Should Horses Be Ran More Than Once In Small Intervals?

Should Horses Be Ran More Than Once In Small Intervals?

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One of the biggest talking points in the sport of horse racing since its inauguration is the way the animals are treated on racedays and within the stables they are kept.

Throughout the years of horse racing the animals welfare has been sharpened up to the highest standard it has ever been with laws, rules and fines put in place to anyone that does cause negligence or improper conduct towards a horse.

Constantly now trainers yards are being tested and monitored to make sure that everything is in regulation with the horses and there is nothing unjust or illegal within the laws of the sport is taking place, for example performance enhancing drugs for the horses or dodgy betting patterns with in regards to knowing how the horse is performing.

Jockeys are now more than ever being scrutinised and closely watched when in the running for the use of there whip and this is for both National Hunt and Flat racing. A lot of fines, and bans have been put in place more so then over over the past year for jockeys the most recent was for Frankie Dettori for careless riding and he missed two days of Glorious Goodwood with a reduced ban of six days.

The big talking point that has been scattered around in the racing world recently and something that very rarely used to happen is the amount of times a horse can race in a certain amount of days and there are certain aspects of this that are right and wrong.

More and more at big race festivals owners are deciding to race their horses more than once within days of there last race, for example if they race on the first day of the festival some horses will be seen again on the second or third day with it being very rare it’s the day after but the question about this is, how fair is it on the horse?

The horse will have to go through a procedure with a vet and stable mates from the trainers yard to make sure the horse is able to run to the best of its ability again and there is no question that for the horse it is of the upmost responsibility that the animal is always safe, but psychologically for a horse it must be tough.

Willie Mullins watches Total Recall, Al Boum Photo, Bonbon Au Miel and Footpad during the visit to Willie Mullins stables in Closutton, Ireland.

In Jumps and Flats it is slightly different with what goes on and for National Hunt racing there is even more of an uproar. Horses that go out and fall should have a period of time out of racing to be able to recover properly even if being passed fit to run. It is unfair and morally wrong on the horse as it should be given enough time to recover.

At the Seven Day Galway festival last week in Ireland, Exchange Rate for Willie Mullins ran on the second day and fell at the first obstacle, which looked quite nasty.

To everyones surprise he was then running again two days later and went off as near favourite but didn’t quite produce the run he should of and maybe that was down to what happened at the start of the week.

When horses run in frequent days on the flat for example at different courses with a three day gap to try and beat the handicapper of going up in the weights, that is acceptable. They have had time to recover and even though it is a quick turn around they have had enough time to fully relax back at home before getting on the road again.

However for horses that run back to back or within the space of two days at a festival, especially like last week at Goodwood with the blistering heat, it is wrong and there should be more precautions especially in National Hunt racing to avoid the strain on the animals.

The way the BHA and other governing bodies within the sport have come together to produce better welfare for horses has been remarkable over the past 10 years with the recent example of wash down areas for the horses straight after the race so they don’t over heat.

However, there are still gaps within the structure that could be filled to make life for the animals just that bit easier, because without them there would be no sport at all.

The question is do you agree or do you have another opinion on this? Tweet us @TWEnclosure with your thoughts.

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