Crack That Whip

A family-fun Sunday at Fair Grounds in Louisiana:

In the 1st, “TRIDENT HERO…proved best [won] under a right-handed whip”; “UNION EXPRESS [who placed] was urged along while off the pace…came under a right-handed whip…was switched to a left-handed whip…”

“proved best under a right-handed whip”
“urged along while off the pace”
“came under a right-handed whip”
“switched to a left-handed whip”

In the 2nd, “FAHNE [who won]…got up late under strong handling”; “SERGUSH was urged along while off the pace…broke down [probably dead]…”

“got up late under strong handling”
“broke down”

images (7)

In the 4th, “BAD NEWS BROWN was very reluctant to load…came under urging…capitulated”; “TIGER CIRCLE was bounced around between rivals…”

“very reluctant to load”
“bounced around between rivals”

In the 5th, “CINNAMON SPICE [who won]…came under a right-handed whip, widened under the whip…much the best.”

“came under a right-handed whip, widened under the whip”

In the 6th, “KATIE B’S WAGER…came under the whip…was overtaken…”

“came under the whip”

In the 7th, “STREET SPICE [who won]…was urged along while near the inside…advanced under urging…vanned off after race”; “WATCH MY SMOKE…pursued the leader under the whip into the final furlong and weakened.”

“advanced under urging…vanned off”
“pursued the leader under the whip”

In the 9th, “DONTMESSWITHWILLIE [who won]…set the pace under pressure…drew off under a right-handed whip…proved much the best under steady urging.”

“set the pace under pressure”
“drew off under a right-handed whip”

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  1. Ah yes, the WHIP. The persuader, the enforcer, encourages the horse to go faster?
    The WHIP a so called tool that the great majority of jockeys regard as necessary due to their incompetent and abusive style of riding.
    The WHIP a harmful malicious object that causes pain both physical and psychological.
    The WHIP used by jockeys to inflict pain on defenceless animals.
    The WHIP authorized and condoned by the racing industry.
    The WHIP which object the horse tries to escape from – an impossibility!
    The WHIP when a jockey changes whip hand from right to left or vice versa this means that the horse is not going straight due to the pain it is experiencing and tries to escape the flogging, therefore jockey changes hand to straighten up the horse.

  2. This is animal cruelty what these horses are going through. “Advanced to the finish line under strong urging…” In other words you whipped them hard to the finish line without caring about how they feel or how tired they are. I’ve also just read an article on The Horse Collaborative about Quiet Acceleration’s abuse during the Richard King Stakes on January 17. Its disgusting what some people would do just for a win. Some “sport of kings” you are… what sport abuses their teammates and think its okay?

  3. Thank you Carolyn, Tracy for that excellent analysis. Sadly, everything you say is true. Unfortunately, the racehorse is a profit slave for the horse racing industry. Historically, all slaves had to be whipped whether human or equine. This cruelty, and abuse never belonged in our history nor does it belong now. It seems evident that many racehorses breakdown as a direct result of being beaten with the whip. Racehorses are usually tired in the stretch. They want to slow down to protect their possibly soreness and lameness. Consequently, the net effect of them slowing down is protecting not only the human on their back, but the rest of the horses in the race as well. Heck, the racehorses are smarter than the people who whip them! Instead of being allowed to slow down they are repeatedly beaten. It hurts. It forces them to run. Any slave needs to be forced after all. You know what I find astonishing? There is a HUGE push and support to BAN carriage horses in NYC – which is a good thing. Yet, the pitiful racehorse (only blocks away) is being beaten on a daily basis. Come on people. Isn’t it time to put this tradition to rest? Tradition should never justify animal abuse, and this is blatant animal abuse. The racehorse pays every step of the way – literally; or shall I say every whip of the way.

    • Gina, on your point that it seems evident that many racehorses breakdown as a direct result of being beaten with the whip, you are so correct. I have one example of indisputable evidence which confirms your statement. I also have other examples, however, the tangible evidence is just not there. I’ve seen horses run right out to the outside rail to escape the whipping, I’ve seen them crash into other horses trying to escape the whipping, I witnessed one horse crash into the inside rail from being excessively whipped when seriously fatigued by a jockey with a notorious reputation of being cruel when whipping a horse e.g. takes his whip arm right up above his shoulder (against the Rules) and hits them on the flank. This horse died and the official reason was that it had to be euthanased because it had sustained an injury from crashing into the rail.
      For legal reason I’ve had to change the names of the horses and jockeys but I don’t think you’ll have any difficulty in understanding what happened here:
      EQUINE near the 300m mark this horse fell. Vetting revealed this gelding, EQUINE, could not bear any weight on its off side fore leg, it had swelling over its off side shoulder and crepitus on palpation within the shoulder. All symptoms led to a diagnosis that this horse had sustained a fracture to its off side shoulder and consequently this gelding was humanely euthanased. An inquiry as to the reason for this horse falling was adjourned to a later date.
      Stewards concluded an inquiry into the reason EQUINE fell and dislodged its jockey……… EQUINE and National Velvet blundered and dislodged its rider near the 350m. Stewards established that approaching the 350m EQUINE endeavoured to improve into running inside of Black Beauty. Shortly after EQUINE shifted out after it was struck with the whip and became awkwardly placed on the heels of Black Beauty where it remained for a number of strides before clipping that runner’s heels, falling and dislodging its rider EQUINE then commenced to roll outwards under the feet of Ginger which blundered and dislodged its rider.
      As stewards were of the opinion that the fall was the result of EQUINE’s racing manners after it was struck with the whip no action was taken against any jockey. As a strapper I had legged up EQUINE’s jockey when he rode a few of my charges and one he really knocked about (abusive riding) a 6 year old mare in a race and she nearly came down. When he came back to the mounting yard I let him know what I thought of him and he just smiled. So about 12 months later I read about what happened to EQUINE – why would I be surprised.

  4. Isn’t it amazing what people will convince themselves of when they want to defend something that is questionable, at best!…ie, the racing apologists and their defending of ALL of the abusive treatment the racehorses are forced to endure!

    Would they be appalled if they witnessed this scenario?… a man is walking his dog down a busy sidewalk and he is striking the dog with a whip, first on one side, then on the other…one side then the other, over and over. Striking…hard…with force…causing the dog to move quickly down the middle of the sidewalk, “guided” by the blows from the whip. Is that an acceptable means to “walk” the dog?…using painful means? Would none of you, racing apologists, speak up for that suffering dog?

    Then imagine that whip striking the thin-skinned, sensitive Thoroughbred…nearing the end of the race, her body fatigued and actually NEEDING to decelerate in order to protect her limbs (fatigue and the decreased ability of muscle tissue are actually safety mechanisms…without fatigue causing the horse to slow and eventually stop, the “exhausted” limbs are at an increased risk of damage). Her body is telling her to reduce her speed, but the jockey is whipping her and demanding more…further, faster, MORE. Doesn’t her pain matter to you?

  5. Of course there are other things to consider such as: electrical devices put into whips (yes it happens), and a very famous jockey riding at Woodbine in the 60’s used to put nails into his whip (it’s true). I will withhold the name, but he was inducted into the Canadian Racing Hall of Shame (sic). The whip is not only a torture tool, but another way for cheaters and abuse of racehorses to prosper. When I was a Steward in California there was a rumour that a few of the Top Trainers (names withheld) were working with Top Jockeys (names withheld) to use a new microchip that they had tested. We are now entering the world of Technology where it’s possible to administer shock waves not only to the racehorse body, but to the heart in order to increase speed. You can believe me or not, but in my view it’s definitely happening.

    • BELIEVED Gina. Many years ago I was present when a whipmaker was offered money to make the handle of the whip hollow so battery devices could be inserted. A well known trainer (name withheld) some years ago had these microchips inserted into his horses’ chests close to the heart. Snake venom was popular for a while, then a substance taken from a specific type of frog. They will stop at nothing. Seems as though some of the extremes (animal cruelties) exposed by Dick Francis in some of his numerous novels all those years ago continues on! One jockey here put pieces of lead into the end of his whip when the new padded whip was introduced in Australia 5 years ago. And of course he only got a slap on the wrist. The industry claims that because it is “padded” (and that’s really stretching its description – just a piece of thin vinyl over only part of the hard shaft of the whip) it does not hurt/cause pain to the animal. Just who are they trying to kid, they really know how to have themselves on! It has been proven that the racehorses experience pain when hit with the whip. Further, one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that when a living creature whether it be a human, dog or horse, is hit with a whip that creature will experience both physical and psychological pain. The seam (stitching) on both sides of the whip is extremely harmful and some jockeys have been known to deliberately angle the seam to make contact with the horse while vigorously whipping away. Only once in 5 years has it been reported (that I’m aware of) when a horse came back with very obvious evidence of damage to its body that could not have been the result of “normal” whipping. Jockey denied hitting horse with the seam of the whip and of course no action whatsoever was taken against him, it’s just a “racehorse”. For some very peculiar reason which I’ve never been able to fathom, the racing industry universally appears to regard racehorses as being an exception when it comes to protection of animals against cruelty/abuse legislations.
      If the whips don’t hurt why do they have to have Whip Rules? The fact that they do have Whip Rules is evidence in itself that the whipping of the horses inflicts pain on these animals. Another practice I’ve witnessed is the use of battery devices in training/trackwork. Blinkers are placed on the horse for the very first time when it will be hit with the battery, then horse is free of this cruelty for some trackwork training leading up to a race, then on raceday the blinkers are applied and the horse then knows what he’s in for and displays panic behaviour and then races in fear sometimes racing erratically. This practice was also disclosed by a person within the racing industry at an Equine Symposium attended by a big audience a few years ago.

      • Carolyn,

        What you and Gina are saying is terrible.

        I hope this information is going to be in your book. I have never heard of this and I am sure most people have no idea what is going on at the racetrack in terms of abuse.

      • Carolyn,

        I do not understand why these people are not being prosecuted for this horrific abuse. How are they getting away with this ?

      • Kathleen, participants in the racing industry such as trainers, strappers and stablehands, veterinarians, farriers, racing administrators, those employed on racetracks where stables house the horses, security persons, racing writers/journalists, breeders, jockeys, trackwork riders and owners are very aware as to the animal cruelty which is inherent in the industry. I need to emphasise that many owners are not aware. New owners are duped by the industry from day one. Some walk away from racehorse ownership in disgust with their experience with their horses. Unfortunately, many owners place far too much trust in trainers and believe every word they say. The odd owner that wants to drop in and have a look at his horse at the stables will find everything pretty and sweet because owner has phoned first to let the trainer know he’s coming. It’s when an owner turns up unexpectedly and sees his much loved horse being bashed that some of the cruelty is exposed. Some trainers have been sued by owners for being deceitful in not informing the owner the truth in relation to the horse’s health. I’ll never forget 2 horses being put on a truck headed for the slaughterhouse and this is arranged by the trainers when the stable workers are not present (they finish after trackwork at about 10 am and come back at about 3pm) but sometimes there’s a stuff up. The following day owners come to see their new horses they’ve purchased to replace their “retired” horses. Duped owners ask when did their “retired” horses go to their new home (previously told by trainer don’t worry about their future, I’ll find a good home for them where they’ll have a good life). Trainer replies “just yesterday, lovely family, real good people, rolled up in the latest goose-neck float and they’ll give Black Beauty and Ginger a pampered life”. Duped owners are relieved as they had stipulated that their horses were never to go to slaughter. Duped owners are thrilled with their new horses and trainer says “you know, you just might have a Melbourne Cup winner here, never know your luck in this game”. Duped owners are immediately elated with this prospect and write out a cheque for a few months training fees in advance. Duped owners leave. Trainer says “can you believe how dumb owners are?” In my experience racehorse trainers often don’t care if the horse is successful or not as long as they have a good supply of owners and cheques coming in. They don’t have any shame in the lies they tell the owners. Needless to say there are plenty of owners that don’t give a damn about their horses as they’re just an investment.
        Some other participants are the unsuspecting people that are invited to go to the races who are new to the experience, enjoy dressing up, enjoy a meal, drinks and partying and generally having a good time with their friends/family. They look at the horses parading in the enclosure, the horses being the noble animals that they are are viewed as looking so good, the jockeys in their colours and then the race – if you’ve picked a winner and made some easy money then your experience has been made much nicer than what you were already enjoying. These innocent fellow human beings have no idea as to the lives these horses live.

  6. Carolyn, Thanks for posting. I believe it 100%. All I can say is that the racehorse pays every step of the way or shall I say every shock of the way?

  7. Kathleen,
    They’re getting away with it because they think they’re a law unto themselves. The racing industry is self regulated and therein lies the problem. There is no independent body monitoring the welfare of the racehorse. In other words, there is no one looking over their shoulders so they just do what they damn well like with these animals which are at the mercy of these people who claim they “love” their horses. For many, many decades the racing industry has hidden its dark ugly secrets and deceived the public. What happens on the track stays on the track is one of their policies. Animal welfare organisations do speak out every now and then for the horse. However, it needs to be taken much further. Taking a case like Nehro to a racing authority is a waste of time (as was shown with the KRC), what needs to be done is for proceedings to be instituted in a court of law under the relevant Act protecting an animal.

    About 35 years ago a jockey was charged by an animal welfare organisation with committing an act of cruelty upon an animal. The animal welfare organisation received a complaint and was bound by law to act on it. The racing authority cancelled this jockey’s licence for a lengthy period. The act of cruelty? He was riding a young 2 year old in its first race, horse obviously was green but suddenly took off to the outside fence (I hasten to add here that the horse had not been touched with the whip). This occurred not far from the winning post and there was a big crowd of people so jockey does everything in his power to restrain the horse because he anticipated it jumping the fence. As horse was getting closer to the fence jockey starts to whip him on the head, not nice but it stopped this horse just in the nick of time. Now if this jockey hadn’t done what he did, horse would’ve jumped the fence and people could’ve been killed or seriously injured and obviously a risk also for the jockey and this young horse. This jockey was dragged over the coals big time and this was the jockey I’ve spoken about before, a hands ‘n heels rider who just carried the whip and didn’t believe in whipping the horses. He didn’t enjoy hitting this horse repeatedly over the head but the horse would survive it but any person with a 450kg horse coming down on him/her would not likely survive. Not long afterwards, one of his best jockey mates found himself in a similar situation, chose not to hit horse over the head because of the outcome for his mate. Horse jumped over the fence and the jockey died. The racing industry did not appreciate the publicity. I’ve been told that around the time of these incidents the racing authority and the animal welfare organisation came to an agreement – and that was for the animal welfare organisation not to touch the racing industry as it can look after its animal welfare issues itself thank you very much. I was also told that a considerable donation was made to the animal welfare organisation and it would be ongoing on an annual basis. I was told this information so whether it is true or not, I do not know. There are plenty of animal abuse and cruelty laws/legislations out there to be enforced but sadly, as I’ve stated before, the horses in the horseracing industry appear to be an exception! And I find this totally unacceptable. We are living in the 21st century. The racing industry displays behaviour of denial when it is accused of animal abuse/cruelty. They seem to have the attitude that they do no wrong and go to all sorts of lengths to deny, hide and cover up the abuse and cruelty inflicted on these horses.
    With the increasing exposure in the public arena of the abuse and cruelty committed upon these animals, I hope it won’t be too long before the animal cruelty/abuse laws are enforced. The suffering of these horses must come to an end.

  8. I must renew discussion on this post due to the blatant beating of 2015 Derby Winner American Pharoah. This was a blatant display of animal cruelty on national television. The rerun is available at AP was hit with the whip 32 times in less than 35 seconds!!! He had no opportunity to respond as the jockey Espinoza repeatedly heavily handed striking, beating, and whipping of this poor horse. Barbara Borden the Chief Steward of the Kentucky Racing Commission refused to investigate the incident or lay fines on the jockey. Of course this is to be expected since the golden boy connections of Bob Baffert, and his rich Owner Zayat (who owns a beverage company in Egypt where workers have allegedly complained of low wages and human rights violations) would probably cost her job if she spoke out. This is horse racing where silence is golden. If you want to keep your job – keep your mouth shut. If you want to speak out about the wrongs – lose your job, get labeled a whistleblower, and have them crucify you in public which happened to me. My hope is that somebody or some organization (PETA where are you?) brings animal cruelty charges against the jockey Espinosa in a court of law because there is no jury that would look at that and let this horse beater go without punishment. I never ever wish bad on any horse, but if AP broke down in the next leg of the Triple Crown while being beaten with a whip I would like to see either the Kentucky Racing Commission or somebody get sued from here to kingdom come. Another thing, on the bloodhorse website AP was paraded outside his stall the next day, and he was grossly underweight. I’m not exaggerating. If I saw a horse like this in a farm paddock I would report it to the Humane Society. The horse is very “ribby.” This is horse racing.

    • Gina.

      I agree with you. It is important to speak out on this issue.

      Two major news outlets wrote about this story. Paulick just repeated their coverage. I am looking to see if other news outlets have spoken out as well. I find it stunning the way Baffert talked about how the jockey was just “moving him along.” when he hit him 32 times.

      If people do not speak out about this ABUSE, it will go on and on and on. I am glad two news outlets spoke out about this and did not like this. i wish more would speak out.

      Bloomberg writer even acknowledge that it was difficult to watch. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next race.

    • Gina, I’ve also brought up the subject that AP looked thin but they call that “racing fit” can you believe it? The lies that these ignorant people tell themselves is unbelievable.
      I don’t understand how someone could still support this “sport” after what they saw. The evidence is right in front of them, he was whipped 32 times coming home on national television. That should be enough for them to realize that this industry is nothing but abuse and exploitation of horses.

      • Exactly Tracey. That’s not racing ” fit ,” that’s an underweight horse that’s heading straight for a fall if they keep pushing on him like that. These racing people always hide behind the excuse: ” that’s horse racing.” Well if this is horse racing then it’s violating animal cruelty laws . Just blocks away a powerful group wants the horse buggy banned in NYC. Among many things they are very concerned about horses getting whipped. All good, but what about the racehorses getting beaten jet blocks away? When are the racehorses going to get justice? This is deplorable.

      • Gina I think that people are afraid to talk about this subject. They don’t want to say anything because they don’t want to believe that this is still happening… or they may be scared about the backlash or consequences. I really don’t know but most of the people that I’ve spoken to about horse racing agree its bad but they don’t want to do anything because its been here for ages. This group who wants to ban horse carriages in NYC why don’t they want to help get rid of the racing industry?

  9. Exactly Kathleen. Baffert is a Master at putting out fires. Whether breakdowns or beatings it’s all in a day’s work at BB’s Racing Stable or most race stables for that matter. So happy Bloomberg reported on it, happy that Paulick did, but we need Joe Drape from New York Times to give it exposure. It was difficult for me to watch, but the public is ignorant of these things. I’m sure if they were educated they wouldn’t support it. Ignorance is bliss I suppose. Where in the USA is it acceptable to beat an animal? Why does the racing industry get away with this?? They hide behind the Racing Commissions who are merely an extension of the abuse. They are hardly neutral. Consequently, the racehorse pays the price. This is barbaric torture. This is horse racing.

  10. Gina,

    Good idea about Joe Drape from the New York Times. We should all send him an email and ask him to do a story and tell him what news outlets we have seen the stories at.

    New York Times has done stories on horse abuse in the past.

    I just spoke with someone I know that was at the Kentucky Derby taking photographs. He is a photographer and has a press pass.
    He said the WHIPPING of AMERICAN PHAROAH was a big point of conversation at the Kentucky Derby after the race.

    He said that a lot of people were talking about the fact that AMERICAN PHAROAH was hit repeatedly and they were upset by it as well. They witnessed it up close and it looked really bad.

    The jockey was NOT just moving him along as Baffert said who said he “did not really notice it ” until after the race.

    The photographer I know went and took photos of AMERICAN PHAROAH after the race as he was being washed down and he said that he looked really exhausted. He will be sending me photos.

  11. Espinoza’s whip use on AMERICAN PHAROAH under scrutiny
    By Marty McGee

    Chief steward Barbara Borden said Wednesday that the Churchill Downs stewards intend to further scrutinize replays of the Kentucky Derby in response to questions about jockey Victor Espinoza having used his whip 32 times in urging American Pharoah to victory.

  12. Good. Let’s get those photos! Shame on Baffert and the Zayats. Shame on the Kentucky Racing Commission. I’m going to compose a letter to the KRC and post it here for those who will sign. I will then Fax it to them. I must do something for this voiceless horse since nobody else is.

  13. Gina,

    I just sent JOE DRAKE a TWEET and asked him to report on this and that three other publications had already done so.

  14. Sounds like Ms. Borden has changed her tune under a little pressure. But since there are no restrictions on the number of times a horse can be whipped during a race in Kentucky how are they going to sanction Espinoza ?

    The negative publicity is better than suspending the guy for a couple of days, anyway. The more publicity the better including the fact of no restrictions on the number of strikes the horse can be subjected to during a race in the great state of Kentucky, no less !! And since this display of viciousness was during the most celebrated competition in the business what goes on at all the other events all over the country and especially in low level claiming ?

    This could be the proverbial “camel’s nose under the tent” for racing, provided this is kept alive and enough “questions” are asked…

    PS Thank you Gina, Kathleen, Joy, Mary, Marlene and Carolyn for your work on behalf of the horses. I should add my thanks to all here because I’m sure I missed some people. Needless to say, I’m so grateful to Patrick for his tireless work to bring the ugliness of this business to light.

  15. Rose, great post. Absolutely correct. Sadly for American Pharoah he has brought to light the real world of horse racing just like Eight Belles. When these high profile races reveal the ugly side of racing more people are exposed to the brutality of it all. What many don’t realize is that this goes on every day in horse racing where they are running for their lives in Claiming Races. This is where the whip is regularly used, and the horse is usually running with physical ailments. It’s disgusting. Please people call the Kentucky Racing Commission. I did today. They asked for my name which I gave, and I politely voiced my outrage at the public flogging demanding a punishment for the jockey. They requested I follow up with a letter. They said that they need to know how people feel. At least I did something. If they are flooded with phone calls something will be done.

    • Gina,

      Excellent idea. I will call the Kentucky Racing Commission too.

      We should tell them how England is far more civilized than we are on this subject.


    You can give your name or Voice your complaint anonymously


    Call the toll-free hotline at 1-866-993-3949 or locally at 859-246-2040 or Chris Clark, KHRC Director of Enforcement, at 859-519-8323 or click on the link to submit a complaint online.

    You can also call PATRICK ADAMS at 859-227-2957

  17. Kathleen,

    I have also written a formal letter of complaint to the Kentucky Racing Commission, on the disgusting exhibition of excessive whipping of AP. I demanded punishment be levied on Victor Espinosa, in the form of a suspension from racing, not less than 4 weeks, and in addition, that a substantial fine be imposed. This must not be tolerated.

    Thank you Kathleen, Gina, Rose, Tracey, for your great posts, and for bringing attention to this very important matter.

    Marlene Thornley

  18. We all need to make a call to the numbers Kathleen provided, and follow up with a letter which can be emailed or Faxed. I can’t just sit back and accept this animal torture.

  19. I don’t know if this is true but someone posted something from Drf live stating that Victor Espinoza was fined 300.00 for causing injury to the filly Stellar Wind in the Santa Anita Oaks. It said that “he broke her skin” if you watch it on YouTube he continues to whip her even after they cleared.
    If this is true this guy should be banned from racing. First Stellar Wind and now AP This is clearly animal abuse! 300 dollars is nothing… It’s a joke.

  20. Marlene, Gina, Rose and Tracey,

    I just had a 45 minute call with someone over at the Kentucky Racing Commission. Here is what he said.

    THE RULES COMMITTEE has the power to recommend a change in the rules to limit how many times a horse can be hit.

    THE RULES COMMITTEE could make their recommendations and then the ENTIRE COMMITTEE would vote on the recommendations.

    He also said that the more people that speak out the better.

    I told him that in England , horses could only be hit 7 times and then jockey is fined and the horse is disqualified.

    The group in England is the PROFESSIONAL JOCKEYS ASSOCIATION.

    He was very interested in hearing about the law in ENGLAND. He had no idea they had a limit of 7 times.

    I am going to be sending the Kentucky Racing Commission what i said in writing.

    He said the more letters that they receive the better. He said The more pressure there is for change, the sooner it will happen.

    • Fantastic Kathleen, Gina, Tracey, Marlene, Rose and anyone else i’ve forgotten. Amazing work to get onto it so swiftly.

      When an example like American Pharoah comes up in a world famous race, it is an opportunity not to be missed to take action and speak up on behalf of the horses.

      Baffert, i would like to have the opportunity of “moving you along”. Think you might feel some pain and require medical attention afterwards.

      American Pharoah, owned by ZAYAT, trained by BAFFERT, has lost some kilos immediately post race. This is evidence of how much that race and the merciless flogging by VICTOR has seriously adversely affected his body and of course his mind as well. UTTERLY DISGUSTING!


      • Carolyn,

        THank you for the link to the article.

        Something else i forgot to mention because It has been a very long day and I feel incredibly tired. Thank God it is Friday.

        I will be emailing him directly and he will be passing around my email to the rest of the KENTUCKY RACING COMMISSION so I will be including links to the different articles and to the rules in ENGLAND.. THere are 15 people on the commission.

        I will send it out on Monday so if you can think of anything else or if you have any research on this subject that you can share, please email it to me.

        My email address is

        Thank you.



        Espinoza Fined For Whip Use On Stellar Wind In Santa Anita Oaks
        May 8th

        From the Blood Horse

        Victor Espinoza, who drew criticism for his use of the whip during his ride on American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was fined $300 by the Santa Anita Park stewards May 8 for “causing a break in the skin” with his whip on Stellar Wind during her 5 1/4-length victory in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) April 4 (VIDEO).

        Victor Espinoza, who drew criticism for his use of the whip during his ride on American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was fined $300 by the Santa Anita Park stewards May 8 for “causing a break in the skin” with his whip on Stellar Wind during her 5 1/4-length victory in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) April 4 (VIDEO).

        According to the Santa Anita stewards, the “break in the skin” on Stellar Wind was reported to them by the state veterinarian Tim Grande, who discovered it in the test barn after the Oaks.

        “Three hundred (dollars) is for the first offense,” Santa Anita steward Scott Chaney said. “I think he’s had a couple in the past, but it’s been several years. Three hundred (dollars) is the first time and it goes up pretty quickly after that.”

        Espinoza wasn’t available for comment Friday afternoon, but his agent, Brian Beach, said stewards had not contacted him about the fine.

        A California Horse Racing Board rule to limit whip use will be enacted and enforced in California beginning July 1. The rule will no longer allow jockeys to strike a horse more than three consecutive times without giving the animal a chance to respond.

  21. Carolyn,

    I forgot to Mention this.

    Another point I brought up during My conversation with the KENTUCKY RACING COMMISSION MAN.

    I told him that people were upset by Barbara Borden’s comments saying that the whipping was not “Super excessive” and I actually read to him some of the posts from this group but I did not tell him it was a group nor did I mention names. i just said I knew a lot of concerned people out there in social media and facebook and the Internet that had watched the race and then I read some of the posts..

    Why it is CRUCIAL to stay on this issue is because it Currently has a lot of attention and the COMMISSION has the power to change the rules. I told him i think that they should speak out before the PREAKNESS otherwise the horse may be WHIPPED and ABUSED again. I told him the jockey was known to WHIP other horses as well.

    I asked him what kind of message is this HORSE ABUSE sending to the rest of the world. ENGLAND has better more HUMANE standards than we do.

    I worked for a Senator in Washington D.C and i know that while there is a lot of attention on a subject THAT is when pressure should be applied to change the RULES otherwise we could lose this opportunity to ENCOURAGE the COMMISSION to change the RULES on WHIPPING A HORSE.

    The person I spoke with said he was very interested to learn that ENGLAND set the limit on 7 hits.

    I said that the rampant DRUGGING of horses and WHIPPING of horses at the race track gave the horses An unfair advantage over other horses to win and that treatment increased the risk of them being badly injured and ending up DEAD. I told him they needed to STOP the drug abuse and STOP the WHIPPING and STOP the horses being sent to slaughter.

    He is totally against HORSE SLAUGHTER and he did say that are against the slaughter of horses.

    I told him that owners and trainers are TEXTING kill buyers to come to NO slaughter tracks and Pick up their wounded horses and take them to be SLAUGHTERED.

    Everyone reading this. PLease speak out and PLEASE tell your friends to speak out.

    • Although the Whip Rules in the United Kingdom are better than in the USA, with any big prizemoney race in the UK, believe me, they flog the horses big time, breach the Whip Rules and just pay a fine which is a joke because it’s just chicken feed to the jockey and the connections. I guess the point I’m making here is that in my view the Whip Rules do not work, there are no effective deterrents (even suspensions) and Whip Rules most certainly do not protect the horse.

      Why do they need to have Whip Rules if the industry’s allegation is that the whip does not hurt the horse?

      Whips are banned in Norway, the jockeys there have had no problems with it, it has been a success and there’s always a winner. And the jockeys are prohibited from even carrying a whip. They lengthen their irons and they use their feet which helps the horse – now that is horsemanship!

      If it can be done in Norway, it can be done in other countries.

      • Thank You Carolyn,

        I never could understand why jockeys ride the way they do. It makes no sense to me.

        We should ask for them to ban whipping entirely and tell them about Norway.

        “They lengthen their irons and they use their feet which helps the horse” – what a good idea. Help the horse instead of WHIP the horse.

  22. I’ve been blocked on the following pro-racing Twitter accounts: Victor Espinoza. I called him a horse beater. Maggi Moss. I pointed out her association with TVG. Ashley Judd. I asked her if she counted 31 or 32 strikes of the whip. Any opinion piece on blood horse comment section even though I never swore, used malicious language. I merely said that whipping is blatant animal cruelty and that charges should be laid since the Kentucky Racing Commissiin is not protecting horses. Something like that. I tweeted to Churchill Downs and The Kentucky Derby that now I know why they throw a blanket of roses on the winner. It’s to cover up the possible welts from being beaten! They blocked me too and most comments were erased within minutes. People, the slave masters will go to any lengths to ensure that the slaves are not emancipated. What can I say? This is horse racing.

    • Gina,

      THe person I spoke that is connected to the KENTUCKY RACING COMMISSION and he said that the COMMISSION has the power to change the rules if there is enough pressure from the outside community..

      PLease write to them. Ask them that what you write be shown to all 15 members on the board.

    • Gina,

      You bring up an excellent point. I wonder if AMERICAN PHAROAH was checked for welts after the race. That is a good question and I will add it the letter that I am writing to the commission.

    • Gina, they cannot cope with the truth being told about the abhorrent whipping of American Pharoah. And they claim to “love” their racehorses and treat them like a member of the family. Who would want to be a member of their family when it means you get flogged with a whip when you’ve tried so hard to do your best.

      The controversy about AP has rocked them and they don’t like all the flack they’re copping.

    • I’m not one bit surprised, Gina, that you’ve been blocked. Espinosa and Moss…they are recipients of the money and “fame” that the labors of the horses bring to them. It’s so disgusting and pathetic to me. I have an iota of “sympathy” for the race trackers who know nothing but this industry and can barely make ends meet with the measly “wages” their poor, low-end claimers earn for them. But people like Moss have opportunities to make money elsewhere…she and the others like her are not “stuck” in racing. It’s pathetic that with earning ability elsewhere – outside of an industry that maims, kills, and sends to slaughter horses regularly – she and the others CHOOSE to exploit the sentient creatures they claim to love. Bulls***…the exhilaration and accolades are what they love. Pathetic.

  23. I’ve watched both the race and post-race, and there are some very suspicious things I noticed whether deliberate or happenstance. One, there was a box that covered the entire right flank of the horse as soon as the camera shifted in. The box showed the first 3 horse names, but could have been placed anywhere on the screen. It completely blocked anyone’s view including stewards. Two, when the box was removed, the announcer, Donna Brothers, immediately covered the right flank of AP again ( the right flank took the beating). So twice it was impossible to see any welts at that point. Welts can take some time to swell up, but when I backtracked the tape I saw obvious marks on the horse. I have seen top trainers rub a substance into the flanks of a horse claiming that it delays the welts when they instruct the jockey to do whatever it takes to win. I’m not suggesting that BB did this, but we can’t prove otherwise, and I don’t put it past him. I can’t stress enough how people who work in the industry keep their mouths shut knowing that they will lose their job. It’s possible that welts were seen in the drug testing barn and the minimum wage workers turned a blind eye. So many things are possible. All I know for sure is that AP was beaten, and it’s cruelty to animals. This is horse racing.

    • This is very interesting Gina – your knowledge, hands on experience at the coal face and expertise is invaluable. THANK YOU!

    • This industry has MASTERED deceit and lies. They’ve had a tremendous amount of practice in covering up abuse of the horses and the toll it takes on their bodies and ultimately, their very lives.
      Gina, thank you for insightful posts! Your history in this industry and your GUTS to now speak out are SO important in this cause!…enlightening the public of just what the racehorses are forced to endure! THANK YOU!

  24. I also want to say that the Kentucky Racing Commission needs to immediately implement whipping rules including maximum strikes, significant monetary penalties and suspensions, cushion whip etc. Better still BAN horse racing.

    • Gina,

      I will include your comments in my email I am writing to the Kentucky Racing Commission

      My email is going to all 15 decision makers and I am including comments made from this group as there were a lot of excellent points made. I am just removing peoples names.

  25. Since this controversy has broken you can bet your bottom dollar that the well-financed BB Club will release a picture doctored up or not to show no welts and save their fanny or shall I say AP’s fanny.


    Patrick posted an excellent video on this site in March.

    I am sending the RACING COMMISSION that as well.
    Even a retired jockey is speaking out in this report.


    Race horses are bred to race, but does the whip really make them run faster, or is it just an unnecessary tool that inflicts pain? Dr Jonica Newby reveals some surprising new science about horse tissue and their nervous systems, and even takes a strike herself.


    The rhythmic whacking of multiple whips. In the midst of a storm of public concern about the welfare of animals in racing, attention has focused once again on this instrument – an instrument that appears as if it inflicts violence. Are we beating our horses to the finish line?

    Danny Brereton
    Look, I just think the whole overarm hitting of horses is not a good perception. The general public are looking at it, we’re punishing our champions.

    Dr Paul McGreevy
    It’s become an extremely important issue because it is arguably the most visible form of violence to animals.

    Dr Paul McGreevy is professor of animal behaviour and animal welfare science. Dr David Evans is an equine exercise physiologist and consultant to the racing industry. Between them, since 2011, they’ve published a series of studies on the whip in racing, one of which was funded by the RSPCA. And perhaps the most compelling is this one – a frame-by-frame analysis of 15 races at Gosford Racetrack on June 2011, which reveals what’s normally too quick to see.

    • Gina,

      the more facts we can throw at them the better. I also want to tell them how many horses were killed in Kentucky. not sure if that information was released.

  27. Thanks for sharing this. I’m preparing my letter to the Kentucky Racing Commission.

  28. Now I see where Espinoza has been fined for whip work that broke the skin of Stellar Wind, winner of the Santa Anita Oaks on Apr. 4th. The injury was reported to the stewards by the state veterinarian, Grande. But, interestingly, The trainer, J. Sadler said he saw no injury after the race !!

    Racing apologists are saying they believe the trainer and not the vet. !!! Like the trainer is going to call Espinoza to task after he handed him a great grade 1 win. Oh please !!! Of course the consequences are negligible… a big $300.00 fine. But there is, at least, the bad publicity for this jockey.

  29. Thank you to all 4 your comments, and support of mine. Happy Mothers Day to all Moms – human, furry, or both. I had to keep my mouth shut for so many years out of respect for my family, and later for my own investment. I’m sure making it up for it now. I sincerely hope that horse racing is BANNED and if it’s exposed until then that’s great. For every racetrack shut down like Hollywood or Suffolk I applaud knowing that a little less racehorses will not be abused. PLEASE listen up. Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto is shoving through expanded gaming which will be a disaster for the racehorses. Please go to City of Toronto website OR HPBA Woodbine website, and there you will find a survey that will be reviewed by all politicians in Toronto. This survey gives people an opportunity to input their feelings about expanded gaming and horse racing. You don’t have to be a resident of Ontario. Please voice your opinions.

  30. Just came across this on my newsfeed. It looks like Victor Espinoza and American Pharoah’s trainer, Bob “the bastard” Baffert, are getting even more unwanted attention due to the whipping that occurred in the Derby. The writer is saying that the whipping took a lot out of the horse during the race and, therefore, the performance of AP may be affected in the Preakness. Imagine that!

  31. Thanks Mary. Bob Baffert is a sociopathic monster whom the racing industry reveres. Imagine that. He’s like Ted Bundy the all American Golden Boy who fools everybody. It took many dead women to finally nail the guy. It has taken many dead horses, and he’s still going strong. I don’t blame Baffert ( as crazy as that sounds) I blame the Racing Commissions for failing to protect the racehorse. It’s so obvious that money and profit rules. As long as BB has rich owners spending millions he can get away with murder, abuse, and cruelty. Absolutely disgraceful that the Kentucky Racing Commission did nothing about it. This is horse racing.

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