Raced to Death – Eight Belles’ Avoidable Tragedy


Eight Belles, a beautiful filly, finished second in today’s Kentucky’s Derby and then broke both her front ankles causing her to be euthanized on the track.

Maybe you’re like me and just don’t get the appeal of horse racing. It makes no sense to me why anyone would want to push physically immature animals to physical extremes when injuries may well equal death for the horse. And those fatal injuries seem to be a tragic tradition. I don’t follow horse racing but like many people, I followed Barbaro’s fight for life after his 2006 racetrack injury which ultimately resulted in his death in early 2007.

This August 2007 article taught me a few things I didn’t know about horse racing. One being that there is no national governing body.

After Barbaro’s breakdown in the Preakness, Bowen and others in the industry realized that they were at a loss to answer a simple question —- How frequently are horses injured? —- which only exacerbated the public outcry over the incident. As a result, the summit participants proposed an injury reporting system that would standardize the process by eliminating inconsistencies from track to track.

Well, that’s one good thing I guess. At least we may get some more reliable numbers on a broader scale than what we’ve seen in the past. And maybe those numbers will help effect change in the racing world. Sadly, there is one more to add to the tally today.

Local Interest: Adopt-A-Thon in Columbia

Just received this in my inbox:

Don’t miss the Project Pet Adopt-A-Thon this weekend at the Harbison PetSmart in Columbia!

Over 100 animals will be present…..dogs and cats, puppies and kittens of all shapes and sizes are ready to find their forever homes! If you’ve been thinking about a new addition to your family you won’t want to miss this event!!

Friday May 2nd 5pm-8pm

Saturday May 3rd 10am-6pm

Sunday May 4th 1:30pm-5:30pm

Over 19,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in Richland and Lexington Counties every year. Project Pet works with municipal shelters to rescue and re-home pets so that many may be spared the fate of euthanasia.

All pets adopted through Project Pet are spayed or neutered, have all vaccinations appropriate for their age, are de-wormed and have a microchip.

For more information about Project Pet, visit our website at www.projectpet.com.