I have confirmed that 7-year-old Tiedandtrue is dead after breaking down in the 2nd at Charles Town Wednesday. All told, this mare was raced 47 times. She was most recently trained by Kelly Jones and owned by Coleman Lawrence.
In the very next race that night, there was this (Equibase): “TAILORED LADY flipped and thrashed around in the starting gate, made little impact while racing three wide and returned bleeding from the left hock.” “Flipped and thrashed around,” was raced anyway (finished 7th), and “returned bleeding.” This is horseracing.
What, if any, are the animal welfare regulations? Poor thing would have acquired many different injuries when she “flipped and thrashing” about in a metal container. There is no way she would have started in the UK. What is wrong with US racing regulations/government regulations in regard to equine welfare.
Yes, it’s sickening how these magnificent horses are treated, and there are many issues that should have been addressed a long time ago. Personally, I’d give the horses two chances to enter the starting gate, and then scratch them. There’s a reason they don’t want to race (abuse might just be one reason).
“There is no way she would have started in the UK.” Bridget, you are absolutely right. Nor would she have started in Hong Kong or Australia, racing jurisdictions where horses often are scratched for far less restlessness in the gate. And some of those gates in Australia are far less rigid, more giving, than any I’ve seen in the US. Japan has the smoothest and most fast-loading gate times I’ve seen. The large gate crews in HK and Japan are also, generally, much more quiet and deliberate in their pre-load and loading actions. What is it about US gate crews that they have to wave their arms, run up to horses to grab the lead from the pony rider, and generally move around in all kinds of ways guaranteed to make the horse, a prey animal, a nervous wreck??
I’ve also noticed that horses that are extremely reluctant to load are often simply left behind the gate while the rest of the field is loaded and sent on its way in the UK. And little or no time for angry, frustrated punters to change their bets–and that’s how it should be. But as Patrick has pointed out many times, in the US it is the BETTING that determines racing yes-or-no, NOT the horse’s welfare. If racetracks and their stewards even cared about the bettor, they wouldn’t allow the horses that bang themselves around in the gate or refuse to load to run. But it’s not the horse’s welfare and it’s not fairness to the bettor/handicapper, it’s the money. Period. Ever notice how tracks with, say, a big Pick Six carryover draaaaaag out the load before the first of the six races? Money. In Hong Kong there is, I believe, a pre-established deadline for placing all kinds of multi-race wagers. Miss the deadline? Too bad, better pay closer attention next time because the tracks aren’t going to milk the betting pools.
And Lisa, you too are right when you note “there’s a reason they don’t want to race.” But, again, it’s all about the money. Again, Patrick has pointed out here many times that with tracks supported by casino revenue, race participants are often paid down to last place! That’s why there are so many overraced–to the point of abusive cruelty–Thoroughbreds in the US. There is a monetary incentive for owners, trainers to race their horses into the ground!
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