In a recent “Open Letter to the Racing Community,” two Breeders’ Cup execs decried anyone in racing still trying to thwart the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA). I for one don’t care about either side’s position or the reasons they’re taking it. In my estimation, HISA is but more (in a very long line of) industry smoke and mirrors. Its sole purpose, coming as it did in the wake of Santa Anita ’19, was (is) to assuage an increasingly intolerant public. PR. That’s it. And anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or delusional.
Unsurprisingly, in a relatively short letter the words “sport” and “athletes” were used a combined six times: “a sport rich in integrity is going to thrive,” “the stages on which our athletes compete,” etc. As this can never again be allowed to go unchallenged, here is my open response to the Breeders’ Cup:
In what other sport are the bodies of adolescent athletes pounded into the ground without remorse; the athletes kept in intensive, solitary confinement for over 23 hours a day; the athletes condemned to a life as (literal) chattel; the athletes drugged and doped without consent; the athletes whipped – beaten – for motivation; the athletes routinely dying on the playing field; the athletes bled-out and butchered upon retirement? Horseracing a sport, the racehorses athletes? Obscene.