There is, of course, practically zero accountability in the racing world: A horse who shatters his leg while heading for home is said to have “taken a bad step”; a horse who snaps his neck after colliding with another is called the victim of an unfortunate accident (though sometimes, “the cause of his own trouble”); the collapse and sudden death of a horse shortly after the wire gets quickly buried in the never-to-be-explained “cardiac event” file; a tortuous colic-death is easily dismissed as nature’s cold caprice. Flukes, all – “could happen anywhere.”
So with this as a backdrop, it is hardly surprising that no one within, and few outside of, the industry accepts/assigns blame for the death of an active stud-horse. But we will here. Tuesday, Blood-Horse reported that “well-bred California stallion Sought After, the sire of grade I winner Masochistic, was euthanized…after developing laminitis in both front feet.” (This being Blood-Horse, the article focused on the relative financial successes of his “crops.”) Sought After was 15, which while sounding advanced, is actually about middle-aged in a natural life cycle.
Let’s be clear on this: To Racing, Sought After was but a tool, a means of production. They created him so that he in turn could create others (some of whom undoubtedly shattered legs and snapped necks). They enslaved him. They used him. They killed him. And they did so without once putting him on a racetrack.