Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit becomes the 20th horse to die at Santa Anita this year

Originally published at: Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit becomes the 20th horse to die at Santa Anita this year | Boing Boing


If I were a horse, the whole world of horse racing is the last place I’d want to visit, let alone be a victim of.

That circus of animal cruelty should be shut down like, yesterday.


“But, gambling!!”

That’s it, right? The only reason horse racing still exists?


I hear it’s also a chance to dust off one’s most ridiculous hat. :woman_shrugging:


Well it depends. If there are 400,000 horses at Santa Anita then they’re doing pretty well and it’s the bestest place for any horse to be.

Imagine if a single NASCAR track had 20 driver fatalities in the space of a year. The entire sport would get shut down so fast it would give Michael Schumacher whiplash.


2,000 horses – however this is a training and racing facility, not the general population, and I think we expect less than say 1 NBA player to die training per year.


3 year old. This sport shouldn’t be.


Those of us with a conscience tend to forget that there are a large number of people in the world who consider animals only to be “things to be used”. Pretty sure we can pin this attitude directly on The Superstitious Justification of Villainy, Genesis chapter 1, verse 28:

God said unto them, “…fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over … every living thing that moveth upon the earth”

I think it’s a cruel, engineering-only mentality. These are the kinds of people who think that if a few horses die at the track, that means they’re running them at the ragged edge of performance, and they take it as an indicator that they’re doing everything right. It’s literally no different than race cars, where a nitro fueled engine needs to last for maybe 60 seconds – any longer and they’ve wasted engineering on longevity that could have instead gone into improving performance.


Is it the heat?

Most of the horses are euthanized after breaking a leg. It’s nearly impossible to rehab a horse that has broken a leg.

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Is there a Russian Consulate nearby?


Michael Schumacher isn’t the best candidate for a joke-comparison of racing drivers and spinal injury.

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Honestly, american horse racing to me just feels like a KKK rally. It’s so deeply centered on the mythical southern dandy and all that bullshit.

Just a bunch of greasy white folks betting on animal and human cruelty.


A horse is much too old for racing by 5-6. Then if it didn’t win a bunch you have a “useless” 5 year old horse that could live another 15 years. Glue time.

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Except Schumacher didn’t get paralyzed from a racing accident.

Or a spine injury at all IIRC. Didn’t he get a traumatic brain injury from a skiing accident?

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… and the NFL, and professional boxing, and …


Not this time of year, it’s been in the high 60’s to 70’s.

And as a Veterinarian (not a equine one tho), I do get to see a bit “how the sausage is made”, and it’s fucking horrifying. It truly is about the $ only, and really not at all about animal welfare (well, at least not more than is required by law). And there seems to be a worryingly high amount of corruption and ethical compromise in the practice of racetrack “medicine”. Well, kind of like one would expect if tons of $$$ was involved, also organized crime.


Multiple trainers at santa anita had been busted for giving their horses prohibited drugs, and/or too much of the allowed ones. They were shut down for quite a while, and “investigations” took place before their eventual reopening. Several trainers got in varying amounts of trouble, but anyone who does that to a horse should receive a lifetime ban. The poor fucking animals don’t have any choice but to take whatever’s given them, in all meanings of the word, and they absolutely live to run.

Drugging horses puts their lives, those of other horses, and all the people around - and on! - them at great risk. Some drugs cause physically violent reactions in some horses - they may suddenly become so terrified by whatever it is they are experiencing they will strike out, charge, bite, or kick. You can imagine what a jockey - and the nearby horses and riders during races and non-solo work sessions - may experience when a horse collapses at speed, which some drugs’ll cause. When an injured horse is given pain drugs, s/he can move without displaying lameness, be allowed to race, and may break down.

Racehorses in other countries don’t die in anywhere near the numbers the yankistani horses do. Drugs aren’t allowed anywhere besides the US, and horses who shouldn’t be running end up dead. It’s evil.

yankistani breeders also don’t pay nearly enough attention to horses’ soundness, or lack thereof. Everyone’s understandably horrified when a horse breaks down, and all too often it turns out one or more of the horse’s parents and/or grandparents broke down but were bred anyway! That is also evil, knowingly breeding horses with high chances of injury or worse!

Dirt racetracks are no good, either. Turf is much easier on horses’ legs and joints, but the times are faster on dirt, and less maintainence is involved.

Running 2- and 3-year-old horses, after beginning their training at a year old is also unconscionable.

Too many people see racehorses as walking money in one way or another, as just a number in a racing form and on a saddlecloth. They are disposable, which is unutterably evil. A friend we met in Jamaica rescued former racehorses. She fed and fixed them up, and gave them jobs in tourists’ trail rides down to the beach and up in the mountains. The ones who were permanently damaged got homes for life and were well cared for. Her ‘before and after’ photo album made mom and I uncontrollably weep.

Horse racing has become an industry, and industries are rarely any good for people nor animals.