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Why is Horse Racing Unethical?

Horse races are an integral part of American culture, and most have at least experienced that thrilling feeling as thundering hooves thunder down the stretch. Many Americans also share an appreciation of horses’ beauty and power; thus supporting horse racing as an ethical activity worthy of preservation. We will discuss several reasons for why some see it as unethical here.

The main problem with the industry lies in its ineptitude; namely, that its activities are foreign to nature. For instance, racehorses don’t typically interact with their riders in natural settings and the sport doesn’t reflect how horses run or compete naturally. On racetracks, humans atop horses compel them to run at breakneck speeds with whips while being given cocktail drugs — both legal and illegal — designed to mask injuries and enhance performance artificially; horses often suffer exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage during races which necessitates their death after racing has ended.

Trainers and racetracks despite best efforts to increase safety standards still push these horses beyond their limits, placing them at constant risk of getting hurt or dying, which results in alarming numbers of fatalities each year. Congress decided that in 2020 that it wasn’t willing to see horses die just to entertain constituents so it implemented safety standards throughout the industry.

While some might argue that horses are naturally designed for running and competition, most horse owners likely disagree. Horseback riding has long been criticized as cruel to animals and unsustainable in the long run; ultimately it’s driven by money and the desire to get the most out of a horse quickly.

Businesses using the “horse race method” of selecting their next CEO tend to be driven by profit, with an expectation that a competitive selection process will yield its ideal candidate. However, this method of selecting leaders carries its own risks that could have lasting impacts on a company’s culture and ability to attract top talent. Therefore, boards must carefully evaluate whether their organizations are suitable for adopting the horse race method and, if so, devise strategies to minimize potential disruptions caused by this approach. As part of this, it’s crucial to establish a culture which encourages succession competition and the belief that only the best leader will emerge victorious. Furthermore, processes should be in place which equip high achievers for more challenging roles while benchmarking frontrunners against external talent to ensure they meet best-in-class standards.

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