The Abuse of Beau American

Beau American is (was?) a 6-year-old racehorse. He has been put to the whip 50 times in the past four years, and, as claiming chattel, was “for sale” prior to each and every one of those races. The most recent leg of his lifelong miserable journey is not pretty:

10/31/13, Charles Town – 7th of 10, 16+ lengths back (trainer, Erin Johnston)
11/28/13, Laurel – last of 8, 18+ lengths back (Charles Frock)
12/13/13, Laurel – last of 7, 24 lengths back (Frock)
12/28/13, Charles Town – 7th of 10 (Frock)
4/26/14, Charles Town – last of 8, 13+ lengths back (Johnston)
5/24/14, Charles Town – last of 7 (Johnston)
6/13/14, Charles Town – last of 10, 34+ lengths back (Johnston)

And finally, four weeks ago today at Charles Town – last of 8, 28+ lengths back (Frock): “BEAU AMERICAN…remained under incessant urging [from jockey Rachel Gray] throughout the length of the stretch and was vanned off.” “Incessant urging” for a horse who was not only done in this cheap $4,500 claiming race, but done period.

I had purposely held off on this post to see if Beau would resurface for yet another run at pay-first-through-last (he “won” $100 for his connections – above trainers, owner Barry Utterback – in each of his last 5 races), racino-subsidized Charles Town. He hasn’t. I do know that he wasn’t euthanized at the track on December 3rd. But that, of course, does not mean he isn’t dead. Regardless, sad story, sad human beings.

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  1. Sad indeed. His fate will be a secret . The odds are against a good outcome for this used and abused horse. His connections know what happened but they don’t care and they are not accountable to anyone because racing is a subculture where animal cruelty is an integral part of the business model .

    • This account of Beau American is one of the saddest I’ve read. His thoughtless connections didn’t care about him…and were certainly not listening to what he was trying to tell them. They pocketed a quick $100 doing nothing, while he struggled under the jockey’s whipping. Beau American suffered. How can any caring human reconcile what he endured?

      You’re right, Rose…no one in the industry is ever held accountable for the welfare and fates of the horses enslaved in this industry. And the majority that are fortunate to retire to a non-race, loving home do so because of the efforts of the NON-RACE public.

  2. Sad to say that I almost hope he is gone.. maybe in a BETTER place. My heart hurts, and all I can do is treat my horse like a prince. Wishing I could afford give more to help a cause or to help other horses, or even have more than the one myself. But I cant, and I think the word “humanity” has no meaning anymore. We should be called “UserBeings” not human beings.

    • Sunny, I fully understand your thoughts. As tragic as it is, realizing he is likely dead and gone, there is a far worse fate in store for countless others just like Beau American.
      Thank you for loving your one precious horse. And although that is all you can do financially, your voice in speaking for the horses is priceless…keep sharing!

  3. If you are going to write a story, get the facts first. And I can tell you all the facts, considering Beau American, was MY HORSE. He WAS NOT abused, at all. If you are gonna post a “FACTUAL” story, at least ask someone who knows the facts. And he is perfectly fine, but his racing career is over. We, as a family, love that horse to death.

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