Since the day he was created – created not by God, but by a god complex – 11 1/2-year-old Fighting City Hall has existed for one purpose – to earn a share of gambling booty for men. Saturday afternoon at Emerald Downs (in a $3,500 claiming race), he was whipped toward that end for the 97th time.
In the eyes of a society that allows horseracing, Fighting City Hall is a thing, a piece of easily movable property. In fact, in his first two years of racing – 2006-07 – the gelding was bought and sold seven times, serving under eight different trainers. In all, he has had 15 handlers – current one Neil Knapp is in his second stint – and at least that many owners, all of whom could have saved him, none of whom have.
Horses are whos, not whats; they are intelligent, sentient beings capable of love and joy, loss and sorrow. And, most importantly, suffering. This old (young) Thoroughbred has been suffering for men for a very long time. It’s time for it to end.