A case against horse racing and an open line | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A case against horse racing and an open line

Posted By on Sat, Mar 24, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Busy day of piddling and domestic chores for me. How 'bout you?

I'll leave you to it with a link to a chilling New York Times article on horse racing. Twenty-four horses die every week at racetracks around the country, according to the story.

“It’s hard to justify how many horses we go through,” said Dr. Rick Arthur, the equine medical director for the California Racing Board. “In humans you never see someone snap their leg off running in the Olympics. But you see it in horse racing.”

Even some of America’s most prestigious tracks, including Belmont Park, Santa Anita Park and Saratoga Race Course, had incident rates higher than the national average last year, records show.

Why racehorses break down at such a high rate has been debated for years, but the discussion inevitably comes back to drugs.

Laboratories cannot yet detect the newest performance-enhancing drugs, while trainers experiment with anything that might give them an edge, including chemicals that bulk up pigs and cattle before slaughter, cobra venom, Viagra, blood doping agents, stimulants and cancer drugs.

Note, in one of the accompanying charts, that Arkansas is one of only five states that does not require pre-race inspections of horses and doesn't require post-mortem inspections on horses that die during a race or in training.

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