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Hinds should respect the will of Great Barrington re: horse racing

By Monday, Sep 23, 2019 Letters

To the editor:

Great Barrington is at a crossroads at the moment, of which they have no say in the matter. State senators Adam Hinds (D) and Joe Boncore (D) have recently cosponsored bill S.101. Bill S.101 would essentially strip away our voice in Berkshire County on the matter of horse racing.

Bill S.101 would allow for the building and revitalization of an unrestricted horse racing industry in the Berkshires without the consent of the town of Great Barrington. Sen. Hinds claims to be fighting what he calls “Big Money,” himself being the bullhorn for big money to come into Great Barrington while simultaneously eroding at our democratic institutions.

These horses would be drugged to no end, according to “The Horse Fund”: “There are trainers pumping horses full of illegal drugs every day,” says a former Churchill Downs public relations director. “With so much money on the line, people will do anything to make their horses run faster.” Such conditions would be normal at these new racetracks; with growing temperatures we’d likely see deaths either on par or surpassing those seen recently at Saratoga both endangering jockey and horse. With horses in such deplorable conditions and in the hands of seemingly corrupt individuals, this looks no different from dog racing.

Some traditions are meant to die with time, and while some are boasting about how it could prove to be a boost to the local economy, it would also be a moral affront to the people of Berkshire County and our decency.

I hope that Sen. Hinds will respect the will of his constituency rather than big money and not allow horse racing in Berkshire County without a referendum or some sort of an affirmative vote by the citizens of Great Barrington.

Connor Diehl, age 18