A Wish for the Thoroughbreds

The following comes from a former owner who has since become vehemently anti-racing. She wishes to remain anonymous at this time.

“If I could erase your memories of whips, the lonely hours of four dark walls, and the hell of exploitation, I would look to a wide blue sky, clouds, and hills upon which you’d walk and get lost in thought until your pain fades.

“I would set you free among the trees and tall pasture grasses to replenish nature’s nutrients in your body and soul.

“I would let you run along the water’s edge as it raced forward in time supplying a stream of freshness to fill your long-held thirst.

“I would set you free to explore and contemplate and make friends with your own kind, revisiting your soul’s purpose as a horse and thoroughbred – to romp, to play, to run, and to move in unison together as nature had planned – and I would be here as you need, awaiting your return from paradise.”

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  1. Absolutely a beautiful almost poetic statement.We have also become anti-racing because of so many harsh memories of seeing bits of horses flesh from their racing & having interference from poor shoeing / trimming of the horses hooves. We saw these bits on the track after the horses had just passed by on the back straight at our now gone, redeveloped to warehousing / trucking dispatch center, 1 mile track. We will never forget the abusive usage of lip chains & the binding of a dozen horses tied 1 to another, head to tail in a 12′ X 16′ stall as well as the whipping in the face by a jockey we witnessed which horse & I achieved the fastest time of the day workout with no whip carried at all!

  2. It’s nice to read some good news on Horseracing Wrongs! Thanks for a well written piece and, of course, the picture is worth a thousand words! I’m hoping there are more people in racing who will be emboldened to step away from the business of extreme brutalization of horses.

  3. THANK YOU, former racing TB owner – your words brought me to tears for so many reasons. Yes, I feel those same pangs of regret having been an avid horseracing fan for years. And with each unwanted racehorse who I either took in as another equine family member or fostered during my nearly 10 years with CANTER, I told them of my regret…and that from the moment they stepped into my trailer, their exploitation was over and they were safe.

    It’s taken me a long time to recognize that although there is “baggage” from the abusive practices in racing for those horses who have made it out alive, horses live in the moment and while I have hung on to feeling regret and sorrow for their former lives, THEY just know that RIGHT NOW they are safe and secure as a member of their own herd. And that said, I must free my heart and mind from those negative feelings and thoughts when in their presence. I hope that you, too, former owner, can forgive yourself and live as free and joyously as the horses we share our daily lives with.

    • Yes at times it is difficult to remember all of the harsh events we witnessed in racing.We have to be more like a horse in living for the moment although one of our mares who raced still remembers her ill treatment from 20+ years ago involving smokers & so we have to be careful about any smokers who deliver or come to our farm. We have those pangs of regret as well knowing how a good portion of our university degree tuition was earned teaching many thoroughbreds to be ridden & then being raced at our crummy class “C” tracks. We will never forget what you went through Five O Wonder after we had gained your trust & had it violated by the crooked , crummy , gamboling game of racing.

      • Yes, fredjoan, horses are most definitely affected by past experiences. My Greenwish, for instance; after all of his years with me (I took him from the track when he was ten years old and still being raced), he remained stressed by confined spaces…even a large stall. I adjusted my horses’ environment for him, so seeking shelter from our (sometimes) cold and blustery Michigan weather did NOT require him to be in a stall. He enjoyed his herd, his choices, his life with me – but the emotional damage from racing and what it demands of horses would raise its ugly head at times in Greenwish when there was a “reminder” of those years he was a racing slave.

  4. Horses have an incredible capacity for forgiveness toward humans, as do most animals. They recognize when they are being helped. That being said, remember this: “Be kind and careful with your horse, for what you do may be forgiven, but never forgotten”.

  5. Beautifully depicted — what a magnificent photo — we ALL can relate to it — how can one NOT SEE the continuous abuse & suffering inflicted on these Horses — we MUST save them — I repeat : SHUT DOWN HORSERACING FOREVER — it is a vile business driven by evil Humans.

  6. I am crying from the depths of my soul for what is happening to these horses. I do not have horses but just last week I visited someone with several. The whole point of my visit was to spend time with the horses. These horses did not know me and I was amazed at how they all came right to me and let me love them. One even used my sweaty arm for a salt lick!!! There is not one cell in my body that can understand the mistreatment and abuse racehorses suffer. I can forgive former owners who have changed but will never forgive those who don’t. I use to love horse racing because of the horses. Now I hate and refuse to watch another race EVER for the same reason. What will it take to stop the madness of man and money? GOD BLESS HORSES🙏 🐎

    • Well said! Such a great comment, and I think you’ve stated what a lot of us HW regulars feel about this whole, sick abomination disguised as ‘sport’.

    • Thank you, Cindy Sparks – I echo Kelly’s reply to you. And FYI, I’m a salt lick to one of my horses – it’s great, isn’t it? 😏

  7. I have never owned a hose but I’ve had friends who do. To me, horses are like giant dogs. They deserve good homes with good food, shelter, vet care, love and compassion. The world has been made aware of how race horses are treated, and most people are appalled. NO animal deserves to be exploited and treated like they are expendable. It sickens me that the owners are willing to drug the horses and all in the name of money. Money can make people monsters and that is exactly what they are. I don’t even want anything to do with anyone who accepts these horses’ cruelty as just a gamble, to win or lose. The horses are the ones who ultimately lose in so many ways. It is past time to ban horseracing (as well as greyhounds). It is the epitome of cruelty.

    • So true, natrluvr59 – thank you for choosing to support the horses and not the industry that exploits, cripples and kills them.

      You mentioned horses are like giant dogs to you – and that reminded me of something I’ve often struggled with understanding…

      I always find it odd when racing apologists go nuts when there’s a story shared about an old dog dropped off at a shelter – the owner no longer wants ole Fido nor the responsibility of the additional costs an aging pooch brings. That owner wants a NEW pup, a YOUNG pup. And people – apologists included – go NUTS.

      YET, that’s what racing owners/trainers do over and over and over again with their racehorses. IN FACT, it’s a given – buy, use, get off the books. Repeat. Repeat. And repeat. No one employed in racing and no one who’s a fan of racing goes nuts over that. Isn’t that odd?

  8. Also, Notice the statements from racing supporters. when some of the better known horses are killed or die. Their comments are usually “run free beautiful boy”, “gallop in green pastures”, and such .
    I would love to ask these people why the horses can’t enjoy such freedoms while they are alive. Why do they have to die to be free of a tiny stall 23 hours out of every 24, while nibbling from a hay net waiting to be drugged and whipped around a track…

    • Exactly, Rose! Industry abuser Donna Keen, who also runs a racehorse “rescue”, posted about an aged rescued stallion a while back – she wanted to get him castrated and some followers questioned why at his advanced age. She responded that keeping him intact would necessitate he stay isolated from the other horses and how cruel that would be!! I actually had to laugh at her stupidity, incriminating herself and the industry with her answer!

  9. Beautiful! And Rose Smith….I echo your questions. I look forward to the day when humans will have evolved to the point of respecting all life and ending our endless exploitation of animals. In the words of Alice Walker…

    “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” ~ Alice Walker, author, The Color Purple

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