A Night of Back-to-Back Racehorse Specials

A Night of Back-to-Back Racehorse Specials

Mon, 11/23/2009 - 9:00pm

Photo Credit: Homestretchthemovie.com

Don't miss American Experience: Seabiscuit  followed by Homestretch: Racehorse Rescue

WXXI-TV is proud to present a special night of programming, which includes back-to-back shows dedicated to the racehorse. American Experience: Seabiscuit and Homestretch: Racehorse Rescue airs Monday, November 23 starting at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11).

The 1930s left American hearts cold and pockets empty, but the story of Seabiscuit provided a necessary escape from Depression-era life. American Experience: Seabiscuit, airing at 9 p.m., illuminates the gloomy conditions of the depression and explores the thoroughbred racing scene through four men and their underdog racehorse named Seabiscuit.

Homestretch: Racehorse Rescue will air immediately following Seabiscuit at 10 p.m. The program reaches out to lovers of horses and viewers who care about the lives and treatment of animals.  This moving hour documents the fates of losing racehorses, often facing cruelty or slaughter, and jailed criminals, often lost and feeling hopeless. Both are in need of rehabilitation so they might return to society. By capturing the magic that grows between the two from the training and care the inmate provides the horse, the prisoners’ and horses’ lives are often transformed. We witness horse and man as they come to understand and value each other. We and our viewers become informed about the need for horse rescue and some ways these rescues can be effected. This bittersweet documentary tears at our hearts as it empowers us to seek remediation.

Every year, thousands of horses are bred and sold for millions of dollars each, in order to supply the massive racing industry. Despite the best pedigrees, training, and care, many horses fail to meet their owners’ expectations. These magnificent animals are reduced to “a loss” in an accounting ledger. Typically, these poor-earning and end-of-career racehorses meet with two terrible destinies: a trip to the slaughterhouse or the punishing two-bit racing circuit. Thanks to a few progressive politicians and prisons in New York, Oregon, and Kentucky, there is an alternative destiny: Lush, expansive, prison-owned farms, where end-of-term prisoners earn the privilege of caring for these noble animals. The peaceful surroundings help inmates and horses let go of the past, discover new sides of themselves and experience love.

To learn more about a local thoroughbred adoption program, click on this short film produced by WXXI about the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program.