The Truth About Horse Racing

Horse racing is a centuries-old sport that has played an important role in many cultures, including Ancient Greece, Egypt, Babylon, Syria and Rome. It was in these times that horses began to be harnessed to two-wheeled carts called chariots and began to race one another. This was a precursor to the modern horse race, which is typically run on a flat track and features a single, out-and-out race in which there can be only one winner. The modern horse race is a thrilling and engaging experience for spectators, but it can be quite difficult for the horses to win.

Horse races are won by a jockey riding a horse. The rider is known as a jockey or a jockey’s mount and must navigate the course in a safe manner, jumping any hurdles that are present (if there are any) and arriving over the finishing line first. There are three ways to place bets on a horse race: betting to win, placing and betting to show. Betting to win involves placing money on a horse to finish first and will usually pay much higher than bets to place or show, which are placed on second and third place finishes, respectively.

In addition to being a dangerous sport for human competitors, the horse race is an extremely grueling competition for the horses. Many of these animals are pushed beyond their physical limits, with the result being that they will frequently bleed from their lungs. This condition is known as exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, and it can be deadly for horses. It is for this reason that most horses are routinely given cocktails of legal and illegal drugs, both to mask the bleeding and to enhance their performance.

While the vast majority of horsemen and women are honest and devoted to their profession, there is a small, feral minority who will do anything to win and sully the integrity of the game. This group is so dominant within the industry that it has skewed the entire sport into a state of corruption and incompetence. It is for this reason that when a story like the one in the New York Times or a video released by PETA comes out, it is met with a chorus of skepticism and empty platitudes from those within the industry.

While the horse race has a rich and storied history, it can begin to be considered a legitimate sport only once it addresses its inherent cruelty and begins putting an end to the exploitation of its horses. Until then, the horses are doomed to continue to race, bleed and die at an alarming rate. It is a sport in which the best-intentioned individuals sabotage their own good intentions with self-serving denial and obfuscation. This is why serious reform is so desperately needed. This must start with the establishment of an industry-sponsored wraparound aftercare solution for all ex-racehorses who will, without it, hemorrhage into the slaughter pipeline, where they are charged arbitrary ransoms and then shipped off to their deaths.