Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Farewell to Horse Racing

As some of you know, I am an animal lover. I love the sweet innocence and the keen intelligence that so many different species of animals have. I donate regularly to several different animal charities and I of course have my own beloved dog and two cats. For years I've enjoyed watching the three Triple Crown horse races, held each May and June. I love the beauty and magnificence of these horses and it's exciting to watch them race each other around the track. But I am no longer going to watch these or any other horse races, as it is something that I feel I can no longer support.

Yesterday was the Kentucky Derby, and the horse who came in second was euthanized right there on the track after she broke her two front ankles. What a heart-breaking situation. I'm so glad that I didn't see it happen. I've read before that these races are really tough on the horses. Back in 2004, Smarty Jones just barely lost the Triple Crown, which some sports enthusiasts say is the most elusive trophy in the whole world of sports. I was so disappointed about it for days afterwards. At least he wasn't injured in any of the races and as far as I know he's still alive and well.

Then in 2006, the great horse Barbaro broke down during the second race of the Crown and was eventually put to sleep. Now this happened to Eight Belles yesterday. I can't take it anymore! My heart is too tender to handle it. I just can't watch the races any longer and risk the sadness it may engender, because my empathy and love for animals runs too deep. I hope the professional horse-racing community will do something to make these races easier on the horses. Apparently they also need to improve their breeding practices, which may be a significant factor in why these injuries have been happening. In any case, these beautiful horses are pretty much at the mercy of humans, and we have to do better by them.