In an interview with TVG Network, jockey Robbie Albarado made a disgusting comment about the abuse immediately following a whipping violation, and showed a callous attitude towards inflicting pain and punishment on horses. When asked about his relationship with the filly Swiss parachutist, the jockey shared the following remarks live:
Interviewer: “You love this filly. You call her your girlfriend. How special is she for you?
Albarado: “Well, I hit her once. I hope she still loves me. “
Words hurt, but so do whips
The network quickly removed the segment, and Santa Anita Park (the track where Albarado raced in parachuting) purged it from its archives. Park also hit Albarado with a three-day suspension for raising his arm over his shoulder when struck by a Swiss paratrooper, in violation of California Horse Racing Council rules.
Santa Anita was right to pull this tape out and put Albarado on hold. However, the industry seems to have ignored the irony of broadcasting live footage of jockeys hitting a Swiss paratrooper and other horses. The question arises: If the horse racing industry considers it taboo to talk about hitting another animal, why are jockeys actually allowed to beat horses to get them to run faster (which didn’t work)?
Although horse skin is as sensitive as human skin, jockeys in some states usually beat horses 15-20 times in a single race. In some cases, jockeys have managed to get away with simply getting a slap in the wrist after their hard blows left the horses with open wounds. It should stop.
Do not tolerate the double standards of the horse racing industry
From drugging horses to keep running despite injuries to sending horses for slaughter when their racing days are over, brutality is the norm in the racing industry. He needs to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for harmful behavior, not just harmful speech, starting with a ban on whipping horses. A whipping ban, like the one in New Jersey, would be a significant step forward. Santa Anita Park is pushing for a ban on the use of a whip in races in California.
Other vital and long-overdue measures include installing computed tomography equipment on all tracks so that horse bone injuries can be detected, banning trainers with multiple disabilities, and replacing dirt roads with synthetic ones (which are less likely to injure horses).
Here’s How You Can Help Horses
The words we use can create a more inclusive world or perpetuate oppression, so everyone should think before speaking. People should be outraged by Albarado’s words, but they should be just as furious that horses that form bonds with their families for life are allowed to be whipped in the first place. Please take steps to protect New York horses:
Help enact a ban on whipping horses in New York