Horse Race – The Story That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Horse race is a sport in which horses compete for prize money. The competition can be between two or more horses and is often a thrilling and engaging experience for fans. A variety of betting options are available and bettors can place multiple bets on a single event or even an entire field of races. Bettors can bet on a variety of outcomes including the first, second, and third place finishes as well as an accumulator bet in which multiple bets are placed.

In the midst of mudslinging, name calling and attack ads, it can be easy to lose sight of the real issues at stake in this presidential election. But in the midst of the horse race, there’s a story that should not be ignored: the fact that a major thoroughbred racing industry has been engaging in alleged cruelty for decades.

The story, which broke this week, revolves around trainer Steve Asmussen, who was caught on video riding a horse in an abhorrent manner. Asmussen has been a major influence on Thoroughbred racing, and his actions have sparked outrage among animal activists and recriminations by some in the racing community.

It’s true that most trainers, assistant trainers, jockeys, drivers and caretakers really do care about their horses, that many barns strike a balance between the financial demands of horse racing and the welfare of the animals. And it’s also true that, if you ask most people in the industry, they’d be shocked to learn that so many horses are abused.

But the point is that these alleged abuses go on year after year because the horse racing industry is unable to police itself, because state regulators are feckless and because trainers and veterinarians are able to stay one step ahead of officials who develop tests for performance-enhancing drugs. In addition, a lot of the industry’s top players — owners and trainers who can afford to pay for enhanced drug testing — equate real reform with a loss of profits.

As long as this code of silence exists, it will continue to be impossible for the sport of horse racing to overcome its most enduring challenge: public opinion. Most people in the U.S. understand that horse racing is a cruel enterprise, and it’s time for the sport to admit it publicly.

It will take the courage of the most prominent players to acknowledge that they’re a part of this problem, not a solution for it. It will mean putting more funds into enhancing drug tests and bringing in new rules that will put an end to the insider’s code of silence. It will mean making the hard choice between profit and the well-being of the animals. But it will be worth it, because if this continues, the horses will continue to pay the price. And, ultimately, so will the sport of horse racing. This article originally appeared in The New York Times.