Horse racing is death. It must be lifeless.
(Boy, do I hit the floor strolling with a sports humor column, or what?)
I say this no longer in response to 22 horse fatalities at Santa Anita racetrack due to Dec. 26; I say this because horse racing could no longer exist without the involuntary participation of its 4-legged athletes.
They are actually changing medicinal drug policies, decreasing the whip’s usage, and examining song surfaces. However, that is not anything extra than shuffling deck chairs at the backstretch of a moribund industry. Besides being imperiled via other varieties of gambling, horse racing should be felled by way of a easy, moral truth:
It’s simply wrong.
You would possibly appearance out your bedroom window and disagree; however, Couch Slouch would like to trust we’ve advanced as a subculture. With our evolution comes the conclusion that different dwelling beings — horses, dogs, lions, bass, even pigs — need to now not be used for our recreation or leisure, or, frankly, for our meals.
What, you observed Affirmed awoke every morning questioning, “Man, I need to kick Alydar’s butt on Saturday?”
(This occurred as late as years in the past.)
Horse racing, of the path, is deeply rooted in American history.
Its origins date lower back to spring 1883:
Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday were in Gunnison, Colo., at some stage in a 3-day Presidents’ Day weekend and were bored; they were nowhere close to Atlantic City or any Indian online casino and craved motion.
(I invite the one’s readers who’re acquainted with this oft-told tale to pass to the quit of the column.)
They decided they would wager $5 to peer who should run to the spruce tree fastest — Holliday became particularly enamored with this because his internist had suggested he exercise extra and reduce down on beef jerky to lower his cholesterol.
They raced more than one instance before Earp found out, “This is silly. We’re each getting simply worn-out. Let’s make the horses run, and we’ll guess on which one of them is fastest.”
So they covered up their horses, slapped them both on their backside, yelled “Giddy up!” and watched the stallions race to that same tree. But now they determined brand new trouble — the horses saved going for walks beyond the tree, and it was tough to get them to return.
Holliday started to Earp, “This is also silly. We’ve were given to get at the horses ourselves and experience them to the finish line so that they gained’t runoff.”
Earp replied, “No, Doc. I’d as a substitute watch the horses we guess on than should trip them. We have to lease people to experience the horses for us.”
And, as fate might have it, they glanced at a close-by abode, saw smallish men sitting on the front lawn, and waved them over. The jockey became born.
(By the way, the horses, speakme anonymously due to the fact they feared recriminations, told Equine Monthly later that year, “We don’t need to race. We simply want to face around and take inside the lovely barren region.”)
As a 9- or 10-year-old, I used to take my right foot and spoil anthills I saw alongside the sidewalk; I am certainly embarrassed with the aid of this.
As a 39- or forty-12 months-antique, I used to go to the racetrack and gamble at the ponies; I am honestly embarrassed by this.
And, now, as a 59- or 60-year-old — I’ve lost count number of the birthdays — I eventually understand that animals deserve higher treatment than as our play toys or prey targets.
So, please, no extra sled puppies or display puppies. No greater greyhounds or horse racing. No more cockfighting or dogfighting. No more elephants on the circus or orcas at SeaWorld. No extra looking and fishing.
I’m now not even positive we must lazily ride horseback on a rustic trail. Would you need to hold a person in your lower back for a 1/2-hour?
I’m a big Lone Ranger fan. However, he ought to Uber to his next crime scene.
Ask The Slouch
Q. If NCAA event play-by-way of-play announcers refer to a three-point shot as a “triple,” why don’t they name a two-point shot a “double” or a free throw strive a “unmarried”? (Ken Giglio; Silver Spring, Md.)
A. If you have been an announcer, you’d be in the broadcasting corridor of reputation by now.
Q. When will the NCAA tournament expand to 128 teams, with all teams playing a “play-in” sport? (Joe Salo; Latham, N.Y.)
A. I hope the NCAA credit you with this whilst it expands March Madness to 128 teams.
Q. Would you’re taking Mike Trout for 12 years and $430 million or Bryce Harper for 13 years and $330 million? (Tim Madigan; Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
A. Besides being the higher participant, Trout is happier and healthier. Harper is “daily” yr-round.
Q. First bowling, then bridge — are you running your way to backgammon? (David Wong; San Diego)
A. Curiously, the doubling dice brought about my 2nd marriage.
Q. Are you a two-time loser in case you paid a bribe to get your child into Trump University? (Andy Hatch; Rixeyville, Va.)
A. Pay the person, Shirley.