I really don't get it. There are lots of horses out there that are nothing but money pits. Their owners simply have them because they love them. Maybe they ride for pleasure or maybe the horse is just a lawn ornament.
So if a big-name race horse can no longer breed, that's too bad, but why do we then deem them worthless? Only fit for an auction or meat? Honestly?
I would think (hope?) Rachel Alexandra has earned her retirement if she can no longer be a broodmare. Surely her owners love her or would get her to a home that appreciates her? Even as a pasture pet.....right? Who wouldn't love to have Rachel Alexandra in their barn?
So if a lowly grade horse or pleasure horse can be a money pit and have a great home, why do we think famous racehorses are worthless if they can no longer race or breed. Doesn't anyone love horses just for the sake of loving horses anymore?
Unfortunately lots of "lower end" horses fall through the cracks. And occasionally a famous one like Ferdinand. But why do we not think successful racehorses have earned a retirement or second career as a pleasure horse after racing? Why must they continue to be money makers forever or be deemed worthless? They have done more to earn their keep that just about any other segment of the horse population.