In a recent The Racing Biz article, pro-racing (obviously) writer Teresa Genaro perfectly relays the moral qualms an ever-increasing number of lifelong racing fans are experiencing these days. She explains that in the “dreadful” Aqueduct winter of 2012, “the one in which so many horses died,” she began an “unconscious practice” of listening to races rather than watching them, for fear, of course, of breakdowns. She writes: “That winter induced a sort of PTSD that made me keep my head down until I felt confident that the horses were all going to come home safely.”
“…a sort of PTSD that made me keep my head down until I felt confident that the horses were all going to come home safely.”
Last Saturday, she went on to say, “that old feeling returned,” so at first she only listened to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. But the allure proved too strong and she began watching. Then this from the Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman hit her Twitter feed:
— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) November 3, 2019
Mongolian Groom was dead, and she, along with millions of others, was left to grapple with her conscience:
“…when I watched Vino Rosso, gleaming in the Santa Anita gloaming, triumphantly find redemption at the finish line of the biggest race of his life, I push aside, at least for a little while, my awareness of the risks inherent in the sport that I love. But the next time the starting gate opens, that awareness comes rushing right back, and I wonder how long I’ll be able to live with that.”
Look, if you feel the need to avert your eyes at a show because there’s a good chance one of the (nonconsensual, it must be noted) performers may die, you already have your answer. Follow your heart – not the heart that “loves” things like Thai food, long weekends, baseball, or Thoroughbred horseracing; rather, the heart that houses empathy, kindness, and compassion. In the final analysis, Ms. Genaro, your continued support of an industry that maims and murders multiple thousands (let’s not forget the ones bled-out and butchered at “career’s” end) of fully sentient beings annually in the name of “sport” and “entertainment” is morally indefensible. And you know it.