Cruelty and Killing as Fun

From the “Radnor Hunt Races” (Malvern, PA) website:

This year you can watch the racing excitement at Radnor Hunt in Malvern as the 86th Radnor Hunt Races are held on Saturday, May 21. Picture yourself standing in the middle of the beautiful Radnor Hunt countryside and having a party with friends and family watching horse racing so close to them that you can feel the ground shake as they go by. Many families have multiple generations enjoying what has become a springtime tradition in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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Come and enjoy the racing over the rolling hills of Radnor Hunt in Malvern. You will experience an exciting and beautiful step back in time and maybe start a spring tradition for your family and friends.

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And now, here is how the “event” unfolded (Equibase)…

In race 1, two of the horses were “pulled up, DNF.”

In race 2, one was “pulled up, DNF”; one “was difficult to control, pulled out of race.”

In race 4, one “hit top of a hurdle and fell, DNF.”

In race 5, one “fell at the final fence, DNF”; three others were “pulled up, DNF.”

In race 6, the last-place horse finished 56+ lengths back.

And – in race 3, 11-year-old Brother Sy – who had just been raced six days prior (also a steeplechase) – “fell fatally over a jump during the first mile.” Dead.

We animal advocates walk a very delicate (emotional) line. On the one side, soft: it’s a call for mercy, compassion – a campaign for hearts. Please, we say, let the animals be. But on the other, hard: it’s anger, contempt – a war against those seemingly without hearts. What you do, we say, is wicked and wrong; we demand that you stop. Problem is, this approach often just results in higher walls.

Still, when confronted with the “Radnor Hunt Races,” how can fury not rule the day? A product that enslaves, and abuses, and hurts, and, yes, sometimes kills animals sold as entertainment. Worse even, it’s entertainment packaged as pastoral: “rolling hills, beautiful countryside, a step back in time”; socially responsible: proceeds benefiting a conservancy – “open space, clean water”; fine: “gentlemen wear sport jackets (tie optional) and most ladies wear dresses,” “luncheon in the clubhouse”; festive: “tailgate parties”; and wholesome: “start a spring tradition for your family” – Boy Scout ushers.

It’s vile; it’s disgusting. And I seethe.

(With Brother Sy, there are now five confirmed kills on Preakness Day.)

Aintree Races


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  1. This was crazy!! !44# to 154# each horse was carrying for over 2 miles! We don`t weigh that much right NOW and we haven`t ridden at the track in over 10 years. When we galloped horses we were able to ride at 120# fairly easily. Those poor horses! 9 year old horse going over jumps for over 2,3, miles! Ridiculous! Notice most of them were racing on lasix and some were racing on bute too. Makes you wonder what other unknown medications they were racing with. How traumatic for young children and our countries youth to be exposed to. Stupid to race on a yielding course too. And the party seems to go on for the spectators who appear oblivious to the tragedies on the track! Just like the Preakness day breakdowns. The party must go on! We would not ever go to an event where all the people looked like they were all crazy, dancing fools such as was shown at Pimlico on Preakness day.

  2. We just noticed a horse named Becks Bad Boy listed as a DNF. We know the horse! He was not fast, but if were right he was a medicine hat painted thoroughbred stallion at one time standing in San Diego California who a neighbor of ours had trained to ride after she picked him up in northern California. How sad!!! He had a good temperament and was gentle horse who did not deserve this fate.Our neighbor responded to an ad about Becks Bad Boy and had foolish plans to breed painted race horses after she bought him and picked him up. She spent >$9,000 to buy/ train him and shortly thereafter her husband became fed up and divorced her, she then lost her farm after going bankrupt.

  3. Our mistake earlier, the Bexx Bad Boy we know has a different spelling.We got them mixed up.We still feel this so called family entertainment is a bad joke and is ridiculous for horses to endure. Many breeders will acknowledge that most horses today are not bred for those kinds of races at that weight.

  4. Maybe instead of horse racing, they should hold horse shows like peaceful carriage driving shows and dressage?  A beautiful way to show off beautiful, graceful horses?  Just a thought.diane

  5. With this comment, I do not attempt to mitigate the ugliness of this form of horseracing but to note that “DNF” and/or “pulled up” in a hurdler’s/steeplechaser’s performance line is usually less sinister than when they appear in those of flat racers. With the exception of those that also note “fell”, of course! Many jumps race participants get off to poor starts, even turned sideways or nearly backwards as there is no starting gate, lose contact with the field over the course of these long races, avoid or mistakenly skip a jump, etc. That is to say, DNF/pulled up in a jumps race does not always mean “injured” (and badly) as it nearly *always* does in flat racing.

    As Diane Ashe points out, there are any number of other ways to enjoy the pastoral countryside in the Spring with our equine companions, even in competition, in ways that do not threaten their lives.

  6. I used to work in Mvern, PA. I drove by the Radnor Hunts daily. I couldn’t understand seeing the horses jump over those
    Jumps. And dealing with the rich teenagers who had NO respect for their horses nor the speed limit signs along the road. One time I was stopped at a stop sign and a semi truck who was hauling horses was trying to turn and some rich kid behind me refused to back up so I could make room for the semi needless to say I ended up backing into the guys car because he didn’t move. Left a good paint mark on his car no damage to my Dodge Neon but I hope he learned a lesson lmao. Sad that so many people abuse their horses and hurt them.

    • Horse abuse happens in all disciplines. Some worse than others.
      This blog’s main focus is racehorses dying for $2 bets.
      The day-to-day life of a racehorse is riddled with ongoing doping to address chronic issues in order to fill races, and increase wagering income.
      The only reason why this cruelty circus, and death camp has been going on so long is because the racehorses have no voice, and the participants/pro-horse racing people ensure the silence or make a great attempt at hiding the facts via public relations people or lobbying in Washington.
      I’m confident that people will see through this facade, and that this industry will either be greatly reduced or eventually shut down.
      This will save lives: both equine, and human.

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