Thursday, April 9, 2009

Having a Passion for What is Right

Foolish Pleasure today:

Horse racing doesn’t need we bloggers to give it a black eye. Through its archaic attitudes and insular fiefdoms, general (and pervasive) lack of respect for horseplayers and fans through high take-out rates and lack of free access to the most basic past performance information, tolerance of medicinal abuse by successful trainers backed by wealthy hedge fund investors and disbarred lawyers convicted of scamming clients, stories of horrific animal abuse by prominent owners and collusive tolerance for broken down claimers sent quietly to slaughter—the sport is doing a fine job of self-destruction.

The passion is palpable, as it is with many fans in this sport. Why? The easy answer is that most are horse owners, bettors, or horse lovers who want to see everyone treated with respect and the game grow. But that is a White House press secretary answer, not the real one.

If you get sick to your stomach when you see a horse break down, you are one.

If you see a trainer get sent packing for EPO or animal abuse and you want him never to train again, you are one.

If the phrase 'kill pen' is one that makes you quiver, you are one.

If are tired of the gambling world passing our game by, you are one.

If it disheartens you to the core when a fly-by-night training operation is given horses by the who's who of the business with zero due diligence, while a talented, ethical horsemen can barely put food on his table, you are one.

If you believe that when someone buys a horse he/she has a responsibility to keep that horse safe by choosing the right people to take care of it, and to be responsible for it when its racing days are over, you are one.

What are you? You are a someone with a deep passion for horse racing.

And our game needs more of you.

3 comments:

Allan said...

I've said it before and I will say it again. If we don't clean our own house, PETA will. Just look at greyhound racing in the US (Massachussets being the latest).

Colins Ghost said...

Outstanding! Count me as one...

Valerie said...

Thanks for the link, and support! I know it is like preaching to the choir when we write things like this, but sometimes I just need to vent. :)

The real problem is, how in the world can we as fans affect real change? Someone on one of the forums I scan every morning may have hit the nail on the head—in the pocketbook. You cannot guilt people into good behavior, particularly those who have no ethics or moral code, but also those who are satisfied with the status quo. The only attention getter is in hurting them financially, and that requires we horseplayers to discipline ourselves and not bet on racing. Of course, that is likely impossible to do, but, boy, wouldn’t it make a statement if this year, not one red cent was bet on the Kentucky Derby?

Or how about the states withholding slots money and other public funding until the sport cleans up its act?