Thank you, jo anne, for taking the time to read and comment on my recent post that involved the declining attendance and handle at racetracks. Your passion for the care and welfare of horses is greatly appreciated.
From what I gleaned in your comments, both here and in the Paulick Report, you have a disdain for horse racing fans and have collectively lumped them into an uncaring, unfeeling group of individuals that would prefer to drug, beat, abuse, and finally consume, a horse just to make a few bucks. Well, you've inspired me to step into the Great Abyss of Controversy to share a few of my thoughts regarding your cause.
I'm with you.
Yes, I'm a horse racing enthusiast and I care greatly for the well-being of all racehorses. I think we should get rid of drugs in horse racing, use pink fuzzy slippers instead of whips, and demand that all kill buyers hold hands and fall off the edge of the Earth. And while I'm at it, we should outlaw puppy mills, stop global warming, and end world hunger.
I'm not a horse owner, but I know a number of them, and they genuinely care about the welfare of their animals; they can yammer on endlessly about their horse's personality you'd think that the horse should be booked as a guest on Letterman. Frankly, I'm always delighted to listen to their anecdotes. But it's just as devastating to lose a horse to injury as it is to disease or ailment, including old age. And as you know, horses are not only injured racing and training, but they can do serious harm to themselves in a paddock or when they're turned out.
Your comments also got me thinking about other horses that work for a living. Should we protest the Amish because they use horses to pull buggies and heavy wagons when they could be driving a Prius?
A trainer I know once shared with me some thoughts about racing horses and the allusion of universal mistreatment, "Animals are here for our pleasure, but it's our duty to ensure that we love them and care for them in the greatest manner humanly possible, including after their racing days are over." Kind of spiritual, huh. And she meant it, too - setting up her own horse rescue and rehabilitation operation.
Now, I'm not naïve enough to believe that all trainers and/or owners take good care of their racehorses; I'm sure there is mistreatment, just as there are people who kick their dogs or, worse, kick their children. But we can continue to be vocal and vehement about demanding safety and integrity in the sport, and call for the industry to take a firm stand against horse slaughter. That's an "agenda" we should all agree upon.