Horse racing is a sport where two or more horses race to the finish line. There are various rules for determining the winner of a race, including photo finishes and dead heat rules, but if the first two horses break the plane of the finish line at the same time, one of them is pronounced the winner.
Those who bet on the race usually cheer for the horses they believe are likely to win. They do this because they like to watch the action and feel the excitement.
At the start of a race, bettors often look at a horse’s coat to determine whether or not it’s ready for the track. A bright, rippling coat is a good sign. Bettors also like to see a horse’s legs. If they’re covered with blue bandages, it’s a good sign that the horse is not in pain.
A thoroughbred can weigh up to twelve hundred pounds, so trainers often put them through rigorous workouts before a race. They’re given multiple medications, including steroids and banned drugs. In some cases, they’re whipped to make them perform at their peak level.
This behavior can lead to injuries and, in rare instances, death. The racing industry and its supporters claim that this practice is necessary to maintain the sport’s high standards.
But the reality is that the industry has not acted responsibly toward its animals, and its practices have hurt the racing community more than they’ve helped it. And the industry’s lack of accountability and its fecklessness in regulating itself have allowed performance-enhancing drugs to proliferate and remain legal.
In the United States, for example, there are more than thirty races a year that involve drugs, and only a few of those are tested by state regulators. And even those tests don’t always detect the drugs that a horse might be taking.
So if we want to stop the use of performance-enhancing drugs, we have to go beyond regulating the sport. We need to do something about the culture within racing.
Many people in the industry believe that this approach will not work, but it’s time to take a stand. It’s time to make racing into a socially responsible industry that protects its athletes.
Activists are calling for reform, and they’re not alone. Among them are animal rights advocates, veterinarians, and scientists who work with horses.
These activists believe that the practice of doping has serious health and welfare issues. They have uncovered video of horses receiving multiple medications, and they have documented the results.
They have also documented the deaths of some animals as a result of this practice. In fact, PETA estimates that ten thousand American thoroughbreds die each year from racing-related injuries.
It is a complex issue that involves veterinarians, race track officials, and the public. But it is an important one. It is one that has been ignored for too long, and it is one that needs to be addressed if the sport is to continue.