At the “International Gold Cup” steeplechase in Virginia this past Saturday, there was, of course, the run-of-the-mill maiming. From the Stewards’ Report:
race 1: “Lowcountry was pulled up lame.” “Webb fell.”
race 2: “Modus Operandi [abuser: Keri Brion] hit the first fence hard and fell.”
race 4: “The winner, Robert’s Luxury, pulled up lame.”
race 7: “Tease And Seize fell [twice].” Yes, twice.
Then there was this, also from the 7th race: “Hurtgen Forest suffered a fracture on the first turn and was euthanized on the course.” Dead, at the age of four.
The report closed thus:
“Several trainers and riders expressed to the stewards their unhappiness with the hard and rough ground…. Given the short fields, the number of horses who came up lame, and vehemently critical comments from horsemen, greater attention needs to be paid to the repair and preparation of the racing surface if Great Meadow is to restore its reputation as a premier venue.”
Boy, you’d think after 100 years, they’d have the whole safety/welfare thing down.
Horseracing is animal cruelty. Horseracing is animal killing. Horseracing must end.