Horse racing is a multi billion dollar industry providing jobs, tourism, income for the economy and in most cases enjoyment for those who wish to watch it.
However, do we really give enough thought to the animals welfare in all of this. In recent racing years, there has been a lot of controversy over racehorses being shot either on the track or in a stable environment because of an injury caused in a race. Many would argue that the horse would not have obtained the injury were it not for being in a race.
My family has always been involved with harness racing in different ways. I know there are many things that happen that aren't great for horses, but many horses being raced live love and presumably happy lives.
I believe horses should be allowed to race until they're at least three years of age, and they shouldn't be over-raced. A horse can damage itself just frolicking in a paddock, but yes, racing can be dangerous too. Life's like that though, good things happpen, and bad things happen.
It's abuse and exploitation, pure and simple. Horse racing, whether it be jumps, harness and so on, is completely barbaric and unnecessary. When I ask people why they go to the races, they answer that it is because of the fashion and drinks. Going to the races is basically for vanity reasons, and the horses deserve better than that. Animals Australia has published some information regarding the racing industry. Please have a look http://www.animalsaustralia.org/issues/horse_racing.php
I went to a Melbourne cup once. Going through the gates I was accosted by protestors. Admittedly it put a real dampener on the day and while I did place a couple of bets, it made me look into it more when I got home. It all really saddened me and I can say I've never been back to a horse race since nor made any bets. I feel the same way with greyhound racing.