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"Tying a tail" in the gate?

https://paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/penn-national-sued-over-alleged-tail-tying-incident-at-starting-gate

Before I develop too strong of an opinion on this, can someone explain what and why tying a horse’s tail in the starting gate means?

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Sounds weird. I know assistant starter sometimes hold a tail to distract a misbehaving horse, but tying the tail? Not only weird sounds cruel and asking for a horrible accident to happen.

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I read that article when it came out and had the same question, and we’ve been racing horses for twenty years. It sounds strange, unusual, and dangerous to me.

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Should be illegal. I don’t know why that is even allowed. It sounds dangerous and unethical. I hope the owner wins in court.

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Oh my word! Beyond horrrific! I hope she wins, too.

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Besides be an absolutely stupid idea, what ever do they think they are accomplishing with such stupidity?

I have no insider info on this particular situation but I am familiar with the term. I’ve heard it referred to as “tailing”.

The start gate assistant will sometimes take the tail and hold it up to prevent a fractious horse from rearing or flipping. It’s a safety tactic that distracts the horse, similar to how a twitch can be used. With horses that are so fractious they kick or buck (putting all in danger), I’ve seen assistants take the tail, place it over the bar, and wrap the hair of the tail around the bar or the rear door. They hold it in place with their hands. When the horse breaks from the gate the tail slips loose. I’ve never heard or seen someone tie the hairs back on themselves in a knot.

Actual tying seems very dangerous. That’s the horse’s spine in your hands.

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I don’t know anything about tail tying horses/racing, but when working cows (for vaccinations, for example) we lift their tails over their backs to help keep them still. We just call it “tailing the cow” and it works pretty well and they aren’t hurt. But we don’t tie the tails to anything.

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Maybe if the horse is that bad in the gate, we should take a hint and find them a job they like. :roll_eyes:

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Don’t read if you din’t want to read about the thread topic.
Years ago a trainer in the barn next to me had her horse’s tail tied in the gate at Penn National. When he broke from the gate the tail didn’t release and the horse more or less unzipped his spine. He was literally screaming as he laid there waiting to be euthanized. Thankfully I wasn’t there that night so I didn’t see it but that doesn’t stop the image from being burned in my memory

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OMG!!! How beyond horrifying.

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I can’t imagine. Don’t want to imagine. How awful.

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:sob::sob::sob:

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Would you please put a warning before the incident you posted. I really wish I hadn’t read that.

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Sure

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What an appalling thing to share unprompted to upset people. Wow, talk about something I can’t unread and a visual that has ruined my morning and will haunt me. WTH

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So do I

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