I wonder just how long our wonderful sport can survive with our racehorses continuing to break down, causing them to be euthanized?
The debate about the connection of these breakdowns on the tracks and the use of powerful drugs such as Bute and Lasix is irrelevant. Perception is reality, and it is quite clear what the perception of our sport will be if we don't clean up our act immediately.
If you don't believe me, just ask the once-beloved and iconic Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the popular SeaWorld or, better yet, Greyhound racing. The perception was that animals were being mistreated … and the rest is history.
The Ancient Greeks said that the greatest sin is hubris: excessive arrogance, overconfidence and a feeling of self-importance in one's endeavors, which inevitably leads to one's downfall, destruction and demise. Sadly, it is hubris believing that we can keep on giving these beautiful horses the drugs they are getting and thinking that there will be no consequences, especially in light of the recent tragedies that have occurred. It is insanity repeating the same behavior over and over again and then expecting different results.
Those of us involved in racing would be wise to come together and get behind the Horseracing Integrity Act – federal legislation that soon is expected to be re-introduced in Congress – if we are to have any hope at all of prospering, or even surviving.
Given the chaos in California, we should seriously and humbly reconsider our situation and rethink our position.
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