Monday, May 05, 2008

Eight Belles and all is not well

kw: opinion, animals, racing

Delaware racing fans are mourning the death of the local favorite Eight Belles, who had to be euthanized after two ankles broke. As I heard it, the filly's ankles broke just after she ran in the Kentucky Derby this last weekend. One commentator said, "...her muscles were so shredded she was standing on skeleton, and her bones gave out." Shadows of Barbaro's more protracted demise still linger in the area. That youngster broke a leg early in the Derby just a year ago.

The unfortunate breed "Thoroughbred" is such an over-bred creature, it's amazing they don't break bones just standing still. Soon that may be the case. Each ankle of a more generalized animal such as Human can support ten times the body weight. When you breed an animal for speed alone, continually increasing the power-to-weight ratio, things get distorted. A Thoroughbred's ankles are scarcely larger than a human's, on an animal weighing ten times as much.

There's too much money in horse racing to realistically imagine the "sport" being outlawed, but that's what I'd do if I could...along with a few other abusive forms of "entertainment."

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