POSTSCRIPTSport of Kings or Business of Knaves?

Jockeys could—and would—do anything to win… [they] grabbed hold of leading horses’ tails or saddlecloths… joined arms with other jockeys to “clothesline” riders trying to cut between horses, formed obstructive “flying wedges” to block closers, and bashed passing horses into the inside rail. They hooked their legs over other jockeys’ knees… they shoved and punched one another and grabbed another’s reins.

—Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit1

 

Much has changed since Laura Hillenbrand wrote about what jockeys would do to win in the early twentieth century, but thoroughbred horseracing still has both wonderful accomplishments and a dark side, much like other human endeavors.

Horseracing is popular worldwide, ...

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