One of the biggest recent sports stories is the unusually high number of fatal injuries that have befallen horses over the past few months at California’s Santa Anita Race course. And since California is a very liberal state where organizations like PETA have a lot of support, there’s been justified worry that this could trigger legislation that ultimately results in – worst case scenario -- an outright ban on thoroughbred racing in the United States.
This certainly IS a problem that needs serious attention. But the fact is, X number of thoroughbreds are going to break down during their lifetimes no matter what. They’re specifically bred to be fast, and the same breeding factors that make them fast also make them fragile.
Many say, “If that’s the case, we should stop racing them.”
But if we do that, they’ll simply cease to exist. Without the money that thoroughbred racing generates, there would be no incentive for anyone to assume the extreme expense of breeding them.
Despite our most fervent wishes, there won’t be any magical “Thoroughbred World,” where these beauties simply run free and happy year-round simply to entertain families who visit during spring break. They’ll just be extinct. And that would be a shame.
We should surely do all we can to prevent unnecessary on-track deaths. But let’s not let hysteria be the downfall of one of the world’s finest institutions.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.