Shedrow Secrets: Royal Finder

Shedrow Secrets

Shedrow Secrets, Installment 7

Royal Finder
By Joy Aten and Jo Anne Normile (author of “Saving Baby”)

Bred and owned by a prominent racing family, Royal Finder took his first wobbly steps as a newborn in Texas. One might expect Royal Finder would race successfully then find a soft landing at the end of his career, after having fattened the bank accounts of his father-son owner and trainer team. The handsome grey gelding did in fact earn $64,000 in 11 starts as a 2- and 3-year-old. He was running in allowance races with purses well in excess of 20K and was also stakes-placed. A full year passed, however, from his 11th start in an allowance race to his next race as a 4-year-old. In his 12th start, he was dropped into a claiming race, a frequently used “business plan” for owners to dispose of an injured horse. Such was the case for Royal Finder, and although he placed first for another 10K in earnings, he was claimed that race.

Royal Finder raced less than three weeks later for his new connections. He came in a dismal 10th, and the track comments for his next three races were telling: “Early speed, tired,” “Pressed pace, tired,” and “Close up, gave way.” And finally, his last race, “Clear, broke down.” Royal Finder’s knee had collapsed. Even after such a catastrophic injury, Royal Finder was forced to walk back to the barn in what must have been excruciating pain. And yet, his ownership was transferred again, to a small-time trainer who believed he could get one more race out of the wounded gelding.

When our racehorse rescue volunteers walked the shedrows of Michigan’s Great Lakes Downs during the closing week of its 1999 meet, they knew they would be intaking many injured horses – horses of nomadic trainers who would not want to pay to ship them to the next meet in another state. And so it happened for Royal Finder. His new trainer decided against taking the gelding with him and approached the rescue volunteers about purchasing him. One look at the pitiful grey horse – ears back, head down, and non-weight bearing on the injured leg, which was grotesquely turned outward from the knee down – and the rescue matched “meat price” then quickly searched for the private racetrack veterinarian.

Although track vets see equine injuries on a regular basis, Royal Finder’s collapsed knee was so severe the vet was shocked and outraged at the suffering the gelding was left to endure for well over a week. Then in less than an hour’s time, Royal Finder was purchased by the rescue, liberating him from the industry that destroyed him…then euthanized with the caring volunteer at his side, releasing him from his agony. Royal Finder, having run in 17 races and earning $75,000, was dead at the age of four.

Fast forward to July 2012. Multiple reports from racing media outlets, including BloodHorse, the Daily Racing Form, and the Paulick Report, told of 10 broodmares found at the Round Mountain horse auction. Located in Marble Falls, Texas, the auction is known to be frequented by kill buyers. The presence of broodmares at any horse auction is a common occurrence, so why did these particular mares make the headlines? Because of the man who sent them there: Keith Asmussen, patriarch of the prominent Texas-based Asmussen racing family and father of Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen.

Only months earlier, many of the mares had delivered 2012 foals, and 8 of the 10 were bred back. Now, 9 were rescued from likely slaughter by businessman and Thoroughbred owner John R. Murrell. Keith Asmussen claims he was unaware kill buyers (purchasing for Mexican slaughterhouses) are present at the Round Mountain auction. Asmussen: “I didn’t even know there were any slaughterhouses left.” Amazing…to be oblivious to the slaughter of horses when his own website – the Asmussen Horse Center – exclaims “Horses are, and always have been our ONLY business!” and, by the way, “Starting our 52nd year…”

The Asmussens – Keith and Steve – were the breeder/owner/trainer of the ill-fated Royal Finder. And much like the 10 Asmussen broodmares dumped at the auction, Royal Finder was unloaded into a claiming race. Less than 3 months later, he was dead.

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  1. Sad, sad and absolutely outrageous. Lies and deceit flourish.
    Of course, slaughter is “necessary” how else can the horses that manage to “survive” the claiming game be gotten rid of and the used up broodmares and the losers and on and on….!

  2. It is shocking to learn that ex-race horses are being sent off to Mexican slaughter houses after they are no longer of any use. The owners should take more care to see that they have a humane end if nothing else.

    Surely money made should be used on this sort of welfare as well as living the good life from the takings of racing.

    I am not sure how good England is with this sort of issue but I certainly hope that they do not emulate the type of lack of care and concern that I see in the USA .

    Astrid Newman

  3. Yeah, Equibase shows last race connections as Owner being Kimberlie A. Molinaro
    and of course, said Breeder Keith Asmussen. I remember Steve Asmussen having string of horses for Maggie Moss at Woodbine. I understand she supports many OTTB,
    thank goodness for that. Asmussens don’t deserve money from respectable clients/owners anyhow, in my opinion. Never ending problem…way too many race horses bred.. sore… broken down… slaughtered. The Molinaro Stables I know of is located in Acton, Ontario. Not long ago, had approx 100 horses there. They certainly have no problem getting rid of a few at auction when its time to clean house. I believe ALL Racetracks with NO Slaughter policies need to enforce revoking of licences for all scumbags who ditch horses to meat plants.
    Liars&Thieves everywhere in horse industry, are the Asmussens leading the pack, I don’t know, its a close race.

    • Yes, Jo-Anne, liars and thieves indeed. One thing I want to point out about Royal Finder, as mentioned in his story, even AFTER his knee received the final, devastating injury, he was acquired by another owner/trainer!!…if he was given to this person, maybe sold for a small price, maybe a trade…we don’t know. But he was moved again…certainly, his last owner of record did NOT do the responsible thing – euthanize. No, she just passed along the suffering gelding to someone else. How these people can sleep at night I will never know.

    • Royal Finder’s connections should be prosecuted for animal cruelty or do animal cruelty laws not apply to the racing industry ?
      Of course, I do realize the subculture that racing is would punish the rescue people by just sending the unfortunates to slaughter without giving the rescues a chance to help the poor animal.
      However the vet. perhaps could do the reporting but I guess the result would be the same, the horse would suffer in the end…what a “business” !!!

  4. Royal Finder – destroyed by the racing industry. He was only four. Early August, 2013, at Beulah Park. I am on the backside with my friend and we are told that 4 horses need to be “gone” immediately. One is Cuban Carmen, a 7 year old TB mare that was basically a three legged horse. Another was Wakiwickedwarrior, a 5 year old that was also lame. He had previously been owned by Edward Harvey, a low level owner/trainer who has the distinction of being in Racing’s Hall of Shame. The other two were Ivory Rose and Barbara Please. The owner of Ivory Rose, Dick McCall, wouldn’t even give me and my friend an opportunity to take pictures and network for her to get a home. She had to be gone “now”. We were able to get all four horses off the track and all four are now safe. However, why is it up to me to pick up the broken bodies of horses destroyed by the racing industry? Would the pro-racing enthusiasts please respond? By the way, the trainer of Ivory Rose worked closely with Mark Bliss who is now banned from the backside of Beulah. Bliss hauled many horses off the backside of Beulah and some have ended up at kill auctions. Perhaps that would have been where Ivory Rose ended up if my friend and I hadn’t taken action.

    • I will do my best to answer even though very few people do the same for me. It is hard for me to answer since I personally have never been to the state of Ohio nevertheless any track there.
      My best guess for your question would be “Because they know you will”. They saw you coming from a mile away. They see you as an outlet and you of course are. I am sure you have a big heart and nothing but the best intentions for these animals. Again I know none of the people or horses you mentioned. I can only guess that the Mark Bliss and his cohorts are not there and they do not have easy access for removal of these animals. It sounds like they are not there because race tracks are ruling these people off. I know no one wants to believe that but the tracks I go to are running the “Meat Men” out. They have actually been out for a while. You said it yourself he is banned from the backside. I can only take your word that Mr.Bliss is in fact a person that hauls horses to the kill auctions. If not my apologies to Mr. Bliss.
      As for what to do about your situation you would not like my answer, so I will leave it at that… I hope that was helpful. Your friendly Pro-Horse Racing Enthusiast…

      • Another Country, you are 100% correct that the racing industry knows that there are people like me who can pick up some of the broken bodies. Not many bodies, but a few here and there.Therefore, I couldn’t agree with you more. Mark Bliss was banned from Beulah a couple of months ago and it was well documented. However, before that time, he had free access to come and go as he pleased and he hauled 6 or 7 horses off the backside of Beulah on a regular basis. Of course, just because he is “banned” doesn’t mean he isn’t still involved with the slaughter pipeline. With the implementation of the “no horse to slaughter” policy at the tracks, the horses simply go underground. Perhaps you have heard of Mark Wedig, another kill buyer middleman who sent Cactus Cafe and Canuki directly to Fred Bauer, a well known contract kill buyer here in Ohio. Those two horses did NOT go through an auction and therein lies the problem. Now horses are taken to a “farm” where they are warehoused for a week or so and then they are sold to the contract killers.Thankfully, Wedig’s racing license has been revoked and the damage to him has hit him where it hurts the most – in his wallet. There is no need to take my word for it in regards to Wedig and Bliss. Contact the racing officials here in Ohio and West Virginia and I’m sure they would be happy to answer your questions. Just to bring you and other pro-racing enthusiasts up to speed, the same number of TB’s are entering the slaughter pipeline now versus in the past. About 20,000 TB’s go to slaughter every year. If 30,000 TB’s are born every years, that means that approximately 70% will eventually go to slaughter. I personally feel that the number is horrific but the racing industry continues to turn a blind eye to the atrocities that happen behind closed doors. I’m sure you are “mighty proud” to be part of an industry that accepts drugging horses, racing them with injuries, and then sending them off to slaughter as part of its culture. Finally, Another Country, you are right a second time! No, I would not like your answer because I would suspect it would be to just let the horses get on a one way truck to Canada or Mexico. The racing industry destroys the horses and then throws them away like a piece of trash. Again, you must be “mighty proud” to be a supporter of a sinister and corrupt industry.

      • I guess that is why no one answers questions in here. They are told they are 100% correct then attacked for being honest. NO that was not going to be my answer, but it may of had the same outcome. That is why I said you may not like it. My answer was to play a little hard to get. If they say the horses have to leave NOW tell them well I guess i will miss these. I would figure their tune would change on when that horses have to leave, but the bad part maybe they have another outlet and they WOULD be sent to slaughter. Like I said I don’t know these people so I don’t know if they were playing you or serious about the time frame.
        As for being “Mighty Proud”. That is not really the way I would describe it, but that said I am not hanging my head either. I make an honest dollar in an honest occupation. I sweat for my money. Then i go home to my family. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke cigarettes, I don’t do drugs, I don’t cheat on my wife, and I take care of my children. So yes I guess I am “Mighty Proud”. I am mighty proud of who I am and what I have done in my life. So you coming at me with your condescending attitude thinking you are belittling me. Try again, because at the end of the day your opinion means nothing to me. So feel free to think your better then someone, like you are special because you get scammed into taking a couple broke down horses home.Remember in doing so you are a part of this industry too and in the past 10 years SOME of the absolute worse people I have seen come around are so called “Rescuers”…

    • Thank you for being there for those four deserving horses that day!…and for the many others you were there for as well! And yes it is so true…where is racing when these horses are being dumped?…breeding more, training and racing more, drugging more, breaking down more, dumping more. And to quote our tenacious host Patrick; “This is horseracing”…

    • Mary- I think my partner and I are now owners of Ivory Rose. She is our first horse and our first horse to start showing our 11 year old son how to ride and be around horses. He rode for the first time last night. We want to thank you for what you did, as we have a new member of our family, not to ever race, but simply to ride,enjoy and love. Thank you and feel free to contact me if you would like

      • Eric, thank you for reaching out to me. I would love to contact you. Are you on Facebook? I will also reach out to Patrick, who writes this blog, and ask him for your email. Looking forward to talking to you about Ivory Rose. She does have an interesting story!

  5. Another Country, I need to apologize. You aren’t “mighty proud” of who you are because you obviously hide behind an alias. What is your first and last name? What state do you live in? I have posted my name on this blog and I live in Ohio.I am proud of who I am and what I have done for the horses of YOUR industry. You make an honest dollar? Well, you are one of the few, but at least you make a dollar because I spend thousands of dollars of my own money AFTER you make an honest dollar! You don’t smoke, drink or do drugs so does that make it okay to drug horses, race them with injuries and then send them off to slaughter? I’m not even so sure you understand the industry that you are defending. Anyone who works the low level tracks knows that horses disappear in the blink of an eye. If the kill buyer middleman is working the backside, the scum bags won’t wait for me. They just hand the horse off for $100 and then go their merry way. Do you even own a horse? Anyone with minimal intelligence knows the costs of taking a “couple of broke down horses home”. However, I want to thank you for acknowledging that there are “broke down” horses at the track. Who do you think broke them down? Was it me? No, it was the low life’s at the track but those that support the people committing the atrocities always try to find a way to twist and spin the truth. I, too, work hard, don’t do drugs, don’t cheat on my husband, don’t drink, don’t’ smoke, take care of my daughter and I can STILL help the discarded horses at Beulah Park.Yes, and I am better than you because you turn and walk away from a horse needing help and I take the lead rope in my hand. Big difference, Another Country, big difference!!! I can tolerate a lot, but I can’t tolerate liars. I am NOT part of the industry. I try to help when I can. I don’t gamble on the horses and I encourage my family and friends to stay far away from the tracks and I continue to applaud racing’s precipitous decline. Finally, it is obvious to me that you are pro-racing and I suspect you are pro-slaughter. Best to stay off this blog because the rest of us are working very hard to make things better for the horses and we are “mighty proud” of that.

      • Patrick, thank you for this blog. It is where the advocates for the horse can speak freely and state the facts. However, it is a shame that Another Country hides anonymously behind an alias yet accuses me, and others, of being part of a sinister and corrupt industry.

    • Mary, thank you for what you do for these abused defenseless animals who trusted humans and wind up betrayed by them. I agree with everything you said, and said so well.
      I do what I can to help a few of these animals. I claimed and retired two who were in the downward spiral of that merciless claiming game. They are both doing well now. Also, am boarding a retired broodmare who had nowhere to go. My 20 year old nephew said it best when he called this “business” cruel and amoral.
      Another Country is always so angry but I guess that may be because SHE tries so hard to defend the indefensible and it must be frustrating. Also when one hides their identity it raises a lot of questions, if not a red flag !!

      • Rose, thank you for your kind words. I didn’t realize that you had a couple horses off the track. Therefore, you know how much it costs to care for them. The costs are astounding especially when you give them a forever home. They are also labor intensive so horses keep you very busy. Thank you for all you do. We should be thanked for being advocates instead of being criticized.

      • Again for those of you who did not see the first time I wrote it. I do not staunchly protect trainer,owners,or the race tracks I know there is wrong there. I do how ever make my living with those three and I will not sacrifice my livelihood because a couple of bleeding-hearts wish to know my name. Also just days ago someone defended a trainer and a someone came in talking about how their boyfriend had trouble 3 years ago. That is the crap I wish to avoid. Bringing love ones in to the mix. I can easily say MY name is Mary Johnson but I don’t I have an alias that everyone knows it is an alias.
        For the 87th time I do not own or train any horses!!!
        When you first asked someone to answer your question you made the comment that the “Kill Buyer” was ruled off. If these people are going to give to you that pretty much tells me no one is offering to buy.
        Yes I am pro-racing and like i have said numerous time I don’t like slaughter. I wound not and do not send any animal to slaughterer, but I feel it is necessary. Even if it is just for the “81%” of NON thoroughbreds that go to auction. For the close to 70% that are quarter horse/quarter horse cross, for the draft horses the Amish bring in and for the PMU foals that doesn’t seem to affect any of you. All of which have nothing to do with racing. I wish no ANIMALS had to be slaughtered but that is not going to happen any time soon. One thing I will not do is come in here being a hypocrite by saying I am against slaughter and go home and eat a steak for dinner or have a big ole piece of turkey come Thanksgiving.
        YES you are part of this industry. You said it yourself. “I can help discarded horse at Beulah Park”. If you are not part of the industry discarded horses are not part of the industry. So you a I work together. “Who would of thunk it” LOL You being all better than everyone and all.
        About me staying off this blog. I was getting bored with it, all the made up numbers and the “SHOCK VALUE” words to stretch the truth, but you have brought new life to me so I guess I will be here a little bit longer… Thanks Look forward to working with you at the track….

    • He doesn’t use his name cuz you all r relentless and no matter what anyone says or proves to u it doesn’t matter cuz in ur mind your always right. You all need to find something else to do with your time and before you put your foot in ur mouth not all people on the race track r “scumbags” how do u judge people without even knowing them. Get over urself..

      • Marianne, please don’t distort what we are saying. None of us said that everyone in racing is a “scumbag”. There are a few good people in racing, but not many.How do I judge people without even knowing them? The answer is that I do know them and I see, with my own eyes, what many of them do to their horses. You, in my opinion. are relentless in your attempts to defend a gambling industry that is corrupt and sinister. I am relentless in defending the horses that put bread and butter on the tables of those that own and race them. I have seen many atrocities at a low level track. If you think I’m going to ignore the plight of these low level horses, then you are wrong. Get over yourself, Marianne, get over yourself. By the way, can I count on you to help the horses of your industry?

      • What people do is more telling and important than what they say. Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words…you get the picture !!!

  6. Many people see wrong and work to right that wrong. If people did not take a stand against the abuses and wrongs in society it would be a dismal situation.
    Unfortunately, there are those who believe money justifies the means as is the case in racing and then the slaughter of the used up, failed, and unwanted horses.
    The weak and the voiceless are always the losers. That does not speak well for our humanity.
    I don’t make any money in the racing industry, therefore, I’m not part of it. In fact, I spend my money and lots of it to help the horses bred, raced, abused and discarded by the multi-billion dollar racing “business”.

    • And thank you for that Rose! Of course, the fact that you help the disposed-of racehorses does not make you a part of this gambling industry!…just as helping the Mustangs does not make me a “business partner” of the BLM!…or a partner of the horse-auction business due to the purchase of 14 equines headed to slaughter that particular Good Friday. And we could apply that to the horrific dog-fighting rings…all those wonderful rescues that stepped up for Vick’s dogs would most certainly take offense to being labeled as being a part of those cruelties because they took those dogs in! Everyday, I utter a “Thank you!” to the folks that see a wrong – any wrong – then choose to advocate. And you are one of those folks, Rose…thank you.

      • Joy, I couldn’t agree with you more. Of course, we, who truly care about the “discarded” horses of the industry, aren’t part of the industry. To be part of the industry, you have to provide the “product” (the horse) or you have to be a gambler because, without gambling, racing would go “bye bye”. Every holiday season, our church picks several families who have fallen on hard times, and they are provided food, clothing, help with utility bills, etc, as a way to assist them in getting back on their feet. One family last year had lost their home and the church raised money to get them into a small apartment. If we follow Another Country’s distorted logic, he would have you believe that my husband and I were part of the family’s hard times when, in fact, we, and others, offered a helping hand. Also, I don’t view saving any animal as a game. If a horse’s life is on the line, I am going to take action. Another Country states that he was “bored” and was losing interest in this blog. He also states that he and I work together. Of course, that is one of his more idiotic statements because I would never work with someone who isn’t in this for the horses. Therefore, I personally believe that Another Country views this as a game. He has been trying to “engage” us in order to prevent himself from becoming “bored” and he enjoys getting us to defend our actions. He is “pulling our strings” so to speak. Joy, I’m sure you agree with me on this so it is best to let this guy get his “kicks” somewhere else. I, for one, will NOT respond to anymore of his comments and I refuse to “engage” him going forward.

      • Love me ,hate me I don’t really care, but one thing you should realize is you ARE an essential part of racing. You think by taking a couple of broke down horses home you are helping the horse, but the way I look at it in the long run you are hurting them. Not the individual horse but horse in general. Your part, that you have chose to do, is disposal and promotion of racing. You make empty stalls so other horses can fill their spots. You are helping the trainers get more horses.
        Comments in this blog have said it many times “Race tracks are putting their finger down on the slaughter sellers”. So instead of sending them to slaughter they are getting people like you to take their, for lack of a better word, used up horses. Which in turn allows them to go get other horses and treat them the in a way you wish them not treated. If the trainers cannot get “Kill Buyers” or “Rescues”, I put rescues in quotes too because most end up failing like the one in Florida last week, they have to find other ways of moving the unwanted horses. So for a time even if it is a week that stall is full. A full stall means at least a delay on getting another horse. If they have to find other means most likely that trainer will mess up some way and get caught taking the horse where they shouldn’t and the race tracks will give them their out slips.
        I know you feel you are helping the horse but what you are really doing is HELPING THE TRAINER GET MORE HORSES that will eventually need help. Welcome to the industry….

      • Thank you Joy for what you do for the Mustangs and for your efforts on behalf of the voiceless.

        This particular person’s comments are getting more and more ridiculous. She continues to hide behind a pseudonym which does not say anything positive about her character. She really is just an irritating gadfly and a waste of time at this point…..
        “Another Planet” would be more fitting than “Another Country” !!!

  7. okay, I may be off a bit …
    BUT I have the feeling that there is one person who uses this side to anger people, to offend people, to provoke … and those who are verbally attacked take their precious time to answer politely and patiently – and probably they experience some strong emotions that do not really help them.
    I may be wrong, but I am at a point in my life where I just refuse to deal with people who just want to anger, alienate, and provoke others for whatever reason at all. I do NOT refuse to deal with people who argue and discuss and have a different opinion, but I am not wasting any of my time on people who just take my time away from more important things, people who make it their business to create trouble.
    Sorry, just had to get this off of my mind … time is precious, a rare resource, so I like to direct this resource towards something that makes sense :-)
    I do not know about you … :-)

  8. I get it now. We are all supposed to think the same ,feel the same, and act the same. All we need now is someone to tell us what to do. To make sure we are on the “Right” side or that we are playing with the cool kids. No one really needs abstract thought, they can just think what the last person thought. We can even be told what time to get up, what to wear and were to go, or we can all come in here and give the same answer every time a subject comes up. All you have to say is “What a Horrible industry” over and over and over and over. You would think different opinions would be welcome. We can have different opinions just as long as we reach the same conclusions I guess. How scary the real world must look out of your glass houses.

    For the record I did not come in here to make anyone angry or provoke anyone,and I am the one alienated and I am ok with that. I am here to show you there are different views. You are the ones commenting how you are better then other people and the rest of us peons are just bottom feeders…Again maybe you need to clean your own closets out before you try to organize others…

      • Patrick, people race horses at the track for business reasons, for profit. I have always tried to tell the truth no matter what anyone believes. Horse racing is a business. The reason of business is to turn a profit.
        I am not sure where you are going with this or if you thought I would come up with some off the wall reason. Many times I have seen people at farms or other places racing their horses for enjoyment. Different from race track racing I understand.
        If your reason is to say racing exploits the horse, my answer would be that racing is just one of countless businesses to do so. Are any of them ok?? NO.. Does this blog acknowledge any of the other businesses?? NO.. My opinion it is here for the single purpose of demeaning horse racing and people involved. Yet their are many people commenting in here that support other businesses that exploit the horse, not to mention the slaughter of other “Intelligent” animals, and they get praise from yourself and others.
        If you are going to say that racing is cruel to the horses and should not be done. If you want to get down to it the riding and breaking a horse to ride could be seen as cruel itself. So lets stop the riding of horses in general. I know i will have to hear from the Peanut Gallery “Your Logic makes no sense”. That is because they don’t want to hear it. Why let the truth get in the way of a good story.
        If you remember I first came in here because I felt the way you would post your articles were extremely bias. The using shock words and playing with the numbers “He was given the POWERFUL PAIN KILLER bute 36 hours before racing!!!!” .When bute is a anti-inflammatory not a POWERFUL pain killer, and 36 hours is a day and a half before racing. You take an anti-inflammatory and see if it helps you a day and a half later. The novice person is not going to know that. They are going to see the shock words and say “Why the pain killer so close to racing”.
        I have never came in here stating that racing is on the up and up. Hence the reason for my alias. I can tell you what i do involves no drugs and actually helps the horse. In doing so it also helps the trainers, owners, and race tracks. So don’t think I am saying I am totally without blame.
        What really kept me coming back is when I hear that organizations would go onto the track “ACTING” as if they were a friend to the tracks and trainers then come off and talk about how horrible they were. All the while excepting donations as they go. So who is the good in those cases??
        Patrick if you tell me you don’t want me commenting, if you don’t want a race trackers view, if you just simply want these people giving the same comment day in and day out. I will stop. In my opinion I feel i have brought more people to this site, if only to tell me how much of an idiot i am. So really if that is what you want this site to be, just say the word….

        • One, an anti-inflammatory kills pain; hence, it’s a pain killer. Two, I did not print “powerful pain killer” in bold (who’s doing the exaggerating?), and a day and a half is 36 hours (playing with numbers?). Three, my other sites are here and here; I am not one-dimensional. And finally, no censorship here; you’re welcome to continue voicing your opinion.

      • Before I am asked not to comment anymore. My question, is using animals in anyway , racing, pulling carts , drug sniffing dogs, is it not all exploitation of animals?? Police dogs are sent places so they could take a bullet. Do they wish to take the shot?? None of it to me is nice but racing is what has everyone up in arms. I know racing is different. I have heard it too many times. Again the same people telling me I am wrong are the same ones eating meat , honoring police dogs, swimming with the dolphins on vacation , or “rescuing ” horses and sending them to eventing or roping cows off of them. Exploitation is exploitation. When you do it , it is ok. It is everyone else that is wrong…

      • No argument with me on YOUR dedication. If you remember an earlier post I said I believe you. Don’t remember the exact words but my meaning was, I believed you were against ,I think it was eventing. I have also read about your stand on chicken fighting. Which I am unable to find now for some reason. There are many others who just dislike racing. They turn a blind eye to the eventing mishaps, or that polo is out and out barbaric. I state again “I have never seen a retired polo pony”. I wonder what they do with all of them??? They are hoping all race horses could retire to either. As if they are less demanding on the horse.
        As for the bute,”I” put it in capital letters,the bold print just comes up when I do. I also said earlier that an anti-inflammatory will relieve some pain, but as for bute being a powerful pain killer it is not. It is a Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) similar to IB profin for people. Most veterinarians believe that bute (phenylbutazone) is the strongest pain reliever for orthopedic pain OF THE NSAIDs. However it is relatively weak in comparison to other analgesic drugs (pain relieving) such as opioids (like morphine). Additionally, Pharmacokenetic and Pharmacodynamic studies have shown that bute should be dosed every 12hours for pain relief and the pain relief effect drops off at 12 hours and is no longer effective at 24 hours. Therefore, a 36hour pre-race dose is not effecting pain relief during the race. Further more as an NSAID bute decreases inflammation. Its analgesic affects come from this decrease in inflammation. While inflammation is a necessary step in the healing process it is often exuberant and actually creates pathology or damage to tissues. Therefore, these drugs (NSAIDs) are used prophylactically to decrease exuberant inflammation and limit damage to tissues like muscles, lungs, cartilage and other joint structures. This is a good thing for the horse. A 36hr pre-race dose of bute is not going to cause a horse that is lame to run sound.
        So to say it is a “powerful” pain killer is a stretch.
        Also, it is important to note that there are types of competitions such as hunter jumper where horses especially old ponies are ridden and competed on fairly high doses of bute for years. Not that i am trying to lessen one evil with another.
        The bad part with that horse and many others, is that bute was probably far from the worse medication that horse had in it’s system.
        What I am sure few in here realize about race trackers is that most of them want the drugs, milkshakes, and and the people that use them gone.The ones that don’t, are the ones the rest want rid of.
        Sorry for all the technical jargon I try to keep my comments simple as possible, just in case the “better” people want to read it….

        • I do appreciate the information. Like any drug, though, can’t the dose be abused, thereby making it stronger? Trainers (vets) break drug rules in three ways: illegal doping, legal drugs outside prescribed intervals, and too much of a particular drug, with the last two, of course, possible with bute. Still, I get your point; bute is clearly not the worst they do to horses.

  9. One brief and quick – and forever last reply – do some people read and understand what others write? For example: I explicitly stated I DO indeed spend time discussing any topic with people who have a different opinion – that’s one of the things life is about: variety, exchanging opinions – but I (well, it may be just me) just do not spend time on people who just do provoke, do not read statements properly …
    Have a great day!

  10. Another Country, bute IS a potent pain relieving anti-inflammatory. Since bute induces analgesia via its anti-inflammatory properties, there must be inflammation present for it to be effective. And inflammation takes place as a response to injury. Therefore it can be deduced a horse receiving bute at ANY time has inflammation…caused by injury…and should not be racing. That being said, inflammation is a natural process and is critical for healing. There are products of inflammation that are intended to rid the body of infection or injury. To indiscriminately administer bute is foolish and harmful. Bute is great for reducing inflammation, but in doing so, it blocks the synthesis of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are vital to particular organ protection (stomach, intestinal mucosal lining, kidneys)…hence the damage to those organs/structures of the dosed horse. This is especially true for YOUNG horses….there are 2-year-olds getting bute like toddlers get Smarties. There is additional concern for a horse’s kidney when they are receiving bute AND Lasix (a dehydrated horse should never receive bute). And the typical racehorse “diet” is hay-oats- water-bute-lasix-etc. They are sitting ducks for all of the life-threatening side effects of these so-called “aspirin” or “ibuprofen” of the horse world. People seem to think that if they liken bute and banamine to Tylenol/aspirin/ibuprofen that it will not seem like such a “big deal” that horses are routinely receiving these drugs. NOT TRUE. Weekly I see patients in our ER that have taken way too many of these particular medications and are now paying the price.
    Bute is a highly effective pain medication for lameness. My badly foundered horse traveled quite soundly with a dose of bute. And it will most definitely mask a mild to moderate lameness. Add to that the horse’s own adrenaline pre-race?…horse looks pretty sound in the paddock, of anyone is even looking.
    Giving a horse bute 36 hours pre-race?…of course its effects are no longer there. My question is, why is it being given AT ALL? If needed at that time (36 hours before the race), the horse shouldn’t be racing. If not needed, but is being administered prophylactically, the horse is being set up for side effects that are not to be taken lightly.

    • Joy, thank you for the excellent explanation of various drugs that are administered to horses. I am a drug rep and sold pain medications in previous positions. Your comments were a good review for me. As a drug rep, I realize that there is a time and place for drugs to be administered and drugs have made the lives of both humans and animals better in many cases. However, drugs should NEVER be administered indiscriminately. Lasix, in my opinion. should be the death of the racing industry. It should be banned completely. Just like Lasix, warfarin is a diuretic and people that are on warfarin are monitored extremely closely. Lasix is used willy nilly in racing. The track vet goes from barn to barn to barn injecting horses a few hours before race time. Inject, inject, inject is the industry’s motto. I do have a problem with that but those immersed in racing don’t see a problem with it and therein lies the problem.

      • Mary, you are a drug rep for a Pharmaceutical company and you have the gall to criticize another industry??? Your wares have ruined millions upon millions of lives and you have the audacity to tell someone you are better then them??? The Pharmaceutical companies reward doctors who dole out the most scripts and you think horse racing is abominable??
        Your industry has doctors over proscribe medication to the elderly then price them to where they have to choose whether to eat or take their pills. You peddle the most addictive products possible and then reward the doctors who supply the most addicts. Yet in your feeble little mind you think you are better then someone???

        There has to be a punchline to your last statement. You can not be serious. I know you don’t owe me anything, but PLEASE tell me that was a joke.Everyone may think I am crazy, but I hope I read that wrong.
        Pharmaceutical companies test their poisons on all sorts of animals, and you fancy yourself an advocate for horses??

        The Pharmaceutical companies have crippled this country, physically, mentally, and financially for profit. Patrick it is NO gamble, that is a sure thing. They make horse racing look like Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood….


  11. Another Country, you have made a point that we have been trying to get across as well…there are wrongs in every industry, and in every business (and wasn’t it you that said, regarding horse racing, that it is a business and a business goal is to turn a profit?…so inferred, “what’s the shocker here?”). When profits are the goal, and imperfect people are at the helm, there will be degrees of questionable and even corrupt practices…maybe I hold a very negative view that others disagree with, but I doubt there are any corporations that are entirely pristine. Disgusting?…absolutely! Should it be that way?…absolutely not! But we live in an imperfect world with an abundance of imperfect, greedy, self-serving people. Now this is where we differ greatly, you and I; I am imperfect and always will be…if I wait to attain my own perfection BEFORE I choose to attempt righting a wrong I see, I will never help anyone or anything. You see it differently; since I am imperfect, I have no business trying to improve the welfare of someone or something I see being wronged. Therefore you must not try, since you, too, are imperfect.
    But to compare employment with pharmaceutical companies, as opposed to with the horseracing industry, now that is truly far-fetched. You bet we live in a drug-saturated culture!…everyone wants a quick fix (AND a quick horse)! But what would you do without antibiotics for your kids’ strep throat?…the insulin for your dad’s diabetes?…the anti-hypertensive for your mom’s high blood pressure?…the LASIX for your grandma’s congestive heart failure (yes, there IS a good reason to prescribe Lasix)?…and the occasional ibuprofen for your headache? Medications have saved lives (and most definitely, the stupid people that cannot cope without their Xanax and Ativan and Vicodin?…they help those pharmaceutical companies turn a nice profit, along with the help of unscrupulous physicians), and medications might likely save your own some time.
    Horseracing on the other hand?…it is purely and simply a gambling industry that uses horses like casinos use dice…wear ‘em out?…throw ‘em out….they make “new ones” every day. The products of horseracing will never save anyone’s life. The products of horseracing are maimed, dead and slaughtered horses. BIG difference.

  12. Another Country, I shouldn’t even be responding to you because, by doing so, I am playing into your game. I think yesterday must have been a very boring day for you!!! However, just as Joy stated above, every industry has its problems. Pharmaceuticals have saved many lives. If you, or your children, have an allergic reaction to peanuts, what do you, or a doctor, reach for? Epi Pen is the correct answer! If a family member or friend suffers from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, a rational person would expect that person to be on medication for those conditions. If you are in a car accident and you are injured, would not a reasonable person take medication that is prescribed? I’m sure you know of someone who has had a heart attack, stroke, etc, so are you suggesting that we should let that person die? Do you actually have the audacity to say that? I do not support the pharmaceutical industry testing on animals, but the consumer products companies do the same thing. Proctor and Gamble tests on animals. Please stop using their Tide detergent. BP OIL destroyed the Gulf of Mexico several years ago and many animals were killed. Please stop using BP gas. I could go on and on and on, but it would be a waste of time. The difference is that the racing industry abuses animals in order to continue to market it’s product – GAMBLING! One nice lady, who started a horse rehab 20 years ago, told me that she injects her horses all the time to “keep them going”. I then suggested that we inject humans all the time to “keep them going”. She then stated in her sweet voice that humans are injected with steroids, etc, in order to win competitions. However, that doesn’t make it right and the humans CHOOSE which drugs go into their systems where as the horses don’t. They stand there patiently while they are continually injected. They don’t get the time necessary to heal from a minor injury because it is all about the money. The minor injury then becomes a major injury and can sometimes lead to dying in the dirt. Also, anyone with minimal intelligence knows that it is easier to adopt out a sound horse versus one with issues. I try to help the horses. If that upsets you, so be it. I couldn’t care less. When there is a horse in need, I take the lead rope into my hand and you walk away. That makes me better than you when it comes to helping the horses discarded by YOUR industry.

    • NOW you are doing what I was accused of doing about a week ago. Your industry test on animals but you can rattle off other industries that do the same so it is ok.It was not ok when I did it so it should not be for you. I think it may pain him to say but I believe Patrick my also agree with me on that one.(That i believe would be a first)
      Yes you can be poetic about how your industry has saved of Parkinson patients and other ailments, but they did it for their bottom line,PROFIT. You are right it is not for gambling, because it is NO gamble. It is a sure thing. They have stacked the deck. They have made it where people have to spend their life saving to try to save their lives or prolong it. They grease the pockets of congress men to stop other means of medicinal help,such as marijuana, in turn keeping the price of their product sky high. AGAIN PROFITS. Not to help the little ole lady who needs it, but to help their share holders.
      What is your biggest seller?? Hydrocodone. The scourge of the world.
      You may live on this fantasy that Pharmaceutical companies are here to help people, to make their lives better, and to a certain extent that is true. The bad thing is it is for the lives that can afford it. Why do people go to Canada to get their medications?? Why in the one Michael Moore movie could they go to Cuba and get their medication for $.45 ?? Because your industry, again in the pockets of congress keep the cost of medication high. Not to save lives, For PROFITS.
      If not for profit why does your industry need grants/paid to research “Low number diseases” ?? The diseases that would not be profitable to them. How dare someone have an illness that would not be profitable!!
      Let us not forget all the trainers you shame and run their name through the dirt. They are very fond of your products. Again linking you to the racing industry.
      Jonas Sulk is dead and gone. I am sure turning in his grave at the greed that has taken over medicine.

      I know you will move on to some other posts because you wish not to look in a mirror. That is ok i know you are right down here in the dirt with the rest of us bottom feeders. Again nice working with you…

      • Another Country, I have been thinking about this and I have come up with a “business” solution. Racing produces a “product” called gambling. The pharmaceutical industry produces “products” called drugs. I despise the racing industry so I don’t gamble and I encourage everyone I know NOT to gamble. I am smart enough to know that the industry will go down the tubes if money can’t be made. You despise the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, it only makes senses NOT to purchase their “products”, i.e. drugs. If you get sick or family members get sick, just drink orange juice and fresh fruits and vegetables. Do NOT buy the “products” of an industry that you despise. When everyone stops taking the medications, then the companies will go out of business. That is Business 101! By the way, Mr. Anonymous, my biggest seller is NOT hydrocodone. I have NEVER sold hydrocodone. Therefore, my suggestion is to STOP taking both prescription and over the counter drugs. You have the power to make a difference!!!

  13. So that is business 101 huh. I must of missed that day. Don’t worry about the gamblers, you have your own closet to clean. Why not get the pharmaceutical companies to stop providing drugs like Lasix to the racing industry. After all your industry is not only the root for millions and millions of human addicts, they also have the equine addicts in their dossier. There are so many posts about how horrible Lasix is for horses yet you keep supplying it. Yes I will lump the whole drug industry together like everyone does thoroughbred people. Quid pro quo.
    Also I don’t say that hydrocondone is your biggest seller Web MD does. Don’t be discouraged if you work hard enough you will be ruining lives in no time…

    • AC, you really don’t understand what I have stated above. I hate to have to continue repeating myself, but I’m going to try one more time to help you understand Business 101. The racing industry creates a huge demand for Lasix because racing’s motto is drug them and run them. Therefore, the people involved with racing need to STOP using the product. I can assure you a million times over that the companies who produce the product would STOP producing the product if there was NO demand for it. Also, you could encourage your friends, who own and train horses, to STOP using cobra venom. Of course, I can’t understand for the life of me why cobra venom has ever been used, but, if I had to guess, I would say it is to BLOCK pain. Perhaps you could enlighten me on that issue because there may be another reason for its use. You keep saying that “I” keep supplying Lasix and hydrocodone. Well, now I’m going to turn the tables on you, AC. YOU keep drugging horses, racing them with injuries, and then you send them off to slaughter. This blog is about horses but you seem to think it is about hydrocodone. I’m sure there is a blog for that so I would suggest that you post there. Once again, you can destroy the pharmaceutical industry by refusing to use ANY of its products and I strongly encourage you to do so. I also believe that people are responsible for their own well being. There are patients who have become addicted to hydrocodone. Is that my fault? Hydrocodone does have its place and is indicted for pain. Many people have been helped by the drug. Of course, you also have the scum bags who get a script filled and then sell it on the street for profit! If I decide to drink and drive and I hurt or kill someone, is that the fault of the sales rep who sold the vodka to the bar? Is that the fault of the manufacturer of the vodka? You are I are totally different. I think we, as human beings, are responsible for the choices we make. You think it is someone’s else’s responsibility when someone does something wrong. Therefore, I believe in taking “ownership” when we screw up and you believe in passing the buck. I have never smoked yet I watch people who do smoke get lung cancer. Many people at the track smoke and they smoke in the barns even though it isn’t allowed. Shouldn’t those people reach out for help? Yes, they are addicts but they they need to take action as a responsible human being. Don’t blame me for the addiction.

      I have stated several times that I am not going to respond to you anymore but I am not living up to my word. This time is different. You mean nothing to me and I mean nothing to you and that is a good thing. I don’t even know who you are because you are “anonymous”, I despise the racing industry. However, there are some good people in racing that try to do the right thing for the horses. Not many, but a few. I am going to continue to work diligently to get people to stay away from gambling on the horses because that is the only thing that racing understands – PROFIT. That is Business 101. If no one gambles, racing will die and it can’t come soon enough for me. By the way, the racing industry has created many gambling addicts. Is that your fault? I don’t think so but you promote a product that could possibly cause addiction. I don’t really want to go there because I am done with you. I will continue to post on Patrick’s blog but I won’t respond to anything you say. I believe that is best for both of us.

      • Oh Mary, so much knowledge of what really goes on in racing inside your head just screaming to get out!…I’m sorry, but I just have to laugh with your attempts to restrain yourself in trying to “educate”…call it a day :)…you “did good” and you have many folks in total agreement!

        Just have to add…this thread was started because of the suffering and death Royal Finder endured at the hands of the racing industry. Royal Finder, we saw your suffering that day many years ago…it was additionally difficult to witness because you were one of many “swept under the rug”. Not anymore.

  14. Joy, you are absolutely right. This thread was started to tell the story of Royal Finder. To continue to engage someone who isn’t interested in his story is ridiculous. I appreciate everything you do FOR the horses. Those that work against us should never deter us from our mission of holding the racing industry accountable.

  15. Yes that was the reason for this thread. Do you remember how our back and forth started?? You asked “Would a Pro-racing person answer a question”? Here I am thinking maybe I could give a view you have not thought of, or help in some way. I answered honestly and respectable. The response I received for doing so was you trying to belittle me and saying how I must be “Mighty Proud” that people drug their horses. Not the response I expected to say the least. I figured I gave you a good answer and you asked some one to answer. Remember you did the attacking. That is when I started giving it back. I figured we were going to have a civil discussion. I even complimented you. Go back and read it. As for me to go comment somewhere else. You asked me in to this discussion and again I was polite and respectful…

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