything about the horses and treat them as disposables. But is it really as bad as people like PETA say it is? What's yall's opinion on it?
     
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    05-06-2013, 09:46 PM
  #2
Weanling
I wouldn't say it's unethical. It's a very unnatural life for a horse though.
     
    05-06-2013, 10:06 PM
  #3
Yearling
Any life other than horses running free in wilds is a very unnatural life for them.

Racing is a sport just like any other horse sport. There are the good trainers and jockeys and there are the ones that aren't so good.

Think of dressage, reining, jumping, barrel racing, roping, etc, etc. They are all unnatural for a horse to do, they have to be trained to do them. Actually racing is more natural than these.
     
    05-06-2013, 10:19 PM
  #4
Weanling
Yeah, I've read articles that say that barrel racing, dressage, Jumping, rodeo...all horse sports events have its downfalls and that horses are treated unethically in some way shape or form with trainers and stuff within any sports involving horses, it's just that the spotlight is on racing. I don't believe that the racing of horses is bad, the sport itself is great and nothing wrong with it. I just have a problem with the slaughter and treating of horses as disposable and that within the industry money comes before the horses. Honestly, I would really like to get a career in the industry, but I just question the ethics and that bugs me a little. And like I said, I've always been mezmorized by racing....I think I put "memorized" in my first post haha.
     
    05-06-2013, 10:32 PM
  #5
Foal
I actually just did a research paper about horse racing.
I think it's unfair to the horse to put them through rigorous training when they're young which typically makes them more susceptible to future injuries on the track. They're yearlings and two years olds when they're being put through this and so their joints haven't even fully matured. Additionally, if a horse shows signs of an injury, they're usually given Bute or another medication/drug to block out the pain enough so that the horse will run even if they have, for example, a hairline fracture in their leg. So, as you can imagine, they're again more likely to really hurt themselves while racing.

A lot of drugs are administered to some racehorses. Some even have a little dose of cobra venom, but I forgot the purpose, exactly. Plenty of performance-enhancing drugs. Lasix is used to prevent hemorrhoids in the lungs but in return decreases the amount of bodily fluids and stuff like electrolytes. Steroids are also used as are "milkshakes," which is a concoction that has baking soda, water, and other chemicals in it. That's used to increase CO2 levels. Problem with that is some people don't know how to truly administer it properly. It's poured down a tube that is inserted through the horse's nostril and goes to the stomach. Some people puncture lungs with the tube and the horse drowns.

Some, not all, trainers just try to breed racehorses that will win a few quick bucks before being disposed of instead of trying to build up or breed for a sturdy racehorse that will last.
TheAQHAGirl likes this.
     
    05-06-2013, 10:33 PM
  #6
Yearling
Keep in mind that PETA does over exaggerate things and its their best quality.

That being said, I'm not a big supporter of horse racing. I'd like to watch the smaller races, but the bigger ones not so much. Like other disciplines, there are good trainers and there are bad.

If there wasn't so much money on the line and they didn't have the horses racing at such young ages, I would be more in favor of racing.
     
    05-06-2013, 10:33 PM
  #7
Foal
While racing is not 100% ethical nothing we do with horses is.

The problem with PETA is that if we shut down horse racing and competitions, pretty soon owning them as pets will decrease because all these associated industires will shut down....and then horses will to find themselves on the endangered species list.

Unfortunalty if we can't find a use for animals it's pretty hard to preserve them as well...

I'd rather see them racing than extinct
     
    05-06-2013, 10:34 PM
  #8
Foal
I'm not against horse racing, by the way. I feel some things needs to change but it'd be impossible to ban it considering how much it contributes to the economy and how popular it is. Plus, it can be exciting to watch.

Things I've heard of in other sports that are unethical are: tying a horses head up for hours so when it's time to ride in a WP class, the horse's neck is exhausted and therefore remains low, some saddlebreds have ginger put up their rectums as to elevate their tails more, firecrackers being placed in a horse's stall to rev them up, etc.
     
    05-06-2013, 10:44 PM
  #9
Yearling
It all depends who you know in the racing industry. For example I got my OTTB off the track four days after his last race for free because he had a caring owner and trainer that wanted to make sure he ended up at a good home.

Performance enhancing drugs are starting to be hit hard in the industry. Trying to get rid of them. I'm working at a thoroughbred breeding farm, and these broodmares,weanlings, and yearlings are living the life. Live better then I do. As do a lot of racehorses.

I see horse racing as just another sport that I love. I am too wanting to continue a career in the racing industry. As I see it, I can't always change how people handle or do with the race horses they are working with, as long I'm doing what I think is right, then that is all that matters.
     
    05-06-2013, 10:53 PM
  #10
Weanling
But with any sport performance enhancing drugs will be abused, theres no way to avoid it. BUt I'm not saying I agree with it, because I don't.

Here's the real reason why I created this thread. Well, I talked to my teacher and she said that since I'm good at science and love horses she said I need to go into horse genetics and breeding. She said she could see me breeding thoroughbreds for racing. So, here's what I would do if I did go into the industry: I would go to either the University of Kentucky or University of Arizona, who have TB breeding programs. While down there I would get under some breeders or work for trainers and build myself up I would own a ranch and breed racehorses to sell and also breed to race. Also I'm going take OTTBs and re-train them for the general public and sell them (maybe keep some too) I like horse racing, I love TBs, especially OTTBs, and I can make good money. We had a family friend who did exactly this and made a good living! But, what I wouldn't be is on of those greedy rich people who care about nothing but the money. I'm in it for the horses, plain and simple. My goal in the industry would hopefully be able to get into it, and maybe help possibly stop some of the unethical perspectives of racing within the industry. It combines what I love most, Horses and training horses. But, what happens outside the race track and all the unethical parts of racing bug me.

Please don't tell me I need a real 'job', I'm one of those people who can't stand 'real jobs' and have an entreprenuer mind. This was just something I was told to consider and I am considering it, and oddly enough I can see myself doing something like this. It's just food for thought and an option.
     

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