They shoot horses don't they
April 5, 2003 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Today's Grand National Today 40 horses were forced around an arduous and often fatal 'race course'. This year, only one horse was killed. How can anyone think that this is a sport?
posted by daveg (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
And on top of all this...
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:24 AM on April 5, 2003

Apparently one horse was some sort of cowardly protestor and "refused." Damn hippy horses. He should be out there supporting his fellow horses in their time of danger.

If all the horses refused we couldn't have this big, wonderful, dangerous, pointless, stupid race causing the hearts and minds of of the low-q public to race and swell and throb with pride at the accomplishments of their brave horses mired in a noble struggle.

I say that horse is a traitor and should be shot.
posted by umberto at 8:26 AM on April 5, 2003

Umberto, why do you hate equidae?
posted by Ljubljana at 8:43 AM on April 5, 2003

Let's talk about high school athletics for a minute -- do you have any idea how many teenagers are paralyzed or seriously and permanently injured each year while playing Football? How can anyone call that a sport?!
posted by SpecialK at 8:47 AM on April 5, 2003

It is as much a sport as NASCAR.
posted by mischief at 8:47 AM on April 5, 2003

SpecialK - the athletes have a choice.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:48 AM on April 5, 2003

Pretty_Generic -
So do the horses. The can "refuse," right? Come on, what else are they good for?

I love the races.
posted by bradth27 at 8:50 AM on April 5, 2003

If you want to talk about horse fatalities in racing, could I suggest linking to something about it, rather than focusing on the last few paragraphs of what appears to be a fairly routine bit of reporting? Don't just react to the last line of the story -- dig for something. Show us why it matters. Give this post some substance. Make your case. Otherwise, it comes across as lazy -- an instant post based on an instant reaction to an easy link -- and trollish, with comments to fit.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:06 AM on April 5, 2003

Arduous? Why, a little girl could do it!
posted by padraigin at 9:24 AM on April 5, 2003

These horses...they vibrate? Sorry.

Hey - as sports go, it's less "gruesome" or bloody than hunting, I suppose, and the horses (AFAIK) are pampered and fed and treated better than many 3rd world citizens. Stud farms for those who retire, too, I think.
posted by davidmsc at 10:01 AM on April 5, 2003

posted by feelinglistless at 10:05 AM on April 5, 2003

Having actually read the article I notice that 9 horses were pulled up. This means that their jockeys decided the horses were not up to the race (due to any number of reasons – illness, injury, fear). Thoroughbred race horses (dirt, turf or steeplechasers) are incredibly expensive. Expensive to breed, buy, own and race. The last thing anyone wants is for any competitor, equine or otherwise to sustain injury or be euthanized. While accidents and death do happen during races, they are certainly not the norm and are never treated with the callousness you have expressed in your post.
posted by thermopolis at 10:37 AM on April 5, 2003

I tend to doubt that this is a sport worth rallying against. Many people consider bullfighting a sport, and I hear that has a little higher animal fatality rate this horse race does.
posted by Wingy at 11:00 AM on April 5, 2003

Hey - as sports go, it's less "gruesome" or bloody than hunting,

Minor quibble, but davidmsc, you should have lived here long enough to know that hunting isn't a sport. Its dinner. You can't eat the horns ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:52 AM on April 5, 2003

'...this a sport?'
Yes and no. Mainly fixed, extremely expensive to take part in and hated by many horse fanciers. But that doesn't stop it being called a sport, especially by those who profit from it.
Pitty the ultra-rich, what would they spend their pointless superfluity of wealth on other than horse?
posted by asok at 12:09 PM on April 5, 2003


Actually, I belong to Actor's Equidae. I joined when I was a hoofer.
posted by umberto at 12:21 PM on April 5, 2003

I love horse. It's delicious. With a little soy sauce and some green onions.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:39 PM on April 5, 2003


I have eaten horse, but never raw like sushi.... Mine was prepared on a grill, and tasted a bit like a strip steak. Not bad, but not something you can pick up at the grocery store, either.
posted by bradth27 at 2:14 PM on April 5, 2003

heh, I won £20 on the woik sweep.

does mcwetboy always get so mcwethisknickers upset at mundane things? gawd there's a war on!
posted by Stars Kitten at 2:16 PM on April 5, 2003

Raw horse has a interesting flavor. The Japanese don't do much to mask it (no wasabi, no sauces except for a little bit of soya sauce). It tastes like really strong beef, and it was kind of chewy. Really, really good though.

I'm still looking for a restaurant in the Boston area that serves it.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:24 PM on April 5, 2003


Some restaurants will prepare it for you, but you have to call the chef and talk to them personally. It's not something Americans like to see on the menu, so it may look as if it is unavailable. Ask around, I'll bet you can find at least one restaurant in your area that will be willing to prepare it special.
posted by bradth27 at 2:39 PM on April 5, 2003

Sport makes you sweat. I sweat buckets today as I lost £25 on future fecking dog meat.
posted by vbfg at 2:50 PM on April 5, 2003

You don't get to eat racehorse though. What a waste.
Probably full of steroids anyway.
posted by asok at 4:03 PM on April 5, 2003

I've never understood the US taboo of eating horse. While I wouldn't do it myself because I'm not a big fan of meat, why is it ok to eat a cow but not a horse?
posted by benjh at 5:41 PM on April 5, 2003

Horsemeat is delicious. A very interesting sweet flavour. Mine seemed almost raw (maybe it was), a deep red colour.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:18 PM on April 5, 2003

Never had horse meat, but I sometimes dream at night about real French (or Belgian) pommes frites, fried golden-brown in horsefat.

But, back on topic, I think horseracing is all well and good unless it is dangerous for the horse--and obviously the National is, even if jockeys do pull out. If horses die frequently, that tells me "not good for horses". Seems a mite unfair.
posted by padraigin at 6:51 PM on April 5, 2003

Horseracing is gambling dressed up as a society sport. It's a shame the compulsive gamblers couldn't just take up video poker and leave the poor damn horses alone. This isn't any more noble a sport than grayhound racing.

A yearling that sells for a million bucks might race a few times until its owners and trainers decide it's not fast enough, or until it gets a stress fracture that can't be masked by drugs because they test for that nowadays.

The lucky ones retire to breed or become pets for maybe $2000 if the horse is still rideable. The rest, which are too crippled to work (and are thuse useless as horses) suffer fates I'm not brave enough to contemplate.

We breed far more horses, and grayhounds, for that matter, than we need, for no other reason than that they facilitate gambling, which could be done without involving pitting animals against each other in staged contests. Horseracing, cockfighting, dogfighting, what the hell's the difference?
posted by filifera at 7:07 PM on April 5, 2003

Well at least with horse racing, your cock doesn't get hurt...
posted by five fresh fish at 7:12 PM on April 5, 2003

I've never had horse meat either - we have always been poor. But one sunday a month, after horse-kill week, my dad would take me down to the abattoir and let me lick the walls.
posted by Opus Dark at 7:45 PM on April 5, 2003

Well, horse racing in general isn't too bad compared to the general background radiation of animal exploitation, I think, but steeplechases like the Grand National are bloody stupid.
posted by GrahamVM at 6:38 AM on April 6, 2003

filifera hit the nail on the head. All I can add is that it's always amusing to see the rationale of "this can't be so bad, because X is much worse." Folks, our ability to generate incredible appalling stupidity and destruction is well-documented. To take solace in the fact that something's a couple notches down from the absolute worst is a pretty weak argument.

(GrahamVM, I'm mainly referring to comments further up, even though this comes right after yours.)
posted by soyjoy at 10:37 AM on April 7, 2003

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