Admire Rakti and Araldo are two horses that people most likely have heard of, following their deaths at the Melbourne Cup this year. One having to be put down following an accident after the horse spooked, resulting in him kicking out and injuring his leg and the other fatal heart failure.
Broken legs and heart failure are unfortunately a common thing for the horses that become collateral damage in this huge industry where many horses do not even make it to training and even more then fail to make it to the race track.
Racing is probably the worse end of the scale in terms of the cost of life and the terrible implications when our desires, overrule the basic rights of another. In an industry so heavily led by money, the cost of life becomes so little. Over breeding is rife in the hope of a 'winner' being born and over training of young, undeveloped horses common place.
Most people know there are issues with the racing industry but very few know of the full scale of the impact that it has and how many horses end up being slaughtered due to injury, or because they simply don't make the grade.
It makes you wonder how far we are willing to go; how much we are willing to push and risk for our own gain?
On the other end of the scale the domestic horse owner will tell you how much they love their horse but ask many of them if they would keep their horse if it became unable to be ridden and many will answer that they wouldn't or couldn't keep their horse if they couldn't 'use them'.
It makes you wonder then if horse racing industry is just the more severe end of a distorted relationship where horses lives are only as valuable as the usage that we can get out of them.
If we all as horse owners and horse lovers changed our view does it not then become possible for the horses lives as a whole in every country and in every discipline where horses are worked or competed to improve? Racing shows us there is an issue but it is one that runs through horsemanship as a whole and one that we can all take steps to change.