Don’t Forget the Poor Standardbreds

Horseracing Wrongs

Pity the poor Standardbreds. When, if at all, the average person thinks about horseracing, it’s images of Thoroughbreds roaring down a straightaway that surely come to mind. Harness racing has just never captured the popular imagination the way the “The Sport of Kings” has. Can anyone out there identify a single famous Standardbred? Meanwhile, Secretariat, Man o’ War, and Citation were feted as three of ESPN’s “Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century.” One breed, “equine athletes”; the other, anonymous gambling chips.

Regarding welfare, while true that Standardbreds are not killed (on-track) as often as their Thoroughbred/Quarterhorse cousins, they are indeed killed (which, of course, we also document). But of more import, life on the harness circuit is just as cruel and mean; in fact, based solely on length of servitude – which can last up to 10 years and beyond – one could make the argument that harness racing is…

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