It’s Time for the Tragedy of Horse Racing to End
No one wins in this cruel “sport.”
The deaths of Wild On Ice, Take Charge Briana, Chasing Artie, Parents Pride, Code of Kings, Chloe’s Dream, and Freezing Point in the days leading up to and after the start of the 2023 Kentucky Derby are unnecessary tragedies. They are among dozens of horses killed in the US every year, victims of an archaic and barbaric ‘sport.’
The horses were all five years or younger, their untimely deaths a direct result of being exploited to entertain audiences and bring profit to the gaming industry (a horse’s natural lifespan is 25-30 years).
Two other horses, That Khenny and Loot The Moon, were removed in the middle of races and required medical attention.
Churchill Downs, the name of the facility that hosts the Kentucky Derby, referred to the deaths as “highly unusual” and “troubling incidents.” But it’s hard to buy these statements as anything but posturing and self-preservation given that dozens of horses die in the US during races and training every single year.
Laurel Park, a racetrack in Maryland, closed for several days in April after five horses were euthanized. Data from the New York State Gaming Commission shows that at the Belmont Park facility alone an average of over 40 horses die each year. Tragically, this makes Belmont just the fourth deadliest track in the US during this timespan. In other words, there are three other tracks in the US with even deadlier records.
It’s horrifying. And it’s getting worse. In 2021, 366 horses suffered fatal racing injuries in the US--33 more deaths than in 2020. The 2022 death toll just at Belmont Park was an alarming 98 horses!
Each of these deaths were entirely avoidable. Animals do not exist for us to use and abuse. It’s long past time for horse racing and similar ‘sporting’ events to be eliminated.