The Crisis in Horse Racing

Written by admin on 02/28/2024 in Gambling with no comments.

horse race

A horse race is a competition in which players place bets on the outcome of an event. Each player has a set amount of money to wager, and the winner receives all of the winning bettors’ stakes (minus a percentage that is deducted by the track). This type of betting system has been in use since the 17th century.

A few years ago, a video that appeared on the website of the animal rights group PETA struck like a thunderclap and exposed some of the darkest secrets of thoroughbred racing. It showed horses at Churchill Downs and Saratoga Race Course, the two most prestigious tracks in America, being whipped and otherwise abused by trainers. It prompted the resignation of two trainers, Steve Asmussen and Scott Blasi. It also sparked calls for the sport to ban whipping and drugging.

In the early days of horse racing, the first match races involved only two or three horses. Owners provided the purses, and a wager was placed on which horse would win. Bets were collected by disinterested third parties who came to be known as keepers of the match book. One such keeper at Newmarket in England published An Historical List of All Horse-Matches Run (1729).

As the industry expanded, match races became commonplace. But despite the proliferation of match races, the industry’s business model has never evolved to prioritize the best interests of the horses. Instead, the industry is filled with crooks who drug their horses dangerously and dupes who labor under the fantasy that racing is broadly fair and honest. It is a sport in which the death of a star young horse can cause a brief public outpouring of sadness, but then people turn away to other distractions and the slaughter pipeline continues unimpeded.

The answer to the crisis in horse racing requires a profound ideological reckoning at the macro business and industry level, as well as within the minds of the men and women who run it. It would require an overhaul of the business model from breeding to aftercare and incorporating a natural and equine friendly lifestyle into the sport’s culture.

But it’s not a simple fix, and it will require a new generation of leaders to take the reins. The next CEO of a major horse race company must be willing to radically change the way the organization operates, and he or she must create a leadership team that includes strong internal candidates who can compete for the top job. Having several high-level contenders signals the board’s faith in its management and leadership development processes, and it can also serve as a powerful motivational tool for individuals who might otherwise be left behind. A contested leadership contest may also improve organizational effectiveness by forcing the incumbent to think harder about strategy and resource allocation. It can also help prevent a single person from building a monopoly, which can be a significant impediment to innovation.*

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