Look at this picture.
And when you do, get angry and upset because animal activists are making big inroads.
A few hours ago, at Golden Gate Fields racetrack in the big US state of California, the meeting was held to ransom when four people jumped the fence, and parked themselves in the middle of the home straight. They anchored themselves, locking arms there in protest to how dangerous this particular race course is to the welfare of horses.
And they have a point, although these pictures and the scenes show this isn’t the way to to go about it.
Since 2007, 502 horses have died from horrific injuries sustained while running at this track.
Calling themselves the DIRECT ACTION EVERYWHERE group, they (a gathering of nearly 20) held up blue and gold placards letting the public know just how dangerous the racetrack is.
Initially, and it seems their ploy, was to garner attention outside the course, then, while no-one was watching, these four miscreants from the gathered protestors snuck in and onto the track.
Their objective is to shut down racing altogether at this track and if they do, it will start a chain-reaction all over the world.
This is a landmine for the sport.
With recent pics of English trainer Gordon Elliott sitting on top of a dead horse, along with many racetracks still allowing horses to be whipped down the home straight, and of course the growing concern about unsavoury working hours, the sport is in real trouble.
Califionian newspaper, The Mercury News reported this morning, that Almira Tanner, the 33-year-old lead organiser of the group, said Direct Action Everywhere was there because after the recent horse deaths, “we felt like enough is enough.”
She said of the four people who were planning to chain themselves together in the hope of shutting down the day’s racing: “They’re prepared to get arrested.”
She identified them as Jamie Cron, Omar Aicardi, Rocky Chau and Rachel Ziegler.
“These beautiful animals live lives of exploitation and abuse for the sake of profit,” Chau said in a statement. “Then they’re killed for the same reason. The public is increasingly aware of the reality of this barbaric industry and is demanding that we leave it in the past.”
The protest delayed racing, with the day’s first race at 12:45 p.m. not going off for over an hour as scheduled.
In 2020 alone 23 horses died at the track.
Industry dinosaurs who think they can go on doing the same practices in this sport, turning a blind eye to wastage for example, that they have been doing the past 125 years, HAVE to change.
Racing Victoria trialling whip free races is a good start.
Activists are coming for the sport. And their sole mission is to STOP horse racing altogether.
Change, adapt or die.