Fighting City Hall: 11 1/2, 97 Starts

Since the day he was created – created not by God, but by a god complex – 11 1/2-year-old Fighting City Hall has existed for one purpose – to earn a share of gambling booty for men. Saturday afternoon at Emerald Downs (in a $3,500 claiming race), he was whipped toward that end for the 97th time.

In the eyes of a society that allows horseracing, Fighting City Hall is a thing, a piece of easily movable property. In fact, in his first two years of racing – 2006-07 – the gelding was bought and sold seven times, serving under eight different trainers. In all, he has had 15 handlers – current one Neil Knapp is in his second stint – and at least that many owners, all of whom could have saved him, none of whom have.

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Horses are whos, not whats; they are intelligent, sentient beings capable of love and joy, loss and sorrow. And, most importantly, suffering. This old (young) Thoroughbred has been suffering for men for a very long time. It’s time for it to end.

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  1. Most people have no idea that this conduct is the backbone of the horse racing industry.

    Thank you, Patrick , for this tribute.

  2. You sure the chart didnt read as B for Blinkers? I made the mistake of thinking the B in the chart meant Bute.

    • Well, nope. He certainly is racing on bute, along with all of the other horses in that race.

  3. Thinus – It looks like man has done it again…..messed things up big-time with horse racing, gambling on the horses, drinking at the track, smoking, cursing when losing, etc. etc. Man is messed up from the get-go. When will racing stop? When we close down the tracks and gambling casino’s too. By the way, how about closing Sin City too (Las Vegas), Reno, Atlantic city also where some casinos are starting to fail. Slammin Sam

  4. I hope someone is watching him when he goes to a KB. I’d love to see him saved and a HUGE story made of an attempt to put him into the human food chain.

  5. So where is he? Still at Emerald Downs in Auburn, WA? Did he survive the race? When’s his next race? Has anyone contacted his current owner about purchasing him? What about being claimed by an agent for a rescue? Are there any OTTB-specific rescues in that area? Why are people watching this and just “hoping” he will be rescued from a KB?

    This guy deserves to retire before he has a fatal breakdown.

    My OTTBs have come from Mountaineer (WV). I can take only one horse at a time and don’t have an open spot right now.

    (I don’t mean to sound hysterical or angry, but I get sick of people complaining about what “should” be done but never actually stepping up to the plate. I am maxed out with 5 equines…all rescues. This is my third OTTB from Mountaineer. I don’t have equine rescue contacts in WA.)

    • Faith, there seems to be some confusion on your part. This blog isn’t a “rescue” blog where people read about horses that are part of a sinister and corrupt industry – racing – and then step up to find the horse a good home. You mention that you are “sick” of people complaining about what should be done but never step up to the plate. I have stepped up to the plate MANY times to help the horses that are thrown in the trash by racing, as have others posting here, with the most recent horse being Glowing Review, who last raced at Mountaineer. Patrick posts about the deaths that occur on tracks throughout this country on a WEEKLY basis….yes, 24 deaths a week and those are the ones we know about. The racing industry doesn’t like to give up the names of their dead. I guess it makes them look bad!

      Yes, Fighting City Hall deserves to be retired BEFORE he breaks down and dies in the dirt. However, it isn’t my responsibility to retire him. It is the owner’s responsibility. If the owner won’t do the right thing for the horse (and the majority won’t), then reach out to the racing folks at Mountaineer and ask them to help you retire him. Who made money with this horse? It certainly wasn’t me! Let those who made their blood money do the right thing. Also, just to be clear, I don’t want to reform racing. I want it to cease to exist.

      As far as getting angry, I am angry at the drugs, both legal and illegal. I am angry that “babies” are raced and the majority of the horses that Patrick reports on, here on this blog, are two, three, four and five year olds. Disgusting! As we all know, horses aren’t filly developed until they are six so are you “sick” of people racing babies? If not, you should be! I am also angry at the “claiming game” as well as the disposal system for unproductive horses – slaughter. So, as you can see, there are lots of issues to be “sick” and “angry” about so let’s get started!

      I believe you are the Faith that is trying to place Joe’s Penny. I am the person who is trying to help you. I appreciate everything you have done for her because she was damaged by racing, as we both know, and is now only suitable for low level work. With the internet, it is easy to find out who owns and trains Fighting City Hall. Just look the horse up on Equibase. Privately message me and we can brainstorm as to how to get this horse out of an industry that chews them up and spits them out. I am always willing to help.

  6. Thanks, Mary. I know what you do. I apologize to all. I always wish I could do more.

    • Faith, we all wish we could do more. You do way more than most people. True heroes are the ones that open up their barn doors and provide for a horse and I know you have done that many times. My anger comes from the fact that racing expects non-racing folks, such as you and me, to pick up the bodies of the discarded horses when they are no longer productive yet racing has made money off the backs of these horses. It just doesn’t make sense until we realize that racing, in most cases, doesn’t give a damn. The horses are the pawns with the goal being to get a paycheck. We should all know that, when you mix money and animals, the animals always end up losing.

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