Recently in Horsemanitarianism 101 Category
American Thoroughbred horse racing has come under close scrutiny during the last several years, as people who know jack about the sport (or even about horses) have condemned us for things they don't understand.
Much of the condemnation comes from people who may start from a place of good intentions--but you know what they say about The Road to Hell...
And then there's the scrutiny that the sport receives that's deserved: how is it, I wonder, that a supposedly "First World" country like that US still is so bass-ackward regarding both doping and whipping of horses?
I posit here, and will argue during this series, that--until the United States joins, oh-I-don't-know--the rest-of-Earthly-civilization--America will continue to be thought of as a Third World racing country, by those nations who are savvy and horsemanitarian enough to institute rules and laws that put The Horse, first.
In upstate New York--just a few miles from our renowned and elegant Saratoga Race Course, an evil man named GERALD (JERRY) HERRON has been abusing horses for years. He abuses and neglects all the other animals on his "farm," as well.
His most recent offense is that, among other sins, he starved a precious colt to death. YES, he did.
I'm too angry and upset to write anything eloquent: instead, I'm going to give the proverbial keyboard to MR. BRAD SHEAR, Executive Dirctor of the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society, to tell you about the horrors. Please read all the way to the end, and follow Mr. Shear's instructions for phone calls that MUST be placed, in order to get this evil man into prison and animals--especially, horses--out of his hands. If he is allowed to keep animals, he'll kill them. Period. Do you want to be complicit in his crime, simply because you couldn't be bothered to pick up the phone and make two calls?
I don't care if Herron is crazy, certifiably a lunatic. I don't care if his Mommy left him as a child, and he's sad so he acts out and hurts animals. I don't give a damn about his problems. Tough life? Too bad. He has no right--legally or morally--to abuse the animals who were entrusted to him.
Please read, and then act. It doesn't matter if you live in New York, France or Mars. If you truly care about animal welfare, you'll care about this, and act. Thank you, very much...
I'm a big believer in supporting anyone who helps animals. Quaintance House Animal Protective League is one of the most-worthy of your donations and admiration.
The organization's second annual "It's Raining Cats & Dogs" event in Saratoga will be held tomorrow evening (August 15th), and I wish I could attend, but can't...
It was a Hell of a day. And by "Hell," I do mean, Hell.
First I had a car accident, not my fault. The wench hit me, knocked off the front left fender of my car and drove away. Fast.
I was on my way to the track, actually to visit Trainer, Abigail Adsit. I wanted just to give her a hug, then to beat it out of her barn. I didn't want to bug her, just to show some support for the Hell she'd been going through since the horrible incident yesterday. As most of you know by now, her horse, Lavender Road, started a journey yesterday that ended in her return to Heaven today. It's too long a story, and too complicated--and way too sad--so I'll just ask you to Google it.
I'd heard reports both that Lavender had fractured neck vertebrae and that she had brain damage. Somewhere in their are the facts. Oh, yes, and internal heat stroke played a role.
The end result was that the beautiful First Defence (Unbridled's Song) f!lly, out of a Grand Slam mare--had to be humanely euthanized today. I wasn't there, but I know that she was surrounded by Abigail and others who love her...
...but they shouldn't be punished for it.
Yesterday on Facebook, I read that an idiot had written that, after California Chrome's Triple Crown bid is over--whichever way it goes--his owners will sell him to slaughter.
Clearly, that person had been lobotomized. If Chrome wins the Belmont Stakes--ergo, the Triple Crown--he'll become California Platinum.
If he doesn't win--well, he's still the winner of the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness. We know how he'll spend the rest of his life: whoopin' it up on a stud farm, making oodles of babies and cash.
In fact, I'll be shocked if we don't get news by this time tomorrow, about which farm has inked a lucrative deal with his owners. Ain't no way, no how, that California Chrome ever will be anything but rich.
But that's not the point of this missive. And I won't belabor the point. But it occurred to me today that...even in these days leading up to the Belmont Stakes...there are horses who aren't on the good end of that stick...
So much has been written about me in the last week, and will be written about my tribe of equines in the near future. Concerned about my welfare and that of members of my society, humans are all up in arms today, worried--ranting and reporting--bout our welfare.
And we appreciate that--really, we do.
But it strikes us that the problem really is more complicated than the media would have us believe:
* Everyone's acting like this is a revelation, that allegedly, a horse trainer did bad things to members of my tribe.
* Everyone's acting like allegations such as these happen only in Thoroughbred racing.
* Every time something like this happens, humans get all fuss-and-feathers, and start squawking that this is a "wake-up call," as if it's the first time anyone has heard of anything like it.
* Horse racing is not the only sport that uses members of my equine tribe, and yet it's been singled out as being satan, incarnate. YES, the sport IS in dire need of fixing. You humans have GOT to get your act together, and put us--noting but us--first and foremost. Otherwise, all this ridiculous, political infighting will keep men in blue suits rich and us, unprotected.
* We haven't heard about an expose in any major newspaper "busting wide open" the disgusting, evil practice of soring.
* And the "New York Times" has printed several articles that side with the New York City horse carriage trade.
From our perspective--this is wildly inconsistent. Either you care about the welfare of ALL we horses--or you don't. Either the "Times" is a real newspaper--or it has an agenda far-deeper than exposing horse abuse. And that agenda, itself, should be investigated. Is the "Times" receiving money from some politician who hates horse racing? Does the paper need simply to sell more rags?
And I'm thinking that horse carriage drivers don't dine in five-star restaurants, so the perks of investigating them aren't as cool as hanging with Thoroughbred trainers. (The "Times" does a lot of citing of veterinarians and quotes by carriage drivers who lament the possible loss of their careers and their lifestyles. Hmmmm...)
It's obvious to us that you humans can't decide which horse welfare causes are worthy of your time, and which can be swept under the rug. Your priorities are as messed up as your human society, itself.
So I have decided that the time had come for me to tell you about myself, and about members of my tribe. Clearly, you people need some education. And you need to realize that the American attitude about horse welfare for ALL horses must be changed, or nothing will change, at all...
That human being--a nice woman, who kept calling me,"Sir"--told me that, if today was International Day of the Horse, there would have been a memo in the emails of everyone associated with the United Nations.
No email today. They didn't get the memo, as they say.
You see, today in the United States, it's National Day of the Horse. On the Facebook page of the Equine Welfare Alliance, we're informed that the Congress of the United States declared December 13th to be National Day of the Horse, in 2004. This is an annual celebration of The Horse, and the debt of gratitude that Americans owe to the God-given species.
The entire world should celebrate The Horse, as well--so earlier this year, Her Royal
Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein decided to put a proposal before the United Nations, to declare the same date as International Day of the Horse...
Here in the United States, this coming Thursday (November 28th) is a holiday we call, Thanksgiving.
I'm sure that every country in the world has a similar holiday: a day set aside to thank God for all we have--for all whom we love--for health, joy, life and peace. (Theoretically, that's the idea, anyway.)
The Race Track Chaplaincy of America / New York Division once again will do two really wonderful Thanksgiving-ish things for the people whom they serve with great love, 365 days a year. I've just taken the NYRA (New York Racing Association) press release that I received a few minutes ago--jijjed it up a bit--and highlighted contact info for both donors and media.
No fancy pictures--not even NYRA or RTCANY logos in this one: my computer had a cerebral hemorrhage this week, and I'm using a loaner until or unless my laptop can be fixed. So this is a bare-bones article--I hope that you don't need pretty pictures or logos--I hope that words are enough to convince you to care. And if you care...perhaps you'll decide to help.
Thanks for reading, folks--have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving, wherever you are. And if you're not in America on Thursday, November 28th--heck, celebrate with us, anyway! Have a turkey, tofurkey or sprouts sandwich, and thank God for all you've got.
This one will be relatively short and sweet, for the need is urgent.
Monique (Monika) Kierach is a horse-loving woman who possesses one of the kindest hearts on this (or any other) planet.
She cannot stand to see a horse in pain--or neglected, abused or otherwise ill-treated. I know that you all feel the same, or you wouldn't be reading this.
Monika sent around an email, and a request: help her rescue this herd of horses from a man whose just not doing right by them.
You've always wanted a horse? You love horses as much as Monika and I, and want to do something?
The best thing that can be written on your gravestone is,
"I Saved a Horse's Life."
And here's your chance...
I've been thinking about this for several weeks now. Like many of you who are involved with horse racing--I spend part of every day of my Life feeling guilty, and thinking that I should just pack it up and take a job as secretary to some corporate moron.
You know--a 9-to-5 gig, in which I never take work home with me, not even mentally. Mindless, spineless--no emotional connection to the job, the work or my co-workers. Get a (slim) paycheck for basically putting up with the control issues of a corporate wonk with low self-esteem.
I know that I can't go back to that--but also I can't justify being in horse racing, unless I DO Something. Horse racing has its detractors--and some of the criticism is justified.
But racing also has its fine, amazing points: chief among those are The Horses...