For the love of horses, I’m boycotting the Triple Crown this year. There will be no watching the Derby, Preakness, or Belmont in this house.
- The thoroughbred industry is one of the most irresponsible breeders in the country. Each year, thousands of foals are born, tested for speed, and wasted. Men and women of the Sport of Kings breed with impunity. Horses are their easy, experimental crops. Dan James, of Double Dan Horsemanship has seen it first-hand. He told me:
“I think the thoroughbred industry needs to become a little more responsible for the number of horses that are being produced each year… What are they going to do for the rest of their lives?” Dan James
- Some trainers and jockeys are no better than the scoundrels of soring in the walking horse industry. As has been widely reported, they’ve been secretly abusing them with electric shocks during training sessions and competitions. Read more.
- Drugging horses continues, despite condemnation by politicians and the public. Drug testing and compliance is likely more restrictive for cows than it is for thoroughbreds. Read more.
- ROI (Return On Investment) is more important than proper horse development. Why else would babies be running at the tender age of two years? That kind of intense activity is too much for young horses, athletically AND mentally, say the authors of Evidence-Based Horsemanship.
- Recently, I watched an excellent short documentary of nurse mare foals. These days-old thoroughbred foals are stripped from their mothers, so the mares can serve other foals with higher racing potential. Hundreds of foals are cast aside. Some have been rescued. Like the aforementioned abuses of thoroughbreds, the practice goes unchecked. Watch the video.
- The industry does a nice job of contributing to thoroughbred rescues and agencies. But the charitable efforts are self-serving. It’s their Tide detergent for image laundering.
The industry has no incentive to amend their harmful practices. And I’m not counting on politicians or law enforcement to affect any meaningful change. Adopting a thoroughbred is a nice gesture and bless those non-profits for all the lives saved.
But if breeding is a running hose, rescuing simply diverts the flow. Better to turn off the faucet and pressure the industry to rein in breeding and treat their charges more humanely. Better to not watch in hopes that less viewing translates to fewer dollars.
Their practices are not what’s best for the horse. They are not BestHorsePractices.