What Happens at a Horse Race?
A horse race is a method of selecting the next CEO in which candidates vie for the position by working their way up through a series of critical roles until they attain the competencies and seasoning needed to lead the company. While the horse race is not foolproof, those who favor this method of selection argue it can offer a number of benefits to the organization. However, a board considering this approach should first consider whether the culture and structure of the company are compatible with a horse race, and then develop strategies that can minimize the potential disruptions to the business.
The first thing you notice about the horses at a horse race is that they are thirsty. That’s because they’ve all been injected that morning with Lasix, a diuretic noted on the racing form by a boldface “L.” Lasix is prescribed to prevent pulmonary bleeding from hard running. It also helps horses urinate off the heat and sweat. That’s important, because horses who don’t sweat well lose their edge in the heat.
Another thing you notice is that the horses are all pretty muddy. This is because they’ve been drenched in Lasix, and when they’re wet, their fur becomes darker. Lasix has the additional side effect of causing the horses to unload epic amounts of urine – twenty or thirty pounds worth. This, too, is good for the horses, because it helps them shed their mud.
When the horses line up at the starting gate, they’re looking for a signal from the jockeys that they’re ready to run. Bettors like to look at a horse’s coat in the walking ring, and if it’s bright and rippling with sweat, the horse is thought to be ready to run. But when Mongolian Groom got to the gate, he balked.
That wasn’t unusual, because the horses were nervous, and the starting gate was crowded. There were eight or nine horses, and War of Will led early on. McKinzie, a small-framed bay, was right behind him.
As the race wore on, the pack became more compressed. The horses were exhausted by the end, but they still had to jump a few hurdles. That part was grueling.
The winners of the races take home a substantial amount of money. The racers also gain a certain level of fame. But the race industry is struggling, with shrinking attendance and declining revenue. In addition, a growing number of would-be fans are turned off by animal cruelty issues. These include sloppy training methods, drug use, and the fact that many horses end their lives in foreign slaughterhouses.