We all know exactly how disastrous racing can be for the horses who are whipped and drugged for entertainment. Well, the scandal doesn’t stop at the Kentucky Derby—it goes all the way up to the Olympics.
That’s right—four horses forced to compete in the Olympics have tested positive, and have subsequently been banned, for the drug capsaicin. Capsaicin is banned because, in the words of one article, “it is derived from the chilli pepper and is used for either medication, as a pain-killer, or for its hypersensitizing properties. In both cases a horse might jump better as a result of its use.” Of course, when you mask pain and overuse a limb, the repercussions can be bone-shatteringly bad.
The four horses banned were competing in team show jumping. Their riders have also been banned from participating in individual events—and if more horses are found to have been drugged, the Olympic medals may be shifted around. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first Olympics where horse-dopers have been stripped of their medals—Germany lost the gold in Athens for the same crime.
People will be shocked to hear of this scandal—and for good reason. If horses are subjected to this kind of mistreatment at the highest level of the “sport,” maybe “sport” isn’t the right place for these beautiful, sensitive animals. Horses should not be drugged up and run into the ground by greedy people for money or for medals, even if it means abusing animals whose athleticism wins the gold. Oh, and did you see any of the close-ups, with the horses’ heads being yanked all the way to their chests and up again, their eyes almost popping out of their heads as they were jerked around? Nice.
Written by Amanda Schinke