Are Boards Ready For a Horse Race?

horse race

A horse race is a corporate leadership contest that involves multiple candidates for the CEO position. Proponents of the practice argue that it ensures that the best person for the job will emerge from a process that allows strong leaders to challenge each other. Those who oppose the approach contend that the contest creates a lot of noise and disruption that may negatively affect business momentum. Ultimately, the success of the strategy depends on the organization’s culture and organizational structure, so boards should consider carefully whether they are ready for a horse race before implementing one.

Horse racing is dangerous for both horses and their riders, known as jockeys. The high speed of the races exposes horses to falls and injuries, and many are raced before they are fully mature, which puts them at risk of developmental disorders. The horses’ hooves and legs are also subjected to tremendous pressure, with cracking of the bones and tendons common. A number of the horses are killed as a result of injuries or illnesses related to racing.

In order to minimize the risks of horse racing, veterinary science has developed a variety of medications and other devices designed to help keep the horses healthy and competitive. Horses are typically given a cocktail of legal and illegal drugs before and during a race, including painkillers, antibiotics, blood thinners and stimulants. The drugs are meant to mask injuries, to artificially enhance the horses’ performances and to protect them from the effects of lactic acid build-up during intense exercise.

To ensure that the horses are well prepared to race, most races are weighted. The weights are assigned based on the horses’ abilities, with allowances made for older and female horses running against males and younger ones. Adding weight to the horses helps level the playing field and increases the chances that a more talented horse will win a race. In addition, the race conditions, track surface and weather can influence how a horse performs.

As the sport of racing evolved, bettors have used different strategies to make money. They can place bets on the horses to win, to place or to show. A ‘win’ bet pays out if the horse comes in first place. A ‘place’ bet pays out if the horse places second or third. A’show’ bet pays out if the horse finishes first, second or third.

The animal rights group Horseracing Wrongs asserts that horse racing is an exploitative industry that treats its animals as mere commodities. Activists point out that the animals are drugged, whipped and pushed to their limits. Those who are not killed by racing-related injuries spend most of their lives in solitary confinement in a stall. The sport’s aficionados often dismiss the concerns of animal rights advocates and public opinion. The truth is that the horse racing industry needs to evolve its business model and put the interests of its animals at the center of its decision-making. Only then will it be able to survive in a society, culture and justice system that increasingly recognizes animals as entitled to certain fundamental rights.