2008: Eventing’s Year of Tragic Deaths Compares Only with Racing’s Catastrophic On-Track Breakdowns

This video from ESPN shows how the sport of eventing was criticized by the media and even its own competitors and horse owners as horse after horse went down on the cross-country phase at events all over the world. ESPN’s harsh treatment is part of an outcry heard round the world.

The loss of so many horses in a single year can only be compared to the horror of the public who watched as the filly Eight Belles broke both front legs just strides after the finish of the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Eventers should be happy that their sport is not as much in the public eye.

When I started this blog, I imagined all the good news stories I would write about research and new cures for horse diseases and lameness. Instead, I have written a dozen stories this year about horses killed while performing and riders riding ambulances instead of their horses. Someone switched the script; I became the death reporter in 2008.

Think safe thoughts for all the eventers and all the racehorses for 2009. Send me back to writing good news.




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