Eight Belles dies at the Kentucky Derby!

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Nov 30, 2002
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The amazing filly Eight Belles died today at the Kentucky Derby after coming in a great SECOND place.

At first it was supposed that she may have gone down with a heart problem or aneurysm,however it was announced that she suffered compound fractures of both front ankles. She was euthanised where she went down.

If I was a betting gal, I would have won the trifecta today.

Its a tough sport racing BABY horses at age 2. One must EXPECT them to break down considering most horses don't feel the weight of a man on their backs until age three. Its even tougher on the fillies as most just don't have the bone that their male counter parts have, but this filly was exceptional.

A Sad Farewell to Eight Belles.

Rest Easy in green pastures.

So sad! I've never miss watching the Derby since I started

watching as a little kid.

I was betting on the filly Eight Belles to win, didn't she do

the female kind proud. I was so excited to see her place second,

only to be horrified two seconds later to see her flat out down.

If only they would let these horses mature more before subjecting

them to so much early stress on their bodies. Think of the foals that

magnificent filly could have contributed to the gene pool.

Rest in peace Belles.
I could say a whole lot right now, but won't. Rest in peace Eight Belles.

This was entirely a bunch of crap that never should have happened and what happens

when greedy monsters race baby horses for petes sakes. You know darn well they ride them

at yearlings as well as in many other breeds and then are oh so sad when the horse breaks


I know in QH people fudge on the papers all the time and

get them born really in October, and call it January of the next year so they can get a jump

start on riding and have them broke to death by 2 year old snaffle futurity time. It's all about the money

the stupid cold hard cash and heck with what is good and right for the horse.

Its a tragic shame that Eight Belles had to die for the love of money.

Rest in Peace beautiful filly.
It wasn't just Eight Belles that went down running recently.

Was anyone watching the Oaks yesterday? I was watching all day on ESPN, a horse named Chelokee went down half way through the race with the same injury Barbaro had, only on the other leg. He was rushed away in the ambulance, haven't heard an update on him yet. The eerie irony of this was he was trained by Barbaro's trainers too.

Hmmm I thought Chelokee had a chance at that race too. Well from the past 2 days of watching this, it sure makes me glad I'm not in the racing industry.

Oh, edit: found link to article http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=11798

and an update: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=11801
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I never got much into horse racing which was odd since I was always such a horsey person. All my other horsey friends would make plans to watch the big races, some of my friends would even attend Preakness. I over the years maybe watched enough races to count on less than two hands. I've always been impartial to it. Of course I love to watch the power and beauty of a horse running, but I'd much rather see it in a pasture or field, not on a track and especially not horses that are so dang young. I'll say no more....
[SIZE=12pt] I agree with all of your opinions. My Dad took us to the track once as kids, knowing we were horse nuts. Seeing a horse go down and have to be euthanized ruined the trip, and racing, for all of us. I enjoy watching the triple crown races and usually try to see them. Yesterday was crazy busy and I just forgot...I'm so glad I did

You know, I used to be involved in Eventing, huge fences in X country, high speed, steep slopes and you almost NEVER hear of a horse dying a a result of injury...why, because they are MATURE ATHLETES who weren't forced as babies!! The whole thing makes me sick. It's not even about the small percentage that break down, it's more about the larger percentage that suffer debilitating joint and bone damage that significantly shorten their life span and quality of life
You know, I used to be involved in Eventing, huge fences in X country, high speed, steep slopes and you almost NEVER hear of a horse dying a a result of injury.
Actually there have been quite a few horse deaths in eventing the last few months. I don't keep up much with eventing so I can't list them all for you, but I can tell you that at Rolex (just late last month) two horses died on course. True, they didn't break down, it wasn't even fatigue because both accidents happened in the first 8 fences; the horses took off wrong, hit the fence and went cartwheeling to their death. I'm not sure about the one horse; Frodo I'm told laid on the course for some time before being euthanized. He had a fractured skull and lung damage.
There was a horse a year ago that broke down at the end of the course (again I'm not sure which event, like I said, I don't keep up ont he sport too much) that did break down--the horse was exhausted, his rider drove him on to finish the course and he ruptured his suspensories & still jumped. At the time they were considering cruelty charges against the rider but I have no idea how that all turned out. As far as I'm concerned that is about as cruel as anything. There was at least one horse death at an earlier event this year too.

Eventing vs. racing? 58 entries at Rolex this year and 2 of them died. Approx. 127 horses started at Churchill Downs yesterday and one of them died. I quite frankly don't think one sport is any better than the other when it comes to horse safety.

Laura, I'm not sure how long ago you were in eventing, but it's not like it used to be. At one time there was the steeplechase and roads & tracks phases. Horses would finish the X-country course EXHAUSTED. By the end of the course they were just crawling over the jumps. To eliminate that fatigue they have now eliminated the steeplechase & roads and tracks, there is only the cross country course. To make up for the lost challenge of those two phases, they have started building the cross country fences bigger and bigger, and still very solid. As a result, there are now more horrific accidents with more horses being killed or seriously injured.
It's all about the moneythe stupid cold hard cash and heck with what is good and right for the horse.
....... Exactly- just for peoples entertainment and greed -
Humans can be inhumane & selfish! At the very least there needs to be a new rule disallowing such a young age in this sport.
It's easy to say that it's all about the money, certainly there's a lot of money in play. But when you shell out several hundred thousand, or even a few million, to buy a horse, you have to weigh the risks against the possible payout. Some of these owners have only had one racehorse in their lifetimes. I'd think most people would be cautious, rather than reckless, with that kind of investment.
I have to disagree that there are less accidents in eventing, I follow eventing, I watched Frodo tumble over a jump, makes me ill to think of it. The horses in eventing are generally older but that doesn't prevent injuies that end in having to be put down. IMO we push these animals to hard, some will say they love to jump or they love to run, yes, I am sure they do but to the extreme they are pushed? I very much doubt it.
I couldn't say it any better than Marty did....I did turn on the Derby yesterday; turned it off as soon as the filly went down. I think I'll pass on watching those big races on TV again....I saw Secretariat win the Triple Crown, and it is admittedly EXCITING to see--but, not worth the 'cost', IMO.

I have been as "horsey" as a person can be since I was two years old, and a dear uncle set me up on an old work mule and 'hooked' me for LIFE---but I have NEVER had any real use for horseracing. As Cathy H. said, at the very LEAST, the horses should be allowed to gain some maturity--NO horse should be in serious competitive events earlier than 4(and I, personally, would be in favor of 'at least' age 5.)I LOVE cutting horses; just now, am watching an episode of "Rode to the Winner's Circle", a show on RFD-TV about several trainers and their 'road' to some cutting horse futurities with several horses. This are the culminating episodes, and the horses are now competing---it is BREATHTAKING to watch(and even better, to RIDE, as I have, in past times)a good cutting horse--but I do NOT appreciate the young age of the futurity horses. It is a PITIFULLY sad commentary of on the state of the horse industry that so many are so willing to put immature horses at such risk for 'only' money and glory; and that to do so is so widespread within the horse industry as a whole(it's not JUST the racing people who treat horses as disposable objects.)

I also read about the deaths/injuries at the Rolex and elsewhere....I read just yesterday that a couple of the 'big' horse activity organizations (USEF, I think? and one other...) were considering some changes in the construction of certain of the eventing jumps(to make them more likely to be able to be knocked down when hit, I think)...and also instituting greater suspension times, etc., for when a horse DID hit a jump in a way that might cause a 'rotational' fall--it wasn't clear to me how such 'penalties' would truly help, but it can't be a bad idea to make the jumps less resistant to knockdown? Seems to me they NEED to 'back off' on the way the jumps are constructed if they are next to impossible to knock down....! Why on EARTH make things significantly MORE DANGEROUS???

A tad OT, but...while I'm ranting---ever notice that those 'guardians of the animals, PETA'-(Please realize I say that with HEAVY sarcasm;I do NOT LIKE PETA!)...never seem to have a public word to say about the racing industry, nor the 'big lick' Walker industry, or seemingly, any venue where there are often Hollywood or other 'celebrities' interested, in attendance, or somehow involved....interesting how they seem to 'pick and choose' who to pounce on, isn't it?

Margo, the problem with the construction of the jumps built for the cross country phase of eventing is they must not collapse if a horse should bank the jump--that is, land on top of the jump, as horses do in some cases. The challenge they are facing is to build a jump which will collapse if a horse hits it, but stay up if a horse banks it. If the horse lands on top that jump and it falls over, that in itself could cause a very nasty wreck.
Margo posted about PETA, by the way PETA makes me sick, anyhow, I see on the news this morning that PETA is getting involved with this. The jockey may face charges. Too bad all the way around. PETA is getting involved but going after the jockey? What a joke, they can't get too involved as Margo pointed out as it would hurt them.
You know, I can't even comment on this whole thing.. dont even get me started!!!!

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