Another One Down

Yet again, at a major race event, this time the Melbourne Cup, a horse takes a serious fall, this time breaking its shoulder and resulting in euthanasia.

Cliffs of Moher was a was a bay colt of very uncertain ownership…

This in itself is serious enough, but the whole story goes further on realising that this horse was just 4½ years old. He started his ‘career’ in a seven furlong (1.4 km) race at the age of just 2½.

To be able to race a horse at this age, it means starting training very early and him being under the saddle at barely 2 years of age. An abominable practice condoned not only by an industry that earns billions of dollars/pounds/euros a year, but by countless countries that refuse to crack down on this abuse of animal welfare, oft because the revenues on betting are enormous.

And we hear everyone saying that the riders, trainers, stablehands etc ‘love the horses’ – well, maybe they do, but they certainly don’t respect them.

A Safe Start – The Reality of Training Early

Race to the Death

So, the verdict is out on the 2012 Grand National at Aintree. Everything possible had been done to insure a safe race. A result no doubt welcomed by organisers, authorities, owners and trainers alike. Sadly, it does not help Synchronized nor According to Pete, the two horses that died in the race; nor does it do anything for the three horses that had to be destroyed during the Cheltenham Festival.

It is a terrible contrast when one sees how much money is involved in the “Sport of Kings” and compares it with the hardships being experienced by “ordinary” horse owners in this time of financial crisis. Having to have your horse destroyed because you cannot afford the upkeep and there is no other way out is heart rending. That is not to say that there is no emotion involved in the destruction of a valuable racehorse, but ultimately it is a business matter and that is that.