Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘Preakness Stakes’

Are the Kentucky Derby horses abused animals? Here’s what you may not know about horse racing.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 11, 2012

Again, here is an issue about which many – if not most – are unaware.

Did you know, that on average, 24 horses a week die at racetracks in the United States?

Would you inject cobra venom in your pet?

Would you deliberately numb its pain just so it could race and possibly win?

What if afterward it breaks its legs and must be destroyed?

“Since 2009, more than 6,600 horses have broken down or showed signs of injury. An additional 3,800 horses have tested positive for illegal drugs. That figure underestimates the problem because few horses are tested for substances. At least 3,600 horses have died either racing or training at state-regulated tracks.”

At what cost winning?

A Derby Win, but a Troubled Record for a Trainer

May 10, 2012 By and

Last summer, the trainer Doug O’Neill was formally sanctioned after one of his racehorses at Hollywood Park in California tested positive for illegal drugs.

A year before, in 2010, O’Neill was punished for administering an illegal performance-enhancing concoction to a horse he ran in the prestigious Illinois Derby— the third time he had been accused of giving a horse what is known as a milkshake. Four months later, he was accused again of giving a milkshake to a horse in California.

Doug O’Neill, in this 2006 photo – trainer for 2012 Kentucky Derby winner “I’ll Have Another” – has been cited for giving drugs to his horses. (photo by Chris Carlson/Associated Press)

Over 14 years and in four different states, O’Neill received more than a dozen violations for giving his horses improper drugs. O’Neill’s horses also have had a tendency to break down. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the horses he trains break down or show signs of injury at more than twice the rate of the national average.

But none of it — the drug charges or the rate of damaged horses under his care — has much impeded O’Neill’s rise in the ranks of racing, and so there he was last Saturday, saddling I’ll Have Another, the surprising 3-year-old who won the 138th Kentucky Derby.

O’Neill’s Derby victory places him — and his troubled record — center stage at a time when thoroughbred racing is facing perhaps its greatest ethical reckoning. There is legislation before Congress calling for federal regulation of the sport. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has appointed a task force to investigate a spike in the number of catastrophic breakdowns at Aqueduct Racetrack, which races thoroughbreds.

Industry groups representing breeders, owners and racetracks are proposing new drug rules and integrity measures to better protect the horses and riders.

“I have been guilty of Read the rest of this entry »

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