Horesing around at the Colorado Capitol
Here's a bit of better news on the equine front.
From a press release sent to Colorado newspapers Monday, Nov. 17
"Colorado Horsemen’s Day at the Capitol Horsemen throughout Colorado are invited to spend an exciting day at the State Capitol in Denver on January 19th, 2009. The Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association, The Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association and the Colorado Horse Racing Association are sponsoring the big event. Top officials from both the American Quarter Horse Association and the Jockey Club are scheduled to attend and discuss the horse industry’s future with the Colorado horsemen in attendance. Top on the list of issues the horsemen will be discussing will be the proposed Colorado Horse Breeders Incentive Fund. The proposal is an economic growth plan for the Colorado horse industry that will be funded by the Colorado Racing Industry. All horsemen are invited and there is no charge for attending. More information will be available at www.ColoradoHorseCoalition.com
I don't know how successful this will be, but I would love to see the horse racing industry be more viable in Colorado than it has been.
However, I recognize there are problems that go beyond fiscal soundness. First, there are the injuries too many racehorses suffer. The synthetic tracks are one idea that appears to help in that regard.
Additionally, there is the question of what to do with all the well-bred horses that turn out to be not very good runners. There is a market for many of those horses. I owned a horse for 10 years that had come off the track (see the post below about Dash's horse chestnut tree). He was wonderfully athletic, kind and sensible. But I've seen other former race horses that were truly whacko. There's little market for them.
Finally, I think horse racing needs to do a better job of policing itself for drugs used on horses. Like all human professional sports, the incentive to win in racing is so high that too many trainers have turned to drugs -- either to mask injuries or to enhance performance.