How big the business is horse racing

Horse racing businessStill always to die Horses at run in California

Since December 2018, 36 horses had to be euthanized on the Santa Anita Park racecourse due to accidents on the route. Although the causes of the accidents are unknown, the races continue.

The Santa Anita Park racecourse in California is one of the most famous horse racing tracks in the United States. Since December 2018 there have been repeated accidents with horses on the route: As a result, 36 horses were euthanized.

In many cases, horses broke their legs as a result of a fall, while others were overworked, fell ill and were also euthanized. The problem: if horses are immobilized for a long time, they can die of colic. So instead of putting a break on hold, veterinarians often put horses with such an injury to sleep.

The operators of the route attribute the horses' fall to the ground: in spring it hardened due to heavy rainfall. In order to continue looking for the causes of the accident, they shut down the racecourse for three weeks in March 2019 - meaningful findings were not made. Subsequently, stricter drug controls and longer rest periods for the horses have been introduced. But even after the compulsory break, the animals repeatedly injured themselves.

"In the US, more horses die training or racing than in other countries."
Katharina Wilhelm, correspondent in Los Angeles

Animal rights activists, on the other hand, see the training of horses as a possible reason for the series of accidents: some of the animals are too young and inexperienced to take part in intense races. Horses two or three years old are still growing: their musculoskeletal system is not yet properly developed. If these are trained beyond their limits, they will later suffer from tendon damage and broken bones. In some cases, the horses are given pain-relieving medication to ensure that the horses' performance does not deteriorate, which results in accidents.

Horse racing is a million dollar business

Last year alone, a total of 500 horses died in competitions in the USA. For many involved, however, it is of great interest to let the races continue, says Katharina Wilhelm, correspondent in Los Angeles. Because: horse races are a million dollar business. The most money is made with horse betting. The Santa Anita Park racecourse continues despite the series of unfortunate events: the prestigious Breeders' Cup will be held there on November 1st and 2nd.

"Every single race track is a slaughterhouse. Every single race track is killing horses."
Heather, animal rights activist and participant in the demonstrations against Santa Anita Park

In order to prevent the horses from falling further, the horse's bone structure should be examined for fine cracks with the help of regular scans, as the racecourse manager explained. In addition, the training of the animals will also be monitored in the future.

Katharina Wilhelm, however, doubts how effective these measures are in the end. Critics are therefore calling for an end to the horse races and protesting in front of the Santa Anita Park racecourse.