The short answer is yes, but there is more than meets the eye.
First, many horses are abused, exploited and even killed in the track, and even more so in the show ring because of the high costs for training, which are often paid by an event’s owners.
The horse’s welfare, health, and overall health, is put to a far lesser test in the show ring because it has no real competition.
And when it comes to the horses’ health, they don’t take the same precautions when they enter a race to get better performance. Many horses have a bad case of rhabdomyolysis, which occurs when muscles don’t get enough blood for the body to function. It results in infection, and death. So horses that do get rhabdo, while it may have been preventable, are often left to die, and the owners are often held liable.
That puts even the best care efforts to a low standard because that’s what happens when your body has to fight against nature and nature can only fight back.
It’s even worse when other people do the horse’s job for him. For one, the more time horses spend out of a race, the lower their chances of surviving. And in the first place, race-day officials have every incentive to give the horses all they can.
On top of all that, the show ring has the largest number of spectators in all racing events compared with professional competition. Most events attract thousands of spectators who spend a significant amount of time in and around the racecourse, and most of them don’t know very much about racing.
The last thing a horse owner would want is their young and cute horse to be mauled for reasons that are far, far away. In order to keep the horses healthy and not suffer unnecessary death or severe injuries, it makes sense to put those in as few situations as possible.
So what is the answer?
The answer, as stated, is not that people should not be at race tracks but they should take an additional step to make their track safer. The real answer is something that involves much more than race-day care. We can’t even start to talk about how to change the system because it involves many, many aspects that most of us will never be able to understand and understand how they work until we try them ourselves. But the key thing is that no matter how you run your own horse’s life—whether you run it
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