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.
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.
STATE DRUG POSITIVES DEATHS 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?