Out of their own mouths

Posted on the 31st May 2016

The racing industry often claims that the wellbeing of the racehorses is its top priority. But as these two quotes from industry-insiders show, this is far from the truth.

1) This quote from jockey, Alex Solis, who recently faced a disciplinary panel for his breach of whipping rules.

‘The horses are getting tired and you have to encourage them without getting anybody in danger…my horse got very tired, and that was her first race back. [I hit her a forth time, resulting in a fine] right at the wire…she won by a nose and I know if I wouldn’t have done that, it would have cost me the winner.’

Whilst Solis was before a disciplinary panel in California, the same culture is apparent on both sides of the Atlantic. The racing industry likes to con the public into thinking that horses are hit to keep them and the public safe. However, horses can also be hit for ‘encouragement’, which, according to the British Horseracing Authority, is to ensure a horse ‘is focused and concentrated’ and so that ‘it can perform at its best.’

2) These comments come from celebrated racing insider Charlie Brooks. They illustrate how the pursuit of money can lead to systematic animal abuse: 

‘What has gone wrong on this side of the Atlantic…when demand for horses was riding the economic good times, is that breeders were producing foals from mares that should never have been bred from. Mares which has even the slightest breathing imperfection when under pressure at the end of their races will breed more of the same. It is also true that stallions that have benefited from wind operations have also retired to stud.’

Far from being ‘treated like kings’ as some racing supporters would have you believe, racehorses are exploited and abused for profit.

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