“Oh no!” And so exclaimed the track announcer when 3-year-old Cloud Cutter broke down (he can be presumed dead) midway through the 4th race Sunday night at Mountaineer. He went on: “There’s a bad fall there. Cloud Cutter, the odds-on favorite, came down.” That, of course, would be the last word we would receive on the doomed colt. Replay here (Cloud Cutter crumples around 1:09).
I grew up in this industry. Later on, I became an Owner/Trainer. When k was young growing up in the business I saw it through rose-coloured glasses. Although there were some things going on back in the 60’s that I never got an answer for such as the big truck that would pull up to barns and load horses on that could barely walk. I was told “there time has come,” as the truck pulled away. To this day, I will never forget those horses eyes as they looked at me. I was their last hope. Dad, a Trainer, would often tell me “Gina, you can’t fall in love with them. This is a business. While they are in our barn they will be well-cared for, but we can’t control what happens to them once they leave. ” I was deeply disturbed by this it never sat well. I fell in love with all of them. Of course there were my favourites, but I respected all of them. After all, they were running their hearts out while bringing millions into the wagering windows only to get dumped in a claiming race or at the kill auction. Lush, green pastures with a good home seemed far, and few between. Fast forward to years later, and there I was training, and racing my own thoroughbreds. Only I vowed to do it right. I was in love with all my horses, and I was going to find them good homes when they were done racing. However, no amount of love could have prepared me for the doping, cheating, multiple drug violations, and greed so prevalent in North America Racing. Perhaps I was sheltered from it when I was young because I focused on the horses, and learning how to take care of these beautiful athletes., but now I was forced to learn the “business” side of it whether I liked it or not. The business side of racing is ugly, and I was constantly fighting to protect my horses. Just like they “break” the spirit of the racehorse, trust me, they “break” the spirit of the Trainer. Every Trainer is forced to a fork in the road, and you must make a choice. The fork goes like this: one road is the path of moral goodness. That road is the one that you do right by your horse. You take care of that horse both during its career, and after. The other road is the one of moral abandonment. You also abandon your horses not caring about what happens to them. It may break your heart it may not, but in the end you make a choice of money over morals. It’s just that simple, and if anybody tells you otherwise their lying.
Excerpts from my book “The Dirty World of Horse Racing.” Publisher Pending.”
Thank you, Gina.
Thank you, Gina. Your comment moved me to tears…tears for those horses that limped onto the slaughter-bound trailers, tears for the horses that were forced to run with injuries, and even tears of “relief” that someone from the industry acknowledged what we have been saying. Time and time and time again, the racing supporters come on here exclaiming we don’t “know what the hell we’re talking about” or that there are only a few bad apples in racing and we shouldn’t use the “broad brush”…so to have you confirm what we witnessed is validation.
Thank you. I hope you’re doing well as I can only imagine the horrific memories you are living with.
Thanks so much for your supporting comments. The secret world of horse racing was very secret for many years. Now with social media, and thoughtful people not afraid to question the industry; the truth is finally getting out. I must say that most people who leave the industry probably have the same feelings as me, but are afraid to speak out. This multi-billion dollar industry does a good job of putting fear into racetrack people while they exploit both human, and horse. They personally attack people like me, and their tentacles reach far beyond the gates of the racetrack. I’ve been threatened via emails which I have reported. As long as they can exploit the human, and horse they are happy. However, very few people fair well in horse racing. Maybe 10% do well financially, and they are usually the CEO’s, Board of Directors, Doping & Cheating Trainers. The rest go broke filling races for them. Of course it’s the racehorse that pays the ultimate price, but because they have no voice these people have been getting away with this cruelty circus for a long time.
Please let us know when the book is published. One of my best friends is an Investigative News reporter and she is working on a story about horses being slaughtered and the world of abusing and drugging race horses at the track.
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