Sound Systems and Animal Death

A heartbroken Wirth later said the horse was startled by what Wirth thinks was the sound of a starting gate bell coming from a commercial on Churchills massive new video board. The system includes 750 speakers. “We teach horses to break from that,” he said. “And you’ve got it on a loud speaker that everybody in a two-city block can hear. Well, what’s she going to do? She thinks shes supposed to take off. And thats what she did. And when she did, she lunged and she lost her balance and went down.”

That’s from a devastating story from ESPN this morning on how a loud sound may have been responsible for the death of a horse. Theres a lot to consider hereincluding the ethics of horse racing itselfbut it reaffirms for me how much there is to be done at the intersection of sound studies and animal studies from both the sciences and the humanities.

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