Letter To The Editor: One Horse Owner Is Getting Out Of The Game After Saratoga Breakdowns - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Letter To The Editor: One Horse Owner Is Getting Out Of The Game After Saratoga Breakdowns

I have been mesmerized by horses from a young age. I was fortunate enough to own three horses before I went off to college. From there I played polo, rode in the intercollegiate horse shows early years, and eventually became a veterinarian.

My first racing memory was Proud Clarion in the Derby, and Dancer's Image eventual disqualification for a drug I had no idea of its purpose until years later. I listened to Tom Durkin at Tampa Bay Downs before his rise to the top. I saw Al Hattab at Aqueduct at age 12 when my brothers snuck me into the track. Horses have been part of my life for 60 years.

Last Saturday has become a turning point for me. I own an OTTB, a sweet 11-year-old Tapit son as a result of my involvement with My Racehorse ownership.

As I age I have become more aware of my limits, and the limits of my horses. Any misstep or stumble and l instantly hope they, and I, are ok. I used to play polo full speed, jump cross country with abandon but that is now sadly fading.

After watching Maple Leaf Mel go down three weeks ago, and New York Thunder on Saturday, I can no longer stomach watching racing. The final bit was “the sound like a baseball bat” when New York Thunder's leg broke is my finish line.

I have cared for thousands of animals in my 37 years as a vet, seen so many things. I can no longer bear to see another race.

I am selling my shares in my two 2-year-old fillies as I will not watch them be exposed. Both have already had knee surgery after starting their time as race prospects, with kind and knowledgeable people.

I looked up the pedigrees of a few of the recent war horses I'm aware of, and their breeding does reveal lesser known names than the most popular, inbred stallions.

I lived in Florida, and watched the death of Greyhound racing. As someone both on the inside and outside of the horse world, I fear the same death is visible not too far down the road.

Money and tradition be damned.

Change or die.

How many more babies will our dirt tracks claim?

–Dr. Pamela Wood
Veterinarian, owner
Aiken, S.C.


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