The Truth about Horse Racing


The Truth about Horse Racing

Most people regard horse racing as a harmless sport in which the animals are willing participants who thoroughly enjoy the thrill. The truth is that, behind the scenes, lies a story of immense suffering.

18,000 foals are born every year into the Australian Racing Industry yet only 300 out of every 1000 will ever see the track -


Race horses frequently suffer injuries because they are forced to train and race before their skeletal system has finished growing.

 To compete in the races with the largest purses — which are for 2 and 3 year olds — horses must be trained and raced at too young an age, before their bones’ growth plates have matured. This causes many lower-limb ailments and injuries, including fractures, pulled ligaments, and strained tendons. Such injuries are common in horse racing.


Riding horses are started at 3-4 years old, while race horses are often started as young as 1.5 years. Riding horses are brought along slowly and with as little stress to their still-maturing joints as possible, while race horses are forced to run beyond their limits, pounding their still-developing joints into the ground. When the riding horse is just entering his prime, the race horse is ending his career, and possibly his life.


One study showed that for every 22 races, at least one horse suffers an injury severe enough to prevent him or her from finishing a race. Another study estimated that 800 Thoroughbreds die from racing-related injuries every year in North America. Most owners are not willing to pay high veterinary fees for an injured horse who is unlikely to ever race again, and instead, choose to euthanize the animal.

The unnatural stresses inherent in competing so aggressively and at such a young age also cause or make worse other serious problems, such as stomach ulcers, heart murmurs, and bleeding in the lungs, not observed in horses worked at reasonable levels. These health and injury problems once again necessitate the use of drugs to maintain the horse’s racing value (but not well-being).  


One study reported in the Equine Veterinary Journal noted a doubling of one type of heart murmur and a tripling of another in 2-year-olds after 9 months of training. Horses' heartbeats can increase tenfold during a race, from a relaxed 25 beats per minute to an excessive 250 beats, leading to exhaustion, collapse, and sometimes, to a fatal heart attack.


Researchers found gastric ulcers in ninety-three percent of horses in race training. In horses that had actually raced, the incidence was a staggering one hundred percent.


A study in the Equine Veterinary Journal found hemorrhaging in the lungs in 95% of horses checked during two post-race examinations. An article in the Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice Journal states that hemorrhaging in the lungs is "a condition affecting virtually all horses during intense exercise worldwide….there is no treatment that is considered a panacea, and the currently allowed treatments have not proven to be effective." Another study in the Equine Veterinary Journal noted that as long as a horse continues to undergo training and racing, the lungs cannot heal.


These are only a few of the cruel stitiations racers suffur every day in the indstry, this group is for genuine horse lovers who oppose the cruel industry of horse racing.

Members: 12
Latest Activity: Nov 8, 2013

Where Race Horses Go to Retire

Horse Racing is all about making Profit at the horses expence - Even the winners get sent to the slaughterhouse once they are not profitable. A few examples of this is Kentucky Derby winners Ferinand, War Emblem and Charismatic were sent to a slaughterhouses is Japan. [WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT]

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Comment by Tamela Walker on June 12, 2013 at 11:49am
Good to know there ate like minded people who recognize the inherent cruelty of the racing industry which only exploit for money
Comment by Standardbred Fan Club on May 2, 2013 at 1:13pm

Our Facebook page has an online petition (not started by us) to ban jumps racing in Australia - it's a horrific sport


Slaughter in Canada -- we slaughter nearly 90,000 horses every year and many of those thousands are race horses. There are some wonderful groups to join if you want to join the movement to stop horse slaughter (soon to come also  The Equine Right To Life, an anti-horse slaughter movement that basically advocates the end of horse slaughter in Canada because the method used is inhumane).

Comment by Lauren Kerber on May 2, 2013 at 3:48am

Although you might be in a different country to me, my argument is the same. It's not that often that we hear about the injuries to horses racing on the flat in Australia, even if you're a horse person. But what really shocks me is that my state won't ban jumps racing. Every time they broadcast a jumps race on the news, even for 30 seconds, there is always footage of a horse/horses falling over or jockeys falling off. Majority of these horses have to be put down because of broken legs, necks etc. It's hardly the horses fault. The courses are way too long (the horses are exhausted and only really cantering when the cross the finish line) Pretty much all the horses that fall, fall on the landing after the jump, because they are going too fast and they probably don't have all the correct muscles to hurl themselves over jumps at that pace. Then the jumps are as bad as anything. About a foot of plastic stuff at the bottom, and the rest is just brush.

Activists have been at them for a while and they won't change their minds (the government)

Sorry about this but I had to have a good rant to someone who understand (mum and I don't see eye to eye on this one)

Comment by Standardbred Fan Club on November 3, 2012 at 6:07pm

The Standardbred Horse Fan Club submitted an idea for a Canada Retirement Foundation for Thoroughbred and Standardbred race horses to the Aviva Fund. The idea was accepted two days ago and we are now scrambling to try to raise votes by Monday (end of the second round of votes). If anyone can help with a vote, we will succeed and may be eligible for a grant for the Foundation for $50,000 to $100,000 - a good start for sure. Please assist us - our race horses deserve better than what they receive after their racing efforts

Comment by Nicola Barnes on January 10, 2012 at 12:03pm

Yes, it's terrible. Not fair on them :(

Comment by Nicola Barnes on December 7, 2011 at 11:46am

Yes, there are some fantastic people out there, and I'm sure SOME horses, like Zenyatta and Secretariat, love to race. You can see by the way their ears are up, although the wind streaks them :)

That's good with the not long distances, and u do that! I would also try and stop early age racing and drugging horses for faster growth!

Comment by E. Allan Buck on December 7, 2011 at 11:25am

As an American been involved with TB racing, I can tell you that profit is the motivating factor.  That being said there are great owners and trainers do take excellent care of their horses.  I personally would like to see that no two year olds could be raced and that any three year old could not race until after its calender birthdate.  Also stop the practice of sprint racing...TB racing has become more like QH racing, there are not as many distant races.

Comment by Nicola Barnes on December 7, 2011 at 11:11am

My boy is an ex racer, he has an injury. It was bad, but from when he was a foal, playing in the paddock. He was frolicking when he scratched it to the bone, but still raced a year later and came first twice out of six starts :) Now his leg is fine, still visible, but no trouble.
But, along with racing, Steeplechasing is also cruel. Extremely cruel. These jockeys lean back as the horses leaps, and fall forward as they land, resulting in unbalancing the horse...


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