Racing Industry Vent! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Racing Industry Vent!

I'm really frustrated with this. My BO races a couple every year. She starts hers at 2, and usually has them do some light galloping and gate certified in the fall. They do a couple starts at 3 and get into a full schedule at 4. If they are sore, or depressed or off in any way, they come home. I don't agree with how young they are started, but they are not mine, so I keep my mouth shut. At least she cares about the soundness and well being of her horses. Not one of hers has come off the track with a serious injury, or a vice like weaving or cribbing. when they want to come home, they come home, and if they don't want to race, they get to be trail horses, or a prospect for someone else.

My issue is with every one else. My BO brings home a few track rejects every year. some have earned hundreds of thousands, and they still ran them till they broke down, just like they were a cheap car. These horses have so much heart and work ethic, they run themselves until they cant any more, and as payment for years of faithful service, they get shipped off to slaughter for a couple hundred bucks. It makes you sick. Some come to us with severely under run heels and long toes, teeth that are cutting into their cheeks they are so sharp and ulcers so bad they are in perpetual discomfort. Got one last year, friend beat out the chuck wagon guy, this horse spent the next 6 months looking EXHAUSTED. he was so drained, he walked while the herd ran. he was a walking skeleton until his ulcers went away. Now, happily for him, he is a girls beloved trail horse.

The latest one that really upsets me is a two year old. he is staying with a friend for the winter, going back to the track in the spring. He was raced this year, and finally came up sore enough to be taken off the track. He is gangly and obviously still growing, about 16.3hh. he is extremely upright in the rear, straight through the hocks with severely upright pasterns, and he is splay footed in both fronts. not so shocking that he is breaking down, poorly built, rapidly growing, and they run the snot out of him. he has enough bumps and swellings on his legs to be a 10 year track veteran, and he's only spent one season. And the part that really gets to you is his attitude. sweetest horse you could ask for.


I'm just tired of seen horses like this, who's owners don't care, sending them to progressively smaller tracks with the hope that they'll be claimed or earn a few hundred more before they throw them out. they take what they can, throw out what's left, and move on to the next prospect.
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 02:08 PM
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Unfortunately Blue, that's how all big money businesses are run. Chew 'em up and spit 'em out when they're of no use to them any longer. At least with people, they're not considered chattel and can't be sold off to the lowest bidder.
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post #3 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 03:05 PM
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That is my major problem with racing (and showing). The people who abuse their animals for the money. I would have no problem with racing if people acted like your friend. The same goes for showing, I couldn't ever imagine mistreating a horse for a stupid 50 cent ribbon or trophy and then throwing them away when they're useless. It disgusts me. Still, I'm glad there are people like your friend in the business!
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 03:45 PM
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Unfortunately, some people are in it for the money. At the racetrack I worked all summer, there was more than one occasion I'd hear over the radio that a horse had come up lame, the vet couldn't figure out why, and the owner had put down on the spot and now the whole racing books had to be changed because X horse was obviously no longer available to race.

There was also the stories of the horse coming up mysteriously lame, and the owner takes it off the track and lets it get better, too, but there are a lot of people only in it for the money. It's the mentality of "If the horse is going to cost rather than bring in it's not worth keeping it."

Racing is just like any other discipline. There are a lot of crappy owners. After seeing every single race this summer and working closely with the internal business of racing, I do not particularly care for it (I won't go into the guts of the reasoning, but I don't care for how the horses are handled and treated) - but there are those who love their horses and want to see them succeed and be happy, and that's more important than raking in cash.

There was one guy who was an owner of a lot of horses (Don't remember his name). Whenever one would win you could just see the pride glow in his face. He'd go give the horse scratches and pets in the winners circle, and then make sure they got back to their stall and were cooled, etc. He was a very wonderful man. I wish more of them could be like that.
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 03:53 PM
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Like others have said, unfortunately its not just racing. You'll find rhis I'm ANY discipline

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post #6 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 04:02 PM
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There are bad people in every walk of life. I have seen shows on Dateline about doctors doing surgery on people that didn't need it for the money. Pharmacist that didn't fill cancer patients drugs with the real medicine for money. This should not be happening in racing, Racing should take steps to stop it, but its so hard catch everyone. The are more good people in racing than bad. You never hear their stories.

Last edited by aubie; 09-30-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 04:24 PM
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I suppose it annoys people more to see this in racing because it is such a big industry and makes a lot of money.
Its very sad when you hear of a horse that's won some good races for its owner cast out like a piece of rubbish with no thought as to where its going to end up. Euthanasia can be the kindest thing to do in some cases
It would be good to see racing put more money into good rehabilitation centres because too many unwanted horses are ending up in well meaning but inexperienced hands.
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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I think that people need to educate themselves in regards to the breed, and move on from the Disney mentality, just like any breed. We have sold horses that didn't work out just because people didn't realistically know what they could handle and wanted. looked great when they tried out the horse, but didn't work in the long run. that happens with all breeds, I just think people see more pictures of gorgeous thoroughbreds(and Arabians) and buy one based on looks and the Disney stories.

I think the racing industry should help fund rehabilitation centers, or even contribute to places like my BO's, who give them down time, evaluate temperament and ridability, retrain and rehome. At least then you don't have well meaning but misguided people going "I rescued him from the track" like some sort of badge of honor, then realizing the horse has no manners, is hyped up on hot feed and lame, and knows nothing under saddle except go-go-go.

Quote:
The are more good people in racing than bad. You never hear their stories.
I think racing has more than its share of greedy, heartless, uncaring people. I think the ratio of people who seek money/prestige at the expense of all else increases with the level of prestige and the amount of money available. Racing is one of the richest sports in the world. and I do know some stories of good people. My BO got a mare off an owner who still stops in to see her every so often, and remarks at how great she looks. My BO's trainer is exceptional, talented and caring. That doesn't change the fact that the wrongs committed against these animals by the the greed driven part of the industry are horrifying.

Quote:
very sad when you hear of a horse that's won some good races for its owner cast out like a piece of rubbish
yes it is. If a horse wins $100,000, how hard would it be for the owner to take a small percentage of that, and give that and the horse to a place that will rehabilitate and rehome it? I'm not talking keeping a miserable cripple alive, but more directed to the sound, sane horses that end up in a can.
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post #9 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 05:04 PM
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You can think whatever you like. Racing does not have any more greedy people than banking, investments, or any other big business.
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aubie View Post
You can think whatever you like. Racing does not have any more greedy people than banking, investments, or any other big business.
That's a silly thing to say about ANY business. Not everything is created equal, and some businesses WILL have more greedy/scammy people, just like some businesses WILL have more compassionate people. You can't lump ALL big businesses together, some are better, some are worse.

That being said, I won't comment on what has more of who than other things until I can see some solid numbers from a reliable source. Which likely can't happen, because 'greedy' is very subjective and there's not just a way to test for greediness or something.
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