Horse racing is a cruel sport in which horses are exploited and treated like commodities rather than living beings. They are bred in dangerous ways to try to get faster horses with certain body shapes and sizes. They’re also given performance enhancements with no regard for their health and wellbeing. There are cruel techniques like soring, in which pain is intentionally inflicted on their legs to force them to change their gait. Then after a life of exploitation and mistreatment, they are slaughtered when they are no longer of use to the people in the horse racing world.
Recently, the Santa Anita racetrack has been garnering attention because over 30 horses have died in just a few months. The racetrack has become a prime example of the cruelties and dangers of this “sport” for the animals involved. The recent arrest and charges of a famous champion trainer are also evidence of the horrors of horse racing.
Darren Weir is a popular, Melbourne Cup-winning trainer in Australia, but it’s come to light that he abuses the horses that have earned him his trophies and prizes. He is being charged with “multiple counts of engaging in torturing, abusing, overworking, and terrifying a Thoroughbred racehorse.”
In February, he had already been banned for four years by Racing Victoria officials after it was discovered that he was using illegal devices to give horses electric shocks during training. These devices are called “jiggers” and guess what? The jig is up. Trainers can no longer try to justify their involvement in this cruel sport saying that they take good care of their horses or love the animals when cases like this reveal what happens behind closed doors.
Other men of the horse racing world are also being charged along with Weir on animal cruelty charges. They will all be appearing at the Melbourne magistrates court later this month. We hope they receive the punishments they deserve, but more importantly we hope there are serious repercussions for the horse racing world. Animals should not have to live the way the abused horses do.
If you’d like to speak up for the horses in this terrible sport, you can sign this petition calling for the Santa Anita racetrack, where horses just tragically keep dying without explanation, to be shut down.
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