10 Dark Secrets From The World Of Horse Racing

"And they're off!". The fans hold tightly to their cards in hopes that their chosen horse is the winner. Millions of dollars are at stake and that is what produces 10 dark secrets from the world of horse racing. Crime is abundant in this circle, involving people from Asian triads, Mexican drug cartels and the Irish mob. While their crimes were at one time more public, they have learned to go further underground. Activities such as illicit betting rings, bribery, administering performance enhancing drugs, to race fixing and the killing of horses is rampant. With so much money at stake not only are crime rings involved, often owners are too. Stud services cost thousands and sometimes millions of dollars. Owners finances can change very quickly. In cases where the stud fees are only paid once a foal has survived 48 hours, it not uncommon for the foal to have an "accident" and die.

Mistreatment of race horses is widely known and has spawned many horse rescue and re-homing societies. Though these organizations exists, there are simply not enough to protect these magnificent creatures. Many former champion horses are sold to countries such as Japan, France, Italy and Belgium where they are slaughtered and eaten as a delicacy. In Japan, if you see "Cherry Blossom" on the menu, it has nothing to do with the fruit. It is in fact, raw horse meat.

Retired female race horses are used as brood mares. They are are impregnated for 90% of their lives. The interbreeding in the race horse world is phenomenal. In the 2008 Kentucky Derby all 20 horses heir-ed from the same sire! The world of horse racing is difficult to stomach. And while we love to watch these incredible animals run with such grace and speed, it is heartbreaking to see that they are not treated with the respect they deserve. Rather they are often abused, mistreated and even killed.

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