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Horse racing should not be allowed to return to Great Barrington

By Sunday, Nov 3, 2019 Letters 17

To the editor:

I’m writing to express my concern that horse racing may return to Great Barrington. There are oh-so-many reasons why it would cause lots of problems, having to do with pollution of the ground and water, traffic congestion, the fact that Massachusetts law says the track can’t be less than a mile long and this one is only a half mile, plus that when there was racing there for two years in the 1990s it wasn’t profitable. A case can be made for any of these issues.

However, the main reason I would hate to see horse racing come back is the lousy way the industry generally treats its horses. Most begin training at around 18 months of age, before their bones are strong enough, frequently causing injuries at the time or later on. It’s the reason for horses being killed because they can’t be winners. More than 10,000 thoroughbreds per year are shipped to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico to be killed and exported for food from there. These horses include those who lose races, whose stud fee drops, and also nurse horses. Most are four to six years old, which is quite young considering the average horse lifespan is 25 years and up. Most of those sent for slaughter are in good condition, but the “kill buyers” so frequently outbid legitimate owners and rescuers.

Horses are also whipped in full view of spectators, drugged, and isolated in stalls for up to 23 hours a day, which is hard on herd animals, who need to socialize. I could go on and on, but I’m hoping you get the picture, if you don’t know these things already. Please contact State Sen. Adam Hinds at 617-722-1625 and your local state rep in Boston and ask them to oppose horse racing returning to Berkshire County.  Thank you.

Cathleen Groves

3 Myrtle St., Apt. D2

Adams, Mass.