Saturday, March 24, 2012

Death and disarray at America’s racetracks: Mangled Horses and Maimed Jockeys

Tuesday's Horse

The new economics of horse racing are making an always-dangerous game even more so, as lax oversight puts animal and rider at risk.

Well, here it is. The first installment in the New York Times series of reports on horse racing fatalities. The March 24, 2012 piece is the work of investigative reporters WALT BOGDANICH, JOE DRAPE, DARA L. MILES and GRIFFIN PALMER. A huge thank you to all involved.
It makes for vivid, jolting reading, and we will give you a few introductory excerpts below.
However, we invite you to read the entire article and view the haunting videos and images. Then please leave a comment at the New York Times.
The article starts with:
RUIDOSO, N.M. — At 2:11 p.m., as two ambulances waited with motors running, 10 horses burst from the starting gate at Ruidoso Downs Race Track 6,900 feet up in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains.
Nineteen seconds later, under a brilliant blue sky, a national champion jockey named Jacky Martin lay sprawled in the furrowed dirt just past the finish line, paralyzed, his neck broken in three places. On the ground next to him, his frightened horse, leg broken and chest heaving, was minutes away from being euthanized on the track.
For finishing fourth on this early September day last year, Jacky Martin got about $60 and possibly a lifetime tethered to a respirator.
The next day, it nearly happened again. At virtually the same spot, another horse broke a front leg, pitching his rider headfirst into the ground. The jockey escaped serious injury, but not the 2-year-old horse, Teller All Gone. He was euthanized, and then dumped near an old toilet in a junkyard a short walk from where he had been sold at auction the previous year.
Continue to the full article >>
Read Jane Allin’s special reports on horse racing covering breeding, drugs, 2 year old racing, the ground and the slaughter of Thoroughbreds at

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