Thoroughbred Horse Racing
Known as "the sport of kings," horse racing has been around about as long as horses have been domesticated. Most Americans have heard of some of the most famous Thoroughbred racehorses, especially since Hollywood has recently told Secretariat and Seabiscuit's stories on the silver screen.
Thousands of horses are bred each year, but only a percentage of them make it to the racetrack as 2-year olds, and a smaller percentage are winners. That leaves many, many Thoroughbred horses that are unwanted for the purpose they were bred for, and when that happens, their future is perilous.
Many failed racehorses are bought and retrained for jumping, dressage and other performance sports. But many are also passed from place to place--often by auction, where slaughter buyers are just as likely to bid on them as a trainer or responsible horse owner. Even horses that have won big at the track can be at risk, as came to light when Kentucky Derby winner and 1987 Horse of the Year Ferdinand was sold to slaughter in 2002.
Stanley and Rushmore are off-the track Thoroughbreds