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Dawnwatch 60 minutes

Hopefully all of the terrific media coverage of animal issues of late has buoyed us for tonight’s awful 60 Minutes fluff piece on the “Maryland Hunt Cup,” a horse race described as “The biggest, most demanding event there is in the world of timber racing,” which is a form of the infamous steeplechase. Correspondent Charlie Rose tells us, “Falling horses usually roll with it: very few are badly hurt.” He doesn’t mention that sometimes they die, but suspecting that, I had my suspicions confirmed with a quick Google search. 
I don’t think I need to enumerate, for DawnWatch readers, everything wrong with the story, but will share, for those of you who don’t make it to the end, the lighthearted description of a timber racing champion named Senior Senator, who, when he was a flat-track racer, had “a mediocre record and a nasty reputation for acting up” and of whom his trainer says, “They had to tranquilize him every day to get him out onto the race track.”

As activist Linda Dugan pointed out when she pointed me to the story (thank you Linda!) there is not a word from any animal advocacy group — anybody who might see this as anything other than good exciting fun. 

You can watch and/or read the segment on line at http://tinyurl.com/mhz5st8 

You can comment right below it, which I hope you will, as people tend to be greatly swayed by the opinions of others; it is important that people visiting the page see that others don’t think this kind of entertainment, and this kind of coverage of it, is okay. Please remember that you are representing the horses and the animal advocacy movement and try to take care with tone. And also please be careful not to use any of my phrases in your comments or in direct notes to 60 Minutes, which you can send via http://audienceservices.cbs.com/feedback/feedback.htm , choosing “60 Minutes” from the pull-down menu. Let your own reaction to the story guide your (polite as possible) words.

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