Abused, Dead Horses vs Taxpaying Jobs? A No Brainer

With the death Thursday of Risk the Moon, Aqueduct Racetrack has now lost 21 “equine athletes” since Halloween:

5-year-old Summer Sunset, Oct 31, race 2 (fractured leg)
4-year-old Jesses Giant Dunk, Oct 31, race 3 (ruptured ligament)
4-year-old Knockher Off, Nov 12, race 5 (neck trauma)
9-year-old Cherokee Artist, Nov 28, race 6 (fractured leg)
4-year-old Princes On Thelake, Dec 3, race 5 (fractured cannon)
3-year-old Warrior’s Hero, Dec 4, race 3 (fractured carpus)
5-year-old Half Nelson, Dec 5, race 8 (fractured shoulder)
7-year-old Quick Money, Dec 5, race 8 (neck trauma)
5-year-old Sage Valley, Dec 10, race 8 (apparent cardiac arrest)
5-year-old Ludo Bagman, Dec 11, race 1 (fractured sesamoids)
4-year-old Celebrate We Will, Dec 26, race 1 (fractured leg)
5-year-old Wicked Irish, Dec 27, race 2 (undisclosed leg trauma)
2-year-old Golden Bay, Jan 2, race 6 (fractured leg)
5-year-old Shewreckstheplace, Jan 4, race 5 (fractured sesamoids)
2-year-old Channel of Love, Jan 9, training (fractured leg)
4-year-old Apex, Jan 9, race 2 (fractured leg or ankle)
9-year-old Italian Rules, Jan 9, race 2 (torn suspensory)
4-year-old You Take the Cake, Jan 15, race 2 (fractured neck)
3-year-old Senso, Jan 18, training (fractured pelvis)
3-year-old Miss Macarena, Jan 22, race 1 (fractured leg)
3-year-old Risk the Moon, March 12, race 5 (fractured leg)

21 dead horses.

In a March 7th NY Times article on winter racing at the Big A, Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice president for racing operations, had this to say: “Is racing in winter the most optimal time to be doing it? No. But there is a side to it, and that side is that it creates a lot of jobs, and those jobs are taxpaying jobs for the state.” A nutshell moment – it’s the jobs, stupid. This is horseracing.


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  1. Jobs? The jobs have always been there – the horses have always needed care, feed and shelter. Transporting has always been all season. Vet care. All jobs continue all year — except the gambling centered jobs. Does anyone know how many additional jobs open when racing starts? I have to believe that it isn’t the jobs – it is the winnings and the gambling income. Not jobs.

  2. Tax paying jobs for the state !!! Well of course, Mr. Panza, that is the only important thing, money. It does not matter that the money generated is tainted by outrageous cruelty and lack of human decency.

    The veneer of civilization is thin and that kind of thinking and rationalization is frightening.

  3. I adopted 2 OTTB from a rescue to save them from slaughter 15 + years ago both retired to pasture due to their racing injuries. One still with me…evidence that 2years should never ever be raced on their soft not solid bones that will break as they run for their lives. I have no respect for the racing industry of the rich. If it ended tomorrow I would be happy. The death list would end and the overbreeding would stop.

  4. Is this an article or just a copy and paste of random quotes put together to create a fear tactic into uneducated minds? Have you personally been to the tracks and seen any form of abuse? Have you compared these statistics to other equine sports? Have you talked to any track employee about said abuse?

    • “Bethy”…I would like to answer your questions. I’m not answering for Patrick, he can do that himself. But since there are many anti-racing contributors here – I’m one of them – we have communication amongst those who comment here.
      1) “Is this an article or…random quotes…to create a fear tactic into uneducated minds?” No, “this” is not an “article”…it’s a post of Patrick’s…one of countless daily posts he puts here on his blog. And there are not quotes (plural) in his post, just one. One statement by Panza that CLEARLY shows racing puts the almighty dollar before the welfare of the horses. PANZA said it…and if that strikes “fear” in the readers of his callous words, then so be it. And uneducated minds?…you’ve obviously not read many contributors’ comments here…the majority have quite an “education” in this gambling industry. The others who’ve not had personal experience ARE receiving an education about horse racing’s harsh realities.

      2) “Have you…been to the tracks and seen…abuse?” Yes…I was in the shed rows every week for six months a year for nearly nine years. I loaded so many crippled horses onto my own trailer that I lost count. I stood with discarded, permanently damaged racehorses while they were euthanized. I watched races where horses broke their legs and had tendons torn…where horses reluctant to load were forced into the gates…where horses coming in 20, 30, 40 lengths behind were raced again 6 or 7 days later…and where horses with KNOWN pre-existing injuries were made to race. And I had to be quiet in order to save those horses’ lives.

      3) “Have you talked to any track employee about said abuse?” How about THIS, “Bethy”…I had an owner/trainer admit to me that he ran his horses on known injuries…he BRAGGED that vets would tell him a particular horse of his was “done”, but he would WIN with the horse…what this loser didn’t know is that he was being filmed on a hidden camera I was holding and the next night, he was on the news. So “talk to track employees” about what they did?…they abused so many horses…it was just their way of life!

      Now I have a question for you, “Bethy”…why is it you don’t question the list of the 21 DEAD racehorses Patrick provided in this post of his? Let me guess…you’d rather just ignore that part of his post. DEAD RACEHORSES…for pitiful jobs. Yea, I can see where you’d rather ignore that part and ask mindless questions, instead.

    • “Bethy”…I inadvertently missed one of your questions; “Have you compared these statistics to other equine sports?” What’s your point? Does the suffering and death of a sentient creature forced into performing for entertainment/gambling/jobs only matter if there are MORE of those deaths as compared to another equine discipline or “sport”? So if ten horses die in racing, but 15 in the rodeo, the ten dead racehorses don’t matter? Maybe you can understand this…is the man who beats his dog every day not guilty of causing that dog suffering because his neighbor beats his own THREE dogs every day, as well? Your question about comparing abuses in the variety of equine disciplines is so typical and OLD, “Bethy”…you simply want the spotlight of scrutiny shone somewhere else. There is NO minimizing the pain and suffering of even ONE horse. But that’s what the racing apologists always attempt to do…it just makes your true colors even more apparent.

    • Bethy, have you heard the expression, “ignorance is bliss”? If the shoe fits, Bethy….

      For the ignorant ones, this blog is called Horseracing Wrongs, not Horseracing Rights. Got it? By the way, I spent years on the backside of a low level track and the atrocities I saw would fill the Empire State Building. One of the bastard trainers, Mr. Reid Gross, once said that he would rather send a horse to slaughter than work with a rescue. He was exactly as his name described him…Gross.

      Oh, and I guess reporting the facts must put fear into “uneducated” minds. Would that be your mind, Bethy?

      Yep, Bethy, I saw lots of abuse. Any more questions?

    • Bethy,

      The horses that are dying by the thousands at the racetrack are children. Not mature athletes.

      If you are new to this list, please take the time to read some of the posts that have been written over the past several years so that you can see that Patrick does deal in facts. Cold, hard facts.

      There were many people that called PETA over a number of years that reported abuse at the racetrack that they witnessed and that is why PETA went underground and did an expose on Steve Asmussen.


      Thousands of horses die every year at the racetrack, tens of thousands are brutally murdered in slaughterhouses every year including high priced winners that have won millions of dollars for their owners.



      when you have time, you should read through the names of horses that Patrick has taken the time to find and honor by posting their names so that we on this list that love horses could mourn their death and so that the rest of the world would know over time how dangerous and abusive racing is to horses..



    • Bethy,

      Speaking of abuse of horses. these facts came in from an anti slaughter horse group.
      Many thoroughbred race horses are drugged and their toxic meat is being found in horses that are slaughtered.

      IN fact, horse slaughter was coming back to America in 2014 but was stopped because a fe key people convinced Congress to ban the bill that would allow it to come back because of the toxic drugs in so many race horses that are being sent to slaughter by their owners.

      March 9th, 2015

      R.T. Fitch, President Wild Horse Freedom Federation

      EWA is dedicated to ending the slaughter of American Horses
      and the preservation and protection of Wild Horses & Burros
      on public lands.

      Investigation: Horse slaughter and rampant violations continue despite EU ban on Mexican horse meat

      Chicago (EWA) – Equine Welfare Alliance and Wild Horse Freedom Federation today released the second part of a two month investigation into the Mexican horse meat trade following a ban imposed on the meat by the European Union (EU). The ban that became effective January, 15th, was imposed following Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audits that found the meat unsafe for human consumption due to drug residues.

      As if to emphasize the need for the EU ban, tests on Mexican horse meat found Ractophine
      on January 14th, then Isoxsuprine hydrochloride and Zilpaterol hydrochloride a few days later.

      The two part investigation consisted of observation of the Eagle Pass border crossing in Texas where many horses are exported to slaughter in Mexico, and an exhaustive search of US, Mexican, EU and international trade records.

      Before the ban, 87% of the horses slaughtered in four EU approved plants in Mexico (105,406 in 2014) came from the US, and 78% of the meat from those horses was exported to the EU. Given these numbers, the flow of US horses to slaughter in Mexico was expected to dwindle after the deadline.

      The investigators at the export pens found and reported multiple violations of the Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter regulations [9CFR88]. Specifically, violations of the mandatory 6 hour offload rest period for the horses were noted. The investigators also observed one violation of a rejected blind horse, and they filmed a donkey being trampled in the back of a livestock trailer as it departed the pens.

      The APHIS inspector, who is responsible for enforcing compliance with 9CFR88 was filmed arriving at the Eagle Pass pens in a vehicle registered to El Retiro Livestock, a registered owner-shipper, over whom the inspector should have been exercising compliance authority.

      Analysis of the data collected indicated that the four European multi-national corporations that control the plants were able to juggle their shipments so that their plants in other countries, which were still EU approved, picked up the EU trade while the Mexican plants took over their former accounts.

      While the exports of horse meat from Mexico to the EU were largely curtailed after the deadline, EWA investigators detected two shipments of horse meat to the EU that were shipped after the January 15th deadline. The shipments were reported to pertinent EU authorities but no explanation was received to date.

      While the report did not find an immediate reduction in horses going to Mexico, it did find the trade will likely be disrupted to some extent. Virtually all of the countries now supplying the lucrative EU market have also received unfavorable FVO audits, and face possible banning themselves.

      Russia, a significant past customer for Mexican horse meat had itself banned the meat for a year ending in August of 2014 due to drug residues. Russia was expected to be a significant alternative market after its ban expired, but the devaluation of the Russian ruble appears to have derailed that alternative.

      The most recently released data portion of the report contains a detailed history of all Mexican horse meat exports over past years, as well as an analysis of market shares. The report predicts a 30% to 50% decrease in US horses going to Mexico in the coming year.

      Given the rampant violations found in the investigation, more frequent monitoring is planned for the future.

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