Horse Racing and Great Britain
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Horse Racing and Great Britain

August 25, 2019


June is the first month of the official start of Great Britain summer events. Horse racing which usually the second largest spectator sport in the country. Great Britain is the birthplace of modern horse racing and the second largest sporting event of the country, bringing the total value of the British economy to £3.7 billion (the major horse racing events such as Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival are important dates in the British and international sporting and society calendar). The earliest horse racing events can be traced back to the Roman era, and in the following centuries, had derived like purebred horse breeding, horse racing rules, gambling activities and excellent record riders. As a country of horse racing, there are hundreds of horse racing events every year … mostly national hunt racing in winter, and flat racing in summer time. In terms of venues, the most famous is the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire near Windsor. This racecourse was built in the 18th century by Queen Anne, who loves horse racing. It was said that when she saw the Ascot Prairie on her way back to the palace, she evaluated it as an ideal place for horses to gallop at full stretch. Since 1911, the Royal Ascot has been held in a fixed form today, with a five-day event in the third week of June each year, with attendance of Queen Elizabeth and other royal members everyday, the royal horse carriages parade and the British national anthem kicking off the event. Especially related to win the prize or not, the thoroughbred horses on the field more near to the end, then more intense of people’s screaming … but what if the horse falls on the way? The cruel fact is … “rider send to the hospital and the horse usually need to be killed”. These horses, known as “thoroughbred”, were developed by the British specially for the competition. After 400 years of evolution, they are now characterized by slender limbs and bones are light, but can withstand a super-horse running at a speed of over 60 kilometers per hour with 50 kilograms loading. Therefore, once it falls, the brittle bones are easy to smash and break, and in the absence of soft tissue, the broken bones may directly penetrate the skin, and blocking blood flow to the lower part of limb in advance, which is basically disabled. Some injured horses unfortunately broke the long neck too, in this state of sadness, they had to be shot to death immediately. A purebred horse with only 3 healthy legs is difficult to support its weight, not to mention the horse’s natural movements are more than static, even if the injured leg is cured, it may break again soon … So, they can be retired early if could rise up and continue to walk after the fall, otherwise, an euthanasia or direct shoot to death is the best rest for seriously injured horses. In order to reduce the casualties of purebred horses, the British Jockey Club also continue to correct the track specifications, such as track maintenance, obstacle height … etc., but for a large number of retired horses still can not escape the fate of abnormal death … Very few retired horses can have a happy retirement, most of the horses were resold by the owners to the slaughterhouse when lack of interest, and were made into animal feed or canned meat. Lucky retired horses, such as champion horses, usually become studhorses for nurturing the next generation of potential champion horses. Although they are much more glorious than sending slaughterhouses, they can’t avoid forced mating many times a day. Only a handful of retired horses were resold to equestrian schools, leisure and holiday centers … etc., re-learned how to be a happy wild horse, and to launch a second “life” luckily.

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