On Sunday, the University of Louisville’s Kevin Ware sustained one of the most gruesome injuries in sports history. The outpouring of support from across the country, along with the response of his teammates, has been fantastic.
However, some horrifying leg injuries don’t get the same attention, such as this one sustained by the great-granddaughter of legendary Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew and captured on video during a recent PETA investigation:
This young horse wasn’t lauded or celebrated. There was no emergency surgery or outpouring of sympathy. She was just euthanized.
Fatal injuries like this one happen about three times every single day at racetracks across the country, including Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the upcoming Kentucky Derby. That’s because horses are forced to run at too young an age on bones that haven’t fully developed. They are given drugs to mask pain so that they will run with existing injuries. And they are beaten into running at top speeds on hard, punishing track surfaces.
Unlike Louisville’s indomitable Ware and other athletes who sustain injuries, horses used for racing don’t choose to compete. And unlike human athletes who receive top-notch medical care and are often up and walking in a matter of days or weeks, horses who suffer catastrophic injuries are often killed right where they fall.
So tune in to the Final Four this weekend and cheer on Louisville (or Michigan, Syracuse, or Wichita State), but please never bet on, watch, or attend a horse race.