Horse Racing is Lame | US Horse Deaths and Drugs | Run to Death

What is up with the American addiction to excessive use of drugs and chemicals to enhance and control nature; in horse racing, child and adult psychology, the healthcare industry (not wellness), agriculture, animal slaughterhouses, fish farming, the energy industries – to the point that rather than optimizing performance, they become a lethal poison?

Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths, PETA undercover- investigation PETA

Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths PETA undercover- investigation PETA

Back in early March I saw a disturbing news clip “Spike in horse fatalities at Santa Anita Park casts shadow over racing industry” on PBS News Hour published March 7, 2019. A 21st horse died at the same race track in California, within just a few months. It primarily pointed to the conditions of the track as the cause. Near the end of the clip there was mention of horses being pushed very hard, with drugs used to mask their pain. Yet the overall message was poor track conditions. Perhaps because of the unusually wet weather, the rain had made the track brittle, like concrete.

How bizarre? What is this really about?

I had a horrific awakening to the reality of the sport several years ago in Pennsylvania when I accompanied my brother to see the horse of his friend race at Penn National racetrack. His friend owned the stable where my brother lodged his horse. When the race finally started I watched from the stands. However, the horse I was there to watch never came around the track. I asked where’s the horse? I found out within minutes that he was dead. What? He’s been ‘put down’ – shot, because he fell.

What? Shot? Already? What in the world? I hate the term ‘put down’ – as if you’re doing someone a favor. You don’t ‘put down’ your grandmother? Well, I later spoke to a friend who believes in the humane ‘euthanasia’ of humans as well as animals. I could understand her logic. Regardless, this was a very disturbing experience. In shock, I asked my brother why in the world was the horse killed? I learned for the first time that when a horse say, twists an ankle, it is kindly, slaughtered. This is routine? With panic in my voice I asked, “You mean there aren’t sophisticated ways to give horses support while they are healing? Aren’t there braces? Casts? My brother explained that the horse’s body weight couldn’t support a broken leg. “Aren’t there straps and ways to hold the horse securely while keeping weight off the injured leg? Can’t you immerse the horse in water to take the weight off their body?” No, it wouldn’t be able to hold still. I couldn’t believe it.

santa anita horse 23rd death CNN

santa anita horse 23rd death CNN

When I saw this headline a few days ago 2 days after racing resumed, 23rd horse dies at Santa Anita Park that more horses died, again, since reopening the track, I was angry. Within this a man makes openly claims that the horse racing industry must commit to stop using drugs, revealing that the deaths are not about the track quality at all, but the extreme measures the horses are pushed to. This declaration with respect to the state of California, is for a total ban of all medication (on race day), and commitment to a new trend, to put the welfare of the horses and the (mostly immigrant) workers’ who work closely with the horses, first. It Implies that it’s been quite clear to a lot of people within the industry, that these horse death’s were not by any means due to surface irregularities on a track. Well, that’s California, 1 in 52 states. It’s a start. I notice he is only talking about the banning of drugs on race day. Nevertheless, this is a huge admission to the connection of drug use and deaths of horses – on a regular basis in the United States – on this particular California race track.

I didn’t have to look very hard for more confirmation of race horse deaths as a result of bad practices and the use of drugs to articulate them. The practice of using syringes and injecting all sorts of drugs into the horses, is more a phenomenon in the United States. It verifies that the nature of horse racing is not about the horses, but about the money. The value of winning in this high-roller deluxe gambling industry, doesn’t truly value and honor the horse, at all.

It’s an industry in which humans gamble to win money, with the welfare of the animal a very low priority. The horses are exploited, abused, run on seriously injured feet and joints, exercised until their lungs are bleeding and driven beyond their capability, with drugs to mask the pain and enhance their physical stamina. They are run to death..

The nonsense of putting profit over the value of life, is the standard modus operandi – rippling through all of its industries. A country whose economics of capitalism, bleeds from the earth and its creatures.

Drugs and dead horses’: US racing reels after Peta video broadside

Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs and Death.

Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths PETA undercover investigation PETA

Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths PETA undercover investigation PETA

Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs and Death

“On average 24 horses a week die on race tracks in the US. This PETA video reveals that one of the leading thoroughbred trainers, Steve Asmussen, has continued a chronic misuse of drugs.”

Steve Asmussen, horse drug violations, PETA

Steve Asmussen one of many US horse trainers with drug violations PETA

“These are factory farms, where syringes are the most important tool of the trade.”

Posted March 22nd, 2019, Asmussen, the torture of racehorses and agonizing death of Nehro

The PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – video reveals the footage from an undercover journalist working with horses in the ‘industry. Race horses are pushed and trained through serious injuries and pain. By using a cocktail of performance enhancing drugs as well as pain-masking drugs, regardless of having terrific injuries in their feet and joints, the horses are run to death.

This reassures me that horse racing is lame. Ironic pun. It’s a cruel and vicious ‘sport’ – using an animal to do the dirty work while people profit with dirty money. It’s up there with dog fighting, bull fighting and trophy hunting.

The extreme pain due to rotting and breaking shoes on their hooves is enough to reveal that they should not be running at all.

Lasix, horse drug debate, US horse racing

Lasix drug debate which is bleeding US horse racing dry

I looked up some of the drugs mentioned, and found this  Lasix: the drug debate which is bleeding US horse racing dry

and found this, Lasix Kentucky Derby Horses Use a Drug Banned Everywhere Else

“Nearly all of the horses running in the Kentucky Derby will be given a drug on Derby day that is banned in most of the rest of the world.”

Lasix, Kentucky Derby , inverse

Lasix Kentucky Derby Horses Use a Drug Banned Everywhere Else

Pharmacology of furosemide in the horse: a review. “Neither the effect of furosemide on athletic performance nor its efficacy in the prevention of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage has been convincingly demonstrated.”

Since rather than the horse being retired, they are exterminated due to the nature of almost any injury to the legs, I absolutely loathe the sport. I object to treating an animal with cruelty. Horses are beautiful and gentle creatures. The concept of racing horses was  here long ago. This article shows a lot of the history of horse racing. “While the modern-day sport did originate in Britain, horses have been racing for as long as they have been domesticated. Nomadic tribesmen raced horses in Central Asia as far back as 4500 BC, while the first horseback tournaments on British soil took place around 200 AD.” It mentions that in the western world, horses were originally bred for war. Now it’s not surprising. And the fact that it became a royalty-centered thing in Great Britain, whose reputation went on to colonize and subjugate people from all over the world. It continued a hundred years ago, perpetuated as a sport which had connections with the social elite of Hollywood. And naturally, the excessiveness consumerism within modern day capitalism, the industrialization of just about everything and quantifying everything over how much profit it can generate, has outweighed again and again a respect and value for the natural world. In this game, the horse is a disposable commodity, which is valued by how much money it can generate. What is up with the American addiction to an excessive use of drugs and chemicals to enhance and control nature (in horse racing, child and adult psychology, agriculture, animal and fish farming, the energy industries) to the point that rather than increasing performance, they are a lethal poison?

About carolkeiter
Aspiring writer, artist, musician and composer who was born and raised in the United States and has resided in several European countries. Communication is my forte; both through using various tools and in approaching people of divers backgrounds to gather information. Speak conversational - advanced intermediate - French, German and Spanish. Love interacting with people in cultural centers as much as going to remote places to learn more about the different creatures that share our planet. Love of the outdoors and of a variety of outdoor sports. Driven to learn and expand my own consciousness and understanding through curiosity and love of life. Creative skills merge with analytical ones, leading to an interest in a myriad of topics; ranging from politics, economics, science to environmental. Motivated to use my art, music and writing to support and educate people towards humane practices that support and respect all of life, including practices supporting a healthy planet.

One Response to Horse Racing is Lame | US Horse Deaths and Drugs | Run to Death

  1. Loren Booda says:

    Mixing Darwinism, pedigree (both owner and animal), specialization, money (industry and gambling), abuse and lax rules make breeding a deadly and hit-or-miss “science.”

    If one were to breed dogs for black noses, why not kill all healthy dogs born without black noses and breed those with, despite all of their genetic defects occurring from inbreeding (like hip dysplasia) and millions of corpses.

    When I saw Barbaro break his leg at the Preakness, I realized that he had been bred not only for speed but also for concomitant fragility. Most animal breeders don’t know what they’re doing and really don’t care about their “slaves” as long as they make a profit.

    Genetic engineering is best used for specific, severe inborn diseases in humans. Cloning horses, as seen on 60 Minutes (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-clones-of-polo/), may involve potentially helpful DNA manipulation (although controversial for people), yet still risks them in a gladiatorial sport and all of the aforementioned dangers.

    Horse racing has a long and storied career, but both rider and ride must look to the future for a new attitude toward these equines. Let racing be a sport of beauty and challenge, as opposed to unnecessary tragedy.

    If the owners do really care for their animals, the great majority of them must stop this narrow “survival of the fastest.” Consider shaping any sentient creature’s inheritance; for some, it’s quite like “playing God.”

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