The Tragedy of Eight Belles

Tragedy visited upon the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. A filly, Eight Belles, ran with the boys and finished second to Big Brown. Moments after crossing the finish line, Eight Belles collapsed with two broken ankles and had to be euthanized on the track. The injuries were too massive. There were no alternatives.

There will be those who will decry the cruelty of horse racing. The catastrophe of Eight Belles follows the heartbreak of Barbaro. One of the most even-handed commentaries was by Sally Jenkins, in an article in the Washington Post:

link: Is Horse Racing Breeding Itself to Death?

The critics of horse racing will paint the people involved with broad stokes. This is unfair. For those who have been associated even with the periphery of the sport have found, it is a unique culture unto itself. Granted that it is an industry – a money making venture for the wealthy. For most of the people making a living from the day to day sport of horses, it is also their life. There is great affection for these horses. To cast the industry, from top to bottom, as exploitive and cruel is simply amiss.

Catherine Forsythe
Director of Operations

[tag]kentucky derby, eight belles, tragedy, sally jenkins, barbaro, horse racing, sport[/tag]