FanDuel - WFBC

June 20, 2007

Jockey Who Kicked Horse Faces Hearing: Veteran's Reputation Tarnished by Televised Blow to Belly

posted by bobfoot to other at 09:52 PM - 21 comments

Why the fuss? Racing is an acceptable form of animal abuse, along with zoos, circuses and pet shops.Need I go on?

posted by sickleguy at 10:10 PM on June 20

Racing is not animal abuse. Although abuse does occur within racing. This jockey should be investigated, as is happening, and punished accordingly.

posted by Fence at 03:12 AM on June 21

Who would entrust their horse to this guy? I find it difficult to believe that the one and only time he abused an animal it got caught on tape. It would be like sending your kid to a babysitter that one time abused a child. His career should be over.

posted by bperk at 08:37 AM on June 21

When you read the story, I guess the horse hit him first, but this is the risk you take when you get on top of a large animal and attempt to ride it. These horses have no choice but to race, our ignorance and childish gamlbing ways have created a very poor situation for these beautiful animals.

posted by sap_basis at 01:23 PM on June 21

Fence put it well. "punished accordingly". Did the colt fall over? was there any permanent damage? will the colt race again? Come on....a 100 lb person kicks a 1500 lb horse in the belly and its going to be a disaster? Look at the guys long term record...been involved with equine humane rights etc. Disbar him? Absurd !! Every one who's ever worked around horses has probably smacked one occassionaly without intending or resulting in permanent harm. The nags will step on you, lean on you, kick you, bite you....reflexes light up and believe me, the horse doesn't lose. Let the punishment fit the crime; there were lots of witnesses, and everybody yells "poor horsey", when it's the jockey who got the worst of it.

posted by jazzdog at 01:26 PM on June 21

Every one who's ever worked around horses has probably smacked one occassionaly without intending or resulting in permanent harm. I doubt that. The track director found it serious enough to suspend him immediately. The nags will step on you, lean on you, kick you, bite you....reflexes light up and believe me, the horse doesn't lose. Let the punishment fit the crime; there were lots of witnesses, and everybody yells "poor horsey", when it's the jockey who got the worst of it. Seriously? You are trying to pass off the he-hit-me-first argument to defend a professional jockey who kicks a 2 year old colt?

posted by bperk at 02:01 PM on June 21

The problem with Molina's action isn't that he hit a horse; it's that he did so not in reflex or in self-defense, but fairly deliberately, after taking time to unsaddle the horse. But... Seriously? You are trying to pass off the he-hit-me-first argument to defend a professional jockey who kicks a 2 year old colt? A two-year-old colt isn't a tiny, frail, vulnerable creature, bperk. As the article said: "Itís very odd that he acted that way," [racing director Sal] Sinatra said. "My opinion is that he probably hurt himself more than the horse..." And, in response to jazzdog's comment that "[e]very one who's ever worked around horses has probably smacked one occassionaly[sic] without intending or resulting in permanent harm", you say: I doubt that. Why? Have you worked around horses? They're a lot bigger than we are, and many of them know it and throw their weight around -- literally. A horse that is so inclined will keep shoving you around, and will eventually injure you, until you smack it to teach it to mind. The track director found it serious enough to suspend him immediately. The racing director no doubt was aware that the events were being broadcast live. As for how serious he actually thought it was, see his comments above.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:34 PM on June 21

My understanding is that you can smack horses without really injuring them. They're huge. The fact is that so much real abuse of these animals happens on a daily basis in horse racing - this is hardly that. He is being punished because he was seen and there was a potential for a bad public reaction, because we're essentially retards with cell phones and time on our hands.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:46 PM on June 21

Why? Have you worked around horses? They're a lot bigger than we are, and many of them know it and throw their weight around -- literally. A horse that is so inclined will keep shoving you around, and will eventually injure you, until you smack it to teach it to mind. If it is something that happens regularly, then why is the jockey so emphatic that this is the first time he has ever done something like this? Why didn't he just say that he was teaching him to mind then and that it was no big deal? And, if kicking horses in the stomach is a common way to get horses ready for racing, then I will be sure to avoid horseracing from now on.

posted by bperk at 02:51 PM on June 21

If it is something that happens regularly, then why is the jockey so emphatic that this is the first time he has ever done something like this? Why didn't he just say that he was teaching him to mind then and that it was no big deal? Taking a wild guess, because people jumped all over his shit. And, if kicking horses in the stomach is a common way to get horses ready for racing, then I will be sure to avoid horseracing from now on. I hate to tell you this, but kicking (or kneeing) horses in the stomach is a common way to get horses ready for riding -- as in, with many horses, if you don't give 'em a knee to the stomach, they're gonna do the swell-belly trick and as soon as you put a foot in a stirrup you're gonna find yourself riding upside down. So avoid horseracing if you like, by all means, but you better avoid trail-riding as well.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:10 PM on June 21

So avoid horseracing if you like, by all means, but you better avoid trail-riding as well. Thanks, I will. It's one thing if you are training them for some greater good, but just so folks can gamble or purely for entertainment value? That's probably on the wrong side of my ethics line.

posted by bperk at 03:19 PM on June 21

bperk, I think you missed my point, which was that with many horses, it's common to have to give 'em a shot to the belly just to get the girth tight enough that the saddle will stay on. Therefore, if you find smacking a horse to be exceptionally cruel, then you'd best not have anything to do with anyone who owns or works with horses -- or any other livestock, for that matter. That's probably on the wrong side of my ethics line. Maybeso; I share a cube at work with a vegan who would definitely agree. He doesn't use any animal products. He walks his talk and I have plenty of respect for him, but not many can walk that line.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:55 PM on June 21

bperk, I think you missed my point, which was that with many horses, it's common to have to give 'em a shot to the belly just to get the girth tight enough that the saddle will stay on. I guess I did. I thought you were saying what this jockey did is commonplace. What you are describing doesn't really sound like the same thing. I yield to your superior horse wisdom, but what this jockey did doesn't seem like it could be very effective discipline. Does the horse have any idea what behavior is being corrected if the punishment comes a few minutes later after being backed out of the gate and after the saddle has been taken off?

posted by bperk at 04:24 PM on June 21

You just know that there are going to be the "horse people" and "non-horse people" side of this argument. I can certainly understand that to the uninitiated, the idea of striking an animal raises all kinds of PETA hackles. The truth of the matter is that a horse will control you if it doesn't learn to be controlled by you first. If you think that's cruelty, perhaps consider that a horse can weigh in excess of 1000 pounds. That's an animal that can do a lot of damage to a 200 pound person. I don't think anyone here is advocating senseless beating of an animal, just maybe a better understanding of the reality of the situation and not what we may have seen in the movies. I have seen a horse not want to go inside a horse trailer and because the owner didn't have control, the horse rear-up, lose it's balance and strike it's head on the ground and die. Believe it or not, these seemingly drastic measures are for the horses safety, too.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:29 PM on June 21

Disclaimer: I'm a horse person. Opinion: this just isn't a big deal. It was stupid and wrong and I'm sure the jockey regrets it, but yes, everyone I know who's worked with horses has lost his or her temper at some point and done something similarly stupid, wrong, and regrettable. I once smacked a show pony I was training when he bit me. I was seen and reported to the owners, who fired me. I understood, but so did other horse people, and I was on a new one two months later. Did I hit her? No. People who knew me knew that what had happened was out of character and not likely to recur. I've seen abuse. I've seen sores around the ankles of gaited horses from unpadded chains used to increase step height. I've seen ginger inserted into a horse's anus to lift his tail. I've seen a tired jumper beaten when he knocks down a rail in practice. A kick from a hundred-pound (and respected) jockey just doesn't set off my alarm bells. Give him a fine or a suspension and let him get back to his career. His longevity speaks, to a degree, to a gentle nature; it's very hard to have a career riding other people's horses unless you're widely regarded to be trustworthy.

posted by swerve at 05:34 PM on June 21

These horses have no choice but to race, our ignorance and childish gamlbing ways have created a very poor situation for these beautiful animals. You know, that isn't strictly true. Race-horses are bred to run, that is what they love to do, maybe human intervention has altered the why, but not to a huge extent. If a horse doesn't want to race then he tends not to win. Which results in him not being a race horse. I'm not saying there isn't abuse, because there is, and it is something that needs addressing, in all industries that use animals, but as a horse-lover I firmly believe that there is nothing intrinsically wrong in racing horses. I'm not a huge fan myself, I watch the odd race especially the bigger ones like the National and the Cheltenham festival, but I'm not an expert. But there seems to be this belief that horses should be treated like people. Just like many pet dogs are. In my opinion that is cruelty. Horses are not people. And if we are going to work with horses then we need to acknowledge that fact. Maybe some people think that the very fact that horses are trained to carry people is cruelty. I disagree. In this case the jockey, as I said earlier, should be investigated. This is happening. This is a good thing. It doesn't mean that the jockey abused his horse. Ever seen that Simpson's episode with Stampy the Elephant? Animals can be jack-asses too you know. I'm not trying to excuse the behaviour, but, people are animals too, and sometimes we do things we regret.

posted by Fence at 05:21 AM on June 22

When involved in a horse race, doesn't the jockey continuously smack the horse on the thigh with a whip? Just a question because suddenly, everyone seems to forget that horses are one the few animals that are being 'abused' on television for the world to see but because it's called racing, it's ok?

posted by BornIcon at 07:01 AM on June 22

Consider the immediate aftermath. The jockey gets suspended, so for the time being he is out of work. The horse goes back to the barn, eats a hearty meal and in a week or so is back on the track. The suspension is p-r; the industry looks concerned/good, the track saves face. I still feel that disbarring the jockey is extreme and beyond the scope of the "crime". I hope and think the racing director will act accordingly considering Molina's reputation. Just for the record I speak from having family members in the racing game at the ground level. I am not a racing habitue, but am quite aware of it's sheen and it's warts.

posted by jazzdog at 12:48 PM on June 22

Gee I use to ride horses and we always kicked them with our boots and spurs to make em go. This is kinda ridiculous. Sure the Jockey lost his temper big deal, he deserves a modest fine just for the bad PR he caused. Everybody was all for torturing that Barbaro with surgery and vet care just to look compassionate. My experience with horses is that you better show them who is the boss or you will wind up getting hurt. As far as horseracing being cruel, I disagree. Horses are runners and thats what they do naturally. If a horse doesn't want to run nobody will want to race him. It's funny to me but if you kick a horse somebody gets upset, but if you geld him nobody bitches. If I were in the horses shoes, I'd say kick me all you like but leave my balls alone.

posted by Atheist at 01:50 PM on June 22

I'd say kick me all you like but leave my balls alone. I used to say this to my ex-wife all the time. Thanks, I'll be here through the week!!! Try the veal!!!

posted by THX-1138 at 03:40 PM on June 22

But seriously, I used to say that.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:41 PM on June 22

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