Monday, June 22, 2009

I don't need no stinkin' Jockey!


Saturday's fifth race at Belmont Park got off to an odd start when a horse named Phone Jazz threw off her jockey, Jean-Luc Samyn, while coming out of the gate. But that didn't matter to her.

No, Phone Jazz made a statement that the jockeys aren't really necessary in horse racing, and she just kept on going, crossing the finish line first, seven lengths ahead of the pack.

That didn't make her the winner, though, because the rules of horse racing say the horse and the jockey have to cross the finish line together. So Hold the Cruiser, who finished second, got the win, followed up by Favorite Colors and Properlyintroduced. Phone Jazz is technically considered not to have finished the race.

Samyn got up after falling off Phone Jazz and was not hurt.

So- one of the comments below the story suggested that we just do away with the jockeys, and make horse racing more like greyhound racing (although maybe that person wasn't thinking of the fake rabbit spurring them on).

Personally, it's a no-go for me. While yes you'd get rid of the whipping, heavy (for the age they race at) man atop them, you'd also have no reason to train the buggers. They may not break as many legs and be put down, but you'd also have an impetus to breed for a batshit-crazy temperament. What do you think training would be? Would breeders just make more babies, and be even more disposable (track broke is better than unbroke for rescue). Would they make them "mad?" Would the inject with hormones, feed them and box them up to make them hotter?

I think maybe greyhounds would be better off if they had some sort of obedience component as well (even as simple as after the race they have to come to their handlers).

What do you think?

1 comment:

SprinklerBandit said...

I agree. The horse needs to be capable of carrying a jockey to run. This is just another poorly thought out idea that would end up further hurting the horses it is designed to help.