Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

07 May 2008

Derby Shines The Negative Spotlight On Racing

Very few people take pleasure out of abusing animals. Our furry friends are mostly innocent, honest creatures who bring tremendous joy to our lives. When my cat died last year my family and I cried for a week and I still tear up when I look at the collage of photos we display in his honor. When a person is revealed to be an abuser of animals the immediate emotional reaction is that person is a scumbag. Racing is being called a scumbag everywhere we look today. When people lash out at those that abuse animals it is a valid reaction. However it is not a valid reaction in this case as people with little knowledge are judging racing on the merits of a extreme incident and racing is a very polarizing game where things are always at extremes, good and bad.

Larry Jones loves his horses. They receive the best of care and in return he asks for everything from his horses. Is he wrong to ask for everything? The fact of the matter is that thoroughbred racehorses receive the best of care on a daily basis. In return for asking for everything these horses receive daily baths, legs wrapped in lineament, a coat groomed and brushed to meticulous standards. There is medical care, legs are checked daily, the best food money can buy, daily rubdowns and rest when needed for top tier contenders like Eight Belles. The calls for the ban on racing are completely absurd. A closer looks reveals that the horses are like family to the connections and far from abused. It is a truthless statement is that these horses are abused on a daily basis. They are loved.

We have many people completely uneducated on the most complex of games coming out of the woodwork and pointing fingers at the connections of Eight Belles. Do these people understand the daily life of a thoroughbred and the daily life of the trainer, groom, hotwalker and owner? Greed drives these people? What a ridiculous statement. The fact of the matter is that most owners lose money and are in this for the love of the game. It is truly the greatest game in the world. The life of a trainer is a life of hardship, early mornings, late nights of worry filled with complex lingering questions with vague answers. The trainer operates on a level of passion that would burn most people out in months if not weeks. The grooms have a life of poverty and hardship so extreme that most of not all Americans have opted out of this line of work, leaving it to the only people willing to do the hard work necessary to get horses ready to race, illegal immigrants. Are these people animal abusers who take pleasure in the pain of their horses? They are not animal abusers. It is very easy for Joe Sixpack and Jane Do-gooder to use carte blanche and claim the high moral ground by pointing the finger at those involved with racing. However these accusations made at the Eight Belles connections are invalid and without truth. What happened is unquestionably horrible and unfortunate. The fact of the matter is that it was more accident than abuse.

Racing is a game where everybody gives everything. The owners risk their money on a dream and sometimes lose it all and usually lose most of it. The trainers forsake a normal life to be with the horses and do what they love. The jockeys risk their lives for the love of speed. The best horses like Eight Belles put it all on the line and they do it willingly. All for the joy of speed, the validation that comes with proving you are best, they continue with that game. Yes sometimes the horses do breakdown. Is it worth pushing these horses to extremes to extract the glory, excitement and triumph to endure a few scenes of horrible gore? I do not know. What we do know is that the racing is one of the finest strains of spectator pleasure when everything goes well. But if someone did not want to watch racing due to the small chance of witnessing a breakdown I can understand that.

The entire game is a beautiful spectacle of nature. In nature it is the best that thrives. Racing is a game that reflects nature in its truest sense. To be the best in nature one must give their all, there is no society to protect mediocrity like the protections that people enjoy. Like in nature those that take the biggest risks in racing become boss. Some want to do away with racing for the ugly risks that are inherent with horses giving there all. Leaving us with no great game to follow and just some mediocre games to follow where people wear helmets, pads, complain and there is little glory, passion or excitement. Unfortunately where there is a overabundance of passion, adrenaline, speed and emotion nature extracts a cost. The glory, excitement and triumph is not free. Unfortunately on the biggest of stages a gallant filly who truly gave her all went over the edge in a ugly, gruesome and horrible way. Nature extracted a payment while a champion basked in all his glory mere yards away.

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