No More Horsing Around!

April 14, 2019
Rennett Stowe from USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
Many sports feature both animals and humans, like equestrian, bull riding, and dog sledding. But unlike humans, animals can’t speak up for themselves and fight for their rights when they’re competing in sports. That’s why some people help fight on their behalf. Recently, a number of thoroughbred horses at the Santa Anita Park, a famous horse racetrack in Southern California, have been injured and later euthanized because their injuries were so severe. As a result, the track was closed for a few weeks to investigate the problem. Before the track was re-opened, rules were put in place to increase the safety of the horses and riders. For example, horses are no longer allowed to be medicated on the day of the race (some medications hide existing injuries), and jockeys (or those riding the horses) will be limited in how often they can use their whips. Unfortunately, despite these new rules, another horse was injured recently. Now the questions on everyone’s minds are why, and what else needs to be done to prevent more horses from being injured?

What can be done to make the sport of horse racing safer for both the horses and riders?