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knocker

Age-old Question

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The deaths of two horses in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham yesterday cast a shadow over a memorable day. Featherbed Lane and Abergavenny were put down after suffering leg injuries in the handicap hurdle, adding to the loss of three horses on the opening day.This raises the age-old question yet again on whether this is justified in a sporting event. I have to admit, although I have been a lover of racing fot 50 years I've never quite come to terms with this or found an answer. Animal Aid predictable are on the offensive and who is say they are wrong?

Animal Aid was predictably quick to deliver a scathing response to the casualties. “The news that five horses have now been killed in just two days at Cheltenham confirms the reputation of the Festival as a bloody and unforgiving event,†Andrew Tyler, a director of the animal rights group, said.

“Cheltenham has now killed 38 horses since 2000. Calling it a sporting event is a travesty.â€

The group is well known for its hardline approach to animal welfare and racing has regularly been the target of its campaigns.

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Its weird there is uproar by some sections over the death of horse involved in racing but when a rider is killed in connection with the Isle of Man TT races and there have been many, nothing.

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Its weird there is uproar by some sections over the death of horse involved in racing but when a rider is killed in connection with the Isle of Man TT races and there have been many, nothing.

Couldn't agree more, sad that it is on both counts. Just the same with minority sports where success is largely ignored unless it happens to be footie when top priority is given by the media however trivial the real news just to appeal to the masses

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If we didn't have racing there would be more horses put down than we lose in races,

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The deaths of two horses in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham yesterday cast a shadow over a memorable day. Featherbed Lane and Abergavenny were put down after suffering leg injuries in the handicap hurdle, adding to the loss of three horses on the opening day.This raises the age-old question yet again on whether this is justified in a sporting event. I have to admit, although I have been a lover of racing fot 50 years I've never quite come to terms with this or found an answer. Animal Aid predictable are on the offensive and who is say they are wrong?

Animal Aid was predictably quick to deliver a scathing response to the casualties. “The news that five horses have now been killed in just two days at Cheltenham confirms the reputation of the Festival as a bloody and unforgiving event,†Andrew Tyler, a director of the animal rights group, said.

“Cheltenham has now killed 38 horses since 2000. Calling it a sporting event is a travesty.â€

The group is well known for its hardline approach to animal welfare and racing has regularly been the target of its campaigns.

In that case could we call it a blood sport?

For myself I have had very little interest in horse racing, though I'm not sure I would have been of the same mind had I lived my life prior to the advent of motorised vehicles, since I have always enjoyed speed i.e, making fast progress not the drug.

Though I do find it upsetting to hear of horses getting seriously injured and put down merely for man's entertainment.

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I think the key has to be for horse racing as a sport to try and find ways of reducing the risk to horses that don't substantially dent the appeal of horse racing. It is often possible in these situations, as we've seen with the improved cockpit safety and circuit run-off areas in Formula One, both of which have made it a lot safer without denting the appeal significantly. However it is unrealistic to be able to expect to eliminate risk without denting the appeal of the sport (take the scores of drive-through penalties that people get in Formula One for collisions where the distribution of blame is roughly 70-30 for example)- very few sports involve no risk at all.

I don't like this idea that "it is wrong to take any kind of risks for pleasure, for we all need to work, but we don't need to enjoy ourselves". It isn't just an argument for outlawing horse racing, it is the main reason why we banned hunting but didn't tackle the crueller battery farming processes, and why we are slowly phasing out the recreational benefits of driving but doing little about our society being over-reliant on cars to get from A to B. I think it's important to fully appreciate the tangible benefits that human gratification gives to our society- certainly in the case of horse racing, there are many enthusiasts whose enjoyment of horse racing would be hard to fully replace with other sources of enjoyment.

I'm not a fan of horse racing personally but I find the above to be a pretty common issue across many subject areas which is why I take a strong stance on it.

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Its weird there is uproar by some sections over the death of horse involved in racing but when a rider is killed in connection with the Isle of Man TT races and there have been many, nothing.

Do horses enter races out of their own choice?

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Do horses enter races out of their own choice?

Beat me to it! The jockeys get to assess the risks for themselves and choose. The horses do not.

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Horses and people and all other animals die.

Sometimes it's from "natural" causes, sometimes it's an accident.

Animal aids time would be better spent targetting acts of deliberate cruelty like dog-fighting,badger-baiting, and owner-neglect in squalid housing conditions but there's no class warfare involved and thus virtually no incentive for them to campaign against these activities.

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Do horses enter races out of their own choice?

Just because humans have choice, do we permit something to carry on if it regular kills people?

It baffles me why there is never uproar over the TT races as when there is over the National, a boxer who is left badly injured etc.

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Just because humans have choice, do we permit something to carry on if it regular kills people?

It baffles me why there is never uproar over the TT races as when there is over the National, a boxer who is left badly injured etc.

Yes Mr Data, we do permit activities which kill people - just look at the number of fatal accidents on our roads - over 2000 fatalities a year in the UK and our figures are better than most and they have halved over the last few decades, mainly due to vehicle design but they still occur. However just imagine the uproar if Joe average were to be denied his wheels and of course being involved in such an accident is never going to happen to him.

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Animal aids time would be better spent targetting acts of deliberate cruelty like dog-fighting,badger-baiting, and owner-neglect in squalid housing conditions but there's no class warfare involved and thus virtually no incentive for them to campaign against these activities.

They probably do campaign against these things. In any case, I doubt class warfare has anything to do with it.

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Just because humans have choice, do we permit something to carry on if it regular kills people?

It baffles me why there is never uproar over the TT races as when there is over the National, a boxer who is left badly injured etc.

Does 'it' kill people, or do those people merely put themselves into danger, for their own reasons. I have very little interest in anything remotely equestrian Mr D, so I'm not making any 'animal rights' arguments; just that people should remain free to endanger themselves as they wish; and so-long as they don't endanger unwilling spectators??

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They probably do campaign against these things. In any case, I doubt class warfare has anything to do with it.

It's possible that some campaigners might be influenced by "class wars" but I broadly agree with you, as an overall factor behind the campaigns it pales into insignificance.

In the debates we had on the hunting ban here at N-W, the consensus among supporters of the ban was, "you cannot justify putting animals' lives at risk for pleasure", making me suspicious that it was primarily legislating against "dubious sources of pleasure". Campaigns against horse racing are often (not always, but often) associated with the same way of thinking. However, if a particular instance of horse racing is causing disproportionate deaths to horses (as seems to be the case with the Coral Cup) then the organisers need to have a hard look at how they can rectify the situation- here the campaigners may well have a good point.

Yes Mr Data, we do permit activities which kill people - just look at the number of fatal accidents on our roads - over 2000 fatalities a year in the UK and our figures are better than most and they have halved over the last few decades, mainly due to vehicle design but they still occur. However just imagine the uproar if Joe average were to be denied his wheels and of course being involved in such an accident is never going to happen to him.

I think there are various similar initiatives to tackle these driving-related problems. Having seen a lot of sustainable transport campaigns over the years, one common theme is the desire to get the public to see it as anti-social to drive unless it's essential for business, and particularly anti-social to derive any enjoyment from driving. Campaigners know that this agenda is extremely unpopular so they aim to phase it in via a series of almost imperceptible measures and emphasise the likelihood of the measures cutting pollution, congestion and road accidents. I see strong parallels between this and the campaigns to outlaw the likes of horse racing, and I have much the same set of objections.

Does 'it' kill people, or do those people merely put themselves into danger, for their own reasons. I have very little interest in anything remotely equestrian Mr D, so I'm not making any 'animal rights' arguments; just that people should remain free to endanger themselves as they wish; and so-long as they don't endanger unwilling spectators??

I think the objection re. animals not having a choice in their own destiny is a perfectly valid one. It then raises questions like, "how would the animals be treated if they weren't used for racing?" and "are the majority of animals well-treated?". I do get a feeling that some sporting people don't look after their animals anywhere near as well as they can and should do, which is something that we can clamp down on without having to scupper sporting events completely.

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