HSUS, Take a Stand Against Horseracing

In advance of last weekend’s Preakness, the HSUS’ Keith Dane penned an opinion piece for The Baltimore Sun. In it, he joins a choir of thousands in decrying racing’s drug culture, calling, yawn, for a national governing body akin to what every other major sport has.

He opens thus:

“With the Preakness coming up here in Maryland, it’s time things changed for the better in America’s horse racing industry, which long ago drifted far from the values of sport.”

And closes with this:

“With Triple Crown season upon us, we are calling on Congress to pass the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act to protect the sport’s athletes — both equine and human — and begin to restore integrity and confidence in an industry whose reputation has been badly sullied.”

In effect, the self-described “largest and most effective animal protection organization” in the nation is making a philosophical case for horseracing: We’re not here to take racing away; we simply want to help make it better, both for the “athletes” and the “players.” On the latter, “honest bettors” deserve a “fair shake.” Shameful. And disgusting.

Mr. Dane, no matter what supposed improvements come down the pike, racehorses will still be enslaved – bought, sold, traded, and dumped purely on an owner’s whim. And with or without drugs, they will continue to snap sesamoids, and die. And it is highly probable that there will never be enough good homes for the expended, meaning that the shackle and slash will, at least for the foreseeable future, remain the retirement program of choice.

In short, suffering of some kind is an inherent part of exploitation; thus, it is an inherent part of horseracing. And this, no matter what airy rhetoric is bandied about, for lousy $2 bets. HSUS, enough with the half measures. Take a stand, an unequivocal stand, against horseracing and use your not inconsiderable resources to help end it, once and for all.

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  1. Bravo, Patrick, bravo. I am so incredibly tired of the so-called animal advocates – individuals and organizations alike – that spew their lukewarm “support” of the animals…and this is glaringly obvious in horseracing. This past week-end I saw post after post on FB and the like from “racehorse welfare advocates”, cheering on California Chrome, hoping for his Preakness victory and the possibility of a long-awaited Triple Crown winner. And some of this from rescues, full to the gills with discarded and maimed racehorses! It would make me laugh if it wasn’t so truly tragic. Ludicrous…support the industry that floods equine rescue and retirement organizations with their throw-away “athletes”…beg for help from the non-race public because the racing industry’s financial support, or hush money, is not nearly enough…then warn us that your doors are closing to the countless other horses this industry damaged and discarded. Absolutely ludicrous.
    It’s so much easier to play both sides of the fence, be lukewarm, claim the middle of the road…not have a backbone. Easier on the folks that choose this wide, “friendly” path, that is. But it’s a killer to the horses that are and will be exploited as long as the racing industry exists.

  2. Exactly! I 100% agree with you, Joy – and if they were so-called interested in the horses, why is this sport still corrupt! Ditto on the bravo to you, Patrick, for bringing this to us!

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