The Lies They Spew

Horseracing kills horses – every day, scores over the course of a year. For an industry whose long-term economic outlook is ominous (see recent Newsweek piece “Horse Racing Fading in Revenue, Popularity”), this simple fact should in time help sound Racing’s death knell. It’s why I do what I do (focus on the day-to-day killing).

Mostly, and understandably so, Racing people avoid dead-horse talk at all costs. When addressed, it’s usually within the context of some supposedly positive “trend” – “catastrophic-injury rate down on turf surfaces in April…” Ludicrous, of course, but it can and does get worse. In a WDRB (Kentucky) article on the previously exposed “Equine Injury Database,” owner Ken Ramsey attempts to dismiss the killing thus: “I hate to have to say it, but any time that you race any kind of an animal or a human being – anything, basketball players, football players – you’re always going to get some injuries. Just try to keep it to a minimum the best you can.”

Well, Mr. Ramsey, let’s review some fundamental facts (again). First, and how sad that this needs repeating, human athletes willingly participate in sport; horses, as owned things, do not – can’t ever. Second, injuries are one thing, deaths in the arena an entirely other matter. Major League Baseball: one death (from a beaning) in 140 years. The National Football League: one death (from advanced arteriosclerosis) in 96 years. The National Basketball Association: zero deaths in 70 years. According to my data, roughly 2,000 horses died on U.S. tracks last year alone. Insanity.

Then this from horseracing “fan” Nicole Meiner (speaking on Shore Runner’s breakdown last October): “…the worst that I ever saw happen live…. As a fan, it’s difficult to talk about. Although some extremist groups would try to say we don’t care about the animals, it’s hard to see a horse go down…. Fans of the sport ARE fans of the animals, and we care about their well being.”

First, as former Woodbine CEO David Willmot once readily admitted, there’s basically no such thing as racing “fans,” just racing gamblers. As for the rest, how exactly does one reconcile “difficult to talk about/hard to see” with “Winner’s Circle” photos in the wake of a dying/dead horse back on the track? How is it that while bad weather may cut a card short, death on the field does not? “We care,” they say, yet their fallen “athletes” don’t even rate a perfunctory moment of silence. In a word, rubbish.

Fact is, Ms. Meiner, those truly distressed by seeing (hearing) a racehorse snap a leg don’t come back for more. Fact is, Ms. Meiner, but for “fans of the sport (much like yourself),” there would be no Shore Runners. Fact is, Ms. Meiner: You can love horseracing. You can love horses. You can’t love both.

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  1. It’s very sad that I was the only one to leave a comment against horse racing at the 5/8/16 Newsweek article mentioned above. More folks need to get on this and try to help end this cruelty.

  2. If it’s “difficult to talk about” and “hard” to see happen, Ms. Meiner, maybe it shouldn’t be tolerated. Clearly it shouldn’t…

  3. To “. . .care about their well being” and support horse racing are mutually exclusive as proven repeatedly on this site.

    Take it from someone who has had the reality shock of being on the backstretch of a racetrack every day for years seeing hundreds of atrocities from horses breaking off both front legs at the knees in morning training (never counted as racing deaths) , to accepted use of illegal drugs, trainers of horses repeatedly finishing 40 or more lengths behind still pressured to race them by the racing secretary without regard to their soundness, the length between races or whether they are competitive, licensed racing trainers who are also the on-site kill buyer, and the racing commission and employees who are to oversee this gambling industry condone the violations because their very salaries depend on horses filling races.

    Every facet of horse racing is a direct conflict of interest. This is an industry so inbred that they spew the same lies as 40 years ago and are idiots enough to think people believe them.

  4. I think where some people are conflicted is that the sport itself makes the horses who they are that the fans love. Take away the sport and the horses would cease to exist. Keep in mind that someone like Ramsey does not see the atrocities that Ms. Normile is speaking of, it is an entirely different level of racing. The problem is stopping his horses from dropping to those levels and then eventually to slaughter. This is what the industry wants to ignore.

    • I typically don’t even respond to you, Matthews, because you’re not an individual who speaks your “convictions” regardless of the audience. That said, your words really aren’t a mirror of your convictions at all…rather, they simply spew like lukewarm water here and there, changing to the likes of whomever might be listening. And lukewarm water makes one want to vomit.

      “Keep in mind” Ramsey doesn’t see the atrocities…WHAT?…there’s no abuse at his “level”? And is he incapable of comprehending the overwhelming issues in horse racing that even Congress has attempted to address? That are reported even in racing rags? What?…does the guy live under a rock? What an absolute joke…Hancock, Casner and company aren’t at the cheap tracks that are the majority in this industry, either, but they’re aware. What a weak, weak argument. In your way of thinking (at least your thinking today), I’d have no idea or opinion about the puppy mill issue because I’ve never seen a single one.

      • Anyone who thinks that Ken and Sarah Ramsey don’t see, or know about, the atrocities in racing is either incredibly stupid or delusional. Of course, the Ramsey’s see the evil in the industry that they support but they choose to look the other way just as many other “hot shots” do. They are just as culpable as the scum bags who race injured horses in order to get a paycheck. They ALL disgust me.

    • Horse Racing is not a sport. It’s a cruelty circus, and death camp.
      So let’s take away this circus, and death camp so that lives will be saved – both horses, jockeys, and stable personnel.
      This would immediately cease all irresponsible breeding to the tune of approximately 30,000 per year. Consequently, thousands of racehorses would be saved from a life of torture, dumping, kill auctions, and the slaughterhouse.
      From the dumping to the dying – it takes place at all levels not just the lower ranks, which you seem to place the blame on, while shielding Ramsey.
      He’s just as responsible for dumping, and dying racehorses as anybody else who actively participates, and supports this business model. The statistics, and facts are there.
      Moreover, the top, most richest Owners in this country send their horses to the multiple drug violating Trainers who have racehorses die in their care on a yearly basis. There are many factors to consider, but the training, and racing of 2 year olds on an under developed muscle-skeletal system pushes them beyond capacity in order to get them Derby-ready is just one. This factor alone leads to the ongoing use, and abuse of doping in order to mask issues that usually start at a very early age.
      By the time these horses are 3 years old, if their lucky enough to make it out alive, they are usually walking drug cocktails. The ongoing dope abuse is necessary in order to keep them going. Owners know this so they send them to these multiple drug violating Trainers knowing that they will uphold the ongoing drug abuse in order to keep their horses running at the highest level.
      The multiple drug violating Trainers probably can’t train without drugs, and anybody who does can’t compete against these Lance Armstrong’s. That’s why the same Trainers dominate the upper levels of the game because you can’t compete with the drug cocktails that this industry permits.
      Moreover, this industry sanctions, promotes, and even supports this cruelty to animals on a daily basis in order to fill races, and increase wagering profits. If not the drug abuse, then the excessive whipping/beating when racehorses are tired and/or sore. Blatant animal cruelty.
      The commissions have become a management arm for the wagering revenue as opposed to a protection agency for the racehorse.
      In fact, the commissions repeatedly, and deliberately it seems, protect the multiple drug violating Trainers essentially condoning this dangerous venue of ongoing doping, and breakdowns. Heck, they keep re-licensing them every year! That should tell you something. That’s like re-licensing a multiple DUI driver – everybody’s health, and safety is at risk not unlike the horse racing scenario.
      Anybody actively involved in Training knows full well that if they speak out about what exactly is going on they can say Bye-Bye to any career they may have.
      Everybody who supports this industry, at EVERY level, either directly or indirectly condones this doping, dumping, and breakdown culture – a huge part of this business model.
      From the stable personnel, to the Trainers, to the Owners, to the commissions, to the jockeys, to the turf writers, etc, etc, they all must uphold one golden rule: silence so that the ongoing abuse can continue.
      Abuse in society is allowed to continue as long as the participants remain silent.
      Historically, the most egregious acts of violence and abuse (holocaust, slavery) continued because many people turned their heads, remained silent, and the entire world was complacent.
      Horse racing is slavery. The only difference is the object of the violence, and abuse: the racehorse.
      It’s being allowed in the 21st century because the entire web of slave masters support it, remain silent about it, and even cover it up.
      The death list is extensive, and not unlike the holocaust. Again, the object of killing is different: the racehorse, but all the symptoms are the same.
      Like Martin Luther King stated: “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

    • The Ramseys overbreed, they claim horses and they put horses up for claiming. Whether they “see” the atrocities or not is immaterial because they know they exist. Not “seeing” them in no way absolves them. They are part of the problem – the enablers…
      And the downward spiral for horses in the claiming game is the “business model” of this game along with slaughter, the ultimate betrayal of the horse.. Take this model away and the wheels would come off this corrupt gambling business. It is not a sport.

  5. Jo Anne I cannot agree with you more.. But why do people refuse to talk about the horrifying things that happen on and off the track, but will always defend this industry ? And of course all the trainers and owners who supposedly LOVE THEIR HORSES , will never think about quitting racing. Because it’s their livelihood. I say BULLSHIT.

    • Kathy, people within the racing industry and in the barn areas every morning are fully aware of the abuses but if they were to report someone racing a horse with a known fracture or who the person(s) is/are on the backstretch who sell(s) the illegal drugs, for example, those people would lose their stalls and because this is a very inbred industry, they would also be unable to get stalls to race at other tracks as well. So the “good people” of racing keep quiet as to specifics. Oh, they might try to get legislation passed, speak out at safety hearings, Congressional hearings, comment on blogs or newspapers but they will only speak generally about the “chemical horse” that has been created by an industry rampant with drugs both legal and illegal — unlike all of Europe, Great Britain, Japan, Dubai, Hong Kong that ban all drugs without even having threshold levels except for naturally occurring drugs like testosterone but they will not get specific. So fear of reprisal and having no place to race their horses or no one to buy their horses if a breeder, keeps them silent.

      Others are simply unaware. They see the glorified racing on television and think that’s what it is like at all racetracks. They defend it because that is all they know.

      There is no one who could be onsite every day during morning training and during racing and I’m not talking about a groom isolated to their one shedrow but a trainer, assistant trainer, exercise rider, jockey, racing secretaries, stewards, veterinarians (whether private or racing commission veterinarians) or owners who are at the track every day as often as the others and not be aware of the death and destruction.

      Just ask them:
      1. According to racing’s California researchers at one of a handful of states that does necropsies on every horse that breaks down, their research showed that up to 90 percent of the horses had pre-existing injuries.

      2. Dr. Tom David, formerly the chief veterinarian for the Louisiana Racing Commission stated to the NY Times, “This is just a recipe for disaster. Inflamed joints, muscles and mild lameness are masked by medication and therefore undetectable to the examining veterinarian.”

      3. Dr. Rick Arthur, the equine medical director for the CA Horse Racing Board has stated: “it’s hard to justify how many horses we go through. In humans, you never see someone snap their leg off running in the Olympics. But you see it in horseracing.”

      When people proclaim this isn’t true, they ought to read a little more about what some of the people in racing are saying albeit still failing to name names and end this maiming and destruction because they too have a vested financial interest in filling races. Silence is about greed or ignorance of what is happening because even those in racing know it is happening.

    • Kathy: participants, and supporters of horse racing are living a deliberate delusional psychosis it seems.
      I was once one of them. So I understand the elements of the psychosis which are “I LOVE my horses,” “I take good care of my horses.” etc etc while deliberately ignoring the associated maiming, dying, and dumping as part of the business model.
      Here’s one definition taken directly from psychology that describes textbook delusions as:
      “Delusions are irrational beliefs, held with a high level of conviction, that are highly resistant to change even when the delusional person is exposed to forms of proof that contradict the belief.
      This is very accurate when describing people in the stable area of racetracks all over the place. This includes all levels of participants from owners to trainers, and everything in between.

  6. It is impossible to love both. People who genuinely love their horses would never condemn their horses to the horse racing and breeding industry!

  7. My ex blames the deaths on owners, 1st and foremost. He is happy to be retiring, after a career spanning 64 years, saddling Affirmed when he won the Triple Crown. He loves animals more than life itself at this point. Started @ 13 because he had to help his mother feed his, what came to be, 20 siblings.How many times I ran with the groom to the backstretch to be handed a bridle or halter and no horse. Watching the dogs outside chew on dead horses hooves. And No! This wasn’t some rinky dink track.

    • We have also had that awful experience of having a horseless bridle being handed to you after a horse you were grooming broke down and died. We will NEVER forget it! We cried for days as that horse was one of the first thoroughbreds we had the opportunity to actually ride. He was no stakes horse but was usually willing to gallop in the mornings and was full of spunk. Currently our state is so desperate to increase foal #`s that there is a program whereby the racing commission funds the registration of 2016 foals. The program is funded by a tax on all HUB monies processed through our state. If you send copies of the foals papers to the state thoroughbred breed association and once they have confirmed the registration with the Jockey Club, the association will then reimburse you for the registration fees. We would consider it blood monies and will not participate in the program. We feel the funds allocated for up to 60 foals should be spent on unannounced,out of competition drug testing! As individuals that worked our way through a 4 year university starting thoroughbreds to being ridden the first time, we have given up almost all hope that racing in our part of the country will ever clean itself up. We hate to see how many horses breakdown weekly during our winter racing meet. The only consolation is the land on which our track currently is situated has been zoned for industrial use! The city/ county property taxes MUST be horrific. Simple economics will eliminate that track eventually despite the breeders association reporting the tracks handle was up by 18% this past winters meet. That particular track is VERY dependent on out of state off track wagers to keep it operating. If it was reliant upon in state on track wagering , our state track would have gone bankrupt years ago. For many years as it was the city public school system was the largest holder of outstanding unpaid back taxes.You are so right the pressure of owners to push their horses to perform is relentless even when first starting them to being ridden for the first time! We have had some big name in state owners fire us because we never push or rush a horse being trained for riding the first time. The owner we were working for at the time was shocked how fast we were able to pack up and be ready to leave his farm, 30 minutes! He later relented as he knew that he would NEVER find someone to start to bridle / saddle 6 young thoroughbreds for only $500 monthly even in 1990! We lived in the barn with the horses at the same time as we were completing our economics degree at Oregon State University. We have had many years experience in the thoroughbred industry as well, albeit on much more local state level.We first started in 1977 and quit the racing aspect of the thoroughbred business in 2004 after seeing a good jockey friend almost killed due to illegal use of shock wave therapy done to his horse he was riding on the last day of the meet. The mare he was riding in that race had received shock wave therapy done by the owner/ trainer every single day for two weeks up to and including the day she and our friend almost died together when she broke both legs.Our friend was supposed to receive an award that day for the most outstanding older rider of the meet which of course due to his severe injuries the trainer of the horse received for him since he was at the hospital undergoing surgery! The jockey colony, give them credit, refused to ride any of that trainers two horses in the next race. That crummy, corrupt trainer with his wife as the primary owner of the horses they race, is STILL racing horses on our states bush league racing circuit to this day! We went into the starting of thoroughbreds for riding on the track BECAUSE of the fun of teaching a young horse to do something it had never done before.We always hated the excessive use of lip chains/ twitches too. We have also NEVER used spurs, whips to teach to ride or gallop any horse for the first time either. We have started many kinds of horses as well.

      • My heart breaks for that mare, Joan and Fred Booth…and for all of the others that are enduring the same horrific mistreatment.

  8. For those that support the horseracing industry and those that participate in it….this comment is for you!

    About a month ago, Joy Aten wrote a Shedrow Secrets story…”The Vile Betrayal of Financial Mogul.” It seemed to hit a nerve with some racing, and non-racing, folks and the comments on the blog exceeded one hundred. Kelly Smith took a ton of grief because of her decision to euthanize FM. In fact, she experienced more grief than a pro-slaughter/pro-racing gal that is hell bent on posting on Patrick’s blog. Kelly did share the vet report with me and FM was diagnosed with severe end stage osteoarthritis and, yes, racing supporters, that was caused by an industry that exploits horses and Mr. Rick Violette was part of that exploitation.

    Shortly thereafter, I began to receive screenshots posted by those who are out to discredit this blog….Horseracing Wrongs…and those who support it. One individual that the racing exploiters are trying to discredit is Jo Anne Normile. One of the “crazy babies” (Curtis-Olivas) decided to post a derogatory comment about Jo Anne and another “crazy baby” (Adkins-Matthews) allowed her wall to be used as a platform for Olivas to insult Jo Anne. Now, I am going to be very, very clear just in case this is a “slow” day for one of the “crazy babies.” Jo Anne Normile gave up her job and started CANTER many years ago in order to help the horses (hundreds of them) at Michigan tracks. She LEFT racing because racing killed one of her horses. Now, since the “crazy babies” seem unhappy with Jo Anne, I would like to share with them what they can do to help the horses in the industry THEY support. Get up off your asses, work long hours, save up your nickels and dimes, quit your job (if you even have one) and start a rescue just like CANTER. It will mean lots of hard work but I know you girls can do it. Jo Anne got up off her ass and started a rescue that now has a national presence but you two just sit on your asses and criticize.

    Sometimes we have to let the filth rise to the top before we put a story out in the public domain. A screenshot was sent to me with this link and Curtis-Olivas actually posted the link (and the story) on a pro-horseracing site. This is a quote by Olivas…”I will get grief for posting this, but I must post it. This is wrote [sic] by an author and horse lover.” She “must” post it? Was someone holding a gun to her head? Nope, but Olivas had five “likes” on her post and one “like” was from Laura Kemling-Mohr, another “crazy baby”. It sounds as if Kemling-Mohr supports slaughter, too. Reprehensible…

    The title of the article is “Why Horse Slaughter is Necessary.” One could surmise that, if someone posts a link as to why horse slaughter is necessary, that person would support it. Now, things get even uglier. Curtis-Olivas is a member of a closed FB group called United Horsemen. One of the administrators is Dave Duquette who was Sue Wallis’s sidekick. Thank goodness Wallis is now dead but good ole Duquette is still kicking, unfortunately for the horses. The description for United Horsemen on their FB page states…

    “We support the restoration of humane and regulated processing of horses in the United States, and advocate for the control of wild and feral horse populations on federal, state, tribal, and private lands. This group is for people who SUPPORT the restoration of humane processing of horses, and who SUPPORT the responsible management of overpopulated wild and feral horses on federal, state, tribal and private lands. IT IS NOT A FORUM FOR DEBATE IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THESE POSTIONS.”

    Curtis-Olivas is not only pro-racing but she is pro-slaughter yet she comes to the HR blog whining that some of her comments have been extricated from the blog. However, she belongs to a group that will NOT allow any debate when it comes to our beloved horses. She is pure filth, in my opinion, and just like so many others, she talks out of both sides of her mouth. If I was Patrick, I would block her ass so fast it would make her head spin just like Linda Blair’s head in The Exorcist.

    I knew that Curtis-Olivas was pro-slaughter back in 2012 when she suggested that I go to a pro-slaughter site so that I could learn more. Nope, Curtis-Olivas, I don’t need to learn more about slaughter since I’m not as “slow” as you. I know all I need to know just like I don’t need to fight in a war to criticize the effects of war as bodies are blown to bits. Patrick doesn’t need to have horse experience (Adkins-Matthews has ZERO experience) to write about the breakdowns and deaths, and, anyone with minimal intelligence knows that you don’t have to breed puppies in a puppy mill to know about the horrors of that industry.

    People like Curtis-Olivas disgust me. She has no trouble supporting slaughter but criticizes us for speaking out for the racehorses and her “sidekicks” (Kemling-Mohr and Adkins-Matthews) are right there with her. However, with that being said, we know that slaughter is the disposal system for unwanted TB’s so perhaps none of us should be surprised if Curtis-Olivas supports both since they go together like a “hand in a glove.”

    Moving onto another “crazy baby”…Adkins-Matthews. Adkins-Matthews states “…they (meaning anti-racing folks) are very unfair.” Really? How are we, “crazy ass anti-racing people”, according to Matthews, unfair? Are we “unfair” when Patrick posts his KIA lists? Is it “unfair” to speak the truth? I believe that Adkins-Matthews has been allowed to post her racing propaganda on the blog. Oh, but true to form, she says that “Deb Curtis Olivas has been fighting with them for some time now” and “they are so extreme and will not even let you make many comments unless you are anti-racing.” That is a monstrous lie from someone who professes to NEVER tell a lie. Then she has the audacity to say that she would “personally like to see those that are against racing put their efforts more into finding solutions to help the horses.” What the hell does she think Jo Anne Normile did? Jo Anne got up off her ass and started CANTER. This is what I would like to see Adkins-Matthews do…put her money where her mouth is and help the horses that racing dumps DAILY. In my opinion, an even better idea is to not break them down in the first place. Let racing become extinct just like the dinosaurs. Let it die in the dirt.

    I have asked this question many times before but the answer seems elusive. Why are pro-racing and pro-slaughter people on a pro-horse site called Horseracing Wrongs?

    • Why are the racing supporters – and now, come to find out from your comment, Mary, SLAUGHTER supporters! – here on a pro-horse anti-equine abuse blog?…personally, I believe it’s for attention. Their own little “answer” to HRW can’t get off the ground and garners minimal to no attention, I’m told, so they come here – it’s the only place there are readers. Except no one here cares to read what they have to say…

    • Thank You Mary Johnson for your excellent response.

      Aprox. 2 1/2 years ago I watched an excellent TV show about horses called Heartland that is filmed in ALberta Canada. (HORSE SLAUGHTER Capital) It is A Hallmark quality show so there is generally a happy ending. It was an episode about rescuing horses from being sent to slaughter. Up until that Point, I had no idea that horse slaughter even existed.

      After seeing that show, I went to you YOU TUBE and saw horses being slaughtered. That experience completely changed my llfe. I was horrified at the SHEER EVIL of it all. Any One that promotes HORSE SLAUGHTER is on the side of SHEER EVIL. After seeing those horse slaughter videos that replay in my mind over and over and over to this day, my life will never be the same again. Never.

      It is through watching the show HEARTLAND that i also found out about the drugging of horses at the racetrack and so i am grateful to the show for that. Then I found this website HORSERACING WRONGS and I have admired all the incredible people that are part of this group that work so hard to enlighten people to the evils of horse racing and who have rescued so many horses from abuse and from death.

      Thanks to you and Patrick, Jo Anne, Carolyn, Gina and Joy Aten and all those who REALLY LOVE horses. I can no longer even watch a horse race on TV without wondering what horses are running injured, what horses are being abused and wondering how many will end up being murdered for food. I see HORSE RACING and HORSE SLAUGHTER as both SHEER EVIL.

      I agree with you on asking this question as well.

      Why are pro-racing and pro-slaughter people on a pro-horse site called Horseracing Wrongs?

  9. If nothing else Mary their comments reveal the heartless, insensitive, non-caring, non-compassionate slave masters that support the exploitation of racehorses while being dumped, and dying.
    Heck, they even exploit them in their death by supporting slaughterhouses.
    Moreover, the facts contained in the comments by you, Joy, Jo-Anne and ex-insiders (such as myself, 20+ Insider) all paint the ugly picture that this industry is all about.
    Whether their comments continue on this blog or not we all know that horse racing is an antiquated business model that requires excessive, irresponsible breeding, whipping/beating, doping, maiming, dumping, and killing as daily operations in order to continue.
    The only way to discontinue this unacceptable blatant animal cruelty is to shut it down.

  10. Patrick. Thank you for your superlative work. Full gratitude for exposing the crimes done to horses in this industry.

  11. Mary Johnson.. I believe not so many years ago I had to beg you not to euthanize a horse that a rescue had offered to take just because they were not moving fast enough for you and you “had no room there” at your place. After that incident and a few other in regards to horses that you sent to this same rescue and yet later you bad mouthed them publicly, It is pretty sad that a rescue that helped can no longer stand you but I think that is something that you already know. I really could care less what you have to say but I am glad you have taken such interest in my posts and comments. As far as putting my money where my mouth is, you have no idea who I am or what I do with my money. Unlike you, I am not online trying to get a pat on the back and reminding everyone constantly of the horses I have helped. For the record, I agree with most everything said here about lower level racing but was just adding that people on the level that Ramsey is at do not see those kinds of atrocities daily. Is there still abuse on those levels, of course there are.. no doubt about it. And they are the ones responsible for the horse ending up at the lower levels where they are abused daily and shipped off to slaughter. I would not want to speak for Deb Olivias but I do believe she is primarily upset because there are many good people in the racing industry that do take care of their horses and do help the horses in need They are not given any recognition for the good that they do. I agree with her 100% because if it were not for the racing industry helping horses with foundation money example: the TAA and the TCA, there would be far worse problems than there are now. With that said, there is no excuse for the bad that continues to go on. Do I have the answer? Obviously not but perhaps everyone here is right to wish the racing industry would just be shut down for good and no longer exist. Again, I don’t believe that is going to happen but I guess everyone here can just go on wishing.

    • Ms. Adkins-Matthews, I would like to take this opportunity to address some of your allegations. It wasn’t so many years ago that you told me, in an email (yes, I do have documentation), that you taped all phone conversations in order to “protect yourself.” You then reached out to the public for help as to how you could put our phone conversations (the audio portion) on YouTube. Wow! I just don’t even know what to say about that but anyone who tapes phone conversations in order to “protect themselves” is paranoid. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. Now, if you taped our phone conversations, I’m sure you will have PROOF, either audio or in writing, in regards to you begging me not to euthanize a horse. I believe in transparency and I have no problem telling you, or any other pro-racing/pro-slaughter advocate, that I will euthanize a horse rather than risk that horse being loaded on a truck to Canada or Mexico. If you, or anyone else, has a problem with that, I don’t give a damn. Got it? By the way, when was the last time you opened up your wallet and took in an “at risk” horse? Don’t tell me that you can’t provide for a horse because you live in a tiny house because there is such a thing called “boarding” and I have boarded many horses over the years so do NOT use your lack of land as an excuse. Oh, but we must not forget that you know nothing about horses and actually told a colleague of mine that you are afraid of horses. Guess that might pose a slight problem when it comes to caring for a horse, right?

      I have NEVER bad mouthed Pure Thoughts, or Ms. Swanson, publicly so that is just another lie that you spew. If you feel that I have, then provide documentation here on this blog. In fact, here is an email from Ms. Swanson from not so many years ago…

      From: Jennifer Swanson []
      Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:32 PM
      Subject: hey there from Jen

      Hi Mary…

      I have not heard from you in a while and wanted to give you a little update. I hope everything is going well with your new job. Afterall that happened I feel so disconnected .. but I understand everyone’s feelings.

      I wanted to let you know that Vickee has decided not to keep Amigo.. which does not surprise me.. he is alot of horse and he is so young.. he really needs someone who is going to ride and work with him every few days at the least. He will be going up for adoption and we will find him an amazing home.. he is a great boy and so sweet.

      I auctioned your condo for the year 2012, the one you donated last year. The original winner in the raffle donated it back to the rescue. So a very nice woman named Annette Wilson won it in the silent auction two weeks ago. Thank you so much.

      I hope all is well with you. Remember no matter what happens I consider you a friend and will always be there for the horses if you need me.


      You then babble that Swanson/Pure Thoughts can no longer stand me and it is pretty sad that they can’t. Do you really think that I give a damn if Swanson can’t stand me? Her feelings about me are totally irrelevant and I’m sure she doesn’t give a damn how I feel about her, either. Neither one of us cares, simply put. I have certainly moved on and I would assume that she has, as well. If she has cast aspersions my way, I personally think it is because you have bad mouthed me to her, but I can’t prove that and it no longer matters to me. I am so done with it and I will assume that Swanson is, too, so it is best to “move along.”

      I received screenshots of a post on your wall and comments that were made on that post. I can’t see your wall since I blocked you a few years ago on FB and you are well aware of why I did so. It seems interesting that you would allow a pro-slaughter advocate, Curtis-Olivas, to make comments when you are supposedly against slaughter but perhaps Joy hit the nail on the head when she said that you change your convictions depending on who happens to be your audience and then a line is crossed when you choose to criticize Jo Anne Normile who has done more for the racehorses in her area than anyone I know.

      I do agree with you on one thing. Ramsey doesn’t SEE the atrocities day in and day out because he chooses to remain in his ivory tower and probably hasn’t walked the backside of a low level track in years. However, if he is even halfway intelligent and even occasionally reads the racing rags, there are simply no excuses for him not to know the horrors in his industry. Before the invention of the internet, he might be able to feign ignorance, but no longer. He disgusts me more than the low level people who struggle to make a living. He can put on his “big boy pants” and get out but he chooses not to. Sickening, at best.

      There are some people in racing that are better than others. I have used this analogy, ad nauseum, of a neighbor who kicks his dog once a day and another neighbor who kicks his dog five times a day. Certainly, the neighbor who kicks his dog once a day is better than the one that kicks his dog five times a day, but both are animal abusers. You mention TAA and I would like to address that. Joy and I were asked to follow a TB mare who was racing in Florida and who might need a place to go. She was being run into the ground (sound familiar?). Joy reached out to ALL five accredited TAA organizations in Florida and FOUR of the five were full and declined to help and the fifth never got back to us with a definitive answer. You admit that without the TCA and TAA, there would be far worse problems that we have now. Why should there be problems since there are “many good people in racing?”. I spent years on the backside of a track and I didn’t see “many” good people in racing.

      Finally, you mean absolutely nothing to me, Ms. Adkins-Matthews, and I mean nothing to you. I am now done wasting my time replying to someone who is pro-racing and has a sidekick who is pro-slaughter. I simply don’t have the time to engage in fruitless dialogue since I work full time in a demanding industry, I have a family as well as many rescued animals, including horses, and I am in the process of building a barn on my farm in order to provide for these horses that have been thrown in the trash by their previous owners. My reputation speaks for itself. If you are unhappy with my track record, please remember that I don’t give a damn. Good day!

  12. Hmmm so I’m very curious as to how the good people in racing take care of their horses can you explain that one to me I’m kinda new to horse racing only been studying it about a year ago living close to penn national seeing and hearing about the racing industry how do you take care of your horses when the basis of your sport is the exploiting of an animal for money and or pushing an animal to or past its limits while on medication which some even though legal inhib the horses brain to recogize pain while running 40 mph do you people take care of your horses by using a tongue tie with a bit in their mouth (try running a mile with all you got without swallowing or do it without using your tongue) or by using a whip for motivation why would a horse need motivating if they love to run and that’s what their bread to do or why are they in a stall 22 hrs a day please anwers these questions the whole racing industry is a sham in my mind you racing folks cant. Even regulate the own rules you write you can’t responsibly regulate yourselfs financially your lax policies rules regulations the scandals and the only one who suffers always always pays the price the HORSE with its life

      • We agree the post above is very good! We never liked the use of tongue ties or lip chains on a horse! We have taught many thoroughbreds to gallop willingly. Many of them are only to willing to run. We have never used whips, spurs or even a western saddle to teach a horse to be ridden. We don`t even like to use the word train as we feel that in actuality your teaching a horse what you want them to do. We teach them to be halter led or saddle / bridle with lots of patience. Proper use of application of principles of conditioning, give and release of pressure. We should develop our own program based on relationship training. After all when you riding a horse you are depending on the horses good sense to trust you to make good decisions. We saw very few good relationships between racing people and the racing horses. Too much emphasis on power/ control, not enough mutual respect admiration in the fact that horses will allow us to enjoy their great strength and speed/ power.Many times we have to ask them just to walk reasonably , that we don`t need to have to full speed always! We work/ handle/ teach young horses almost daily. We were accustoming four young horses yesterday to being led with halters for the first time.We have also discovered it is best NEVER to leave halters on any horses when out in pasture. We cringe every time we see young foals with halters on them out in a pasture with their dams haltered as well.If a horse person has a good relationship with their horses they will always come to you willingly for attention/ affection! We have had one of the most prominent thoroughbred breeders of our state come and assist us in veterinary health certificates, as he is also a vet too.He is always amazed how easy our horses are to handle! That comment he made to his assistant as they were drawing blood for a test. We have said it helps if you treat them with affection/ attention and don`t have them fear you! He once along with his family were actively race trainers but now have quit in our local area because of the economics of it.

    • I tend to agree with most everything you said Billy. I guess what I mean by the good people in the industry vs the bad ones are the people that make sure their horses are not running on injuries and the ones that make sure their horses do not end up in slaughter situations. If those people were to stop caring, you would see a great deal more horses at risk and going to slaughter. If there were no foundations helping horses into second careers, it would be a huge disaster for the horses. Does this make the things that you just stated okay? NO, certainly not if all that you have stated is true. Unfortunately that is the other problem that advocates seem to have with one another, they never can agree on certain facts. You talk to one person who is against horse racing and they will tell you one thing and then you talk to another person against horse racing and they will tell you something different. Regardless of the facts, we all know that there are BIG issues in horse racing and yes the horses face them every single day. Something absolutely needs to be done or yes I agree racing should end.

      We see the same horses going off to slaughter year after year and yet we are supposed to believe they are “working on it” This is simply not the truth. These foundations are created to fool us to believe so. Sadly this money is the best chance for most horses coming out of racing and without it, even more die. This is why I am no longer a fan of the sport itself but remain a fan of the horses in the sport. We also need to start putting blame on the government. How long have we been fighting to pass the SAFE ACT? Until we become civilized human beings and stop the slaughter of ANY horse, the kill buyers will continue to extort money from kind hearts all over. We see rescues working hand in hand with these killers every single day yet claim to make no money. Check out their 990s, they are certainly making money!!! When the rescues have stopped working with the kill buyers in the recent past, we see the kill buyers create their own facebook pages promoting to save horses, yet they claim they don’t care where they get their money (bail or slaughter) They sure go through alot of trouble on facebook if they don’t need money from the public. Unfortunately they think we are all real stupid and sadly they are right because many of us still are when we continue to give them funds week after week pretending in our minds that we are saving horses, not realizing that pulling one will only send another in it’s place.

      • I have a great solution to the issues you stated in your comment: shut down horse racing, and shut it down now.
        Right away, there would be less than approximately 30,000 horses bred so that would save those lives hands down – no disputing that.
        Then they could take their billions that they make via the wagering windows and put it towards the thousands of OTTB’s that are looking for homes right now, or standing at a kill auction, or in a kill box waiting for a captive bolt to the head. Pick your evil. It’s all there.
        Moreover, all the doping, whipping, beating, maiming, dumping, kill buyers, kill auctions, dying, slaughterhouses, and corruption would go with it.
        There are no amount of jobs worth this carnage, and if the racehorses had a voice I’m sure they would agree.
        All you pro-horse racing people need to stop living in a delusional bubble, and stop participating in this blood sport. They don’t call it the bloodhorse for nothing. It originally referred to bloodlines, but it really refers to the blood spurting out of fractures – a common daily occurrence it seems.
        Shut it down.

    • Excellent Billy…for having studied horse racing for a relatively short time, you are very discerning. Common sense must also be one of your traits…and acknowledging truths! TY.

  13. The upper levels of the game, including the richest owners in the country, are all part of the doping, whipping/beating, maiming, dumping, and death.
    Take for example, Frank Stronach, the largest racetrack owner and breeder in the country. I know a person who gets some of his dumpees. She’s asked me to keep her name anonymous because she still actively trains.
    The only mutual thing we once had in common is a boarding stable. It was there that I witnessed, first hand, 6 crippled, lame, physically/mentally broke horses that was bred, trained, and raced by Adena Springs. That’s the racing name that Stronach uses. All 6 were royally-bred so typical of the upper echelons of this business, but make no mistake about it, being royally-bred means nothing when they can’t perform to stroke the wallets and egos of racehorse owners.
    Evidently, they were on the way to a kill auction she stepped up to the plate and got most of them for free or for under $500.
    The Stronach organization was done with them. Once they were determined to not be stake or Derby material, and once they were physically maimed – they didn’t want them.
    All of this going on while they were boasting about their aftercare program at their farm in Aurora, Ontario. While I don’t doubt they have rehabilitiated, and rehomed many of their racehorses, there are still many who are dumped.
    Many of these pro-horse racing people talk about the “good” folks in racing – they justify the good with the bad. Kind of like saying while I was robbing a bank I only killed 1 of the 3 bank tellers.
    Get what I’m saying? It’s ridiculous.

  14. This is going to be hard to fight with its popularity. We need MORE petitions and more EXPOSURE of this problem. I see it but I don’t think many do. They love it and it’s going to be hard to stop. We are gaining on greyhound racing; now we have to conquer this as well.

  15. GREAT article in the Paulick Report. I smile with glee when even the PRO-racing camp has such negative articles followed up with reader comments that substantiate what we state as truth – this industry is dirty at ALL levels and its popularity is waning. There is nothing good in this animal-exploitive gambling industry…not one thing. And it WILL die. I hope to see it, I may not – but my children will.

  16. So another lie the pro-racing camp spews is that they are not allowed to comment on this pro-horse/anti-equine abuse blog.

  17. Joy Aten and I often talk about how the racing industry incriminates itself when it comes to the atrocities in horseracing. They never disappoint! This is from a recent Paulick Report and the author, Mr. De Francis, is worried about a horse breaking down, due to being overmedicated, in one of the TC races because it will effect racing’s bottom line. Now, how could that possibly happen, racing apologists? If there are so many “good” people in racing, why would horses even be running with drugs in their systems? Yeah, a horse snapping one or two legs off is REALLY bad for racing’s image. Even the fancy hats and bright, brilliant smiles can’t erase the picture of a horse dying in the dirt.

    “Joseph De Francis, formerly the CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, is concerned that over the course of the Triple Crown classic races, “an overmedicated horse will collapse in front of millions of viewers, sending the industry’s already tenuous fortunes tumbling along with it,” according to a Baltimore Sun story.

    The 61-year-old warns that the public perception of drug use in the horse racing industry has “the potential to explode on the industry like a nuclear bomb,” especially with the major differences in medication rules across state lines.

    De Francis has become a new voice in the battle for uniform medication oversight, recently speaking before a congressional committee on the issue. He believes that a uniform policy will draw the public, currently skeptical about drug usage, back to the racetrack and the gambling window.

    The national spotlight is on racing only three times a year during the Triple Crown, warns De Francis, and a fatality caused by a drugged racehorse during one of those races could devastate the “majestic but alarmingly fragile” industry.”

  18. In most cases of horses being mortally hurt it’s due to the age of the animals. They shouldn’t even have a rider on them until they’re 3 yrs old. EVERYONE in horses knows that. When a horse is too young, bones aren’t fully formed and horses get hurt more easily. They are heavily insured. When something happens to a horse and it dies the owners collect BIG TIME money. Also they have the sperm frozen for future sales so it’s a win/win for them.
    I would be more interested in watching proper aged horses race and not race with a rider whipping the crap out of it, running because it loves to win only. There are flaws in horse racing. Follow the money.

  19. The pro-horse racing mouthpiece called the Paulick Report has just published an article that makes me sick.
    Here it is:
    The entire article is based on the premise that people who are against horse racing are HATERS!
    Oh yes, we are the haters of society. We especially HATE the fact that racehorses are dying for $2 bets – SHAME on us.
    This comment had to be one of the worse I’ve seen in a long time:
    “Dislike their connections, but don’t take it out on the poor horses. Don’t wish harm or show hate for the equine athletes we all gain such satisfaction from watching run.”
    This person is referring to the hateful comments against multiple drug violating Trainer Doug O’Neill (AKA Drug O’needle); the connections of Nyquist who was pulled out of the Belmont because he spiked a fever apparently. I don’t believe that for a moment. I think he was pulled due to the strict drug recording protocols that the NY Racing Commission put into place prior to the Belmont. Just my opinion.
    Anyways, this person is showing such empathy for the poor horses only because of the connections. Well if you cared so much about the horses then you wouldn’t want them within one mile of this sleazy Trainer whom, by the way, the industry reveres.
    “we all gain such satisfaction from watching run.”
    Wow. This has got to be the clincher.
    Satisfaction you state? Satisfaction of knowing that Nyquist is, (more than likely based on this Trainers drug rap sheet) a walking drug cocktail? Satisfaction knowing that plenty of racehorses die under the care of this idiot? Satisfaction in knowing that this multiple drug violating Trainer, who should have been suspended for life, is still handed back the keys to continue business as usual?
    Tell me something: do you also get satisfaction when racehorses die in the dirt?
    You people make me sick. You really do.

  20. More on HORSE SLAUGHTER and teh JOCKEY CLUB – a few STATS

    Milk of Death: The dark side of the nurse mare industry

    Ok, let’s do the math; 45,317 + 4500 (an average estimate) = 49,817 mares bred in 2009. Looking at the worst case scenario, this means there are about 50,000 mares and 50,000 by-product foals on average per year that the racing industry is accountable for. This is an atrocity in light of their claim to be a reputable and responsible organization.

    Well, it is dedicated all right; to the “prominent” thoroughbred owners and breeders and their bulging pocketbooks, certainly not to the welfare and safety of the horse.

    Awareness of this industry has in fact increased but this does not stop the rampant over breeding we continue to witness. Although horse racing is not the only contributor to the nurse foal industry they are the major player in this “game” of death. Horses are dying in anguish simply to line the pockets of the wealthy. Will the abuse and neglect ever end?

    The most endangered species of all, the innocent.

  21. More on the HORSE RACING world and ABUSE of Horses and the JOCKEY CLUB

    Horse Breeding, Horse Racing
    Milk of Death: The dark side of the nurse mare industry
    Aug 19, 2010

    First and foremost, “The Jockey Club” and their archaic rules are accountable for these crimes.

    “To be eligible for registration, a foal must be the result of a stallion’s Breeding with a broodmare (which is the physical mounting of a broodmare by a stallion with intromission of the penis and ejaculation of semen into the reproductive tract). … A natural gestation must take place in, and delivery must be from, the body of the same broodmare in which the foal was conceived. Without limiting the above, any foal resulting from or produced by the processes of Artificial Insemination, Embryo Transfer or Transplant, Cloning or any other form of genetic manipulation not herein specified, shall not be eligible for registration

    In essence, a quality highly valued mare who has produced champion foals in the past is repeatedly bred with equally impressive stallions to maximize profits. Given that the gestation period is 11 months and after giving birth she is in heat 7-10 days later she must be re-bred to ensure she produces another potential champion foal in 11 months. This unremitting cycle pushes the mare to extreme biological limits, clearly equine exploitation at the hands of the negligent thoroughbred industry.

    Since the mares can only be impregnated naturally and not by artificial insemination, for example, they must be transported to the farm housing the stallion to be live bred. Due to the value of her foal and insurance purposes the foal cannot travel to the breeding shed with her.

    Enter the nurse mare.

    Having left her own foal behind, she will now nurse the “privileged” thoroughbred and at the end of her “duty” be re-bred to resume the chronic cycle. Many of these mares are not well cared for and just as the thoroughbred and PMU mares they are relentlessly pushed beyond their natural physical capacity. Effectively “pack mules” of a malignant industry rife with overzealous greed.

    Perhaps in the “good old days” of racing prior to the explosion of over breeding this was legitimate and respectful protocol but in today’s frenzy of unregulated breeding and unmitigated overpopulation of horses, it is no longer viable.

    But wait, what about the nurse foals?

    Looking more closely at the situation, one realizes that the real tragedy of this procreative process is not only the fate of the nurse mares but more piteously their foals – the unwanted and forgotten by-products; simply waste for disposal.

    Similar to the fate of the foals of the PMU industry, these innocent creatures face an even gloomier destiny. They are more or less taken from their mother immediately at which time the horror begins. Many are simply killed by clubbing or other means, some are starved to death and others are sold to the tanning industry for their hides also known as “pony skin”. Since it is illegal to send foals under six months to slaughter, they skin them to manufacture high-end leather products.

    Some are lucky and are rescued by horse advocacy groups but like the PMU industry some eventually make it to the slaughterhouse ultimately ending up on a high-priced foreign menu as a delicacy item. Are you unwittingly carrying a “pony skin” handbag or sitting comfortably on a couch made of “Cordovan” leather – the product of nurse foal hides?

    What is really overwhelming to think about is the state of thoroughbred breeding practices in this day and time and what this implies in terms of these by-product foals.

    Ok, let’s do the math; 45,317 + 4500 (an average estimate) = 49,817 mares bred in 2009. Looking at the worst case scenario, this means there are about 50,000 mares and 50,000 by-product foals on average per year that the racing industry is accountable for. This is an atrocity in light of their claim to be a reputable and responsible organization.

    Well, it is dedicated all right; to the “prominent” thoroughbred owners and breeders and their bulging pocketbooks, certainly not to the welfare and safety of the horse.


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