January 21, 2020: ThoroughbredRacing.com

With special thanks to Maureen Harper, DVM (retired)

Jay Hovdey: why eliminating the commerce of horse slaughter should be our first priority

From the biggest races at the greatest racing theaters to the quietest actions at the hands of racing’s least visible, Jay Hovdey has over more than four decades woven book and article into an invaluable written tapestry of the sport that captures hero and unheralded alike. 

For his efforts, Hovdey — married since 2001 to Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone — has bagged no less than five separate Eclipse media awards, the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Walter Haight Award, and is an inductee into the Joe Hirsch Media Honor Roll at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, among other accolades.

A 20-year executive columnist at the Daily Racing Form, Hovdey was recently let go from that position, but he has just assumed the role of featured columnist at The Blood-Horse. He also writes a monthly column on this site.
From the article:

If you could change one thing in racing, what would it be?

If I could change one thing in racing, I would do two things very quickly. I’d make sure all of racing got together to eliminate the commerce of horse slaughter. It’s got to be done, and it’s got to be done before anything else. You can leverage that in so many different ways, especially in terms of public relations, other than it just being the right thing to do for goodness sakes. It’s not our culture. We just don’t do that. Period. You don’t monetize the last part of this animal’s life that you’ve used for other purposes. The bargain was not that he be transported, slaughtered and eaten at the end – that’s not the bargain we made with this animal when we brought Thoroughbreds into this world. Do that and abandon the whip. You could answer two questions that the public might have about this sport immediately. Are you killing your horses on purpose, and then letting them be eaten? Are you hurting your horses while they compete? Get rid of those two things. Let’s just see what happens if we do that. I guarantee it’ll be a fundamental change in the public’s attitude.

Read the full article here.