Friday, May 3, 2013

the Kentucky Derby

I'm an avid horse lover and horseback rider (when I'm home).  Horseback riding and time around horses is something I cherish greatly. It is one of my most absolute favorite things in the entire world.  I think about Fireball, the countless days spent at the barn and smile.

This being said, you would think I would love the Kentucky Derby.  It's a huge event dedicated to horses and horseback riding. I used to love the Derby.  My family used to draw names of horses and you would cheer for them, hoping that one of  "your" horses won. It was always a ton of fun.

Then one year, I watched a horse that was in line for the Triple Crown trip and fall. He had to be put down on the track due to a leg injury.  It was horrible. I cried.  The next year, another horse was injured  and I realized that this was becoming a pattern.  After reading and digging a little deeper, I was horrified to find out about all of the steroids that were being pumped into these horses, which were making them weaker and leading to a rise in injuries.  Some of these injuries were so bad, these horses were living with lifelong injuries or were having to be put down.  Basically, these injuries were hurting them more than they were helping.  Even if they weren't injured during their career, their lives after were less than enjoyable.   A lot of them were sold and lived in poor conditions where they were used to breed.

After this realization, I stopped watching the Kentucky Derby.  It's not fair to support this huge money making event that is just putting these animals in danger. I know it's a huge party day, and believe me, I would love to be there drinking Mint Julips and wearing a flowery sundress, but I think of the horses and how they have no say in any of it.  The image of the horse lying on the track won't leave and I can't help but get a little angry.  So,  I will not be watching the Kentucky Derby (or any major horse race) this year and I hope you will join me in supporting the horses this year, not the race.