Being born into the ‘evil’ racing industry, has always left me with internal conflict and confusion when the spring carnival rolls around. Those of us who are animal lovers and involved in the horse racing industry, are confronted by a barrage of Facebook posts, news articles and inaccurate statistics that leaves one pondering. “Am I ‘evil’ for supporting the sport that I love?”
When I look into the eyes of my father, I don’t see an ‘evil’ man. I see a massively talented man, who loves and cares for every horse that steps onto his property. I see a man who worked around the clock to save one of his horses from a snake bite, with no guarantees of survival, let alone a racing career after illness. I see a man who doesn’t go a day without thinking about his horses and that would do anything to ensure that the horses are cared for, happy and healthy. I see admiration and adoration for his equine partners.
When I look into the eyes of my friends, family and associates I don’t see ‘evil’. I see people that would forgo a meal to ensure that their horses were fed . I see exhaustion from working around the clock in a day job, to support their animals. I see commitment and love for their animals. I see the tears well in their eyes and their hearts break when tragedy strikes.
When I look into the horses eyes, I don’t see a fear of the ‘evil’ that they are supposedly dominated by. I see trust and loyalty. I see the willingness that horses have shown us for centuries past. I see the love and companionship that they share with their strappers. I see excitement and readiness when they step onto the racetrack, I see heart and try in their eyes as they give us their all.
When I look into the eyes of the racing industry, I see a commitment to be ethical, I see authority to enforce a strong stance against animal cruelty. I see open mindedness and a willingness to adapt new procedures. I don’t see the ‘evil’ that is often touted.
When I look into my own eyes, I don’t see ‘evil’. As a little girl the term ‘evil racing industry’ weighed heavily on me. With the nightly news referring to murderers and terrorists as evil, I was shocked to think that I may be in the same category. Now as an adult, I stand beside this industry with pride knowing in my heart of hearts that we are not ‘evil’.
Credit photography : Sarah Ebbett photography , canstock
Author Amanda Justice