Commentary: Shut Down Of Racing In California Could Lead To Big Aftercare Problem

by | 04.04.2019 | 6:30pm
Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

In the sea of editorials and outrage about the current spike in equine fatalities at Santa Anita Park, one horsewoman points out we may all be overlooking something important.

In a commentary published Thursday on the blog Decidedly Equestrian, writer Rachel Masen points out that while animal rights activists call for an end to racing in California, that eventuality comes with a logistical and animal welfare problem of its own: Where will all those Thoroughbreds go if they suddenly can't run anymore?

The death of racing in California would also deal a swift blow to the state's breeding industry. Surrounding Thoroughbred economies likely couldn't absorb all of California's racing and breeding stock, leaving hundreds or thousands of horses suddenly jobless.

“If the racing industry ends in America…not only will the large majority of race horses and breeding stock horses be at risk, but the breed as we know it will disappear from America,” wrote Masen. “That means no more inexpensive well-bred horses for people without major means to find horses for their sports and leisure. Eventing will suffer. Barrel racing will suffer. Polo will suffer. Dressage will suffer. Therapy programs will suffer. Pleasure riders will suffer.”

Masen encourages readers outside California to make their voices heard in public meetings like the upcoming meeting of the California Horse Racing Board, because major changes or contractions of the Thoroughbred business there will be felt throughout the country.

Read more at Decidedly Equestrian


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