I have been thinking about this lately. I am talking about the horses. I love horses, and think it's great when they get to run around on a big field freely, but I just think that competitive racing is perhaps not good for them and it pushes them too hard.
What started making me think like this is when I was watching a race and my horse won, so I won my bet, but felt terrible as the horse in 2nd took a horrific looking fall at the last because it was trying to make a challenge and being ridden extremely hard up towards the fence, which is the reason for the fall. I honestly would have been much happier to lose my bet than for the horse to fall like that.
On the other side, I know there are many horses who love to race, and their life is greatly enhanced from it, so maybe the positives could outway? It just makes me a bit sad when a free spirited horse's life is cut short due to being put into a competitive race. I was looking at the horsedeathwatch site which shows there were 2240 deaths in GB/IRE in the las 5175 days. That's more than I thought, just under 1 every couple of days on the cards will be fatally injured.