The Excitement! – of a Horse Dying

On its website, the Grand National Steeplechase – a one-day event held every April in Maryland – “encourages picnicking,” with “pop-up tents” and all. On its website, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – yes, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – says: “Join the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for a true Maryland tradition, the 117th running of the Grand National Steeplechase. Enjoy a beautiful day in Baltimore County’s horse country with a classic picnic buffet, signature ‘Southside’ cocktails, live music, and the best view of the Grand National Steeplechase course. It is the perfect occasion to take in an amazing spring day and the excitement of steeplechase racing!”

A true family affair, this Grand National – hot dogs and ice cream for the kids, drinks and tunes for the moms and dads. Alas, though, yesterday’s entertainment also included the live death of a sentient being. In the 1st race – “Three And One Fourth Miles On The Timber” – Ardrahan, according to Equibase, “fell landing [at or on] the second-last fence and was euthanized.” In fact, of the 11 horses who began that race, only five finished, with a few of those who did not also hitting fences, one “hard.”

Look, I fully understand “tradition.” But when said tradition is exposed for what it is – animal exploitation, animal cruelty, and, often, animal killing – there is no longer any excuse. If you attend, bet on, or in any way patronize horseracing, you make days like yesterday possible. Ardrahan is dead, uncomfortable though this may be, because of the good people – including, shamefully, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – who turned out in Butler, Maryland, yesterday. And that’s about the size of it.


  1. It is inexcusable ignorance for a national group to push an event like this. The horse deaths associated with racetracks and racing are well known. I will not contribute to the Cystic Fibrosis Society again.

  2. Just another family fun day at the track, gambling, alcohol and dead horses. Shame on these organizations for promoting animal abuse to raise money for their “cause”.

  3. A worthy cause – an ignorant decision on the part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Stop promoting animal abuse and death as “fun”.
    Educate yourself and make responsible decisions concerning your fundraising..

  4. Steeplechase racing and I have said it before… is barbaric and abusive. These beautiful horses must run long distances and jump over barbaric hurdles carrying the extra load (the jockey). BARBARIC

  5. Do you think the Horses signed up for this? — they’re forced into this brutal industry like Slaves — WHO protects the HORSE? — If a human wants to play football, they sign a contract — when was the last time you saw a Horse signing a contract to run & race ? — again, WHO speaks for the HORSE?

  6. This horseracing business is so, so, upsetting! Nothing is enjoyable about it!!!! I repeat NOTHING!!

  7. It’s a shame and an outrage to subject these beautiful animals to horseracing. I look forward to the day when animal cruelty laws are enacted throughtout the entire U.S. The public has become sickened by the increased cruelty some of our fellow human beings inflict on vulnerable animals. “The Sport Of Kings” – I don’t think so…

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