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Q: Looking for thoughts on Eight Belles especially from you horse people.

May 4, 2008 | By Percysmom | 12 answers | Expired: 2403 days ago

Percysmom

I have been upset by the loss of poor Eight Belles all day. Was she too young? Obviously she must have had stress fractures. I've heard talk that perhaps the track needs to be softer along with other changes being made. I just wanted to see what others had to say.

Readers' Answers (12)

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Andrea l.
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May 13, 2008

I have to agree with everyone else...the race horses are started way too young. They have to be three or younger to compete in that race. The horses bones are not completely developed until about age 4. Its amazing...when I go to buy horses off the track to retrain, there are 3-6 year olds who have already been broken--artheritis, bone chips, tendons, everything you can imagine. They just start them young to make the most money they can and then get rid of them to reduce their cost.

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Suzanne P.
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May 07, 2008

I thought I wanted to see the Kentucky Derby once in my life. Now, I know I don't. It is such a shame. It made me cry too when I heard about it. Horses are beautiful animals.

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T
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T

May 06, 2008

Having been in the "racing scene" for but a short time, I THOROUGHLY AGREE that these horses are started tooooo young (around 14 months old) to begin their racing careers by the age of 2 years old. The knees do not properly develop until a horse reaches at least 3 years old (hence the terms Colts and Fillies, and their bones have not matured. Another factor that needs to be looked at is the fact that the original Thoroughbred came from a couple of Arabian stallions and English mares. They became very sleek, fast, and stately. Some bloodlines were preferred over others, so fillies were bred back to their own Sires or or Dam's sire. If anyone has heard of Impressive (World Champion Halter Horse) he passed down a gene defiency that has caused a real uproar in the horse industry. Enough from me. Racing is CRUEL no matter how ya look at it!!!

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P. H.
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May 06, 2008

Money seems to be the only thing that counts in horse racing. I
have not watched a race since the Ruffian tragedy and I never
will. This filly should never have been raced. I was totally
saddened when I learned that most people at the track went right
on celebrating, even when they knew that Eight Belles was suffering and about to be put down. They should be ashamed of
themselves; they have NO HEART. Just what profit and fun they
can have; they don't care about these gorgeous, loyal horses.
I truly hope she did not die in vain; that this tragedy will
bring more response to the problems of horse racing and race-
tracks. I have two horses of my own. I am so very, very sad
about what happened. Animal lover, Pam

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Carly T.
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May 06, 2008

I think the problem is they race them to much starting at such a young age. Those race tracks can be very strenuous for these young horses. They should be racing them once every 4 or 5 months and take it easy on their training and workouts. The horses that do survive usually develop arthritis in their legs and end up be euthanized at a young age...even after they have been retired from racing.

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Shannon
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May 06, 2008

It is awful what we do to animals in the name of entertainment. These animals are bred for speed, disregarding what we are doing to the animal itself. Eight Belles should have never died. Neither should all the horses that have come before her. The only highlight to her death is that it is now spotlighting the cruelty of racing. Sure maybe they like to run, but to be run to death, I don't think so. If a horse runs to run great, but it should not be done with someone forcing them past their boundaries. It should not be done for entrainment, sport, or profit. These horses have no say in participating, and should not be exploited in this way. Horse racing as a sport should end, let the poor horses run on their own terms.

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Christine
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May 06, 2008

I think it's just absolutely horrific, it brought me to tears when I saw it. It brings to light 2 things, #1, they are most definately and without a single doubt started way too early, most horses don't even get someone on the saddle at the age they are racing, and #2, since it's a racehorse, there was not even one single thought to see if maybe she could have survived, they just immediately euthanized her. Maybe that was the right thing, I don't know, but in a race world's eyes, since she can't race anymore she's good for nothing and wasn't even given the chance, and I think that is a terrible tragedy in itself. And yes, I am a horse owner.

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Leximou
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May 05, 2008

Race horses are bred for specific qualities - qualities that 'man' wants, not what is good for the horse. Look at what "man" has done to the popular dog of the time! Now think about carrying a 2000 pound body on legs with ankles that are no bigger than yours! I cry for the horse and I have nothing but distain for the breeders and their like. It has to stop somewhere. Animal usury is rampant, breeders are out of control with their 'wants' and the only one who pays for this is the animal.

There are reputable breeders, but, as long as the mighty dollar is involved, there are too many that would 'breed' for specifics instead of taking the animal into consideration first.

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fRAN l.
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May 05, 2008

As a past owner of a horse, I find it hard to believe that you can make a horse do anything that it doesn't want to do. I am also upset over the terrible outcome. I agree with what some are saying that they are breeding for speed, and not endurance. Horses aren't racing as many races as they did years ago because of the huge stud fees that can be had.

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Marta J.
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May 05, 2008

Last time I was at the track the horse died in the winners circle and was dragged off by a tracter. Haven't be there since. I don't own a horse, but I like to ride and love horses. I think they are the most beautiful and graceful animals. I know they love to run, but sometimes I wonder if racing like that under so much pressure is something they really like.

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