We've seen - since last spring - many tweets or articles or columns echoing much of the same from disparate areas of the public. It's certainly been rough.Winogrand is a vocal, documented PETA opponent, yet takes the same stance. The equine body count will not be ignored by MSM & animal welfare advocates. https://t.co/bA3Kw5wcyv— Teresa Genaro (@BklynBckstretch) October 9, 2019
Western society is generally pretty fair (if you don't use social media or political fringes as your yardstick). It tolerates quite a bit, quite frankly. We tolerate things that are bad for us because not being free to do them is considered worse. We tolerate automobile deaths, deaths by alcohol, guns, airplanes and many other things.
When it reaches a certain level it becomes more of a concern. But with all of those things that level is never zero.
Horse racing, in my view, is not in that same place.
Since the spring, to many, the "equine body count" is supposed to be zero. Even horse racing has talked about it - when Del Mar had no on track breakdowns during its last meet, it was trumpeted. That, I think, is shortsighted. Horse racing's zero expectation can never be met.
If this was deemed more of a problem several years ago and there was a plan to get it to an "acceptable" level, things would be better; the zero expectation would not exist. But, for whatever reason, it wasn't tackled with near the urgency it should have been.
I believe horse racing needs to do its best to flip the argument. The public and politicians realize horse racing is an athletic game with 1,000 pound animals carrying 100 pound jocks. They will accept a certain level of danger (and yes, death).
It's above my pay grade to offer a solution to a problem that has been ignored and gone on for so long. Plus, I'm a dude with a blog. But, showing improvement in the numbers and conditioning the public the number will never be zero could be wise. Playing the political expectation game might be all the sport has left.
Have a nice Wednesday folks.