This is Emtech, and I’m going to voice my opinion. The horse is an unnecessary animal. Every horse is on this earth for human entertainment – Thoroughbred, Tennessee Walking Horse, Quarter Horse, Clydesdale, etc. Except the wild ones (and they won’t be around if the BLM has their way next year – say goodbye to the Mustang), all horses are here for the pleasure of humans. They serve no purpose otherwise.
When I hear people calling for the end of racing because they don’t like animals being used for entertainment, this is what I think of. The horse should be eliminated entirely because its only purpose in the modern world is for the entertainment and enjoyment of humanity. Like the domesticated dog and cat (who serve the same purpose), the horse has no reason for existing except for our enjoyment. Does that mean I want the animal eliminated? No. Is that what they mean? No. Yet, that is what will happen once people begin to realize that the horse has no purpose beyond our own entertainment. The horse will slowly become obsolete and go extinct. Sure, it won’t be overnight, but it will happen.
The Thoroughbred runs because we breed them to. The Clydesdale pulls because we put them to the task. The Quarter Horse does barrel runs because we ask them to. Even a trail horse is there for human entertainment. However, like understanding the difference in dog breeds, one must also understand the difference in horses. A Thoroughbred generally doesn’t make the best pleasure horse, though in some cases they can be turned out in a pasture, with no job, and do okay. However, few have the money to sustain a horse just to look at, let alone enough to make a herd, so at least their pasture horse has a friend or two. They are herd animals, after all. With nowhere to race, most thoroughbreds have one ending – the kill pen. That is a solid fact.
So, call for the end of racing. Where will the horses go? Will you take one, five, ten? There are hundreds of thousands of Thoroughbreds in the US alone who will have absolutely no reason to live if there is no racing. Without the SAFE Act, most of those horses will go to slaughter and die. I’m not okay with that. I’m not okay with racing the way it is either. However, if you call for the end of racing with no plan for the horses, you are calling for the end of the Thoroughbred breed, because the majority will go to slaughter.
I an not okay with that.
The wild ones will not be here much longer, if the BLM has their way. The Thoroughbred will go extinct if it has no place, because there will be no reason to breed. Perhaps though it is time for the horse to leave this earth. They are too good for us, and we have no reason for them anymore. We cannot afford them, we cannot keep them safe, and we cannot stop what our government does to them. They are a throwaway animal, useless, but we love them. Those on the backside love their horses. The trainers (for the most part) love their horses. The fans love their horses. We cry when they die, no matter the reason. For one of the best examples, see Conquest Typhoon. We all fell in love with him after San Luis Rey, and hearing of his death broke all our hearts.
I love horses. I love ALL horses. I cannot protect them all. I cannot save the ones who die on the track, who die in the barns, who die in the pastures, who die of neglect or abuse, or who die while being rounded up by helicopter by our own government. I cannot adopt any horse from a kill pen. Reform will help, with horses that should be rested being rested before running, better detection and rehab of injuries, and maybe even the cure for laminitis (we can only hope!). But if, by the end of this piece, you are still calling for the end of racing and the end of all horses for human entertainment, I ask you, are you okay with the extinction of the horse itself? Because if you cannot ride, if you cannot view the world from the back of a horse, no one will want them anymore. It will be the end, but it will be bitter and cruel, because no one really cares about the horses, do they?