It's a controversial topic in my opinion. Some love it, others detest it, some tolerate it but have no real feeling for it like Kayty said.
My reasons to love it:
* I live a few miles from the training grounds and have always been quite close to the industry - there is nothing more glorious than driving down, parking and watching the morning gallops and training. Especially at this time of year when the trees are starting to turn, there is a crisp nip in the air and you hear those hooves coming past, mist out their nostrils. It's exhillerating
* I own an OTTB - he is the best horse I have ever ridden much less had the pleasure of owning - without the racing industry he wouldnt be mine.
My reasons to dislike it (hate is a strong word!):
* I disagree with how MOST yards are run (I say most because Im not going to generalise) - to me a horse is not made to spend 90% or more of it's life in a box
* I strongly disagree with the age that racehorses are started at and the long term effects it can have on their legs and bodies and health.
* I have experienced a horse "breaking down" in a race and snapping it's hind leg clean in half. I was there when the vet pulled the trigger - It's heartbreaking and could have been avoided.
I could go on but the point I have come to realise is this...Racing is NOT the only industry that can be picked on for doing things the wrong way. But because it is such a BIG industry and in the spot light all the time and such a large money making industry it get noticed more than the others. If a race horse breaks down it makes the news. If a horse has a heart attack in lets say showjumping for example it is discussed amongst horse people and on forums. If a jockey mistreats his horse it makes news and he is suspended. But I have seen that happen in eventing and at the shows I attend to an even worse degree when people lose their tempers. However the jockey gets noticed because more often that not the race is on TV and the shows are not. The racing industry takes a lot of flack because of the status it has.
I love all equine sports, but I have to admit when I see a horse run like that my negative thoughts disappear for a moment and my heart skips a beat.