When the pounding horse flesh is in the straight, and some half a mile from the line, it gets your blood up no doubt; especially if you are invested in the result. There are many aspects of horse racing that are fascinating even if you’re not actively punting – the atmosphere, the poignancy of these elegant equines cruelly under the whip. But let’s face it; it’s a hell of a lot more entertaining when you’ve got a wager on it. When you back a horse, you are co-opting that high performance animal onto your team and you desperately want your team to win the race.
Betting on the ponies underpins the whole event when it comes to a day at the races, but it is not everything. On cup days there are the beautiful two legged animals swanning about in their sexy finery to watch and wonder about. There is a sense of tradition palpable at the race track; especially amongst the rare on-course bagmen. Horse racing used to be a lot about hats, for both men and women; now it is a Kentucky Derby oddity. Watching the care and attention lavished upon these noble equine beasts is strangely satisfying as well.
Social media is embracing the horse racing industry at the moment, with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram capturing the atmosphere and business of the sport of kings. Social media platforms can share the excitement and information pertaining to horse racing instantly with its various stake holders. Images and videos of horses and victories are beamed across the planet to illuminate the interests of those who are passionate about the punt. It is entertainment writ large in the digital realm, with majestic animals strutting their stuff on the turf and barely enough time for spectators to sit down.
Horse racing entertainment better when betting, is a moral; and a flutter will get your heart involved. Gambling can be a problem for those who do not know how to lose, and those who, equally, do not know how to win; gracefully in both instances. Let not the righteous point a finger at the majority who manifest that saving grace. Euthanizing masses of under-performing thoroughbreds is a different matter; and that needs addressing. The purchase of a race horse should involve a contract, which has a clause that bans euthanizing, except in the case of extreme injury. I know that this will be manipulated by owners and trainers, and probably already is taking place; but if racing is to survive in the twenty first century it must honor animal rights.