Life in the Slow Lane

May 1, 2009

I could watch the Kentucky Derby … or I could bathe in a salt water-filled bathtub lined with barbed wire

Filed under: Sports — pauljlane @ 11:24 am

So all week, I’ve heard plenty of talk about the Kentucky Derby, the “granddaddy” of all sporting events.


Who really cares? There’s not really any sort of horseracing circuit or league, so it’s not like there’s a season or year-long contest (as insipid as NASCAR is, at least it has that) for us to ge to know the horses (as if such a thing were possible).

No one’s heard of these horses before this week, yet the sports pundits try to pontificate on the merits of this one versus that. All of a sudden, everyone’s a horse expert.

Not even the Carolina Hurricanes bandwagon has this many converts.

These horses will race at the Derby, Preakness and Belmont, then they’ll be done with big-time racing. Stud farm, glue factory, whevever. End of story.

And how can people actually get excited about non-humans racing, especially when watching actual humans race is so barely viewable? The horses that have been bred since birth by force to risk their lives for the humans’ benefit go around the track while being whipped, then the human takes the credit while the horse is put back in its trailer, attached to the back of a truck and shipped to the next track.

THIS is fun?

NASCAR falls under the same umbrella – something else does the actual racing, but the human doing the piloting is praised. Absurd.

If it’s the betting aspect of horseracing you like, well, you know that there are baseball, hockey and basketball games to bet on, right? At least with those, the participants choose to push their bodies beyond natural limits. And if you don’t like human sports, they have these crazy things called casinos that would be more than happy to take your money.

So as a good part of the sporting world stops Saturday afternoon to watch 2 minutes of animal abuse, this sports fan will be doing something else – ANYTHING else.



  1. The human gets the credit? Who was the jockey of the horse that won the Derby last year? The trainer? The owner? Now ask 100 people what horse won it, and I bet at least 60 will give you the right answer.

    I know very little about horse racing, and in fact, I rarely watch. However, perhaps you should compare how these horses are treated. If you think they’re abused, you are completely naive.

    Compare a horse farm to a zoo and ask yourself which animal(s) are more abused.

    Comment by cockflavored — May 1, 2009 @ 11:51 am | Reply

  2. I live behind the racetrack in Fort Erie, Ontario. I get to watch these majestic creatures trot along the track from the comfort of my front lawn. And I get to hear the abusive words from the trainers, and I get to hear the horses whinny from being whipped and yanked on in the backstretch. And I get to drive by and see the stables that face the west and allow all the bitter winds and rains to batter the horses. And I know that the horse I just saw will likely wind up being sold for auction because it didn’t win. And I also know that that horse is only 3 or 4 years old.

    Recently, the Fort Erie Racetrack was almost shut down. I was sad to know so many people may lose their jobs, but to not have this industry in my town kind of made me feel a bit better, too.

    “From the start of 2008 until the end of November, Canadian abattoirs slaughtered more than 100,000 horses, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.”

    From my front row seat to the backstretch, where the public rarely sees what happens, I can hear, see and stand witness to the abuse that no doubt is not solely happening at the Fort Erie Racetrack.

    Comment by Amy — May 2, 2009 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

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