Racing is controversial in the horse industry. As a general rule, you either approve of it or you don’t. That’s fine. This post isn’t about whether you should be pro or anti racing. However, whatever your views are on racing, as a horse owner and especially if you own a thoroughbred or ex racehorse, you have to have a certain level of respect for the industry.
This is largely because of what the racing industry brings to the rest of the equine industry. Racing is where the real money is and they invest millions into improving the performance of their horses. A lot of this money goes into medical research with the British Racing Authority (BHA) funding over £25 million of veterinary research since 2000. Most, if not all, of this research is also valuable to the rest of the equine industry.
Much of what we know about the horses body, injury, treatment and recovery, we know because the racing industry wanted to know it first!
It’s also important to remember that the thoroughbred was created for the sole purpose of being an elite race horse. If there wasn’t a racing industry, there wouldn’t be the thoroughbred. The thoroughbred has since gone on to be used to improve many sports horse breeds over the years. If it wasn’t for the racing industry and the thoroughbred, the majority of horses we know today would likely be very different.
So while you have every right to disagree with the racing industry, don’t become blind to what racing has done for the rest of the equine industry. Because one day, their research might just save your horse.