Horse racing results causes horses to experience severe injuries, and many horses die as a result of these. OneKind is opposed to horse racing but believes that, as long as horse racing continues, it should be regulated to safeguard the welfare of horses.
What is the problem?
Horse racing often causes severe injury to those that compete. Horses are pushed to their extreme, being hit repeatedly be whips, by jockeys. Clearly, being hit constantly causes harm to horses. The use of whips, coupled with long races with challenging obstacles, means that there are numerous injuries that racehorses can suffer from. These include broken legs, backs, pelvises, spinal injuries and heart attacks.
It is estimated that over 400 horses die each year due to accidents connected with racing. The most fatal type of racing is jump racing, which is responsible for 80% of fatalities of competing race horses . Between April 2007 and February 2018, 118 horses died on Scottish race courses. For example, Crucial Moment, who at only age 4, died on the 4th February 2018 at Musselburgh racecourse. This was following a fall which caused their foreleg to become severely injured, meaning that they were put to sleep.
Even if they don’t suffer fatal injuries, racehorses still have compromised health. 82% of flat race horses over the age of three suffer from bleeding lungs, and 93% of horses in training suffer from gastric ulcers .
When horses are not being trained, or competing, they are confined to stables for long periods of time. This limits the amount of social interaction that horses receive, which seriously compromises their welfare. Indeed, research has shown that horses kept in stables by themselves experience greater stress than those housed with others .
Sadly, when their race career is over the horses are no longer seen as valuable to the racing community. This means that many are killed at their stables, or sent off for slaughter.
OneKind is opposed to horse-racing. However, we acknowledge that horse racing is not going to stop overnight. We therefore believe that, in the meantime, the government should regulate horse racing. This should provide licensing of horse racing and safeguard the welfare of horses involved. Such regulations should address health and welfare issues such as the excessive use of whips, excessively long periods of confinement in stables and injuries resulting from racing.