The Kentucky Derby, one of the most prestigious horse races, has claimed the lives of as many as seven horses. Some died under suspicious circumstances, with doping not being ruled out. A trainer was suspended indefinitely on Friday after two of his horses died. Sad facts reignite the debate about canceling horse racing.
The eyes of the equestrian world were on the Kentucky Derby this past weekend. 150,000 people descended on Churchill Downs in Louisville, USA, but it was by no means a sporting high mass. The event was overshadowed by the deaths of seven horses. Five of them lost their lives in the lead-up to the race, and two horses died on the day of the race itself. And that’s right before the start of the main event.
Horse trainer Safey Joseph Jr. was suspended indefinitely on Friday after two of his horses died “very unusual deaths.” The exact circumstances are not yet known. Incidents that raise the necessary questions. Also with Wayne Basil, Chairman, Animal Wellness Action. “Anyone who knows anything about equestrian sports will find it very unlikely that 4- and 5-year-old horses would fall off after a race. It wasn’t that they were injured. It is so incredible that everything points to a trainer who did something to endanger the animals.” “.
Then there are the horses that died on Saturday. The cause of death is also still unclear. They were wounded, after which they were mercifully killed. The autopsy should be final.
In 2019, the equestrian world was rocked by more than 30 track deaths at Santa Anita, California. Then new rules were put in place in favor of horse health. There also had to be an end to confusing doping rules, which differed from state to state. Part of the new legislation went into effect last summer. But all kinds of lawsuits ensured that no other anti-doping rules were introduced until recently.
Animal rights activists are increasingly calling for horse racing to be abolished. Wayne Basil realizes that such a thing is not realistic. “Horse racing is a big industry in the United States. There are many jobs associated with it. They will always be there. We just have to make sure that we can let the horses race in a safe environment.”
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