LETTER: Horse racing a 'horrifying' spectacle
HORSE RACING'S ever-growing bloodbath continues to shock and horrify even those who profit from it.
Last weekend, a jockey died and two others were seriously injured in a three-horse fall in Warialda in New South Wales, while in Sydney a race was abandoned when another fall saw the horse Almoonqith killed on the track in front of thousands of spectators after he broke a leg.
When even racing commentators describe a horse race as "absolute carnage", it is clear that enough, for this vile industry, is far more than enough.
An average of over two horses per week die on Australian racetracks, usually with little fanfare.
Horses are raced too young and too hard and their bones are not up to the immense impact and stress.
They routinely suffer from injuries, lameness, and exhaustion.
Horses are whipped and forced to run at break-neck speeds.
And to keep them running when they should be resting and recuperating, they may be given painkillers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
All this leads to broken legs and death.
For those horses who manage to survive, few will be retired to grassy pastures.
The vast majority of owners are unwilling to bear the costs of horses who aren't making them money.
Unwanted horses typically are shipped to slaughter.
Any death on the racetrack is tragic and unnecessary.
But at least jockeys have the choice to be involved.
For most of the horses, except for the tiny minority who win big money, there is no choice but a cruel, painful, and untimely death.
Special Projects Coordinator