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Met Day Rave – Disgrace

What used to be the highlight of racing excellence in SA became a RAVE meeting last Saturday.

John Freeman

John Freeman – has his say

Leading bloodstock man and a top Gr1 owner in his own right, John Freeman has never been a puppet of officialdom. While he has personally played a key role in the evolution of the succesful Snaith team who smashed all records on Met day, he wasn’t raving about the side-show entertainment, that appears to have become the standard on our big days.

John writes in his E-news 561:

I started to write about the disturbing new dimension that has been introduced to top level racing in South Africa a few days ago. I thought I’d leave what I had written and rethink it after the dust had settled. I find this new development of entertainment at race meetings frightening – I was told that I am the only one to have complained.

This new concept is unique in the world of racing. BOOM BOOM GRRR GRRR heavy-base rave-sound trance music is now being played at race meetings to attract younger people to the course like nowhere else on earth. Sadly the ravers attend these events for anything other than the horses.

I watched carefully as they moved en-masse from one trance-party to the next. There were 5 competing events, each trying to outdo the other with volume to attract the party goers.

Does anyone think these youngsters will stay when the music gets turned off?

DSC_0097--600x350Those of us that were there for the actual racing could hardly hear a commentary, even with the TV on maximum volume and huddled behind closed doors, standing within a meter of the TV.

Sadly as the day wore on it got worse. I have attended racing festivals at almost every major racing jurisdiction in the world, some many times, and I have never seen anything like this before.

This need for a disco in the open on a major raceday first popped up at the Durban July a few years ago. That at least was moderate by comparison and sort of under control during the parade and actual races.

Then at the Rising Sun Gold Challenge last year I thought I had seen it all. Thousands of people sat riveted to their chairs watching a stage halfway down the straight as this incessant boom-boom music ruined the day for those of us that actually wanted a day at the races.

So we left early despite winning the Gr1 race that day.

pegasus

I went to Kenilworth on Friday to clean and stock up for the big day. The disco people were already testing their sound systems. I expressed my concerns about the level of noise to the COO and chairman of the local board. I asked for assurance that the level of sound would be reduced for the raceday. It wasn’t.

Racing found it extremely difficult to follow. The announcements and anything to do with racing totally lost in that continual blur of painful noise.

I watched in horror as our poor horses, whose hearing is so much more acute than ours, take the brunt of it. Normally placid young horses shook their heads and fought to escape and some reared.

S’manga Khumalo got thrown by his mount during the parade of the eleventh race – very clearly terrified by the noise.

S'manga Khumalo

S’manga Khumalo – man down

A replacement jockey had to be found. Few, unless they were actually watching that incident on TV, were aware of the incident. The poor horse sensibly rushed to the parade ring after injuring his jockey. A replacement rider was found (though no-one would know who it was since by that stage we could hear nothing at all, let alone notification of a jockey change).

The horse was taken by his trainer in hand all the way to the start. The last race was the worst of all. I can’t describe how I annoyed I was at witnessing what those poor horses had to endure.

I heard that MJ also got hurt in a fall.

Evidently the new thinking is that loud music and horses belong together. They don’t! I beg them not to let this become a feature of our game. Its dangerous to jockeys and unkind to horses. That’s just not my view – I know that I speak for many who wish they had a platform to join in.

Read the rest of the newsletter here.

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53 comments on “Met Day Rave – Disgrace

  1. Tian says:

    Fair commemt , i think like with all things in life we need balance between entertainment and the actual sporting side of things . I think one has to bring the sporting side back I would rather let 50000 fans scream in the the thrill of a finish than at the song thats playing . The fact is we want to celebrate but u have to know why first .

  2. Eddie Haarhoff says:

    I agree John that is why I do not go too the Met . 90 % do not even watch any of the races .

  3. Kes says:

    The write up is absolutely spot on, it’s a really sad and uncreative attempt attract a younger crowd. Having the younger hosts and commentary team for the bigger meetings was a move in the right direction and rather refreshing. Those of us that are invested in the game week in week out at the totes have to watch a fancy dress parade on tv off some young people who know nothing about the game.

  4. johann du plessis says:

    Good on you John . Rather let them look to improve on the basic racing facilities i.e parade ring for the public( which leaves much to be desired );large tv screens and tote boards etc.. and therefore making it more attractive for the public and by doing that get them more involved in what it is all about. After attending a race meeting at Sha Tin and Happy Valley it makes you realize how it is done. This is not the way to go. Far from it.

  5. Louis Goosen says:

    Absolutely spot on by a most respected and accomplished racing man ! Even up here in Gauteng on normal week meets the PA is so loud that it makes conversation impossible. Ambiance is non existent and we cannot even discuss the race, combine our thoughts for a bet etc. Ultimately turnover suffers. ..

    John is correct about Met day. After all, the horse and the horse race must always be the priority. After races, HAVE A BALL , do your nut. That’s AFTER races…

  6. Garrick Bergh says:

    I know of no other top sporting occasions outside of racing where they pander to the ‘disinterested’ section of the crowd in this manner.

    Racings’ ongoing obsession with ‘celebrities’, social butterflies & fashion at the big meetings has always intrigued me. Why? They don’t care so why should we?

    Rather go and hand out complimentaries at the off course tote; at least you are attracting people with an interest in the core activity who would really appreciate some payback.

    The Queen’s Plate has steadily built a brand on the back of great racing coupled with elegant and dignified behaviour. The Met needs to revisit its planning and strategy. Maybe we should start with a headline sponsor that is not alcohol based.

    1. karel says:

      It has become a case of the tale wagging the dog. It’s a J&B event which just happens to be on a racecourse.
      Probably it is the turnover on the day that makes the operators feel it’s a success.
      And maybe it is.

  7. AZZMAN says:

    John you are spot on in your assessment… It has been some time now that I have continually expressed my concerns to the powers that be over this boom boom on our bigger race days to no avail.. I am starting to feel like the disciple who threw his seeds on stone and nothing grew…!!!!!!???

  8. Carla says:

    You are joking right? “Poor horses”???. Loud music is the LEAST suffering a race horse will ever have to endure. Have a moan about the loud music, sure, but don’t for a second pull the “poor horses” card when your industry is responsible for the massive carnage that is the wastage of race horses.

    1. Robyn Louw says:

      Hi Carla,

      Racing does face ethical issues and we acknowledge and recognise that there are difficulties. However, according to statistics, there is very little ‘carnage’ on our tracks and last time I checked, our safety records are comparable to some of the best in the world. Thoroughbreds are closely monitored and cared for from the day they are born. They are bred to be high performance athletes and are treated as such – regular vet checks, inoculations, farrier work, dental work, high quality feed, etc.

      This continues all the way through their racing careers. They are regularly examined by vets, the Stipendiary stewards pay regular visits to yards to check that the horses are being well looked after, there are vets present at every race day to check the horses before they race and again after. While no system can ever be deemed to be perfect, medications are controlled as far as possible – only registered vets may administer treatment to racehorses and registers are kept of all treatments, medications, etc. The Stipes conduct spot checks and do in and out of competition testing on a regular basis. Specimens are taken after each and every race to check for illicit substances. Also, they are regularly featured on TV and racing is open to the public and their well-being is on show for the world to see.

      If you could clarify whether the ‘massive carnage’ you refer to concerns horses suffering in racing, or whether you are referring to thoroughbreds that end up in poor places after racing and perhaps back that up with some statistics or facts, that would be helpful. Yes, some Thoroughbreds do end up in bad homes. However, the sad fact is that they rarely go from racing into these homes – it’s generally the non-racing community that want ‘cheap horses’ that end up passing them along until they end up somewhere they really shouldn’t.

      Unfortunately once a horse has been sold, the original breeder / owner / trainer has no hold over it. But racing is conscious of the fact that Thoroughbreds (as well as other horses) end up in bad places and the National Horse Care Unit was in fact originally established with the support of the racing community. We continue to support and fund this organisation in order to help horses – Thoroughbred and others – that have fallen onto hard times.

      You may not be prepared to take my word for it, but depending on where you are based, if you are willing, I would be happy to take you to visit some racing yards and you can see and judge for yourself.

      1. Jarett Rugg says:

        Well said, it’s always is to attack what you don’t know.

        Thank you Robyn for putting together that message.

  9. Warren Grobler says:

    Maybe the music was ridiculously loud,but maybe Mr Freeman is just a grumpy old man.

    I was at Spier with my son about 13 years ago,and Mr Freeman screamed at my child who wasn’t even 2 because he thought the child was making too much noise.

    Maybe Mr Freeman just likes things HIS way,and maybe he was never young himself.

    1. Anne Boyce says:

      Loud music and horses do not go together. Their hearing is very acute. I too think it is ridiculous that this previously wonderful event has become a disco party of note. Some balance would be good.

  10. Warren Grobler says:

    ‘I was told that I am the only one to have complained’.

    Maybe that says it all?

    1. Susan says:

      I know of many others who have expressed their disapproval and disgust. Many have complained on social media but there are not many who feel confident enought to actually speak to the people who can do something about it. I say well done to Mr Freeman for actually doing something about it rather than just complaining on social media. Well done for trying to get it changed at future events.

  11. Kathi Kotzen says:

    Well said John, in our Patio suite our guests could barely hear each other speaking and everyone attending said the continual music was dreadful. It absolutely spoilt a beautiful days racing! The music should be played after the last race as was traditionally done in the past!

  12. christopher says:

    I think he is right racing is not a night club its gambling not a place to party

  13. freeracer says:

    Hang on! It appears that the grievances here are mostly, and rightly, aimed at poor sound management. That’s it. There must be ways of containing sound when horses are on parade or racing, or confining the “boom-boom grrr” to sound-proof tents or buildings. We live in the 21st century!

    I reckon leave the ravers in peace, just get them to strutt their stuff in confined areas and perhaps after races only. Part of the fun of the J&B Met is ogling all those delightful young lasses strutting around in their colourful skirts and getting progressively pissed as the day approaches dusk.

    Anyone been to the Melbourne Cup? Anyone have anything to say about one of the world’s greatest events which is very similar to the Met except for a 125,000 crowd that party till they puke. (And pee on the lawns. And pass out. And strip off the lot. And moer each other on the trains on the way back home). Literally. FFS, what would the Met be without the young crowd? 90% of them are there for the party. Have been, always will be.

    What J&B need to do is to find a way of controlling the colourful youthful – not hard when it comes to ravers because they’re so spaced out all you need is send out sound waves tuned to brainwaves. That’s it, get the latest sound wave app, tune it to the the Rave Brain and Wallah! No sound, peace and quiet. And the skirts get to stay.

    Imagine word gets out that young people won’t be exactly welcome at the Met from next year. They may boycott the event en masse and then the sponsor will have no option but to pull out. Their brand lends itself to a party, like L’Ormarins QP lends itself to classy, dignified racing as pointed out above. Let it be, just get a good sound engineer and brief the event manager!

  14. Derreck David says:

    Carla how could you say what you have just said. If you know anything about horse racing you would know that from the groom,jockey, trainer and owner the horse is respected by all. I have been ridding horses my whole life from jumping to eventing and now a jockey and I have never seen horses taken more care of than a race horse. Go to any trainers yard and you will be witness to horses that are loved by the trainers as if they where there own children, ie: Mike Azzie let him show you around his yard you will wish you where a horse living in that barn. There is no excuse to have a rave on race day, if you want a rave go to rocking the daisy not The J&B met.

  15. Brett Maselle says:

    What bothers me is that Phumelela – which manages horseracing for Kenilworth Racing in the Western Cape – has at all times been aware of the affect that noise will have on horses.

    Environmental studies were undertaken by Phumelela when it wanted to introduce night racing at Turffontein. Residents surrounding Turffontein, trainers and owners of horses stabled at Turffontein objected to night racing.

    The noise generated from night racing (which is nowhere near the noise level of elevated rave music) was a real concern for not only the residents but also the well being of the horses stabled at Turffontein.

    Phumelela was obliged to take mitigation measures to reduce the noise levels.

    These extracts are taken from the report of Phumelela’s environmental specialist:-

    ” Equine sense of hearing is very well developed and the ears can move in a lateral arc of 180 [degrees] enabling the horse to locate the source of the sound accurately. Horses are better than humans to discriminate between noises of similar loudness. For some horses the amplified sound may be disturbing where others will adopt (sic) quicker to the new sounds during night racing.
    The human range of hearing is 20Hz to 20KHz and for horses it is between 55Hz and 33.5KHz being most sensitive to sounds in the range of 1KHz -16KHz.”

    ” The five basic senses vision, audition, olfaction, gustation and touch are an important part of what makes horses behaviourally distinct. These are tools that a horse uses to interact with its environment.”

    If anyone wants to point fingers then the blame lies at those who allowed the noise. It appears that the bottom line is more important than the wonderful four legged animals which create the bottom line.

  16. mike says:

    I agree with you and am very confused how the marketing guys in racing have no idea what needs to be done for the youth to get involved in Racing.

    The youth are intelligent and know that the 25% takeout is to big as it equates to (9) zeros on the roulette table.
    Do you honestly think anyone would play roulette if there were 9 zeros.

    The mere fact that our pools are still in the millions proves horse racing is loved.

    Youngsters should be brought into racing in a positive light.

    They should be taught that it is a handicapped sport where if you do your homework an edge is attainable unlike casinos.

    Then a market the Idea of a few friends owning a racehorse afordably through Syndication.

    Just a little thought instead of the way they doing it, which resembles RENT A CROWD.

    .

  17. Kathy Wiles says:

    Agree with you and seems crazy to mix the two when the poor horses have to suffer the noise as well, just ridiculous and good for you to speak out. Am I correct in thinking that horses also hear noises more acutely than us? Shame really not a good move.

  18. cohen says:

    there are so many ideas out there to get people coming to the races, to enjoy racing and the horses, but when we send through business proposals and ideas, the racing association shoots you down and say its not interested.in my opinion all this is created not for the love of horse racing but how much we can fill our pockets with. people fail to realize that you cam make money in racing if you taught well. and that horse racing is not bad at all.

  19. Trevor says:

    Well said Mr Freeman,agree 100%.Standing with International guests in the Private Suite,pointing out to them that the start to the J&B Urban Honey Stayers race would start in front of the stand.Such noise that we never heard the Race Caller commence commentary and missed the jump,only realizing race was off as they hit the first bend.

  20. Steve Leahy says:

    One Hundred %%%% Correct, things have really got out of hand and something has to be done! I have decided not to attend the bigger meetings as it always turns out to be an unpleasant occasion, because of the party-element.. Racing has always been a prestigious event, what has happened????

  21. Duncan says:

    Really is a sad state of affairs. As someone who got into racing in my early twenties the big race days for me were all about getting the opportunity to see the real great horses like Pocket Power, Big City life etc race in the flesh. At the 2015 Durban July I sat in the members lounge and watched the main race on tv as in 2013 I couldn’t hear the commentary due to the music being played in the public areas. Dubai World Cup night is a huge event and the party starts after the racing ends. Surely this can be done for our Big race days? By all means have a drink get messed up and behave like a fool “we have these people for Normal Friday night racing at Greyville”. People are going to bet on the main events regardless of the party or not so the operators will get their 25% of huge pools at the end of the day. If you want young people in the game teach them.

  22. Wayne says:

    Coming from a punter, I cannot agree with Mr Freeman. I would be a hypocrite if I did. So I want the jockey on my horse to ride it as hard as possible. Haven’t heard of any horse dying from loud music but I think the grand national has produced 7 equine deaths in the past 10 years and remember Big City Life about 4 July’s back. This may be a bit of the pot and kettle situation here. In consideration for the horse , maybe they would appreciate not being whipped every time they run more than listening to a bit of Rave music once a year

  23. Ian Jayes says:

    You make your bed, you lie in it. You allow Phumelela in to manage your racing, you take the consequences.

  24. Frodo says:

    I too am perhaps a ‘grumpy old man’ – can not for the life of me figure out why the ‘disco’ came to the races – if you want a party, go to a party – if you want to go racing, go racing…….we attended the ‘Met in Jozi’ ……there was also a guy providing some music, but it was carefully managed to not interfere with the racing ….imo all that the introduction of ‘raves at racecourses’ will manage, is to have no one being able to say in 10 years that ‘I have attended the last 25 Mets….’

  25. Andre Hauptfleisch says:

    Ask Mike de Kock what he feels about music blearing while trying to saddle a horse before a race? Welwitscha did a flick flack and landed on her back (Southern Cross Stakes) just after the music started blearing right next to the saddling enclosure. Now who in their right mind would place a band next door to a saddling enclosure ? Just a small bit of common sense goes a long way. Load music and horses dont mix……..full stop !!

  26. Philip Goldberg says:

    Well said John Freeman.These non racing ravers,stylists,radio and TV personalities etc are not racing people and never will be.Many of them interviewed even express the fact that they not betting.They fact that the tote turnover hits records is certainly not due to these people.
    The focus has definately changed over the past 20 years,and not for the better.
    I know of a party of 20 that used to have a picnic site,but no longer even attend the event due to costs rules and regulations.These 20 are not the daily betting public,but enjo the game and would however drop 100k on betting on Met day.
    How sad to see
    My suggestion re the noise ets would be to relocate the party tents etc down Wetton Road or near Youngsfield.
    With all probability, they would be none the wiser.

    1. pieta says:

      I have only been to the Met once in the early 2000’s as I had a runner earlier in the day…..Didn’t book any tables or anything.
      What my wife and I saw downstairs on the lawns were shocking to say the least……you had to step over drunk young people passed out on the lawns.(Must be worse now as I can’t remember any music being played at the time)
      We eventualy went to the 2nd or 3rd floor (we had owners badges) and after looking a bit lost Mrs Jean Jaffee was kind enough to invite us to their table not knowing us from a bar of soap.They were wonderful people.
      But that was the last time I’ve been to the Met.
      I have been to most big race days in Europe,UK and USA even recently…..and if you are pissed you are removed from the course……also I cant remember any loud/rap music being played anywhere over there.
      Why are we different?
      Is it because we don’t have the right people to manage the entertainment on big days?

      1. pieta says:

        Also if the music could be heard for almost a kilometer away…what about the horses waiting at the back for pending races?..This is nonsense….you want a rave go to long street or Sea Point …but even there they wont allow you to sleep on the ground in your XXXX.(edited out)

  27. Sian says:

    I live in the neighbourhood, very close to Kenilworth Racecourse (one of the roads just off Rosmead Avenue). The sound system set-up noise actually started on the Thursday, from about 1pm until 6pm or so, and continued again on Friday for a longer time. Saturday, as far as loud noise was concerned was a disaster and continued for way longer than 11pm cut-off time (which they said it was going to be). I feel for the horses because my ears were ringing from the racket so hate to think of what it was doing to the poor animals. The noise and decibel level has risen over the last few years at the Met, and it looks like it is just an excuse for a big dress-up party, rather than focusing on horse-racing.

  28. Greg says:

    Really? I was there and noticed that the music was turned down before every race so that the commentary could actually be heard in the loudspeakers. I agree that the noise levels and the general event organisation can do with some tweaking but this is the one day where all of Cape Town gets to enjoy a day at the races.

    Mr Freeman, you get to have your particular brand of fun every other week where you can be as pretentious as you wish and enjoy the finer details of horsey etiquette with a cup of tea in complete silence. And I don’t agree with the hysteria around noise and horses. There are a wide variety of things that can spook a horse and these are mainly visual cues.

    The carnival atmosphere and the vibe is good for Cape Town. Most people I spoke to on the day described the event as the best Met they had been to. Perhaps you should stay at home next time so that you don’t have to hang around while the commoners enjoy themselves.

    1. Even so, still no place for that rubbish in Horse Racing. Mr Freeman does not get to enjoy his particular brand of fun every other week. Only once a year! Your response borders on disrespect and arrogance.

  29. Gordon says:

    As a local resident I have issue with the noise level not so much for the Met but for the precedent of acceptale noise level that it sets for other events in the year. That is one issue the other, which I have already made a point of on News24 is that they reported about the fashion and the “vibe” but, nowhere, did they tell us who one the Met – this reinforces the authors point about this having grown into an event that is marginal to actual horse racing

  30. Preston says:

    So who is the blame? The marketing department or the participants? ????

  31. Warren Grobler says:

    I went to the course for races 10,11, and 12.The music certainly didn’t seem to be too load to me,but of course maybe it was.

    If it was ‘spooking’ horses,then certainly something needs to be done about that.

    However,the Met is a once a year event.A chance for racing to showcase it’s wares.

    The people sitting in the ivory towers,sorry grandstands,look at the millions of ants roaming on the grass and laugh at them.’These youngsters know nothing and care nothing for racing’.At least they are there.Maybe there will be only 20 converts to racing among the 50 000.That’s 20 more than racing will get if racing didn’t have the Met.

    Is racing better off the rest of the year when there are 150 people on course,100 of whom are grooms and trainers?

  32. david says:

    I agree with John, but the bottom line is you can moan, bitch, cough, spit, jump all you like even if you are 2000% correct about this or anything else in racing, it will make no difference, the way racing is structured its the Phumelela and co way or the hi-way, Phum staff have a job to do and they do as they see fit, doing what is best mostly for their “company”, unfortunately its decisions are not always what is best for horseracing, its not their fault that Phumelela is a gaming company as well as having being entrusted with the marketing of racing etc, perhaps a split is needed and the well being and marketing of racing should be given to a newly created not for profit organization

  33. mr freeman is 1000% correct. the marketing dept of phumelela is solely to blame for having no vision in this regards. they want to have loud music put in in the car park outside the member parking facility next to betting world. how sad is it to see how phumelela has hijacked the met meeting. not ONE cape town representative in the ring as a important guest when the jockeys were being introduced. the cape town commentatator mr smit would have done a far superior job.. then as a consolation mr thurling was given the a minor race prize to give out. my my so sad. all one sees is larry wainstein and mr basil and there bunch of merry men. stay in jhb, cape racing dont need more actors

    music was always started after the last race when the parties started. the last race was always the jb stayers. get rid of the jhb crowd they will just make things worse.

    mr freeman you have the contacts with people take back cape racing

  34. Mark Charles Truter says:

    How many people making all the noise about Met day have actually been on a horse in the parade ring on Met day .

  35. Glen says:

    Racing and partying don’t go hand in hand bottom line.

  36. micheal says:

    agree loud music during the saddling and parade can be disturbing but if memory serves me correct the met queens plate julys and gold cup of previous years had music and lots of activities, the rising sun comes to mind. Great horses have won on those days, variety club and beach beauty in the rising sun, futura in the met and queens plate ect no complains why now ? is it really the music that is so big a fuss

  37. Michelle says:

    Well done John. I don’t go to big race meetings anymore, because it’s just not a racing day. I think these rave parties are coming to our events so they don’t have to pay a location fee!. This is not racing. Is this really the crowd that racing is trying to attract? Do they buy horses, bet and support our sport. I think not. I even had a horse running in the last race and couldn’t be bothered to go. Sad to hear my poor horse had to be exposed to this and great full
    she didn’t get hurt.

  38. nikita says:

    John, is it the noise that affected Futura and Legislate`s chances?
    Get a life and give way to the youngsters, who will continue to keep “the game alive” with or without “boom boom ” music.

  39. Glendyr Pirija says:

    And so Mr Freeman do you have any Solutions, Marketing Proposals etc etc etc to communicate to J&b other than your complaints … just asking!!??

  40. bwanachris says:

    30,000 youngsters – if 1% became a Marsh Shirtliff, Bryn Ressel, Markus Jooste, Ian Longmore, Brian Finch, Craig Kieswetter or Jessica Slack because the thoroughbred sparked their interest on the day, then something WAS achieved. Unfortunately, you’ll only know in ten or so years when they’ve dipped their toes in the water and become soldiers or rats.

  41. Don says:

    We were down on the lawn at the winning post until shortly after race 9. The noise level seemed respectable – but cannot comment for beyond this point in time. There was a big crowd of people in the public village who followed and cheered for the horses (THE HORSES) at every race up until that point. Soon after the main race, a lot of the crowd dispersed. Two suggestions: limit the noise and party to start after the last race (as is done with LQP), or have less than 12 races on the day.

    1. Don says:

      Mr Freeman is right, horses should come first, however, there has to be a mutually beneficial solution though as racing needs to have those crowds.

  42. moenier says:

    I think we all must get our priorities right,by starting to get the discipline horseracing right.Horses being load into there respective stall on time,stall gates must be close properly to ensure that no horse brakes loose out of there stalls to run loose on the fields and keep up our racing,nowhere in overseas racing you get such ill_discipline horseracing it only happens in South_African racing and punters are being undermined.Then there’s this thing of late scratchings another way of manipulating punters pick sixes and jackpots.150_years of horseracing but to me it look as if amateurs is propagating our game only to enrich themselves.get your priorities right and then comes all the other craps that don’t fit with horseracing.from a concern punter.Moenier

  43. I see everyone is so quick to jump on the “horses” are so well treated bandwagon. Most certainly a bit of doof doof music is the least of a horse’s concerns. They don’t want to have a whipping monkey on their back, be in stables 23 hours out of 24, or subjected to crowds of people. Racing today is all about money, human pride and ego. Yes, obviously the horse as an investment is looked after – it would be like not servicing your racing car and expecting top performance not to. What are the figures for number of foals bred, number of horses in racing and number of horses in retirement and second homes? The figures don’t tally. Where are all the retired broodmares, and the wet nurses foals? In dog food or hamburgers, sausage and pies?

  44. Racing Al says:

    The argument against too much noise is a sound one. Pun intended!

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