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Old 05-05-2008, 03:46 PM   #1
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Horse Racing - Kentucky Derby

There was a genuine thread about the Kentucky Derby and Eight Belles collapse as she broke both her front ankles. A truly sad story

A little debate arose and I don't think that thread was created for debate so I am starting this thread here so as to keep that thread as it was intended.

I have always had a hard time with racing animals. This past Kentucky Derby and Barbaro have never sat well with me. Any time I hear of those animals going down, I go give my dog a big hug(even though he doesn't like that so much...

But if you want to debate the issue, do it here...not in put em under pressure.
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:54 PM   #2
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In Genesis it is written that God gave man dominion over the beasts,

so animals are fair game.


Quote:
Genesis 1:26 (KJV)
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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I lived in Lexington, KY for 8 years. Retired race horses lived on a horse farm in my neighborhood. At any given moment there'd be horses out front and out back around my house (though my family never owned any)

In the Kentucky countryside when you get to see where these horses live, they're in better conditions than most humans. Seriously, when you see their stables you'd think you'd be looking at the poshest mansion in the country, but no, it's their stable. Most race horses, at least those of the caliber to compete in the Kentucky Derby, get treated very humanely and are pampered endlessly.

I also read somewhere today that only 1.5 out of every 1000 starts is there some form of injury to the horses. So realistically, more often than not these horses have wonderful lives, but tragic events like what happened on Saturday understandably make us take a look at the morality of horse racing.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:08 PM   #4
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I agree with what U2Democrat said.

These are finely honed and highly trained animals that enjoy racing (I think)

However maybe more should be done to prevent incidents like this.

US courses being dirt tracks are hard on the animal if it falls.

Of course, incidents like this also happen in European racing but because of the grass are perhaps less frequent.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:17 PM   #5
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my first post
I just wanted to say it before someone else did


and U2dem gives a very credible and informed response

and,
I keep hearing how bad the "wild horses" have it

I expect some will just resent that people make money and get rich from these race horses
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
I also read somewhere today that only 1.5 out of every 1000 starts is there some form of injury to the horses. So realistically, more often than not these horses have wonderful lives, but tragic events like what happened on Saturday understandably make us take a look at the morality of horse racing.
From a human competitive runner's perspective, that sounds like a fantastically low injury rate...then again, human runners aren't going to die from busting an ankle during a race. I wonder how the individual racehorse's statistical likelihood of serious injury compares to that of an ordinary riding, show, or draft horse. I don't know much about horses or horse racing, but from what I've read, they still have no idea how or at what point Eight Belles hurt herself--apparently the evidence on film doesn't suggest she slipped or misstepped, nor did her body language during the actual race in any way suggest pain or distress. Her death will likely amplify what I gather are ongoing debates about the comparative safety of various racing surfaces, whether more extensive bone and tissue scans are needed to ensure the horses don't have tiny but potentially ominous stress fractures or ligament tears, whether there might be a problem with overzealous breeding for speed resulting in too many horses with more muscle power than their slender bones can handle, etc.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
there might be a problem with overzealous breeding for speed resulting in too many horses with more muscle power than their slender bones can handle, etc.
I think the breeding is probably at the crux of the matter, this was from an article on espn.com:

Quote:
The current state of American breeding. This is the big one. American race horses are bred (and inbred) for speed racing on dirt tracks, not for durability. The collective gene pool has been reduced, and physical infirmities are being passed along like hair color in humans.

Take a look at Eight Belles' pedigree. Her grandsire is Unbridled, winner of the 1990 Kentucky Derby and a formidable stallion. But his offspring have been both precocious and often brittle.

He sired Grindstone, who won the '96 Derby but never raced again after being injured shortly after the Derby. He also sired '96 Derby favorite Unbridled's Song, whose chances in that race were compromised by foot problems. Unbridled's Song then sired Eight Belles.

Does that mean Eight Belles was doomed by pedigree to meet her tragic demise Saturday at Churchill Downs? Not necessarily. It really might have been just a bad step.
Obviously, this isn't concrete evidence, but it certainly makes sense that a shallowing gene pool would bring all sorts of problems to the surface.

A somewhat astounding fact that speaks to the shallow gene pool is that all twenty horses entered into the Derby were all descendents from the same horse, Native Dancer.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:11 PM   #8
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barbaro and eight belles lived much more pampered lives than most of us ever well. they are treated extremely well, and are given the best training and medical treatment in the world. it's a tragedy, yes. but it's a very rare one. i just so happened that in the past two years the very rare tragedy has occured on the biggest stage.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:22 PM   #9
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Right, you think how the poorest people in America live in the mountains of Kentucky, and down the road are horses living in near literal palaces owned by actual royalty (The Saudi Royal Family).

I'm as much for animal rights as the next person, but if rather than having a knee-jerk reaction to what happened on Saturday you look at the lives these horses lead, it's really not as horrific as groups like PETA would have you think.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:12 PM   #10
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i also don't understand how people who bash horse racing play the whole "the horses are forced into it" line... what, your dog and cat, ancestors of wild animals, weren't bred into captivity? gimmie a break. it's different because you want it to be different. your fish has the ability to swim the oceans of the world... instead it sits in your 3 foot long fish tank. oh what a fantastic life it must live. your dog could run wild in the woods... but it's held in a house/yard and walked on a leash... your bird has the gift of flight, yet it sits in a cage.

and you know what? your dog, fish, cat and bird are probably all very happy, because it's the only thing they know. much like the race horse.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail


A somewhat astounding fact that speaks to the shallow gene pool is that all twenty horses entered into the Derby were all descendents from the same horse, Native Dancer.
Whoa! That is indeed astounding!
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:00 PM   #12
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I can't get into it since my great grandfather was an international race horse judge and that's how he made his fortune. He got the photo finish and starting gate instituted. One thing that he always said about betting is that the "odds are always in favor of the house." Think that there will be a Triple Crown winner this year. From what I saw during the race and after the race Big Brown loves to race and has some spunk. The Belmont track is the toughest track to win on.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
In Genesis it is written that God gave man dominion over the beasts,

so animals are fair game.



Fair game?

I think the horses bred for the KD have been bred to the limit for speed, but their strength and endurance have been ignored.


Animals are fair game?


I have owned horses and several other critters for a long time and that quote from Genisis is about taking care, not about fair game for abuse.


It would be nice if you visited your local farmer.
We are not Hitler.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:55 PM   #14
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I don't know much about racing horses, but I've heard that there is some debate whether they should mature more before racing? If so, then I agree. At least with dogs in agility, there are age minimums and everyone knows you have to be super careful with young dogs. Large breed dogs do not mature until they are 2 years. Plenty of animals (both species) end up with joint problems from being over-worked too young.

Anyway, I guess I don't know enough about it to have a problem with it. They are bred to run like Alaskan Huskies are bred to run and pull. It's all they know, environmentally AND genetically.

I'm relieve Eight Bells was immediately euthanized, as Barbaro SHOULD have been, or at the very least as soon as he was diagnosed with laminitis in his "other" leg. I do not think the jokey should be blamed or suspended, as PETA seems to think. The injury occured after the race and how would he know BOTH her ankles would snap?
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:56 AM   #15
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They do need to get rid of the whips and the pain masking drugs.

Those horses can injure themselves worse when they don't ease up on their injured legs because they've been juiced up to fight through pain.

The whips are seen by some in the industry as useless. It's maybe not a big deal but if it's not neccessary to pound on the horses, then I say get rid of 'em.
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