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Just The Sports: Barbaro Still Alive

Just The Sports

Friday, July 07, 2006

Barbaro Still Alive

A month and a half after shattering his right hind leg in the Preakness Stakes, Barbaro is still not out of the woods. After a month and a half. Recently, Barbaro, winner of the Kentucky Derby, has developed complications including having to have his cast changed twice, once to replace bent screws and a second time because Barbaro was uncomfortable. In addition, has to wear a supporting shoe on his left leg to protect him against laminitis, a fatal disease brought on uneven weight distribution.

These are just more reasons why Barbaro should have been put down after he suffered that catastrophic injury, just like any other race horse is. Fortunately or unfortunately for him, it occurred on national television and so the owners were forced into trying to save him. Listen, a horse is not a human. No matter how much you may try to attribute human characteristics to a horse in order to rationalize why you like it so much, the truth is a horse is and always will be an animal, and as an animal should not be treated as such.

That is why I watched in disbelief as people left get-well cards and signs for a horse who not only cannot read, but also wouldn't know why there were so many people leaving stuff for him. It was almost comical to watch so many people show compassion to one horse and ignore how dangerous the whole sport of horse racing is.

If anyone really cared about the welfare of Barbaro, then he or she would work to end a sport which is quite literally animal abuse. In order to help make clear the barbarism which is behind the sport of horse racing, I will point you to this site.

Since I do not expect you to read everything on the site, I will provide you with a few highlights.

  • Race horses are trained at too young an age since their bones' growth plates have not yet matured completely.

  • The average race horse lives 5-7 years of their 25 year life span. Compare that to riding horses who live 18-20 years.

  • When horses can no longer race, they are usually sent to slaughterhouses. Not out to the pasture for a lifetime of being a stud. Horses also sustain injuries being transported to these slaughterhouses.

  • Competitive racing at such a young age can cause stomach ulcers, heart murmurs, and bleeding in the lungs at levels not observed in horses worked reasonably.

  • Horses are drugged so that they can race.

While I honestly do not care if Barbaro lives or dies, those people who do consider themselves to be animal lovers would do well to work hard to end the "sport of kings."


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