The Death of Eight Belles and Medina Spirit

horse race

Horse racing is one of the oldest forms of entertainment on earth. From primitive contests of speed or stamina to an elaborate spectacle with sophisticated electronic monitoring equipment and vast sums of money at stake, its core concept remains unchanged since millennia: victory is determined by being first across the finish line.

The sport can begin by providing ex-racehorses with adequate, industry-sponsored aftercare solutions that combine medical care, socialization and rehabilitation from their for-profit origin. Without such a system in place, ex-racehorses are forced into slaughter pipelines with nothing to stop them but Facebook posts or an opportunity to be “rescued” out by independent rescue groups before being shipped overseas for slaughter or other uses – this must stop. It is cruel and must end now!

As we approach this year’s Derby, it is worth remembering how Eight Belles and Medina Spirit both died during America’s most iconic race, sending shockwaves through horse racing as their deaths caused a reckoning of the sport’s ethics and integrity. Though both horses had been born over a decade apart, their deaths both resulted from cardiac episodes due to stress associated with racing or training – an irony shared by them both.

Racing apologists might use The Times’ partnership with PETA as an excuse to dodge, deflect and blame its messenger, but that would be misguided: no matter how PETA obtained its undercover video; most outside the industry only care if its footage contains evidence of cruelty.

Bettors typically evaluate horses prior to races by inspecting their coat in the walking ring; if it rippling with sweat and appearing bright, bettors assume the beast is ready. But when Mongolian Groom balked at starting gate for 2024 Dubai Gold Cup race, all was silenced in anticipation. His fearful, anxious expression was so unmistakable it caught the entire ring of betting fans by surprise. Although he won the race by one head, afterward he was transported back to Mongolia and will likely need to retire due to injury – just one of thousands of horses who suffer at the hands of an industry too focused on profits to address its worst abuses – something which should shame sport fans as well as animals they claim they love.