Tuesday, July 15, 2008

After the Finish Line . . .

by Kit Ehrman

Today’s post will be short since I’m away from home, using a hotel Internet that’s extraordinarily slow.

In light of the recent topic here, regarding responsible horse ownership and the fate of horses that are no longer wanted, I’d like to draw your attention to After the Finish Line, a website dedicated to caring for racehorses once they’ve left the track. Please visit www.afterthefinishline.org/index.htm.

The tragic deaths of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and this year’s second place finisher, filly Eight Belles, brought the plight of racehorses and, ultimately, the whole slaughter issue to the forefront. Thankfully, changes are being made.

At Suffolk Downs in Boston, sending racehorses to slaughter will no longer be tolerated. Track management will deny stalls to any trainer who sells a horse for slaughter. It’s great to see that the industry is taking action. Certainly, there’s much to be done, but it’s a start.

What’s needed even more, I believe, is for backyard horse owners to be educated, to stop mindless breeding of their stock, to make sure their horses are well-trained and socialized, and to take responsibility for their fates.

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