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Horse Racing’s Shame — And Ours


Horse Racing’s Shame — And Ours

John Morlino

One horse was already dead as Pramedya saddled up for the fourth race of the 2016 Preakness Stakes, an annual Triple Crown race held in Baltimore. Unlike Homeboykris, who died of apparent heart failure after winning the first contest of the day, she wouldn’t even reach the finish line.


Last year, after becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 37 years, American Pharaoh's owners couldn't just say "Magnificent job, well done" and let him retire to stud.

No, they lovingly put him at Risk on Three More Occasions.


1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand ended up slaughtered in Japan.


Thanks for the reminder. We are all animals and i want to remember that more of the time.


Not quite. A boxer has choice. The animals exploited for man's amusement and profit have no choice. I hate these people and would gladly put them in dungeons for their entire miserable lives.


Thank you John Morlino for a fine written piece.


The deaths did NOT happen in the Preakness. They happened in other races at the track the same day.

This story uses the Preakness enhance the outrage at an entirely legitimate and important problem: the exploitation of animals for human entertainment and profit. BUT, it is done through lying about the circumstances of the deaths.

The only reason to use the Preakness should have been to establish when and where the deaths occurred, and honest journalism could have done that.


The human relationship to horses and dogs is mind-boggling, when one considers how much these animals contributed to civilization. It was first through the exploitation of horses that white Europeans were eventually able to colonize and exploit the globe. Mistreatment of animals is far too commonplace on individual and national levels, but the mistreatment of horses and dogs in particular is too overwhelming for this animal lover.

In the clip, Pramedya stumbles awkwardly along the infield fence, her fractured leg dangling grotesquely in front of her.

I couldn't watch the clip; the words alone brought tears to my eyes.


Yes, race horses, polo ponies, and show jumpers die in training, and on the job. It's sad to see, and sadder still to witness directly. As a former polo player and stable employee. I saw several horses die, some from heart failure, some as the result of fractured legs. I had a horse which, from time to time, had to use pain-blocking medication in order to be able to play polo. There were other horses which were fine animals, yet a bit small for their riders, who succumbed to over-use in hot weather, and died of heart failure. Eventually, my horse, given to me for Christmas by my employer, had minor surgery on his forelegs to remove broken splint bones. His pain thereby relieved, we continued to play polo for years. Horses, by nature, are more fragile than we like to admit. They spend their lives walking and running, on the equivalent of their middle finger nails, pounding the ground, piston-like, on narrow legs, with complex bone. tendon, and ligament structures. The horses in the Triple Crown series are babies- three years old - and most live long, healthy lives. I personally played polo on horse that had been played for 20 years before being "retired" to riding classes. They were beautiful, affectionate, and hard-working animals, but horses are not pets. They are working animals, sometimes engaged in strenuous or even dangerous activities. Yes, they live, work, and die, sometimes needlessly. That's no reason to ban racing. That's another reason to train and use them lovingly and ethically. Horse racing is heavily regulated, as are equine sports in general, and unethical owners, rider, grooms, and trainers can quickly get not only bad reputations, but can also be driven out of the business by their peers.


"As you do unto the least of mine, you do also unto me." -- Jesus Christ

Horse racing is, and always has been, a cruel and inhumane "sport" that too often results in the crippling and/or death of the horses and/or jockeys. It should be outlawed!!!


Very clever remark. ....like you don't know what I'm getting at.