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The Belle Rings for the Thoroughbred Industry

Every Derby Day, "My Old Kentucky Home" haunts me. My family has roots there and horses have always been a love of nearly every woman in my immediate family.

But once again, the throughbred industry should take a look at how it conducts itself as a business that works with animals.

I've begged off the Derby for some years now not just because I'm disgusted with Yum Brands, but also because I firmly believe the practice of running horses when they are so young and their bones haven't fully formed isn't right- but it sure does make a lot of money and excitement and prestige and sponsorship possibilities, doesn't it?

The bones of horses legs don't fully fuse until they are close to 4 years of age. I believe this to be the cause of tragedies like the one Eight Belles experienced. Close to the end of the race, her jockey tried to stop her but she broke both her ankles and was euthanized immediately after the race.

Only a few fillies have won the Derby over its long history and in my lifetime I've watched Genuine Risk and Winning Colors cross that finish line first.

Hilary Clinton was backing Eight Belles and alas, she was beaten by Big Brown. It's no small political statement. Perhaps at a minimum, Clinton and Obama can begin to work to make the minimum required age for racing in the Derby 4 years of age. Where does change that began with Barbaro's tragic death begin? Perhaps Senator Clinton and Senator Obama will be able to figure it out.

Rest in peace dear Belle.

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