Did you know that two dozen race horses breakdown and die every week? Where are all the animal activists that should be protesting in front of racetracks all over America? Clearly this is cruelty to a beautiful majestic animal. Each year at the Kentucky Derby we see a sanitized version of the sport of horse racing when in fact more often there is death at the racetrack. This staggering amount of deaths can clearly be blamed on the widespread use and abuse of performance enhancing drugs. If baseball players aren’t allowed to use it, why should the injection of these drugs be allowed in animals? As usual, profits and greed is more important in this life than any ethics or compassion for a beautiful obedient animal.
I don’t believe that most Americans even know that this is going on. At the track there is an unrealistic picture of what is really going on. Many of the horses are dying in mid stride right on the track every week. The industry is permitted to refuse to release accident rates and autopsy reports. When a horse falls down, there are cover-ups. You will see a white vehicle with a red cross painted on the door as if it is some sort of ambulance when in reality if the horse isn’t dead already, it is barely alive in that truck. Veterinary technicians are then called in to inject a fatal dose of drugs into the broken down racehorse putting it out of its misery.
Can this even be called the Sport of Kings anymore when trainers are routinely injecting healthy horses with drugs and injured horses so they can run through the pain? The results are often disastrous anyway. Over run horses sometimes have stress fractures that can be seen through x-rays. Instead of resting the horses they have been forced to race anyway. Finding a veterinarian to administer drugs is never hard to find. One injection takes 2 seconds to administer and costs about $30 dollars. Do that 10 times a day, that comes to about $300 dollars for 5 minutes of work. The hell with the horses, let’s make some money. Sad but true.
The fact is that American race horses die at twice the rate of those in England where drug use is much more restricted. In this country some trainers use anything they can get in order to get bonus results during a race on the track. They will use Viagra, pig steroids, cobra venom and even secretions from the South American Tree Frog. Those are weird energy drinks. More often they will use perfectly legal drugs even if the horses do not need them in order to run faster. For years the rules have been permissive and un-evenly enforced.
In 2012, at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack, the number of deaths were very high. There were 21 deaths in a very short time. Governor Cuomo hired investigators to find out why. The conclusion was that a majority of the 21 horses were given drugs that may have masked pre-existing injuries. The purses were more valuable than the horses themselves. The investigation proved that each of the horses were given Theroxine a drug that increases heart rate. They died from heart attacks. It is easy to make a mistake since every state has its own rules.
PETA, the animal rights group, is finally getting involved and proving that drugs are being given to horses not to make them any healthier but to make them faster. We are in a culture of drug taking that is dangerous to all. When the horses collapse on the track the Jockeys get serious injuries too. Despite all the deaths, injuries and obvious proof of drug use, the sport has actually gotten worse in regulations. After the amount deaths at Aqueduct were investigated NO tracks adapted any better safety rules. The trainers have violations and the drugs administered are legal. Who is speaking for the horses? No one. Mr. Ed does not exist. The owners are protecting the trainers.