Anti-racing fanatics flog two dead horses for political gain

In animals, sport on November 6, 2014 at 12:20 am
This is how I'll remember Admire Rakti, thanks. Pic: Nicole Garmston

This is how I’ll remember Admire Rakti, thanks. Pic: Nicole Garmston

I’m not going to lie, I have some problems with the horse-racing industry.

I think there are definitely questions that need to be asked about how many horses are bred for racing and what happens to the ones who, inevitably, are going to win nothing. Jumps racing is an abomination and should be banned worldwide NOW. Jockeys need better protection. Horses need better protection from excited crowds. Drugs testing should be improved and ramped up.

But … there is nothing that outrages me more than watching anti-racing fanatics using the still-warm corpses of the two horses on Melbourne Cup Day as a platform for their own political purposes.

There was nothing — NOTHING — about the deaths of Admire Rakti and Araldo that was evenly vaguely related to cruelty.

Araldo’s incident was pure accident, nothing more, nothing less. An excitable, and excited, horse was spooked by an excited human doing something stupid — waving a flag in his face. He kicked out in the wrong place, breaking his hind leg when it went through a fence. Everyone at the race course, and at the equine hospital, did everything they could to not just save his life, but save his leg. He was eventually euthanised, not because it was all too much trouble, but because the life of a horse with a badly broken leg, even if he can ever stand again, is one of pain and disability. THAT would have been cruelty.

As for Admire Rakti … what a bloody tragedy. It’s clear from the preliminary autopsy and chief vet’s report, that he suffered a severe cardiac event — a heart attack, or irregular heartbeat, that he couldn’t recover from. It was completely unpredictable and from what I’ve heard and seen, there was no sign of it beforehand.

These horses are vetted, right up until the morning of the race. And again behind the barriers, they’re being watched pretty closely.

Of course, he was the favourite. Nobody wants to see the favourite scratched. So if there was a pre-race cover-up about the horse’s condition, then of course, yes, that should be investigated and dealt with.

But as far as I could see, as far as the TV experts could see, and as far as the vet behind the barriers could see, Admire Rakti was ears up, on his toes and ready and willing to race.

Human athletes drop dead for no reason. Remember Piermario Morosini? Miklos Feher? Remember Fabrice Muamba? He survived, but it was out of the blue and a damn close thing:

Yes, humans have a choice. But I truly believe racehorses love racing. They’re smart, strong, brave, beautiful creatures and I don’t for one minute think they would go as hard as they do if they didn’t enjoy it.

I was disgusted by the anti-racing lobby on Tuesday and yesterday. They have legitimate arguments to make, and plenty of support, but they did nothing but make themselves look like opportunistic extremists dancing on the graves of two horses who deserved more respect.

Shame on them.

Rest in peace Admire Rakti and Araldo.

Fairfax ditches the subs … and the experience, and the wisdom, and the facts and the quality

In fail, media, oxygen thieves on October 18, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I’ve gotta say my mind is somewhat blown about Fairfax ditching subeditors and photographers from their regional papers. Leaving aside the fact that professional news photographers are the heart of a newspaper, ffs … let’s just talk about the consequences of eliminating subs from the process.

Look, journos care about three things, getting the news quickly (preferably first), writing it up so it makes basic sense, and making the deadline. Journos, in general, don’t give a good goddamn about grammar or spelling. We care about making a snappy intro, getting it all the right order, making the point, and moving it down the chain.

Sometimes, because we have to do it quickly, we might type 2 instead of 3, or him instead of her, or god knows, then instead of than. Especially if we’re filing from a poxy mobile device.

Subs have saved my arse than I care to remember. Literally, saved my arse. Spelling, tenses, bloody apostrophes, and yes, FACTS. They check facts. Who knew? They don’t just take the journo’s word for it, though we usually wish they would. THEY CHECK SHIT TO MAKE SURE IT’S RIGHT.

But that’s not the only consequence of sacking all the subs. Subs are usually the older, more experienced, relatively wise heads in the newsroom. Lose the subs and the collective age of a newsroom drops about 20-30 years. Not to mention the IQ.

This is a STUPID decision for any company that cares about the quality of its product. It’s a great decision if you want to save money, of course and that’s basically all that matters today if you climb any higher up a news publisher’s ladder than editor.

Dumb, stupid, fucked-up decision.

Please fellas, your sausages are not my breakfast cup of tea

In fail on October 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm


I have no objection to the Lycra Mafia taking over the streets of my bayside suburb.

(That’s a lie. I have many, many objections to them, but let’s assume for the moment that I don’t mind their presence.)

I find their clothing ridiculous, their on-road behaviour arrogant, and their obsession laughable. But I’m happy to let all that slide, to let bygones be bygones, to let pedalling fools cycle on.

But there is one thing I will not cop.

I will not tolerate being visually assaulted over my breakfast, chaps. I won’t.

When I’m at my favourite Sunday morning caff, sitting down to a plate of sausages and eggs, I don’t want to see your sausages and eggs. Do you get me? Do you ken where I’m coming from, fellas?

You’re wearing lycra. It outlines your genitalia. Hugs them, even. Makes them standout like … well, like balls on a dog, frankly. And you sit there with your legs akimbo, slurping on your hazelnut soy milk low-fat latte and picking at your spinach and ricotta muffin, with your todger pointing at me, or worse, standing tall while I gag on my mushrooms.

Have some courtesy, for fuck sake. Stop for a coffee, by all means. But FFS pull on a pair of tracky daks or a pair of NORMAL shorts over the top of your cods-cuddlers, because, damn it, I have a right to eat my breakfast without being subjected to a full frontal penile onslaught.

And ladies, you’re not innocent in all this. You could be a bit more discreet with your lycra-clad cameltoes, to be honest. I’m not averse to a lady bit, you know that, but not lady bits I don’t know, and not over breakfast in a public place.

I don’t think I’m asking too much, do you?

Ta very much


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