The Racehorse as Oil Well

Last week, I wrote about the continuing decline of the “foal crop” – the number of new Thoroughbreds coming into the system each year. In a Thoroughbred Daily News article this week, some prominent breeders were asked to weigh in. A few highlights:

Ned Toffey, Spendthrift Farm: “It is certainly concerning and it’s certainly more than a minor blip. When it got to 20,000, that was essentially half of what it was when I first went to work on a Thoroughbred farm. … We are up against it.”

Craig Bandoroff, Denali Stud: “Racing is the engine that pulls the train. Everything is interconnected. More and more there will be fewer horses for racing and that means racetracks will have to run fewer days, have fewer races and have smaller fields.”

Then this: “What percentages of the horses win a race or even make it to the races? Those numbers aren’t good. That’s how I explain our business. We drill oil wells and we get a lot of dry wells and hope we get a couple of other ones that will pay for the failures.”

The racehorse as oil well – just another commodity, another asset to be expended. And what, pray tell, happens to all those “dry wells,” Mr. Bandoroff? He then ends with this warning to his colleagues: “Purses are going up but not because people are betting on horses. I hope we don’t lull ourselves into a false sense of security because we all know what the government giveth the government can take away.”

Exactly. Take away, government. Take away.

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  1. The moral depravity of knowing that they are pushing young and underdeveloped colts and fillies to the point of physical breakdown, hoping that they can get some race winners out of some of those vulnerable young colts and fillies, knowing that the wagering handle is down and knowing that the government subsidies keep this heinous cruelty propped up is repulsive.

    • In our state, Oregon, the # of foals born each year has declined drastically. All government subsidies of any kind should be eliminated for the racing`s ” crooked , crummy, gamboling game.” The oil well analogy is quite descriptive of many breeders attitudes of breeding their horses by the #`s. No thought of how sensitive a being a horse is in their pointing them to such a crummy life experience for the horses they are foaling each year.

  2. Using the term “crop” is terminology used in agriculture. Living things, both plants and animals, are produced in agriculture. There is such a thing as Animal Husbandry in Agriculture, but, sadly, it doesn’t extend to the realm of animals having the right to be treated in a manner in which NEVER causes mental and physical stress and harm to the point of suffering torturous pain and fear.
    Horseracing is Animal Cruelty.
    Even the horses that are designated to pull the caisons in military funeral processions are getting some recognition that their servitude to humans has caused much pain and suffering to these horses. They aren’t racehorses, but they are horses.

    It would be fantastic if CBS NEWS would recognize and report on the suffering and pain and torture that human beings cause to all the different breeds of horses exploited for racing.
    Also, that it is not necessary for horses to be tortured for their service to human beings.

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