Illegal Street Horse Racing on the Rise in Louisville
LMPD spokesperson Ofc. Beth Ruoff reports that the streets of Louisville have gotten a little more dangerous at night. But it's not blaring of sirens of pop of gunfire that marks this latest threat, it's the clop of hoofbeats on the pavement.
Urban equine racing, or street horse racing, is on the rise in Louisville. Not only is it currently illegal in the Louisville Metro Area, but brings with it other problems associated with organized crime.
"The races themselves are illegal, but so is the gambling, racketeering, property damage, plus all the horse shit left on the streets," said Ruoff.
While racing almost always takes place in the late hours of the night when civilian traffic is minimal, and usually on lesser traveled side streets in Old Louisville. The more brazen racers will field competitions on Broadway where the wide streets make for the exhilarating spectacle.
The racing on main streets is done rarely however if the LMPD catches wind of a race it's often easy for police cruisers to overtake and apprehend fleeing racers animals rarely have above 1 hp.
"The fishtail maneuver is technically effective but overkill and spike strips can be gruesome if they land just right. Officers usually just engage in fairly low-speed pursuit until the animal wears out. The jockey's can be a little more of a threat if armed, but their outfits make it difficult to take them seriously and most are aware that the misdemeanor infraction isn't worth resisting arrest."
The participants claim it's just harmless fun. The horse enthusiasts spend a lot of time working on their horses, adorning them in bright patterns, and souping them up. "We'd race at the Downs if we could, but they have too many rules. I just want to show off my beast, show what she can do," said a street racer who spoke under the condition of anonymity.