“Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys”

March 25th, 2012

A sobering feature in today’s “New York Times” details the incidences of injuries and breakdowns at U.S. horse racing tracks, including the fact that even non-fatal horse breakdowns imperil the lives of jockeys.

Famous champion Quarter Horse jockey Jacky Martin, paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a breakdown last September at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, is among the jockeys, trainers, racing officials, and veterinarians, interviewed for the article, many, including Martin, in attached video clips.

The article is not an indictment against racing, but raises questions about the legal and illegal use of drugs in race horses, particularly in New Mexico, where 4 out of the 5 tracks are unaccredited and enforcement of drug violations is relatively lenient compared to other states.

The feature, titled “Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys,” is definitely worth a clear-eyed look for anyone who loves horses and racing, as well as all performance horse events where drugs are an issue.