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RIP Barbaro

Written by PETA | January 30, 2007

Barbaro, the horse who suffered a catastrophic leg injury during the 2006 Preakness, was euthanized yesterday morning. He had been in poor condition for more than 8 months after the accident, and it is a small mercy at least that his suffering is finally over.

Of course, in all the outward show of regret about Barbaro’s cruel fate from within the horse-racing industry, everyone conveniently forgot to mention the fact that this kind of misery comes standard for horses used in racing. While the world watched to see what would happen to Barbaro, countless other horses continued to die on the tracks, and tens of thousands more (including thoroughbreds) were sold for slaughter—their meat used in cat food or sold to European countries for human consumption.

The story is being pitched as an unexpected accident that shocked the country, but the truth is that Barbaro’s tragedy is a very public reminder of the plight of racehorses everywhere and the cruel fate that awaits so many victims of the horse racing industry.

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  • pam says:

    humans are ignorant and dumb we should be ashamed

  • Kathy Munt says:

    It is more they are race before their bones are strong enough for it. If they would wait for them to finish growning it would be better.

  • Sally Person says:

    Donna i completey agree with you horses were not meant to race it makes them move in ways they aren’t supposed to and that is why so many horses are killed in this horrible sport. thats my thought about horse racing

  • Krys says:

    In response to Kathleen Horses don’t race because they want to. They do not walk to the race track and put a rider on their back. Racing is something that is forced upon them. Racecar drives put themselves behind the wheel. If they die it is by their own hand. Whereas race horses usually die because of something a human does such as forcing them to race.

  • Donna says:

    Nascar? Do you know how many drivers have been killed in nascar?More than horses on a racetrack.

  • Kathleen Munt says:

    I have been saying a long time. That the horses are to young. And they are not train right. There is no way a horse is train that young. Because ever year that they work the horse it is money. Same with the other shows. Got to be in the show ring. By two. I why would any one breed to a unsound stud. Breeder of stud bred to my horse he was shown with a won with broken leg. Your horse in unsound. I would breed with one the just place first. I like sound foals. Next one can not get close to the stud. It is about the money. Do not watch the horse racing anymore. I would not even had know this if it was not for this form. I do not do anything like watching the racing because when you do they make money.

  • steph says:

    yoyo horse racing is ok because the horses who race enjoy it but this shouldnt have happened!!

  • pcb says:

    A follow up comment made by Stu….. Horseracing and grey hound racing are equally cruel I agree with this. Sometime ago I went to Greyhound races I thought at first it was harmless fun and entertainment. Or so I thought Most greyhounds are on stricts diets and have the weight constantly monitored so it doesn’t effect race performance. Greyhounds race in terrible weather conditions When I saw them race the track was so wet and damp that a greyhound slipped under his feetsomersaulted andc ended up tripping up two other greyhounds in the process. Worst of all if they can’t run and the owner’s unable to rehouse them they are put down because they are too expensive to keep. They believe it’s more humane to euthanise a greyhounddog born for running than let a lame greyhound live. Horseracing shares the same disregard for Horses and it’s welfare. Just because you can ride a Horse doesn’t mean it wants to be ridden!!

  • Stu says:

    Let’s not forget about greyhound racing which is equally cruel but maybe even worse since the dogs aren’t as well cared for as racehorses.

  • Scott says:

    Suzy animals don’t abuse and destroy us because they can’t. If an animal had the means rest assured they would. There’s no need to demean the other side as being “idiots”.

  • Suzy says: “pro” idiots.. People abuse and destroy animals. Animals “don’t” abuse and destroy us!!!!

  • Suzy says:

    Horseracing is physically and mentally damaging to the health of the animal.I rescued an exthoroughbred that was so distressed and abused from drug addition that she was schedule to be put to death. Her tail was even cut off. Horseracing is an abusive and greed driven sport not only for the horse but for the jockey as well!

  • Scott says:

    Please make it stop. This is not a ‘tragedy’. It’s the death of an animal. Here’s a newsflash thousands upon thousands of animals die every day. Some are good at running really fast others are good at licking themselves. NONE require extensive media coverage.

  • Amanda says:

    I am suprised at the number of people who really believe that they were fighting for Barbaro for the love of the horse rather than the love of the money he could bring in. These same people are the ones who don’t believe that there is horse slaughter and throw away colts born.

  • Kay says:

    It’s a shame they tried so long to save him. If he had been a mare I doubt they would have. I think they were just trying to save their moneybag for breeding.

  • Barbara Kight says:

    I live in a “horse” town in S.C. They train horses and have trials for 2 year olds every spring. They also have a steeplechase where at least 4 or 5 horses have to be put down after falling after jumps. I stopped going after the second year because I believed it nothing but animal cruelty. The “society” of the town wined and dined under the tents while these beautiful creatures were being euthanized. It made me sick and I never went with my husband at the time again. He was a physician and felt it obligatory to attend the “social event” of the season. He loved it bet on the animals didn’t care about them and I simply couldn’t nor can I ever watch such an outright cruel “sport” for the wealthy to enjoy. I love animals so much. I am sick over the death of Barbaro. His 3 year old legs are too young for such a massive body traveling at such a fast pace. Im not an expert but I love horses and can’t stand to see one get “put down”. I ache for them.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Let’s hope that Barbaro’s life will allow people to see how a race horse really lives. Horses need to roam freely in a beautiful pasture with other horses not racing around a track at high speeds while being kicked in the ribs. Rest In Peace Barbaro……we love you and God Bless!!!

  • Bridget says:

    Just another tragic example how using animals for entertainment is unjust cruel and unnecessary. It would be great if we could learn from this tragedy and remember animals are not ours to consume experiment on or use for entertainment. They are to be protected. It seems simple enough to us who are contributing to bettering their welfare but the average Joe check out Fox News Blog on Barbaro it’s scary it’s just a horse and were at war so there are higher priorities to focus our compassion……??? As foreign as their backward views are on animal rights are to us to them we are the odd balls who care more about animals then people. So it remains a constant balancing act when educating people on what tactics you are going to use to hopefully get through to them. Make them view animals in a different light then our slaves. I will pray and think of this sweet soul Barbaro often and dearly as I continue to fight for the rights that animals deserve.

  • jack lawford says:

    horse racing is another sport running out of sick human brains also jumping ruins horses’ legs and the most evil races of all are those ones of aintree in england and the palio of siena in italy you butchers and idiots!!! take your own feet and run to hell!

  • Becca Nesbit says:

    I live in Louisville where the KY derby is held. It’s very sad to see the thousands of people who come out to see the races. Its such a shame to waste the great beauty of horses on entertainment.

  • Kelly says:

    I was saddened to hear about Barbaro’s death. This morning we were watching The Today Show and they did a story on Barbaro. I said to my Dad “Poor thing. I hope he makes it.” Well just hours later I went online and saw the headline about Barbaro’s death on my AOL Welcome Screen. My heart goes out to Barbaro’s owners. I know a lot of people were pulling for this horse and praying that he would make a full recovery. The vets did everything they could to save Barbaro but God was calling him home. This should send out a message loud and clear that horse racing is cruel and should be outlawed. If it isn’t other racehorses will suffer the same fate as Barbaro. Rest in peace Barbaro. We love you.

  • Paul says:

    Who would have guessed that whipping a horse and making it run for its life could have ever gone wrong?? My only wish in life is that one day humans give animals the respect they deservenot for eating wearing or entertainment.

  • Kelly says:

    I apologize! I know this is not the right place to post this comment. But I thought this could be handed on to anyone interested. I just found this published in blog httphcrenewal.blogspot.com200701marketingnotfitfordog.html Dr Roy M Poses wrote “Marketing Not Fit For a Dog” Dr Poses is Director of Research at Brown Medical School. It is nice to see someone in the scientific community with some dignity and who is willing to speak the truth!!

  • Michael Willis says:

    I came upon an AP article today about Barbaro’s death and decided to write about it for an environmental ethics class. This is essentially what I wrote This horse died as a result of being forced or coerced into running in a circle. However this act is in no way part of a horse’s natural way of life. Essentially Barbaro was forced into an iron holdingpen at the beginning of the race and upon the opening of the holdingpen gates Barbaro burst into a mad confusion of other horses all while fences kept them within narrow bounds. This is why he fractured his leg. There is no denying these circumstances. We humans call this a sport. However it is ultimately the exploitation of horses and it should stop. We only coerce these horses into such dangerous environments for our trivial entertainment purposes. Horseracing opposes the true nature of horses.

  • sarah says:

    poor guy horse racing is sick… just watch NASCAR if you really must watch things quickly move around in circles.