I spent half my life in horse racing. The Medina Spirit scandal lays bare why I left

By: Elizabeth Banicki Saturday 15 May 2021

In two decades as an exercise rider, I saw racehorses that were pushed too hard too early for profit and prestige. Bob Baffert and others who perpetrate this abuse must be held to account

Horses running in the Kentucky Derby have only just hit their third birthday. Those magnificent creatures on which millions are wagered and stories of glory and sentiment inspired are but enslaved toddlers. No horse at two or even three years old is physically or mentally prepared for what is forced upon it by the racing industry. Even with new measures and oversight in place, young horses continue to break down, suffer injuries that will be chronic for the rest of their lives, and are medicated when they would not otherwise be if not for the damage done by the immense pressure they are under.

Related: After 15 years at the racetrack, I can no longer watch a horse race | Elizabeth Banicki

If Mr Baffert is feeling cancelled by an industry that once loved and pampered him but now coldly turns its back, well, he has lots of company.

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