They give their lives for our pleasure
There was a story yesterday on NPR about the death of Precisionist, an aging but successful race horse. This great old guy of 26 was euthanized by a veterinarian on the farm where he had long since retired. Located in Georgetown, Kentucky, a few miles north of Lexington (the home of Keeneland Race Course), Old Friends is a retirement facility for aging thoroughbred horses.
The mission of Old Friends is “…to bring ” at risk” racehorses–those whose racing and breeding careers had come to an end–to Old Friends, provide them with the dignified retirement they deserve, and open the space to the public.” Unlike Precisionist, many aren’t so lucky. When their racing days are over and they’re unable to breed, some end up in the slaughterhouse. Most appalling was the death of Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand in a slaughterhouse in Japan.
Race horses give their all, which often includes their lives, for our entertainment and financial reward. These beautiful animals are star athletes without the big contracts, and perform with all their heart when asked.