Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Some Things Are Meant to End

Society changes. In virtually all walks of life we see business change along with it. 60 or 80 years ago when much of North America was agri-based, the horse was a tool, a means to an end to help the farm, or help the family.

Today horses are much different in society. I listened to John Campbell today on Trot Radio speak of the horse in much the same way, with respect. He said (paraphrasing) 'It is different now and I think we should get rid of whipping. I am guilty of too much whipping sometimes just like most, but after the mile I say to myself 'that was stupid' the horse was giving me all he could'.

Scanning the news I see that steeplechase racing is looking to be banned in racing mad Australia as early as tomorrow. My opinion? Not soon enough. I abhor that type of racing and I think it has little place in modern racing, or modern society. The public simply does not have the stomach for it.

More than 150 years of jumps horse racing in Australia could come to an end on Wednesday, as officials decide whether to keep the sport alive amid recent horse deaths and rising community pressure.

Three dead horses at a country racing carnival last week triggered an immediate suspension of jumps racing in the southern state of Victoria, one of only two Australian states that hold the sport, pending an emergency review.


Just because it is 150 years old doesn't make it right.

Some things are meant to be done away with, and steeplechases and whipping should be long gone from the racing landscape, in one man's opinion. It's time.

Old becomes new in our picture, courtesy Peter. A new born Peruvian Hanover filly runs with her Abercrombie mom, enjoying spring in Ontario.

6 comments:

Allan said...

Amen Brother!

Ted Grevelis said...

Development to an industrial society from an agricultural society is to the rise of NASCAR and the decline of horse racing.

Makes me a bit nervous and naseous to have written that...

Pull the Pocket said...

Yep Ted, but good to be a realist. We can't move ahead without paying attention to reality. Just because we will never be a mainstream sport again does not mean we have to falter (imo). There have been countless niche businesses that have thrived and will continue to in this world. I sure hope we are one of them.

Anonymous said...

I own miniature horses which train to become "driving horses" pulling carts abd drivers. There are even races for these horses. We carry a whip for safety and corrction. The whip is never used to make the horse trot faster, because, quite simply, it doesn't work that way. When I kiss to my horse and ask him for his top speed, he gives it to me because he is trained to do so. Whipping him would be taken by the horse as a punishment or correction for not obeying a command. I agree with Campbell. It is "stupid" to think whippng a tiring horse is going to somehow magically make him go faster. If anything, I would think it would be discouraging.

G. Rarick said...

There's nothing wrong with steeplechasing when it's done right. In Australia, it's done with a starting gate and the ground is way too fast. In Europe, it's done with a tape/elastic start so the horses know it's not a flat race, and the ground is so forgiving that most falls are benign. The rate of fatal accidents steeplechasing in Europe is still below the rate on the FLAT in America. If we're looking for progress, let's put it in reverse: Train the horses up to their ability WITHOUT MEDICATION. Now THAT would be progress.

Cangamble said...

I have a hard time watching steeplechase races. I get the same queasy feeling sometimes that is comparable to the few times I've seen a loose horse go around the wrong way during a race or in the morning.
They are asking for accidents in steeplechase races.