Whipped, Heat Distressed, Vanned Off

Horses, the apologists say, are born to run, love to run; the modern Thoroughbred is the most exquisite of athletes, sleek and powerful, with, most importantly, an instinctive will to compete. Ignore, they continue, the diminutive humans perched atop, for both the jocks and their snapping appendages serve merely as guides. In short, you can’t force a racehorse (or any horse) to do something he doesn’t wish to do.

It matters not whether the above springs from conditioned naivete or deliberate dishonesty. It’s pure, unadulterated bunk. Of course horses are compelled to race, a compulsion that often ends in calamity. Witness Sunday’s 1st race at Fair Grounds, when a 3-year-old named Sweet Basil suffered the following under the guiding Richard Eramia:

After gaining “under a right-handed whip in upper stretch, [she was] switched to a left-handed whip outside the sixteenth-pole, drew alongside the winner late and just missed then pulled up in heat distress and was vanned off.” Whipped with both hands, heat distress, ambulanced off. Chasing – for her jockey and “connections” – a $41,000 purse. The athlete as slave. That is the racehorse.

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4 Comments

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  1. What more can be said when commenting here…what more. Daily these abuses are exposed, and supporters attempt to defend. And what little is exposed is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Sweet Basil, I hope someone comes for you.

  2. Just don’t know what to say anymore. So incredibly sad. Hundreds of racehorses who need a place to go yet the TB breeders continue to do what they do best – breed horses, few of which will ever pay their way. Also, shame on those who babble that most people in racing are caring individuals who truly love their horses yet these same folks put their horses up for sale in claiming races. I guess those babblers enjoy talking out of both sides or their mouths.

  3. Wonder how much Lasix she was given to dehydrate her ??

    As for whipping, there are few if any rules to protect the horse from this terrible abuse. I have seen some dreadful displays that can only be attributed to a brutal mind with one focus, winning as well as venting frustration. Horses suffer and nothing is done about it.
    What a sport !!!

    And, Mary, I despise the claiming game as I have said many times.

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