How Lasix Affects the Horse Race

Horse racing is an equestrian sport in which humans ride horses for competition. It has been around for centuries and was one of the first sports to adopt organized rules and a competitive event where spectators could watch from the grandstand. In the beginning of the sport, the horses were connected to wheeled carts or chariots pulled by humans, known as jockeys. The modern sport is dominated by thoroughbreds, whose pedigree requires that they be sired and dammed from purebred parents.

In a horse race, horses run on a circular course of dirt or turf with multiple turns. They carry a fixed amount of weight, which is set by the track owner and determined based on several factors, such as the horse’s age, sex, distance, and time of year. This weight, along with a horse’s past performance, determines its chance of winning a race. The pedigree is also a major factor in determining a horse’s eligibility for a particular race.

The horses are fueled by a mixture of grain, water, and the drug Lasix, which is noted on the race program with a bold face “L.” This medication is administered during races to prevent pulmonary bleeding that occurs after hard running in some thoroughbreds. It’s a dangerous condition that can leave the horses with blood-drenched lungs and can be fatal. For decades, nearly every horse has received the drug on race day. Lasix’s diuretic function causes the horses to unload epic amounts of urine-twenty or thirty pounds worth.

As the horses ran into the sunset, their hooves thundered on the dirt and mud, sending a vibration through the ground that made it shake underfoot. Some 60,000 people watched from the shadowed grandstand, and many more tuned in to television screens that showed the race on TVG, an all-racing channel included in cable sports packages.

The racing world has seen a growing movement to improve the way horses are treated, including reducing the use of drugs and harsh training techniques, and establishing more humane housing for racehorses. But to truly put the horse first would require a profound ideological reckoning on the macro business and industry level, as well as inside the minds of men and women who work with the horses. The best hope for a brighter future lies in prioritizing the welfare of racehorses at every level of decision making, from breeding to aftercare, and integrating a more natural and equine friendly lifestyle for them. It is the only way for horse racing to survive. But this will take a long time and a lot of money, which horse racing is currently in short supply of.