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'Wastage' Facts

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Gay3 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 9:40am
There seems to be little statistical info on this & it's near impossible to find so perhaps members could add meaningful info they come across Smile

The latest issue of Hoofbeats magazine has an article called "Wasted Lives". I've sent an email to the editor regarding the article, and it will be published in the next issue. Here is what I wrote:

The article by Malanda Hyde in your recent issue called "wasted lives" is full of statistical errors with regards to the racing industry.

"During the 2010 breeding season, 16,117 foals were produced yet by the time the 2012-13 racing season came around only 7,353 two year olds were registered leaving 8,764 of 2010 horses failing to even make it to the racetrack."
This assumes that if a horse isn't registered as a 2YO then they won't race. Incorrect. Only 20% of any foal crop will race as 2YOs and these horses are more mature than their peers, and also have longer racing careers and earn more prizemoney than the rest of the racing population. The vast majority of horses start their racing career as 3YOs, and over the course of time, over 70% of all foals born will race at some point in their life.

"With the numbers of foals bred increasing every year"
Incorrect. The foal crop has been falling every season since the late 1980s. This follows international trends, and Australia's foal crop has fallen at a slower rate than many other breeding nations (who have been hard hit by economic problems). There is NOT an over-breeding problem in racing, rather an under-breeding problem that may result in smaller field sizes in the future.

"The number of Thoroughbreds sent to knackeries each year is hard to estimate"
Incorrect. The McGreevy/Hayek study estimated this to be 650 Thoroughbred horses per annum, with 6% of retired racehorses that they surveyed in 2004 being sent directly to a knackery. Further studies have found that this percentage has dropped over time, as the marketplace for retired racehorses as recreational horses improves.

Further, a study done by RIDRC in 2001 that used economic, recreational event data and breed society data to estimate the number of horses in Australia. They estimate that there are nearly 180,000 registered Thoroughbreds in Australia, of which 32,000 are racing, 66,000 are breeding or young stock, 24,000 compete in registered non-racing events (eg the Royal Easter Show), and 57,000 are used for recreation. There are also 218,000 unregistered recreational horses in Australia (of which unnamed Thoroughbreds make up a significant proportion).

There are plenty of homes for ex-racehorses in Australia, and while not all horses will be suitable for new disciplines, the vast majority find good homes. The issue of 'wastage' is massively over-estimated by many groups who use it to gain emotionally based funding.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 12:13pm
Who is McGreevy/Hayek and who do they represent ?

No company does it for the sake of it.




STRIKE WHILST THE IRON IS HOT

reductio ad absurdum

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JoH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 12:58pm
Here's half the answer Djebel  Smile


http://sydney.edu.au/vetscience/about/staff/profiles/paul.mcgreevy.php




suck it up ... Life isn't run at w.f.a. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JoH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 1:00pm
apols that link isn't live .. I seem to have lost the power to do that.  Confused



suck it up ... Life isn't run at w.f.a. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dizzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 1:06pm
try - http://www.dekabat.com/
And no live link as well
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote WhiteRidge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 1:23pm
About time the real facts were published Gay. Sick of the mobs who claim 18000 TBs go to slaughter each year, yet that many are notbred. The TB would be extinct!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 1:48pm
Her FB page https://www.facebook.com/DeKabatRacingResearch  is worth keeping an eye on as she doesn't post much here these days Smile. Her ID was something like 'rene' but doesn't come up in the member search so I must be off target. Help me out someone....Second Chance? Mayor? Nostra? I know you all know her, ex Kiwi LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spearmint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 2:26pm
Originally posted by Gay3 Gay3 wrote:

Her FB page https://www.facebook.com/DeKabatRacingResearch  is worth keeping an eye on as she doesn't post much here these days Smile. Her ID was something like 'rene' but doesn't come up in the member search so I must be off target. Help me out someone....Second Chance? Mayor? Nostra? I know you all know her, ex Kiwi LOL
Pretty sure poster name was reng
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 2:35pm
Correctomundo Clap, thanks Spearmint, I knew one of the crew'd come to the rescue, any wonder the search wasn't complying Ermm. I think what messed me up was knowing that Don or referred to her as Renee once or twice Wink. Does some great stats collecting anyway!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote reng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 2:39pm
That's me :)

I'm currently doing a big broad study for the ARB on this issue.  I have finished part one - which was a survey of about 3,000 horses that had raced and retired and where they have gone after racing.  The results are going to be in the Sept issue of Breeding & Racing.
Part two is looking at horses that are named but unraced - there are 3,533 horses from the 2008 and 2009 foal crops that meet this criteria, and I'm hoping to get information on about half of them for a decent sample.  Part 3 will be later, looking at foals born that don't get named - why not and where they go.
The problem with Opportunity is that it wears overalls and looks like work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote reng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 2:46pm
Hayek can be found on the RSPCA website - it's a thesis paper that was done in 2004 that surveyed about 1,500 horses that left a racing stable.  The main problem is that it counts 'went to different trainer' as having left racing; but otherwise, the main thing to take from it is that 6% of horses she surveyed went directly to a knackery, and the rest found homes either at stud or pleasure horses.

McGreevy is an RSPCA 'scientist' who did the awful whips study a while back, and has now published the Hayek data as his own (Hayek as co-author).  

My part one study pretty much lines up with their data, although a much lower portion of horses directly to a knackery.  The number of horses that died in both studies was the same %, but Hayek had a higher 'knackery' figure while mine had a higher 'euthanised by vet'.  

There are other studies out there, but not as useful as the Hayek one, which isn't overly useful, but better than being blind.  

The animals rights people often refer to the Bourke study - which I've got a copy of, and which they mis-quote.  Ironically, the Bourke study is pro-racing, and discusses some useful issues, but it's got lost in amongst the mis-quoted single sentence.  The Doughty study is often also used as an illustration, but it has a tiny sample size, so is largely not relevant.
The problem with Opportunity is that it wears overalls and looks like work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 2:54pm
Thanks reng, extremely insightful & can only be good for the image of racing, as well as for participants to know that 'they're' not the only ones doing the best they can for their horses Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Oritah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 10:05pm
Well done Gay3 :) more people need to be doing this....
 
If the racing industry and supporter dont tackle the problem head on, groups often claiming to Animal Activists with hidden agendas will surely win... 

Look at what has happened to Jumps racing... Of course this was a option for some racehorses, and I can tell you that anything at least 1/2 sane was a prospect as an eventer after racing.  

The industry needs to beat its own drum and beat it loudly because they will lie and cheat to achieve their agendas.   



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3blindmice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2014 at 11:21pm
You can get a fair guide from the industry's own annual report figures and from my recollection on the face of it they aren't pretty any way you dress them up.  Something like 90,000 horses bred over a 5 year period and less than 20,000 were still registered to race. 70,000 seems to be a damned high attrition rate and it would be a brave man or woman who'd suggest that even half of them are out there grazing the hills. No point in ignoring the facts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote WhiteRidge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 12:37am
Originally posted by 3blindmice 3blindmice wrote:

You can get a fair guide from the industry's own annual report figures and from my recollection on the face of it they aren't pretty any way you dress them up.  Something like 90,000 horses bred over a 5 year period and less than 20,000
were still registered to race. 70,000 seems to be a damned high attrition rate and it would be a brave man or woman who'd suggest that even half of them are out there grazing the hills. No point in ignoring the facts.

Errm then what are you doing blindmouse??? Read the facts in the very first post.... your post says you are ignoring them very very muchly...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baguette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 9:14am
I'm with 3blindmice in this one. The last paragraph of the original post is totally wrong IMO. There aren't plenty of good homes outside the racing industry for the number of thoroughbreds bred every year in this country. There simply isn't enough people out there in the show/eventing/ dressage/pleasure riding world who want an off the track thoroughbred.

People in this world want a well conformed horse with correct gaits, good temperament and above all soundness. Ex racehorses that fit this criteria then have to go through an extensive re-training process by someone who knows what they're doing. Lots of ex racehorses go on to lead long lives in good homes but they would be in the minority in my experience.

It's a numbers game. Too many horses bred and not enough homes for them. Can't be prettied up in any way.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 9:47am
Firstly, the 70000 quoted by 3bm needs to be approx halved to account for breeding stock.
Baguette, your comments apply to the entire horse population, Oz wide & they all end up dead, one way or another, we can only wish for a peaceful, stress free end, whether it be at 2 yrs old or 32. At least efforts are being made, in this particular industry, to increase awareness & lengthen the productive life (to humans) of those deemed suitable for lives outside racing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Baguette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 12:09pm
Gay3 I totally agree that this is a problem across all breeds of horse and not just horses of course. Too many dogs and cats bred every year as well. I applaud the fact that the racing industry is trying to do something about rehoming ex race horses. My post was aimed at pointing out that there is no " feel good" solution to the problem. There are just not enough good homes outside racing to take the number of thoroughbreds born each year.






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3blindmice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 12:23pm
Originally posted by Gay3 Gay3 wrote:

Firstly, the 70,000 quoted by 3bm needs to be approx halved to account for breeding stock.
Baguette, your comments apply to the entire horse population, Oz wide & they all end up dead, one way or another, we can only wish for a peaceful, stress free end, whether it be at 2 yrs old or 32. At least efforts are being made, in this particular industry, to increase awareness & lengthen the productive life (to humans) of those deemed suitable for lives outside racing.


That's a 35,000 mare turnover every 5 years Gay - which the figures suggest would be somewhat optimistic given that only about 24,000 mares are covered each year.  Nevertheless, the question remains - where do all these mares end up after their breeding careers?

Nothing I've read yet leads me to have any confidence that the "estimates" of kindly afterlives for thoroughbreds are anything but wildly optimistic. I'd like to believe otherwise but until something definitive comes along I'll ignore the hype from both sides of the argument.

The new studies will be interesting but surely abattoirs are required to keep data and should be the first port of call. If they don't already keep adequate records then they bloody well should be required to, and governments, animal welfare organisations and the racing industry itself should ensuring that this is the case in the future. Then we'll have no debate, just facts. Sugar coating and averting the eyes just doesn't cut it for me.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3blindmice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 12:31pm
Originally posted by WhiteRidge WhiteRidge wrote:

Originally posted by 3blindmice 3blindmice wrote:

You can get a fair guide from the industry's own annual report figures and from my recollection on the face of it they aren't pretty any way you dress them up.  Something like 90,000 horses bred over a 5 year period and less than 20,000
were still registered to race. 70,000 seems to be a damned high attrition rate and it would be a brave man or woman who'd suggest that even half of them are out there grazing the hills. No point in ignoring the facts.

Errm then what are you doing blindmouse??? Read the facts in the very first post.... your post says you are ignoring them very very muchly...


Wrong conclusion. I'm suggesting they are not FACTS at all in most cases, just optimistic - possibly extremely optimistic - guesstimations aimed at sugar-coating the reality. Like many, I'm hoping the optimism is well-placed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 1:03pm
Fact of life: All horses of every description end up either in a knackery, dead or alive on arrival, or, in the ground. How many & their quality of life prior, is what matters Ouch
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Very pragmatic Gay. Some believe that they are more than commodities to be disposed of after we've extracted our pleasure, and they have a point. But in the end you're dead right so let's stop the sugar and spice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote WhiteRidge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 4:00pm
Originally posted by 3blindmice 3blindmice wrote:


Originally posted by Gay3 Gay3 wrote:

Firstly, the 70,000 quoted by 3bm needs to be approx halved to account for breeding stock.
Baguette, your comments apply to the entire horse population, Oz wide & they all end up dead, one way or another, we can only wish for a peaceful, stress free end, whether it be at 2 yrs old or 32. At least efforts are being made, in this particular industry, to increase awareness & lengthen the productive life (to humans) of those deemed suitable for lives outside racing.




That's a 35,000 mare turnover every 5 years Gay - which the figures suggest would be somewhat optimistic given that only about 24,000 mares are covered each year.  Nevertheless, the question remains - where do all these mares end up after their breeding careers?

Nothing I've read yet leads me to have any confidence that the "estimates" of kindly afterlives for thoroughbreds are anything but wildly optimistic. I'd like to believe otherwise but until something definitive comes along I'll ignore the hype from both sides of the argument.

The new studies will be interesting but surely abattoirs are required to keep data and should be the first port of call. If they don't already keep adequate records then they bloody well should be required to, and governments, animal welfare organisations and the racing industry itself should ensuring that this is the case in the future. Then we'll have no debate, just facts. Sugar coating and averting the eyes just doesn't cut it for me.


Actually, a lot of studs dispose of their older mares when the time comes at home. They then get put in the studs mass grave, or if they were good to them, maybe their own grave, but very little get sent to the knackery. Then you have people like me, who take on the older mares and keep them happy and healthy till its their time, and they are PTS and buried in their own spot.

Same for the younger mares that need to be PTs, and foals. The studs PTS and put them in the graves.

The main ones that send to the knackery are the smaller breeders who try to get what money they can for a horse to try and break even.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oritah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2014 at 8:58pm
No one breaks even via the knackery :( To suggest it is only smaller breeders who do that is unfair.

The studs I worked at (mostly Boutique) when the time came were picked up by the knackery after either being  PTS or shot on site by them.

It is very difficult to understand the path of the TB to the sales, some are sent directly from the stable or stud, some are sold cheaply or given away to wrong homes (inexperienced people, kids, unscrupulous persons who make money getting free or very cheap horses and sending them to the next sale) and end up there via the new owners or a few owners :( 

As a small breeder, I try my best to keep track of all the horses I have bred, Have lost track of a couple, but I know where most are and the current owners know those horses will always be welcome home here with me for any reason. I am no doubt in a better situation than many, but I will do my utmost to be responsible for the horses I have bred. 

All of that said, it is much better for these horses to go to the knackers via any means than end up starving to death in a paddock somewhere.   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2014 at 4:28am
Originally posted by reng reng wrote:

That's me :)

I'm currently doing a big broad study for the ARB on this issue.  I have finished part one - which was a survey of about 3,000 horses that had raced and retired and where they have gone after racing.  The results are going to be in the Sept issue of Breeding & Racing.
Part two is looking at horses that are named but unraced - there are 3,533 horses from the 2008 and 2009 foal crops that meet this criteria, and I'm hoping to get information on about half of them for a decent sample.  Part 3 will be later, looking at foals born that don't get named - why not and where they go.
 
Will make interesting reading, Reng. I hope your stats include the source of the named that don't make it to the track. By source, I mean bought at sale, privately bought or owner breeder etc. My theory is that owner breeders will have a far lower percentage of named and unraced. Like to know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2014 at 3:09pm
Originally posted by 3blindmice 3blindmice wrote:

 
That's a 35,000 mare turnover every 5 years Gay - which the figures suggest would be somewhat optimistic given that only about 24,000 mares are covered each year.  Nevertheless, the question remains - where do all these mares end up after their breeding careers?

Nothing I've read yet leads me to have any confidence that the "estimates" of kindly afterlives for thoroughbreds are anything but wildly optimistic. I'd like to believe otherwise but until something definitive comes along I'll ignore the hype from both sides of the argument.

The new studies will be interesting but surely abattoirs are required to keep data and should be the first port of call. If they don't already keep adequate records then they bloody well should be required to, and governments, animal welfare organisations and the racing industry itself should ensuring that this is the case in the future. Then we'll have no debate, just facts. Sugar coating and averting the eyes just doesn't cut it for me.

Firstly - the knackery question.  No, they don't keep records.  There are 2 export grade abattoirs in Australia and 30 licenced knackeries.  The 2 export places keep records and the Australian Bureau of Statistics which showed that the number of horses processed in the two export abattoirs had fallen from 47,333 in 1992 to 11,415 in 2007.  That's all breeds of horses including donkeys and mules, with an estimated 25% being feral horses.  The number of those that are racing stock is unknown.

The 30 knackeries don't keep records of 1. number of horses and 2. breeds of horses.  A study done in 1991 estimated that they collectively processed 7,500 horses; while another study in 2004 estimated it to be 13,500. Again of all breeds of horses.  Note that both these figures are estimates, and the 2004 study also heard that most knackeries had been processing LESS horses over time, not more, in line with the drop in the export abattoir figures.  Which just says that the 1991 study was a probably an under-estimate.

Secondly - the breeding question.  There are approximately 26,000 mares at stud each year.  With an avg life span of 10 years, that's a required replacement of 2,600 new horses every year.  The current number of maiden mares each season is about 2,800, and the number of mares in total is falling.  So there are more horses leaving than can be accounted for by death from old age, illness or injury.  However, it's in the order of 1,000 horses, not the crazy numbers bandied about by anti-racing groups.  


Knackeries need to be better regulated.  They need to keep better records (breed of horse; where it came from ie direct from racing, pleasure horse home, stud, etc).  They also need better humane guidelines to ensure that horses don't have to watch another horse being killed, and that each horse gets a fast humane death.

The problem with Opportunity is that it wears overalls and looks like work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote reng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2014 at 3:21pm
Originally posted by 3blindmice 3blindmice wrote:

You can get a fair guide from the industry's own annual report figures and from my recollection on the face of it they aren't pretty any way you dress them up.  Something like 90,000 horses bred over a 5 year period and less than 20,000 were still registered to race. 70,000 seems to be a damned high attrition rate and it would be a brave man or woman who'd suggest that even half of them are out there grazing the hills. No point in ignoring the facts.

I have no idea where you get your figures from.

Using Stud Book figures and a rolling average over five years of 15,000 foals born each year:

Foals born in 5 years: 75,000
Foals that die before racing age (according to Stud Book): 4,500*
*Notifications of death to the Stud Book are voluntary and work out to 6% of foals born, but estimates from breeders are up to 10%.

Foals that go to stud: 22.4% of foals born (some raced, some unraced) or 16,800

The problem with Opportunity is that it wears overalls and looks like work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote furious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2014 at 3:44pm
And as Australian and New Zealand have one of the greatest numbers of geldings racing and on sell into Asia and South Africa it's a wonder even 22.4% of foals born go to stud here.

I've just come back from a trip through South Australia and western NSW. The number of feral goats out there wondering around and a few horses but have no idea whether some of those were owned or not. It is far worst to dump an animal to look after itself in my book any day.

Keep up the good work Reng.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Heavy10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2016 at 8:04am
Originally posted by Baguette Baguette wrote:

I'm with 3blindmice in this one. The last paragraph of the original post is totally wrong IMO. There aren't plenty of good homes outside the racing industry for the number of thoroughbreds bred every year in this country. There simply isn't enough people out there in the show/eventing/ dressage/pleasure riding world who want an off the track thoroughbred.

People in this world want a well conformed horse with correct gaits, good temperament and above all soundness. Ex racehorses that fit this criteria then have to go through an extensive re-training process by someone who knows what they're doing. Lots of ex racehorses go on to lead long lives in good homes but they would be in the minority in my experience.

It's a numbers game. Too many horses bred and not enough homes for them. Can't be prettied up in any way.



Yet you still bet and support horse racing...hmmm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2016 at 10:40am
If wastage in the industry isnt properly addressed,  whats to stop racing going the way of the dogs.
Messara is correct when he says this industry must be seen to be proactive on animal welfare and wastage.
He can see the writing on the wall, from a large breeders view.
animals before people.
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