Here’s some good news: The thoroughbred racing rag The Blood-Horse reports that the TV ratings for last weekend’s Belmont Stakes (the last “jewel” in the Triple Crown) were the lowest ever in the 50 years that ratings have been tracked. Apparently, Saturday-evening TV viewers have better things to do than watch a dozen horses get flogged for a mile and a half.
In a New York Times blog post the following day, Bennett Liebman, a member of the New York Racing Association’s board of directors, opined on the many reasons for “the decline of horse racing,” among which, he says, are corruption, drugs, and “the use of whips on horses and the catastrophic injuries we have seen in major races,” all of which “have contributed to the public perception that horse racing is a cruel sport which has little concern for the health or the safety of the horse.”
I think Liebman is on to something. Do you agree that horse racing is on its last (broken) legs?
Written by Alisa Mullins