Being an animal lover, and in my naïveté, I always held the view that while the horses in the world of horseracing worked hard for their owners and trainers, at least they were looked after and cared for. Not a bad life for a horse, I thought. And after the horse finished its racing career, it would retire to have some fun with those fillies out there to produce an heir or two to carry on the father’s racing legacy or the horse would simply spend its old age grazing and having a peaceful life in a lovely, green paddock. I should have known better!
I must have been hiding under a rock all these years because I missed the number of deaths that befall these beautiful animals year after year (fatalities run in the thousands) as a result of injury on the track or at the hands of owners when they no longer have use for the horse.
The painful part is that while the winner of the race was being congratulated, or rather the jockey, owner and trainer—never mind about the horse that won them millions of dollars—Admire Ratki collapsed within 5 minutes after being taken to his stall and died of a massive heart attack. To add insult to injury another horse, Araldo, got spooked because some brainless female spectator waved a flag near the horse and spooked him to the point where the horse kicked a steel running rail and fractured a cannon bone as he thrashed out in fright. Needless to say, the horse suffered injuries to the point where he had to be put down.
Meanwhile, the big party for the victorious winner went on and people kept eating, drinking and making merry while only a short distance away two purely beautiful creatures were destroyed.
Of course, when the event of the two deaths hit the news every excuse under the sun was given as to why Admire Ratki died. “We don’t know until we perform a post mortem”, “It looks like a heart attack, but the post mortem could take weeks until we see exactly what killed the horse’, “The horse suffered from a rare kind of heart fibrillation that can also afflict athletes", "No one knows why”, “Horses push themselves as a matter of instinct” (yeah, right!), on and on. But no one actually said that the poor horse was obviously run to death by its greedy owner so they could win the Cup plus all the goodies that come with it, namely money, money, fame, money and more money.
And what of the idiot woman who spooked the other horse? Apparently she was hoisted up in the air by her equally idiot partner waving the Aussie flag, practically at the horse’s face. I mean, who can be so ignorant as to do this to an animal that’s under stress from running a huge race, nervous due to the buzzing crowds, and tired beyond endurance?
Now, albeit too late, it looks like flags are going to be banned from races, horses will be led through a private gateway back to the stalls and away from the crowds once they finish a race, and so on and so forth. Always acting after disastrous events but never being proactive. This is the truth about human nature. The woman and her partner, when confronted by other race goers as to why they should wave the flag in front of the horse defended themselves by saying they were there to celebrate. Celebrate what? Killing a horse? Perhaps they would change their tune if someone threatened to celebrate their own deaths after being put down for that major disease that has gripped our wicked world since the beginning of time--stupidity.
Why is it that everything humans touch they destroy? We’ve destroyed our planet with wars, famines, disease, global warming, factory farming, abuse of animals, women and children, and a whole host of terrible tragedies—all in the name of power, pride, the twisted ideology of religion or simply plain, old-fashioned evil.
We are all guilty of something to a certain extent. And if you’re honest and look within your heart, I think you will agree. But there are different degrees of horrible qualities in all of us, and there are many people who do care and try to make a difference.
As humans we should have compassion and think of others, we should at least try to do something that will make a difference to another human, animal, and Mother Nature. I hope one day we can all realise this, although I’m not holding my breath that this will ever happen.
As for animal abuse, racing horses (and other helpless animals) endure cruelties because humans use them for their own ends—this is something that will sadly still go on, at least in my life time.
Animal rights groups will keep on fighting for the banning of horseracing. Unfortunately, a race that brings in $800m to a nation isn’t going to make this easy for horse liberation somehow. As long as the power that money brings in is "King" there will always be suffering in what could otherwise have been a great planet to live in.