Here is an article offered up on The Paulick Report addressing the effects of Thyroxine on horses. Race horses for the purposes of this blog. Read Me!
Information is supposed to be helpful, useful. It's supposed to enable people to make sounder decisions not hide behind activities that he knew he probably shouldn't have been engaging in, in the first place.
I'm talking to you, Bob Baffert. Don't give ALL of your racehorses any medications unless they actually need it. And in order to know if they actually need it, ASK YOUR VET. You know, the guy with the science degree who also specialized in equines. If you still don't know who he is, he's the guy with the needles.
And just for the record, I'm sitting in my office chair reticent and conflicted while contemplating writing this post. Why? Because I don't personally know Bob Baffert, haven't ever been granted access to a snippet of a view at his vet records. The going-ons in his barn on any given day. I don't know how he treats all of the horses under his care, nor who actually calls in the order to the vet when making medical or general care maintenance requests. In all fairness to him, maybe he delegates those calls and orders. I'm not saying that's wise, but maybe he does. He's a busy man.
Seeing as how someone needs to be held accountable though, when numerous horses die, and nobody seems willing to come forward and admit to what could've potentially done in those gorgeous four-legged entertainer athletes in the Baffert barn, people like me, random bloggers, are left to speculate. Why? Because people with real power seemingly choose to apply no actual consequences when a person is liked in his industry. Case in point, the California Racing Board declaring that they found nothing conclusive to blame Baffert with, regarding the abnormal death rate of horses in his barn.
Here's a suggestion California: KEEP LOOKING until you find answers.
It drives me to the brink of recognizable insanity that Bob Baffert continues to be given the benefit of the doubt regarding his decision to administer Thyro-L to ALL the horses in his barn.
Who does this?
Even Richard Dutrow, Jr. tossed his multitude of violations up a bit. Did many different bad things over the course of his running amok as a trainer.
Everybody, please, stop giving Bob Baffert the benefit of the doubt. When a significant number of your horses are dying while in training or on the track racing, and you continue to administer the same medications to them, in spite of this dire condition, then you deserve to be questioned and investigated regarding your choices. Especially if you didn't do the prudent thing and consult your vet prior to instructing him to dole out medications and supplements.
I'm so tired of this...I love the horse racing industry. Everything about it. I love the colorful people who care for the horses as well as the various different personalities that comprise the fan base. The professional gamblers are like scientists in their own rite with all their handicapping variables and prowess. The stewards, whose responsibilities never seem to end. Most everybody in this industry fascinates me to no end. But when one person comes along who is clearly not doing right by the horses he's responsible for, knowingly not doing the right thing, then it becomes the responsibility of all those other people to rein that person in. Tell him why what he's doing isn't working and instruct him to stop. Apply consequences if he flinches at the idea of deserving accountability.
How is this so hard to understand? Parents teach this basic value to their children every day, all across America. You do something wrong, there are consequences. Action, reaction.
I've said it before, and here I go again...the horses are dependent upon the people in charge of them to treat them fairly and put their best interest first.
Get with it people who have the power to properly dole out appropriate fines, suspensions or whatever. The horses have been patient long enough. Enough have unnecessarily died.
Thryo-L HAS risks.
And any trainer or owner or vet who knowingly administers this medication, supplement, whatever you want to call it, to any horse that does not definitively need it, should be held accountable, especially if the horse exhibits a dire negative reaction.
Some insiders say that the horse racing industry is collapsing. Numbers are down for racetrack attendance and betting is on the down-slide. I'm not going to pretend to know all the ins and outs of all those details. I'd have to be a long-time expert with privy information to adequately assess all that jazz. But what I do know is that if you are saying that you are searching for a new fan base to grow your industry than what you need to do is take into account, the reality of today's potential gamblers, entertainment-seekers, horse lovers or average race track visitor. People today are savvy and read and like to feel good about what they are choosing to participate in and how they elect to spend their free time. If you want their money, you must approach them with regard, respect and appreciation for what they have to offer. In order to do this, you must show that the racehorses are treated well. Plain and simple.
The average spectator does not want to watch a bunch of injured or mistreated horses chase one another around the racetrack for two minutes of fun.
There's a way to properly, lovingly maintain, train, and race thoroughbred horses.
Not just the UK. And not just the real American horsemen and women who already do that. Nobody knows about you. You people who genuinely love horses and race them. The average unknowing spectator only sees the bad and the ugly, like Bob Baffert not getting punished, and they think the entire industry is like that. No accountability even when deserved. If the industry is actually falling apart, that's why. Most humans love animals and don't enjoy watching them die for our entertainment.
TRY NOT to kill them, problem solved.
Apply appropriate consequences to people who deserve them.
Watch your fan base grow and the track grandstands fill.
A whole new generation of equine admirers will be chomping at the bit to hear the rumbling of hooves, first-hand, as those gorgeous, muscular horses storm past them at the rail.
Make it happen, people. Make it happen.