Racing Turns Blind Eye to Slaughter

A recent press release (Paulick Report): “Famous jockeys and a host of other sports celebrities will gather at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 30 to honor five severely injured former riders and raise funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund at the second annual Jockeys and Jeans.”

While I’m certainly not hardened to the suffering of these jockeys and their families, I can’t help but wonder where the star-studded benefits are for the horses. I mean, when your primary aftercare program involves exsanguination, one would think that the Racing elite would be in some sort of heightened crisis mode. Alas, not.

So the next time an apologist starts waxing poetic about “The Sport of Kings” and its majestic equine “athletes,” ask him how it is that most of those athletes end up brutally slaughtered – and why no one seems to care. Truth is, if that aforementioned elite wanted to end racehorse slaughter, they could, virtually overnight. They could stop overbreeding; they could create industry owned/operated, open-to-the-public sanctuaries; they could hold all who were ever a part of a racehorse’s life, from breeder down to most recent connections, financially responsible for that horse’s post-racing care. They could – but they don’t. And that is horseracing.


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  1. Thank you Patrick for being a tireless voice for horses. You speak the truth… My life’s experience in horse racing bears witness to your words.

  2. For anyone who wonders if the truth is spoken here, a new auction horses has just begun wuth horses posted as they stand on the weigh scale. TBs are there, young with just papers, ex racers (whose lip tatoos are not allowed to be read), ex jumpers, pregnant mares. This week, KBs cleaned up at a local sale barn when one ranch brought in over 200 fillies for dispersal. For a dose of cold, brutal reality for these souls, take a look and share with the world – the last you will see of any of the horses unless you save one or you are the truck driver or yard worker. Their next stop is Mexico.

    In another expose, film taken of two drivers with full loads of horses – 30-35 loaded in Ohio and headed to Quebec – no food, no water. No opening and unloading. But the driver was at a stop at a restaurant.

    The TBs gentled and asked to give so much will join these doomed horses for their brutal last contact with man.

  3. I have been a strong advocate for the horse racing industry to financially contribute to OTTB rescue groups. I have put forth a mandatory 1% of wagering directly to OTTB Rescue and Rehoming. This percentage alone would virtually wipe out the slaughter pipeline for Thoroughbreds, Ex-Racers, and OTTB’s. All 3 categories are different, but have one thing in common: they were specifically bred for the racing industry to be exploited for profit. Category 1 Thoroughbreds who are bred for racing, but don’t make it to the track or race for a variety of reasons. Category 2 Ex-Racers who have made it to the track, have raced, and are deemed not profitable. Category 3 OTTB’s that have slipped through the cracks and are found at Kill Auctions, but have a diverted route via former Owner. Under the current, antiquated business model all categories are bred to be dumped. That dumping is predominantly in Claiming Races, initially, then the Kill Auction, then the slaughterhouse. They could take a delayed channel of personal ownership, but most end up in the slaughter pipeline. The sad reality, and the racing industry knows this, is that there are not enough homes to accommodate the number of racehorses required to fill races at every track in North America. The Jockey Club has firm statistics that only 10% of Thoroughbreds will make a profit during their racing career. Think about that – it’s astounding because that leaves 90% being dumped and/or looking for homes per year. On average, 50,000 foals are bred per year ( sometimes more sometimes less) to fill racing requirements. So 90% of those born, per year, will not be profitable. That leaves 45,000 horses that end up in Claimjng Races, and/or needing homes. There are some statistics that account for 10% of the 45,000 dying from catastrophic injuries either on track or pre-track. So that leaves 40,500 per year. That’s astounding. When one really looks at the numbers, statistics, and results it’s clear that the racehorse is a disposable commodity bred to die for this horrific industry. They pay with their lives for people to bet on them. This is prediminantly why I don’t support this industry because no matter how good your intentions are the system is set up for the racehorse to fail, to end up running for their lives in Claiming Races, to end up at Kill Auctions, and slaughter. If this isn’t bad enough they exploit them even in death where they are chopped up for meat. This is a despicable industry that has been getting away with this dirty little secret for years. It’s time people question this immoral and repulsive business. We must evolve as a society, and in order to do so we must Ban Horse Racing.

  4. Thank you Patrick for yet another excellent post on the world or horse racing.

    I would Love to have a PSA (public service announcement) broadcast on the tv stations of HRTV and TVG and NBC and every other television station around the world that broadcasts horse racing and roll footage from a YOU TUBE video of race horses being Brutally murdered in Canada or Mexico or Japan Or Russia or Australia, the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. etc.

    I would like to ask those people how they can say that the “owners and trainers” really do
    “love and respect” their horses and then send them to their potential death every time they go on a race track. Those owners and trainers that make tens of thousands of dollars off of these horses that “love to run” while they are drugged with LASIX and other drugs and “WHIPPED” to the finish line and then they are thrown into claiming Hell where they are then drugged and beaten like GINGER and then they are sent to be slaughtered by being shot in the face or knocked in the head only to wake up as their throat is being slit. A HORRIBLE way to die.

    I would especially like to run it on Kentucky Derby Day when 17 million people are watching.

    Then I would like to see how many people would still think that horse racing is the “Sport for Kings”

    It is in actuality the corrupt “Sport for Gamblers” and for those who put money above the sacred life of a horse.

    To those who knowingly contribute to and defend the horse racing, horse whipping, horse drugging, gambling, etc. and then turn a blind eye to horse slaughter, I say the following.

    Money has become your God and greed has replaced real love and your heart has shut down to the pain and suffering of race horses being abused and dying every day on the race track and those twenty thousand plus horses that are dying every year at the horse slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico (and those numbers are only coming from USA). THE USA “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”

    For the race horses that are forced to race, the USA is the land of slavery and not the land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

  5. RACING also turns a Blind Eye to DRUGS.

    Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), who serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Horse Caucus and represents New York’s 20th Congressional District, today announced plans to introduce the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Anti-Doping Act of 2015 to establish uniform standards for drugs and medication in the American Thoroughbred industry.

    “While the nation’s sporting spotlight will be on American Pharoah and Belmont Park in the coming days, the Thoroughbred industry is a year-round enterprise – responsible for a large number of quality jobs and economic growth not only in New York’s Capital Region, but throughout the country,” Tonko said. “The racing industry has taken significant steps toward medication reform in the past several years, and this legislation will build on that progress by providing a uniform, national solution that sets the highest standards of independence, fairness and integrity – ensuring the future health of the sport and protecting thousands of jobs across the country.”

  6. A timely topic – “Racing turns a blind eye to slaughter”; prompted by another recent situation where nine racehorses were found in a kill pen, Evangeline Downs was presented with a “plan” to help their horses at the end of their meet which is coming up soon. From the information sent to me regarding these meetings which included the director of racing of Boyd Gaming (at Evangeline), and I quote; “they would rather send their horses to slaughter than utilize other viable options such as good homes or humane euthanasia.” And it continues; “We were also told that the trainers want the new no kill policy lifted and they did not want anyone telling them what they should be doing with their horses…”. And finally; “They were handed viable options on a silver platter and instead chose slaughter.”

    Jo Anne Normile and I heard those words over ten years ago – “I would rather send my horses to slaughter [than let CANTER have them].” Nothing has changed – nothing has changed for the better, that is. Racing has “trotted out” their promises of help for the horses – racehorse welfare and aftercare, and penalties for those (from the tracks with anti-slaughter policies) caught sending their horses to slaughter. I don’t believe they ever intended enforcement of the latter. Slaughter has long been racing’s retirement plan and regardless of how they like to claim otherwise, it still is. Evangeline Downs isn’t the first track to refuse advice from the “bleeding hearts” and it won’t be the last. If there were only a “few bad apples” in this industry, tracks like Evangeline Downs wouldn’t be in business…and there wouldn’t be more racehorses to save than what the rescues can even begin to help.

    • Joy, I remember when Reid Gross told the CANTER volunteers that he would rather send a horse to slaughter than work with a rescue. His words resonate even today in regards to Evangeline Downs. Gross had no compassion for the horses that paid his mortgage. He used them up and put them on the truck to the slaughter plants. A disgusting human immersed in a disgusting industry. No surprise there…

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