Monday, February 2, 2009

New Show - Jockeys

Horsepower, was the last show on Animal Planet that I really liked and followed. As far as horse reality TV, it was pretty good.

The new show, Jockeys, worries me. The intro that I have seen over and over to Kanye West's "Stronger" which comes in when one of the horse rolls at a dead run. A voice over then says something about its not if you get hurt, its how bad. How dumb is that? I don't think injuries should be glamorized. They certainly don't make you "stronger", in fact, for most of the horses injured, I'm sure they get a fast trip to the auction.

Every industry has its good and bad sides, but horseracing has really been showing its bad side lately. I have no personal experience with any off the track animals. In my opinion, though, racing turns out more discarded and/or broken down horses that are in a worse position than those discarded and/or broken down from most futurity events. I think the off track horses need almost a complete restart and an experienced hand whereas futurity horses, are a little more broke and compatible with variety of experience levels. I can't speak to the comparison of injury level, recovery time or the future level of soundness, but I think the industries are likely close to even. My point is that a horse not from the racing industry has a better chance of being picked up by a subsequent owner and being usable right away (or after injuries are healed) where off the track horses need much more input. Of course exceptions to every rule will occur.

I just hope this show has some sensitivity to welfare issues. I doubt that it will, which would be contradictory to the channel's apparent stand on animal welfare which is evident through their many animal cops type shows. (even if what happens on them is sometimes maddening and laughable) I'm on the fence about watching. I'm not planning my evening around it, but I will probably catch a rerun. If the first episode doesn't have any consideration of welfare, I won't tune in again.


  1. I know and understand that every horse sport has it's good and bad, but I REALLY REALLY HATE horse racing!!!!

  2. So do I. It just gets so much publicity amongst completely non-horse people who are blind to what really goes on. Plus the gambling aspect just adds to the make money or we toss you out issue. I can't even start on the non-sanctioned events. We can thank those cheap 5 cent needle sharing idiots for spreading all kinds of crap.

  3. I saw the previews for that show too!
    We don't get animal planet, so I wont be tuning in...I'm not sure that I would anyway though. I worked at a TB breeding facility (home of northern dancer-his gravesite anyway) and honestly, they would hire ANYBODY. You didn't have to know ANYTHING about a horse to work there. Which freaked me out a bit...I only stayed on there for three months, because there were a lot of things that bothered me. One of the biggest downfalls was the way they had "nurse mares" all ready to go if something happened to baby champions mama, then poor baby from nurse mare was weaned early and sold to whoever could come up with 300 bucks first. One of them was named "Sadie" and he had horribly deformed LEGS. Like, WTF is that? "just breed this one in case we need a nurse mare- who cares if its a deformed horse that will be able to do NOTHING"
    Thats HORRIBLE.

    Oh yeah and a full speed race horse falling down on the track is something that we sure need to see more of, with the dazzling effects of Hollywood...