In beginning to research horse shows and horse races in the Eugene area, I was surprised to see a fiery controversy surrounding the treatment of horses and the ethics surrounding racing and horsemeat. The ethical treatment of animals is always a prevalent issue, but I wasn’t aware that it went beyond cows, chickens and pigs that are mass-produced to feed consumers of the meat industry. My research on different social media platforms, namely twitter, kept spreading tweets about the Grand National, a large race that is happened in the UK this weekend, and the ethical treatment of the horses that race there. In my reporting for this story, it appears that I am going to be learning just as much as my readers. I should have known that was an expected part of being a journalist, huh?
I originally aimed to focus my story around independent barns, jockeys, and horses to get a deeper sense of the culture that surrounds horse shows, but I realize that there has to be more layers. The culture involving horse shows has turned into a much more complicated issue that I realized when I choose it.
Throughout the next couple of weeks, I plan to get more involved in the community of horse shows, barns and ethical debates to present the whole picture on both an audible and visual platform.
Follow me here or on twitter (@heidireeley) for more!