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Is horse racing cruel? what do you think?...............

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animals deserve 2 live 2!! animals deserve 2 live 2!! VIC Posts: 11
1 11 Aug 2010
Horse-racing has perhaps the most glamorous image of all so-called animal ‘sports’ (especially when compared to the visually-obvious cruelty of rodeos)… Such is the allure of horse-racing that major race-meets such as the Melbourne Cup are even ‘celebrated’ with public holidays. Socialites spend thousands on designer outfits, champagne flows, and millions of dollars are gambled on the outcome of races.

However, the Makybe Diva’s of the industry are few and far between. What is the life of a race-horse really like? And what of the thousands of horses that fail to ‘make the grade’?.............Write what you think and reply please!

wink
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Shorty Shorty QLD Posts: 479
2 11 Aug 2010
Its disgusting sad

check out this site: http://www.horseracingkills.org/1.htm
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RaV3N RaV3N WA Posts: 2152
3 11 Aug 2010
Yes. Full stop end of story.

Horses that don't make the cut become a cut of meat for our dogs/cats, and now humans in WA.

How can it not be cruel? Being whipped and forced to run as fast as you can while carrying a midget on your back... yeah that sounds like a heap of fun to me....

If you break a bone - you are euthanised. How can life mean so little to anyone?!
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Tanya M Tanya M VIC Posts: 741
4 12 Aug 2010
Hell yes.....I volunteer in equine welfare and I am constantly astounded at the number of "horse lovers" who are fans of racing. You just can't be both.

Aside from the overbreeding, and only a small fraction of those horses making it to the track, and even less having a successful career, leading to so much "wastage", racing causes so many physical and mental issues.

Too much too young: some horses start racing at 2 years old. This means they have been "broken in" and trained even younger. This is equivalent to forcing babies and toddlers into hefty physical training programs. Their bodies are nowhere near fully developed and the strain causes all sorts of skeletal issues.

Bleeding: Over exertion beyond what a horse is built for can sometimes cause bleeding of the lungs. In bad cases the blood comes through the nose. If this happens twice in races, the horse is no longer allowed to race, guess where it most likely ends up....the knackery. This two strikes your out, does not include and bleeding episodes in training, of course. And bleeding can be occurring without it showing itself externally.

Whips and electrocution: Although a banned method, no one is policing the use of electrocution in training. While whips are awful for obvious reasons, electrocution is used as an additional "incentive" to run faster where the horse has learned that the raising of the whip can also mean an electric shock. It is of course hard to know how widespread this method is used, but given the money at stake and the unscrupulous attitude of the industry, it doesn't bode well.

Confinement: Horses need space and a herd. Their number one priority is their own safety. Space and a herd are the two biggest factors in providing this safety. Racehorses are kept in stalls about 22 hours of the day so that their diet and condition can be strictly controlled. This confinement and lack of contact with other horses causes deep psychological issues such as crib biting/windsucking (grabbing onto a surface with their teeth and sucking in air), and weaving (rocking from side to side) out of boredom and anxiety. These behaviours, once established, can be very difficult to eliminate, especially windsucking, which is a highly undesirable trait, meaning the horse has even less chance of prospects after racing.

Retraining: Given the highly-strung environment of racing, these horses need a certain degree of retraining after racing. Many people are not experienced enough to take on an OTTB (off the track Thoroughbred) and provide the required retraining. Quite often people will take one on, thinking they can handle it, only to find they can't, which perpetuates a cycle of moving the horse on to someone else.

Feeding: The feeding regimes for racehorses are quite far removed from a horses natural diet. This can cause stomach ulcers and digestive issues. Thoroughbreds can also be difficult to keep weight on. Perhaps this is just a trait of the breed, but perhaps it is also a result of having screwed up their metabolic system early on in life.

Shoes: The horses hoof is an impressive piece of equipment! The hoof actually flexes when it strikes the ground which helps blood flow about the hoof and pushes blood back through the body. Shoes restrict this flex and flow, so the hoof is unable to perform it's role in blood circulation. I have heard several barefoot trimmers talk of the number of ex-racers they see who have poor hoof condition and small frogs (soft tissue section of the hoof). This is as opposed to Thoroughbreds who have never raced or had infrequent shoeing, whose hoofs tend to be in much better condition.

Bits: In a recent discussion on horse riding you may have read that some people think bits are fine if they are in the right hands. If we take this to be true, then I would say jockeys are the wrong hands. If you watch racing on TV, you will see just how much the jockeys are pulling the reins in tight and horses are putting their heads in the air to try to avoid the bit.

Hmmm....have I forgotten anything??
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AmeliaJ AmeliaJ QLD Posts: 164
5 12 Aug 2010
Tanya M said:
Bits: In a recent discussion on horse riding you may have read that some people think bits are fine if they are in the right hands. If we take this to be true, then I would say jockeys are the wrong hands. If you watch racing on TV, you will see just how much the jockeys are pulling the reins in tight and horses are putting their heads in the air to try to avoid the bit.
Good explanation Tanya... the short answer to the question for me is YES

Re the bits, they're taught to lean on the jockey's weight to run faster.... which makes retraining all the more fun. Rein pressure= go, leg pressure= go, whip= go. Everything means GO for about 2-3 years of their life, then for the other 15+ years they can be quite troubled....

And let's not get started on harness racing- even harder to retrain. Great horses- often quieter than thoroughbreds- but many of them have lost their natural paces, so the wastage for them is even higher.

And jumps racing----- probably the worst of all. sad
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Ellim Ellim United Kingdom Posts: 480
6 12 Aug 2010
Yes, it is cruel.  (As is it's oft forgotten 'cousin' greyhound racing.)

I think Tanya has covered all the major points.
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Kickin ASS 4 Da Animals Kickin ASS 4 Da Animals VIC Posts: 2
7 12 Aug 2010
horse racing is very cruel, jumps racing is even worse. Both horse and rider can get injured juring the races and also juring training
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...2 ...2 WA Posts: 2307
8 12 Aug 2010
Shorty said:
Its disgusting sad

check out this site: http://www.horseracingkills.org/1.htm
Oh my god... this site has left me and my friend absolutely appalled and disgusted. sad
Ugh.
I hate horse racing even more now.
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Tanya M Tanya M VIC Posts: 741
9 12 Aug 2010
AmeliaJ said:
Tanya M said:
Bits: In a recent discussion on horse riding you may have read that some people think bits are fine if they are in the right hands. If we take this to be true, then I would say jockeys are the wrong hands. If you watch racing on TV, you will see just how much the jockeys are pulling the reins in tight and horses are putting their heads in the air to try to avoid the bit.
Re the bits, they're taught to lean on the jockey's weight to run faster.... which makes retraining all the more fun. Rein pressure= go, leg pressure= go, whip= go. Everything means GO for about 2-3 years of their life, then for the other 15+ years they can be quite troubled....
Good point, Amelia. I was actually referring more to when the horses are in the ring, being led to the starting gates and waiting to go in the gates, and on the way back to the winners circle, rather than during the actual race, because at these other times the jockeys are having to hold them back and the pulling on their mouths is atrocious.
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Tanya M Tanya M VIC Posts: 741
10 12 Aug 2010
AmeliaJ said:
And let's not get started on harness racing- even harder to retrain. Great horses- often quieter than thoroughbreds- but many of them have lost their natural paces, so the wastage for them is even higher.
Another excellent point. Standardbreds (trotters and pacers) are not popular as riding horses at all, so their fate is virtually a foregone conclusion from the day they are born. And I can't stand all that gear they have to have attached to them in the harness races, particularly the pacers.
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