Horseracing, thoroughbred breeding and gambling on racing are global industries worth several hundred billion dollars. They are also industries facing serious challenges, from the rise of alternative forms of leisure gambling to concerns about the ethical treatment of animals in all equestrian sports. This book offers a broad-ranging examination of the contemporary horseracing industry, from geographical, economic, social, ethical and environmental perspectives.
The book draws on in-depth, mixed-method research into the racing and breeding industries in the US, Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, and includes comparative material on other key racing centres, such as Ireland, Singapore and Hong Kong. It explores the economic structure of the global racing business, including comparisons with other major international sport businesses and other equestrian sports. It examines the social and cultural roots of the sport through its association with, and impact on, rural places, communities and environments from Kentucky to Newmarket – highlighting racing’s particular blend of tradition and scientific and technological innovation. The book also explores the ethical issues at the heart of horseracing, from reproduction to the use of the whip, and the inescapable tension between the horse as an instrumentally valuable commodity and the horse as an intrinsically valuable animal with needs and interests.
The Global Horseracing Industry concludes by considering alternative futures for this major international sports business. The book is illuminating reading for anybody with an interest in sport, business, cultural geography, animal studies, or environmental studies.
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