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Thread: Kentucky Derby runner up is euthanized on the track after breaking ankles

  1. #16
    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    I guess the same way it's moral & ethical that we eat them, use them for leather, to pull things, to entertain us in various ways... Dunno. I just don't see horse racing as any worse than any of that. And I for one, DO "give a shit" if those people care about the horses, since you asked.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCkissesx View Post
    Can anyone tell me why the horse had to be euthanized because of fractures? Couldn't it have been kept at a stable as a pet or such?

    Are fractures in horses legs like death sentences?
    Basically, yes.
    If the horse is a real champion they might sometimes put them out to stud but only if they can fix the broken bones which is very difficult.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    This incident made me sick. I've never missed watching a Kentucky Derby since I was a little girl. I do believe the horses' caretakers care for them, the problem stems from breeding for money.

    They don't breed for health and stamina, they breed for strong rears that equate to speed. Actually every single horse in the derby this year are related to Native Dancer, a champion racer from about 20 or 30 years ago. Unfortunately, this line of inbreeding produces amazing speed and weak feet and ankles. Barbaro,the horse who had the same problem 2 years ago, is also a relative of Eight Belles and he also died from bad feet.

    Until the breeders become more responsible, there should probably be more regulation of horse racing. Puppy mill owners are held responsible for their breeding practices, colt mills should as well.
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  4. #19
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    yeah it is disgusting, very sickening and so sad

    im so glad i missed it; but of course it was replayed a million times on the news that nite!

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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobelia View Post
    I guess the same way it's moral & ethical that we eat them, use them for leather, to pull things, to entertain us in various ways...
    yes, most or all of these things are also not moral or ethical, what's your point?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceInWonderland View Post
    yeah it is disgusting, very sickening and so sad

    im so glad i missed it; but of course it was replayed a million times on the news that nite!
    I'm glad I missed it too... I wish I missed knowing about the poor filly. It cracks me up that these people get all dressed up and wear these obnoxious hats acting like they have all this class when it fact all it's is gambling.
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  7. #22
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    Why Did Eight Belles Have To Be Euthanized?

    Why did Eight Belles have to be euthanized? - By Daniel Engber - Slate Magazine

    The reason a broken leg is such bad news for a horse.By Daniel Engber
    Posted Sunday, May 4, 2008, at 3:57 PM ET

    After finishing in second place in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, Eight Belles fell to the track with two compound ankle fractures. The horse, the first filly to run at Churchill Downs in nine years, was immediately put down. Two years ago, when Barbaro broke his leg at the Preakness, Daniel Engber explained why such an injury is so devastating for a horse. The full article is reprinted below.
    Barbaro's veterinarians say the champion racehorse has a 50 percent chance of survival after breaking his leg at the start of the Preakness. He may not recover even after a successful five-hour surgery on Sunday, during which he had almost two dozen screws implanted to stabilize his bones. Why is a broken leg so dangerous for a horse?
    There's a high risk of infection, and the horse may not sit still long enough for the bone to heal. Infections are most likely when the animal suffers a compound fracture, in which the bones tear through the skin of the leg. In this case, dirt from the track will grind into and contaminate the wound. To make matters worse, there isn't much blood circulation in the lower part of a horse's leg. (There's very little muscle, either.) A nasty break below the knee could easily destroy these fragile vessels and deprive the animal of its full immune response at the site of the injury.
    Barbaro was lucky enough (or smart enough) to pull up after breaking his leg. If he'd kept running—as some horses do—he might have driven sharp bits of bone into his soft tissue and torn open the skin of his leg. Though his skin remained intact, he still faces the possibility of infection; any soft-tissue damage at all can cut off blood flow and create a safe haven for bacteria.
    It's not easy to treat a horse with antibiotics, either. Since the animals are so big, you have to pump in lots of drugs to get the necessary effect. But if you use too many antibiotics, you'll destroy the natural flora of its intestinal tract, which can lead to life-threatening, infectious diarrhea. You also have to worry about how the antibiotics will interact with large doses of painkillers, which can themselves cause ulcers.
    If the horse manages to avoid early infection, he might not make it through the recovery. First, he must wake up from anesthesia without reinjuring himself. Doctors revived Barbaro by means of "water recovery." That means they suspended him in a warm swimming pool in a quiet room and then kept him there for as long as possible. Not all horses are willing to sit around in a sling, and the antsy ones can thrash about and break their limbs all over again. (In 1975, the filly Ruffian managed to break a second, healthy leg in the process.)
    If Barbaro starts favoring his wounded leg post-surgery, he may overload his other legs, causing a condition known as "laminitis." If that happens, the hooves on the other legs will start to separate from the bone, and his weight will be driven into the soft flesh of the feet. He may also develop life-threatening constipation as a side effect of the anesthetic.
    Doctors will often put down a horse that develops a nasty infection, reinjures its broken leg, or develops laminitis in its other hooves. (A horse that's unable to stand will develop nasty sores and can be expected to die a slow and painful death.) A few horses have had broken legs amputated and replaced with metal, but the equine prostheses don't have a great track record.

  8. #23
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    Default Eight Belles' death shows dark side of horse racing

    FOX Sports on MSN - Horseracing -


    Eight Belles is dead. She broke two ankles after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby, and since horses can't live after that kind of injury (for various reasons), she was euthanized on the track.
    Eight Belles is dead. It is strangely appropriate that the second-place finisher is the one who died.
    If Big Brown had broken his ankles after winning, he would have been the biggest story in America this morning. There would be many calls to rethink the sport of horse racing. There would be a national conversation about whether horse racing is a worthy sporting endeavor or unfit for a civilized society.
    If a horse had broken his ankles after finishing last, it would have been one paragraph in newspaper stories — a footnote. Fans would not have paid much attention, because it would be easy to separate the death from the reason we watch the Kentucky Derby — to see who wins.
    But when the second-place finisher breaks down and must be euthanized on the track, it becomes a nasty little thought that you can't get out of your head. You might just find yourself blocking it out and concentrating on the winner, but that will only bring guilt.
    Why? Why do we put racehorses at risk for our own amusement? Where do we draw the line? I have done zero polling on this issue, but I suspect most people would agree with this statement:

    It's OK to train horses to race but not OK to train dogs to fight, because the frequency of death and pain is much lower in horse racing.
    Heck, that's how I have long felt. But what is an acceptable fatality rate? If Churchill Downs goes to an increasingly popular synthetic racing surface, which is believed to reduce injuries, will we feel better because we're doing something?
    According to The New York Times, "Dr. Mary Scollay, a veterinarian at Calder Race Course, organized an equine injury reporting system for more than 30 tracks and has found that fatality rates have been lower on synthetic surfaces: 1.47 fatalities per 1,000 starts for synthetic surfaces against 2.03 per 1,000 for dirt tracks."
    This is not just about horse racing. It cuts to the heart of our relationship with animals. It is a relationship that, for most of us, is steeped in denial.
    Hunters love deer but also love to kill them. Chick-Fil-A cannily uses a cow as its spokesman — eat some chicken and you'll save the big lug. The quintessential American scene is the backyard barbecue, with slices of cow on the grill and the family dog playing catch. I'm not judging — I have two cats and eat meat. But try making sense of any of this.
    Last summer, I joined most of the Western world in excoriating Michael Vick for his dogfighting operation. My feelings on Vick haven't changed. But I wonder, more than ever, about the level of outrage. Did we call Vick a thug so we would feel superior?
    There is only one other major sport where we understand that the participants are risking death. That, of course, is auto racing, and it brings its own brand of denial. While we subconsciously tell ourselves that racehorses are just animals, we also tell ourselves that racecar drivers have a choice. They don't have to race. They choose to. It is a risk they are willing to take, and it seems almost un-American to try to stop them.
    With horse racing, we pretend that it is perfectly normal for a horse to sprint 1¼ miles down a track with a jockey on her back and a whip in the jockey's hand.
    In our minds, racehorses fall somewhere between Michael Vick's dogs and our own pets. They are there to entertain, but we fall in love with the best of them.
    And when Barbaro or Eight Belles dies, we tell ourselves that nothing could have been done. The truth is that if nothing had been done, if no race had been held, then those horses would have lived.
    We don't like to admit that. We'd prefer to think that these deaths are part of life instead of just a part of racing. We say that Eight Belles was "euthanized," as though we did her a favor.
    But on the official Web site of the Kentucky Derby, the death of Eight Belles was neatly squeezed into a single sentence, in the fifth paragraph of a story about Big Brown's historic win.
    Some favor.

  9. #24
    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManxMouse View Post
    yes, most or all of these things are also not moral or ethical, what's your point?
    Oh my, so demanding. Well, my point is that this is just one more industry that deals with animals, and it's really not much different from the others. As for the others being (or not being) moral/ethical, well, that's for each person to decide for him/herself.
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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Oh my, so demanding. Well, my point is that this is just one more industry that deals with animals, and it's really not much different from the others.
    Yes, this was my point. None of these things are affirmatively "good" from any ethically based point of view.

    As for the others being (or not being) moral/ethical, well, that's for each person to decide for him/herself.

    Well, many would say that it's for society to judge rather than a random individual's moral compass....that's why we have laws, civil actions, regulations, etc. Even the Supreme Court judges what is cruel and unusual by evolving standards of decency, reflected in trends emerging in the law. People are beginning to wake up to the cruelty inherent in many activities involving animals, and to say it's just up to each person to judge is overly simplistic and shallow.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I am an animal lover. My whole family is animal coo-coo. We love horse racing. What happened is a tragic accident which might have happened anyway-horse love to run. They will run every chance they get-they (these few prized horses) are ready to get out there-just get out of their way. They are the rock stars of the horse world and ,so help me, they know it! Now there is talk of banning fillies from the Kentucky Derby-that would be a shame. She beat all but one! Yes,the owner like the money. So what-they have to fork out a lot before the horse ever runs. But they LOVE their horses and rare is the owner or trainer that is going to risk their horse for ANY reason. I am sure their must be one out there-but horsey people are close & it would be common knowledge if someone put money over their horse. They would be cut dead. A fine horse-not even a winning horse-is great breeding stock and that is worth a lot. No one in the racing or just hose business would tolerate cruelty. Horses are born to run and they love it.
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  12. #27
    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManxMouse View Post
    Oh my, so demanding. Well, my point is that this is just one more industry that deals with animals, and it's really not much different from the others.
    Yes, this was my point. None of these things are affirmatively "good" from any ethically based point of view.

    As for the others being (or not being) moral/ethical, well, that's for each person to decide for him/herself.

    Well, many would say that it's for society to judge rather than a random individual's moral compass....that's why we have laws, civil actions, regulations, etc. Even the Supreme Court judges what is cruel and unusual by evolving standards of decency, reflected in trends emerging in the law. People are beginning to wake up to the cruelty inherent in many activities involving animals, and to say it's just up to each person to judge is overly simplistic and shallow.
    I never said any of those things were "good" -I said that horse racing is similar to other animal industries. Sure, it could be regulated more. Greysfang made a good argument for that. Anything feasible that reduces risk & suffering for animals sounds like a good idea to me.

    As for the rest, you're now getting into societal law which is not synonymous with ethics & morals. (It was ethics & morals that you mentioned in your first post to which I responded.) Philosophers have been discussing & debating ethics for centuries, a topic very much open to interpretation & perspective by all sorts of random individuals. I suppose that people have attempted to infuse ethics & morality into lawmaking over the years, more or less successfully, but again, it's a variable concept. But I sure wouldn't attempt to use the Supreme Court as a persuasive illustration of ethics.

    Shallow & simplistic? No, I don't think so. Each person, random or otherwise, is entitled to construct their own ethical & moral code. It is up to each individual to judge. If you want to talk about law, then sure, individuals don't single-handedly make, enact & enforce laws. That's something else altogether.
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  13. #28
    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    ^^^
    You're not making sense. I never said that "societal law is synonymous with ethics and morals." Obviously though, ethical and moral considerations are the single biggest foundation for the law- and regulation-making process. Individuals vote other individuals into office, who then consider their constituencies when making law, and the Supreme Court in turn takes into account evolving patterns in the law in determining what's "cruel and unusual." That was just an example of how it all fits together. We as a society determine what is legally acceptable, which overlaps with what we consider morally acceptable as a society. As with past practices such as slavery or more recently dog-fighting, over time, there often becomes a consensus that something isn't moral. And I hope that's where we're headed with horse-racing.....the number of deaths is appalling, only the high-profile Kentucky Derby ones get attention, though.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    This is HORSE RACING. Not fox hunting.
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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    This is HORSE RACING. Not fox hunting.
    Gee, thanks for clarifying.
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