Kentucky Derby: Tragedy Isn't That Uncommon, So Why is it an Issue Now?

Todd OelzeContributor IMay 23, 2008

Ok, so this has been itching at me for a couple weeks now and I just want to get it off my back. 

Tragically, a horse had to be put down on the track after the Kentucky Derby.  I was there, I saw the thing happen, and it's the way it goes.  The horse was in too much pain and the doctors did a favor to the horse by hurrying the process up and did what they did. 

So to get to the point, I am a huge horse racing fan, understandably since I am from Kentucky and I have attended the Kentucky Derby for the past 3 years now; but what people don't understand is what good these doctors are doing for the horses when they put them down.  Yeah it my look terrible, but the horses are going through so much pain it's ridiculous.  I have been to countless races at Churchill Downs and, unfortunately, I have witnessed plenty of horses being euthanized on the track.  It's the way things have to happen.

What really gets to me is that there would be no problem with any animal organization if this wasn't a multi-million dollar race where publicity accounts for most of their argument.  There was a race on Oaks Day, which is the day before the Kentucky Derby where the Fillies run for the Lilies, where a horse had a worse turnout than the horse from the Derby.  Don't get me wrong, I care about horses and horse racing, but all of these damn animal organizations need to get their foot out of their mouth and realize what they are saying.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that if this was just any other race then it wouldn't mean anything to PETA.  They seem to think that if they punish the jockey then it's going to accomplish something when they owners and trainer of the horse claim the jockey did all the right things for the horse.  The owners and trainer have been interviewed countless times by plenty of people and their story isn't changing, they feel that there was nothing done wrong, they do regret running in the Derby, but nothing was done wrong! 

They aren't taking the whip away from the jockey so stop pushing for the ban, that's how the jockey wakes the horse up on the back stretch.  It was a terrible thing that happened at the Derby and that happens across the world everyday, but it's going to happen when you train very large animals with very large bodies on small quick legs. But they breed the best to be the best.

In all, if you ever have a chance to come to the Kentucky Derby, take it!  Its a great weekend of activities and you will not find a place where more celebs go, and its not all about the horse racing.  The Kentucky Derby is the only place you can go throughout the whole year to see a great day in sports where you can be intoxicated and only have to worry about seeing 2 minutes of the whole day! 

Oh yeah not to forget but you will see it all; from beautiful women dressed unbelievably to the average redneck with no shirt, shorts, hiking boots with his socks halfway up to his knees, hardly any teeth and with a hat made from a beer box!  It's amazing!!