Why The NYT Is A Great Newspaper (They Kill Horses, Don’t They? Edition)

From Sunday’s New York Times:

Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys

The new economics of horse racing are making an always-dangerous game even more so, as lax oversight puts animal and rider at risk.

Nut grafs:

On average, 24 horses die each week at racetracks across America. Many are inexpensive horses racing with little regulatory protection in pursuit of bigger and bigger prizes. These deaths often go unexamined, the bodies shipped to rendering plants and landfills rather than to pathologists who might have discovered why the horses broke down.

In 2008, after a Kentucky Derby horse, Eight Belles, broke two ankles on national television and was euthanized, Congress extracted promises from the racing industry to make its sport safer. While safety measures like bans on anabolic steroids have been enacted, assessing their impact has been difficult because many tracks do not keep accurate accident figures or will not release them.

But an investigation by The New York Times has found that industry practices continue to put animal and rider at risk. A computer analysis of data from more than 150,000 races, along with injury reports, drug test results and interviews, shows an industry still mired in a culture of drugs and lax regulation and a fatal breakdown rate that remains far worse than in most of the world.

The Times devotes three full pages to this story – which in newspaper real estate terms is pretty much California. It also include comprehensive graphs like this:

A Survey of Horse Deaths

More than 3,000 horses died during racing or training from 2009-11 according to a New York Times survey of 29 racing states.Highlighted states do not require pre-race inspections of horses and do not perform post-mortem inspections on horses that die while racing or training.

Arizona 107 50*
Arkansas 13 No data
California 296 635
Colorado 68 14
Delaware 53 90
Florida 366 150-160*
Idaho No data No data
Illinois 171 140
Indiana 58 65
Iowa 50 46
Kentucky 258 86
Louisiana 291 268
Maryland 69 79
Massachusetts 14 53
Michigan 71 14
Minnesota 222 34
Montana 5 10
Nebraska 64 47
New Jersey 105 106
New Mexico 115 349
New York 159 366
Ohio 406 122
Oklahoma 149 119
Oregon 64 45
Pennsylvania 195 243
Texas 168 108
Virginia 38 20
Washington 21 60
West Virginia 210 233
* Estimates. Actual practice and adherence to regulatory requirements varies widely from state to state.


Memo to mainstream-media haters like Jeff Jarvis: Who is going to provide this kind of investigative reporting when “the gatekeepers” are gone the way you want them to be?

Morons like you?

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1 Response to Why The NYT Is A Great Newspaper (They Kill Horses, Don’t They? Edition)

  1. Pingback: Why The NYT Is A Great Newspaper (They Kill Horses, Don't They … | Maryland Horse

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