Friday, February 2, 2007


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.


learninghorses said...

Amen sister!

Julian said...

I agree. Where I work, in a quasi-developing country, welfare organisations criticise some poor farmers for using 2yo draught horse to pull carts - walking, with no-one on their backs. Curious, isn't it, how the money swilling around the racing industry makes it OK to put 2yo horses through the extreme stress of racing.