Today is the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby. Three years ago over thirty thousand thoroughbred foals were born in green pastures all over the US. This year 19 colts and one filly will run in today’s race at Churchill Downs. One will win. One will set off a storm of speculation about the Triple Crown and if today’s winner can do what no horse has done in 30 years.
That leaves about 31,999 (American Horse Council, 1998) thoroughbred horses that won’t even be footnotes in horse racing history. Some will win other races, many will lose other races. Some will find loving forever homes where they will be treated like champions no matter if they never ran a single race. Sadly, many will be betrayed by the people that bred them, the people that trained them, and the people that invested the soft hope of spring three years ago as foals frolicked with their mothers. Those same foals will have grown into horses that will be sold to kill buyers and slaughtered for human consumption.
Today while you are watching the Kentucky Derby and sipping on a mint julep, I ask that you think about the foals that were born this year that will never race in the Kentucky Derby in three years and will end up in slaughterhouses because of over breeding and an attitude that these animals are expendable. Write the American Association of Equine Practitioners and ask them to renounce their stance that horses bred to be racers, riders, haulers, and lawn ornaments are just livestock animals that deserve no better than to be slaughtered for human consumption.
PS- My thoughts go out to the owners, trainers, breeders and anyone else associated with 8 Bells who was lost during this year’s race.

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