Not so long ago some people spoke of sports medicine as an exciting new field. The reality was quite different than the rhetoric. We’ve seen former football players suing the NFL over concussions and other injuries.
We have pain for a reason. Our bodies send us messages. If my foot hurts, my body may be telling me that the foot has been injured, and that I should not use it until the foot has healed.
Sports medicine intercepts a basic body function. Without the message of pain, the athlete plays with an injury. So it became customary to mask pain in such sports as football. The result is that many former NFL players can barely move.
Racehorses are not so different than human athletes. They are cocky and competitive. A good racehorse will try for every competitive edge over the horses near it.
The downside is that racehorses were badly treated long before human athletes became subject to sports medicine. They are compelled to run early, before they have developed full strength. A more recent problems is that the speed they are now bred for makes them prone to injury.
There was huge disappointment when California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, failed to win the Belmont. There has been no Triple Crown winner since 1978. But because of greed, and the push for cheap wins, racehorses are no longer sturdy enough to win Triple Crowns. We have no more Secretariats or Seattle Slews. Nor do we have such remarkable horses as Seabiscuit or Man o’ War.
We reap what we sow.