PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Horses And Jockeys Face Dangers On Race Tracks

In this May 20, 2006 file photo, Barbaro is held by jockey Edgar Prado and a track worker after injuring his leg at the start of the 131st running of the Preakness Stakes. Barbaro was euthanized in 2007 after complications from his breakdown at the Preakness. (AP)

In this May 20, 2006 file photo, Barbaro is held by jockey Edgar Prado and a track worker after injuring his leg at the start of the 131st running of the Preakness Stakes. Barbaro was euthanized in 2007 after complications from his breakdown at the Preakness. (AP)

Even casual horse racing fans know that horses, like 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, are sometimes injured, even fatally, during their races.

But injuries and deaths to horses and their jockeys are becoming increasingly common around the country, particularly in smaller, less lucrative races.

The numbers tell a chilling story: on average 24 horses die at American tracks every week.

The culprit, according to New York Times reporter Joe Drape, is a racing culture mired in performance-enhancing and pain-killing drugs, combined with lax state regulations.

Drape writes:

But an investigation by The New York Times has found that industry practices continue to put animal and rider at risk. A computer analysis of data from more than 150,000 races, along with injury reports, drug test results and interviews, shows an industry still mired in a culture of drugs and lax regulation and a fatal breakdown rate that remains far worse than in most of the world.

And as a fan, it’s been hard to see.

“I’m in a tough spot, anyone who likes the sport is in a tough spot,” Drape told Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Guest:

  • Joe Drape, New York Times reporter

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Peter O’Dowd follows the route of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train 150 years ago, to look at modern-day race relations and Lincoln's legacy.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 25 Comment

Father’s Love For Fallen Son Inspires Memorial Day Tradition

In what has become an annual tradition, volunteers join Paul Monti, whose son died while serving in Afghanistan, to plant flags at each gravestone at the Massachusetts National Cemetery.

May 25 3 Comments

An Ordinary Day At Arlington National Cemetery

Official ceremonies will be held at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate Memorial Day. Here & Now's Lisa Mullins has this report of an ordinary day at the cemetery.

May 21 7 Comments

YouTube Sensation Publishes Her First Cookbook

Maangchi's career was born when her son suggested she start making videos of herself cooking Korean dishes.

May 21 17 Comments

UC’s Napolitano Speaks Out On High Cost Of Public Ed, Anti-Semitism On Campus

Janet Napolitano talks about a plan to freeze in-state tuition, and campus protests against Israel's occupation of the West Bank.