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Revolutionary Change in the Horse Racing Business Model

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Horse racing is one of the oldest sports, and its basic concept has remained unchanged over centuries. A contest of speed and stamina between two or more horses, it has grown from a diversion for the leisure classes into a massive public-entertainment business. Its infrastructure has evolved from primitive to high-tech, with vast fields of runners and sophisticated electronic monitoring equipment, but its essential feature remains the same: whoever finishes first wins.

In the United States, Thoroughbred races are regulated by state-level organizations and individual tracks. This means that each venue has its own rules and standards. For example, a jockey can use whips to encourage the horse to run faster, but each state has its own rule about how often this is allowed, because it can cause pain and discomfort. Some states also regulate the types of medications that a horse can be given during a race.

The sport has been criticised for its treatment of its animals, and a number of prominent figures have spoken out against it. Yet despite these criticisms, the industry continues to push forward with its business model. The prevailing philosophy is that the best interests of the horse are not always top priority, but rather that it is a mere means to an end. The for-profit racing industry must adapt to a society and culture that recognizes animals as sentient creatures with the right to live free of human exploitation. It is time for an ideological reckoning within the sport of horse racing and a fundamental change in its business model, from breeding to aftercare.

Horses are subjected to an exorbitant amount of physical stress and strain in order to compete at the elite levels of their sport, which can result in fatal heart attacks or broken limbs. These catastrophic events are all too common, and they are not limited to the highest echelons of competition. Eight Belles, whose death shocked the world, and Medina Spirit, a three-year-old champion who died in the Kentucky Derby, are just two examples of the thousands of racehorses who die each year.

A true revolution in horse racing would entail a shift in ideology and a commitment to the welfare of the horse above all else. It would require a thorough, ground-up restructuring of the entire enterprise from the breeding shed to the track, and it would include an adequately funded industry-sponsored wraparound aftercare solution for all horses who leave the racetrack. Until then, it is no different than any other for-profit industry that ignores the rights and well-being of its employees and customers. This is the legacy of Eight Belles, Medina Spirit and all the other horses who lose their lives in the name of profits.

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