Barbaro was put down on Monday, and there are still lots of stories about his life circulating in the media. I was brought to tears watching the Preakness that day. I will never forget it. There is nothing worse than watching a horse break its leg and struggle to keep running. My dad trains race horses for a living and I grew up on the backstretch. I have watched thousands of races. I have seen a lot of crashes, thrown jockeys, flips in the paddock, flips in the gates, and fortunately for me the only leg breaks I have seen were from TV and documentaries. I have a lot of problems with the racing industry, but they are correctable.
If I were in charge:
1. Maiden races start at 4 years of age.
2. There would be increased jockey weight allowance.
3. There would be more time off between the races of the Triple
4. There would be a ban on steroids.
5. All tracks in the USA need to put in poly-tracks. California passed a law that poly-tracks needed to be in place by the end of 2007. The rest of the country needs to follow suit.
6. If a horse flips in the gates, they are done. Barbaro broke through the starting gate and a vet passed him that day because the betting pools were too huge to take him out. He should have been scratched.
I was angry about the attempts to save him. I feel the racing industry was under scrutiny and they did what the public demanded, not what was best for Barbaro. He had three breaks on that leg. I thought it was the most inhumane thing they could have done to this champion. When I saw the video of him walking a couple months ago, it made my stomach turn. I knew he was not getting better. I believe he was kept around to harvest his sperm and maybe collect some insurance money. It had nothing to do with making him well. Rest in Peace Barbaro.
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