Horse Racing the full picture


Recently horse racing in general has gone under the microscope, this includes trainers,owners,riders and everything connected with the sport of kings. The Racing post has ran several articles in recent months,covering apprentice system,use of the whip and the recent wrong horse entered at Yarmouth debacle, to be honest the views on these articles have caused quite a stir within the ranks of the racing world. Couple this with the recent increase of fighting at some race tracks and the more recent incident involving Davy Russell, who appeared to strike his horse for approaching the show hurdle too fast.

Some race courses have to find funding for their meetings by putting on Concert’s after races are finished to fund the prize money available for winning connections. This can attract the wrong kind of audience and in some cases can lead to criminal activity. I have an image taken by Andy_Parka one of my close friends on twitter from his recent trip to Sandown please find that below.


The above image was taken at Sandown shortly after gates opened at 4pm. The first race was scheduled for 5.35 and the concert didn’t start until 9.45, thus giving the crowd 4hrs of drinking time before the main event they came for began. I understand that funding for racing events can be expensive and the prize money available has to come from somewhere, but if the safety of all attending races has to be met then surely more has to be done to make sure everyone has an enjoyable experience when they pay their admission fee.

Now personally I feel that horse racing in general isn’t being reported properly. Yes sometimes incidents do occur that have no place at any sporting event, but to only pick up on the negative side of racing is wrong. I have followed horse racing most of my Adult life and find that generally around 95% of those involved with horse racing love and care for the horses they have access to.

I also find that the majority of racing fans who frequent race days to see these animals race do so in a respectable fashion. Although sadly some only tag along for the chance to get absolutely wasted, becoming a threat to not only themselves but everyone around them.

It saddens me to see incidents like these tarnish the name of a sport that has a huge following worldwide. When there are some extraordinary stories of the bond shared between horses and everyone connected with them,one example of this is an article I read recently from the handler of Permian who was fatally injured in America.

It’s these heart warming moments that mould the sport into something racing fans latch onto, so if they only concentrate on the negative side it displays a lopsided argument and is not in the best interests of the sport.

In order for the sport to thrive as it has done for centuries, we all need to pull together and do the right thing by each other, that way the sport will grow and develop naturally and these things that tarnish the sport will be a thing of the past.

Image rights belong to Andy_Parka for his picture from Sandown and I thank him for allowing me to use his image for this article.

Written by Charlie Mcgreevy for 3Furlongs Out and Arseonline.