For many if not most in racing, there is a certain detachment from the current climate. Often, these people talk and act as if living in a different time – some bygone era when horseracing really was thought of as “The Sport of Kings” (or at a minimum, one of America’s most popular sports). Today, of course, that notion is a joke, even if you’re not a full-blown activist like us here. The great majority of the population, I’m convinced, looks at this and says, “Really, we’re still whipping horses so people can gamble?” In fact, I’d be willing to bet the house, pardon the pun, that if racing were put to a national referendum, an up-or-down vote, we’d win handily.
In any event, this detachment often produces moments that are at once pathetic, callous, and risible. Writing (in the Paulick Report) in response to Arizona Commissioner Rory Goree’s sharp criticisms of his state’s racing industry, Tim Kelly, a prominent horseman in the Tucson area (Rillito Park), said this:
“Goreé’s disruptive comments didn’t stop there. He went full force…providing readers a devastating visual image of a horse who broke down at the Rillito track on opening weekend. No one likes to see a horse break down, just like we don’t like seeing soccer kids get trampled on the playing field or Olympic athletes meet suffering last-minute injuries preventing them from getting to the podium.”
“just like we don’t like seeing soccer kids get trampled on the playing field”
What’s left to say?