Yesterday, in Australia, a jockey was seriously injured when the horse she was atop collapsed. Apparently, the jockey, Leah Kilner, is in an induced coma. It should go without saying that we wish her well. But I relay this to illustrate, yet again, the big lie of “equine athletes,” jockeys and horses as “teammates,” the racehorse as “member of the family.” For you see, in addition to the sentiments on social media being almost entirely centered on Ms. Kilner, the press is treating the horse as an afterthought. For example, in a lengthy piece filed by Yahoo, we only learn of the horse’s fate at the very end, in a single sentence: “Stella Turn was euthanised shortly after the incident.”
As a postscript, the final six races of the afternoon were postponed because, as Yahoo relays, onlookers were “left visibly shaken.” Understandable, of course. But – this never happens when it’s just a routine, everyday horse kill (at least not unless there’s a safety issue – for the riders – going forward). And that should tell you all you need to know about how this industry truly views its horses.