Eight Belles’ unfortunate and untimely death in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) has led to enormous criticism of our sport. It has also reminded many of us in the Thoroughbred business of our own significant losses and the pain those losses bring. On the heels of other tragedies in racing (Ruffian, Go for Wand, and Barbaro immediately come to mind) and eventing (the Rolex three-day event at the Kentucky Horse Park the weekend before the Derby was marred by the death of two horses and the serious injury of one rider), there is growing concern for the future of equine sports. Some of us feel compelled to defend equestrian sports in general and horse racing in particular. Our critics ask: How can these losses be justified?Continue reading...
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