The Other Side of the Dr. Mohrbacher Story

On June 15, racing apologist Jen Roytz wrote an article in which takes umbrage over the way a recent rescue effort was handled. Unsurprisingly, the story was biased and skewed, with but one side – the industry’s, shockingly – presented. So today we offer the other, as told by someone who was directly involved – Joy Aten, our primary “Shedrow Secrets” contributor. Before reading, know this: Joy Aten’s reputation (resume) where equines are concerned is beyond reproach.


The Dr. Mohrbacher Saga
by Joy Aten:

As I see it, the main difference between the pro-racing and anti-racing camps (other than the obvious) is the use of facts. Our basis for choosing to support the horses, and not the industry that exploits them, rests on facts – injuries/deaths, slaughter, etc. On the other hand, those in and around racing circles try desperately to refute these (documented) facts, denigrating the message (and the messengers) with the only weapons at their disposal – inaccuracies and lies. Case in point, the Jen Roytz article, “When Helping Is Hurting.”

The first inaccuracy didn’t take long: “On June 4,” she writes, “Doug O’Neill Racing Stable was contacted about a horse…” In fact, The Doug O’Neill Racing Stable (DONRS) was contacted about the tattooed TB gelding identified as Dr. Mohrbacher on June 3, not June 4. I know because I am the one who posted this – on June 3: “This is Dr. Mohrbacher – he is currently owned and in the possession of kill buyer Brian Moore. He needs your help, Doug O’Neill…racehorse advocates are inundated with trying to rescue racehorse cast-offs and there is NO ONE for Dr. Mohrbacher. Will YOU help your former horse?”

Roytz quotes two individuals in her article, both of whom support the industry, one – Sharla Rae Sanders – the DONRS Operations Manager. Sanders: “First off, I do my research when I’m contacted [about a former DON racehorse in need of rescue]. We have a database of every single horse Doug has trained…” Yet, despite her “research,” Sanders, in an email to me, said, “We did not have a horse with that name in training with us.” Yes, they did; in fact, he had won for O’Neill his first time out. Sanders later acknowledged that she had made a mistake in her “methodical” research, stating she was looking for Mr., not Dr., Mohrbacher.

The other Roytz source was Bev Strauss, former insider and co-founder of MidAtlantic Thoroughbred Rescue: “It’s the vigilante types…[that] don’t understand that it wasn’t the racing connections that put the horse in the bad spot.” Regarding the need for long-term care, she says: “These are things that so often the vigilante-types don’t concern themselves with. They fancy themselves professional Facebook horse rescuers, but they don’t do anything constructive to help support the horse long term.” “Facebook rescuers”? Those who know us know better – but then Roytz never bothered to interview me; the truth would have gotten in the way of a good story. It most certainly would have discredited Strauss’ remarks since I had a reputable non-profit ready and willing to take the gelding once his bail was met.

Regarding my purported harassment of Sanders, the entirety of my attempts to reach her for assistance with the gelding included two posts I put on the DONRS FB page, posts that were completely ignored and deleted, and two emails I sent in response to hers after Mary Johnson was finally able to get in contact with her. Yet, when the misidentification of the horse became clear, I immediately offered an apology on the DONRS FB page (where I had made the initial pleas). But Sanders continued to email ME, even angrily stating “I could not find an apology” when the apology had been there for nearly 24 hours…on the site SHE manages.

The Roytz article has many more false accusations and inaccuracies, all of which I will eagerly address if asked. I hope Jen Roytz herself comes here, to this public forum, and at last does what any credible journalist should do – get the “rest of the story.” And the same for Sharla Rae Sanders…I’ve got every correspondence between her and I. No stone will be left unturned.

So while Roytz and her interviewees made certain to exclaim how there was “hurt” and “damage” done (to what or whom I have no idea), and that reaching out for help via the only avenue I had available was not the “proper way,” none of the three uttered a single word about the real tragedy here – Dr. Mohrbacher.

A postscript:

Three days after my original plea for help – and after I had updated Sanders that the gelding had indeed been bailed – I was told that O’Neill would offer assistance. In that email, Sanders also told me that their former racehorse, Dr. Mohrbacher, was “named for his brother’s cancer doctor.” Now wouldn’t you think that that horse would have some special meaning? Although Reddam and O’Neill got Dr. Mohrbacher off their books nine years ago – when they sold him in a claiming race – surely they followed up on him…called the current owner or trainer from time to time…checked on how the oncologist’s namesake was doing. Right? Guess he wasn’t that special after all. Because if he was, when I asked for help on June 3, Sanders would have responded, “that cannot be Dr. Mohrbacher because he died 6 years ago!” Dead for six years, and they didn’t have a clue. “Beloved family members”? Please.


  1. Just a few minutes ago, I emailed Jen Roytz and told her about the inaccuracies (lies) in her original story. I asked her as a professional, and as a decent human being, to do the right thing and correct those inaccuracies/lies. We will see if Ms. Roytz responds. I was involved with this “story”, although minimally, and I am more than willing to put the truth out there. Joy and I have every single email among the parties involved and I would challenge those who so quickly jumped on the Sharla Rae Sanders bandwagon to be open to the truth, but I have a feeling those in racing aren’t interested in the truth.

  2. It is always the same old story with the racing industry. It goes like this: We so shocked our horse is in the kill pen. This horse was a family member…oh, we love this horse so much. We are so saddened. Of course this is even if they respond. And then the next course of action is: It is everyone else’s fault that our ex-racehorse is in the kill pen. It is the kill buyers fault, the rescuer’s fault, the racehorse anti-cruelty people’s fault. Because it is not OUR fault-the racing industry- who made money with this horse. The amount of purse money these horses make these people, and the sheer amount of money (tens of millions and more for each track) in subsidies and handouts should ensure EVERY horse has retirement bought and paid for by the racing industry. And the question they need to ask is why every horse does not have bought and paid for retirement from the racing industry? Every horse that falls ill to the kill auction and slaughter, for no matter what reason, is the racing industrys fault, and their’s alone. Bottom line is that they only really care is when they get caught.

    • You can’t tell me, that every horse that is sold, that the original owner keeps track of that horse, throughout its entire life? Yes, there are irresponsible owners, not only in racing, but in other disciplines as well. A lot of race horses go on to have second careers after racing, but it’s unrealistic to think that each owner is going to contact the original owner if/when they sell the horse. Ex race horses only make up a small percentage of the horses that end up at the kill pen, yet the racing industry gets all the blame for it.

  3. Thanks Joy for setting the record straight.
    It should also be noted that a horse called Immortal Wink 148 starts and running for his life in Puerto Rico was reported to be retired by Ms. Roytz.
    I was so happy to read about it – then I did some digging.
    It didn’t take long to find him running, yet again, in Puerto Rico just the other day.
    So these are either lies being told by Ms. Rotz or the horse was retired AFTER this race and AFTER she claimed the horse was retired.
    I requested clarification from Ms. Roytz including where and whom retired the horse.
    She has never answered.
    Anytime now they claim that a horse has been retired to that beautiful grassy paddock that is virtually non-existent press for the facts.
    They never seem to clarify the facts.
    They can’t even provide the details about the so called retirement.
    Instead, they just claim to be retired.
    Inaccurate, and biased reporting that should be punishable by law.
    Then again, this is the dirty world of horse racing.
    Then on the Bloodhorse site today a story, all too common, about a Trainer that ran into financial problems with a bunch of starving horses in Lexington KY.
    Maria Borrell’s horses and the pics have just come in.
    They are heartbreaking. Walking skeletons that were not only victims of this cruelty circus, and death camp, but now victims of a Trainer who can’t pay for feed.
    Now they are victims of the law with the county sheriff’s volunteers supposedly feeding them.
    Oh, the wonderful life of a racehorse born and bred to be whipped/beaten, doped, killed in action, and/or dumped with many ending up in neglectful situations like this.
    These pro-horse racing comments blamed PETA for these horses saying “where are they now?’
    They absolutely sicken me.
    If it weren’t for this despicable industry they wouldn’t find themselves in this cruelty circus, death camp, and neglectful situation to begin with.
    Next time you idiots blame everybody else but yourselves – take a good look at this antiquated despicable business that exploits and kills horses.
    Then, get up off your butts and go rescue them yourselves instead blaming everybody else for the mess that you YOURSELVES create.
    Better still, just shut it down. Shut down this death camp, and all the corruption that goes along with it into one big abyss.

    • Gina, I’m not sure where you sent your inquiry but I never received it.

      Immortal Wink was indeed retired after the race, as stated in my article. He’s due to arrive in FL this coming weekend (due to quarantine they needed to wait 9 days to ship). You can follow his journey on the YouCaring page that was set up by the woman heading up the efforts – she posts updates daily.

      • Thanks for the clarification.
        I’m very happy he’s getting what he, and all racehorses, deserve.
        It should be a right for all racehorses to be retired to safety, not an exception, and the horse racing industry should be legally and fiscally mandated to provide the funds.
        Neither PETA nor non-supporters like myself had anything to do with the exploitation, but are often expected to clean up the mess that this industry creates.
        Immortal Wink you made it out alive – good for you.

    • Gina, I am very happy to set the record straight. But there’s an irony here…when I saw the tattooed bay TB gelding at Moore’s lot, watched as the countdown to him shipping got closer and decided to reach out for help, I made the mistake of trusting whoever identified him as Dr. Mohrbacher and therefore neglected to state that he was “tentatively” identified. When it was discovered that the gelding only hours from shipping to slaughter was not DM, I felt I owed an apology to the DONRS – an apology without any “buts” and I immediately offered it. Yet without the “buts”, I knew the entire situation would not be presented to those who were watching it unfold – including the facts that 1), help for the gelding thought to be DM was not immediately agreed to (but ignored – not ONE question asked of me by Sanders to verify any of the information she states she researches) and 2), that their “beloved” former racehorse with a meaningful moniker had been dead for six years and they didn’t even know it. That speaks volumes. So my apology was offered – no “buts” – and no one would be the wiser (unfortunately). I chose to close the door to the tragedy of another dead racehorse and his insignificance to his former connections. The irony?…Roytz writes her piece and throws the door for the truth to be told wide open. And for that, I thank her.

  4. The racing industry is so disturbingly inbred that no one should be surprised at the distortions, inaccuracies and derogatory statements contained in the most recent article by Jen Roytz with quotes from Bev Strauss.

    If anyone thought Jen Roytz would do any fact checking, how often do you get that with someone who describes their “specialties” on Linked In as “brand strategy development, advertising, marketing, public relations, media relations” and finally her last but not least self-description “creative conceptualization”. Unbiased? Research oriented? I think not. What she terms “specialties” were honed within the Thoroughbred racing industry. Inbred bias posing as journalism.

    Bev Strauss insulted not just Joy Aten but hundreds of formal rescues and private individuals who despise racing but for decades have rescued horses bred by this industry using their own funds without salaries. A 2008 article in the New York Times described how Strauss “. . . will try to outbid the “kill buyers”, the people buying horses for up to $500 to take to slaughterhouses. Or she will approach them after the auction and offer a few dollars more than they paid. She has no disdain for these people, she said. They are part of the system.”. She stated to the New York Times she had no disdain for kill buyers? They are part of the system? What system? She was buying only racehorses so clearly the “system” she accepts is the racing “system” of disposing of their racehorses. She knows, as do we, why the Jockey Club, the NTRA, the HBPA, TOBA and all the other alphabet soup organizations both national and regional and local do not put their dollars, their lobbyists, their public efforts to encourage petitions and calls to Congress to end horse slaughter because it is precisely as Bev Strauss explained: Kill buyers, slaughterhouses — there’s no disdain for these people because they are part of the system — a system the racing industry has never ever worked to end by passing anti-slaughter legislation. If they did, none of this would be a problem, would it? Blaming anyone but the racing industry that bred these horses so they can make their 40 billion dollars on their backs and broken legs that were then too unlucky to die on the track so go to their slaughter system is nothing but inbred bias yet again. Ahhh, but we have to understand just how inbred this industry is. MidAtlantic Thoroughbred Rescue receives funds from racing’s Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and in order to receive racing’s “hush money”, her rescue must agree to their Code of Standards which states recipients must: “Portray all media via press release, Internet, articles or interviews with a positive outlook on Thoroughbred aftercare and the racing industry.” Perhaps Jen Roytz would like to do an article on how that hush money is not “creative conceptualization”?

    Above I mentioned Jen Roytz failure to check her facts but the same must be said for Bev Strauss. I founded CANTER in 1997, the first racehorse rescue to ever rescue horses directly from their stalls at the track so they could avoid a kill pen and slaughterhouse. Shortly thereafter Joy Aten became a volunteer and then a board member. She was Chair of the Track Committee at Great Lakes Downs. We were intaking over 100 racehorses a year from that one Michigan racetrack and every one received a complete veterinary exam if not on the farm then at Michigan State University Large Animal Hospital by the chief of staff and equine orthopedic surgeon. It was clear Bev Strauss never even “Googled” Joy’s name yet makes the comment: “It’s the vigilante types . . .[that] don’t understand that it wasn’t racing connections that put the horse in the bad spot.” and further “They fancy themselves professional Facebook horse rescuers, but they don’t do anything constructive to help support the horse long term.” If either Bev Strauss or Jen Roytz had acted in a professional manner, the very first entry on Google would have proven how wrong they are and they could not have proceeded with their pro-racing “marketing”, “public relations”, “media relations” and “creative conceptualization” with reference to Joy Aten’s actions in this or any other rescue of racing’s horses.

    • Jo Anne, you hit the nail on the head regarding Strauss’ insult. I’m not bothered by her slight of me because she’s not the first racing apologist nor will she be the last that throws slurs at those of us who just simply love the horses and work hard to help them – we gain absolutely nothing by choosing this difficult cause. But to insult “Facebook horse rescuers”, as she maliciously calls those who do whatever they can to help a horse in need! – I know that when we plead for help, I am grateful for every dollar someone donates and I appreciate there are many individuals who have only a dollar TO give! Most folks don’t have a trailer to transport, or a barn to offer shelter, or the contacts to find either. But those “Facebook horse rescuers” are crucial to the rescue of the countless discarded racehorses we see on social media day after day. Which brings up the question – why is there even a need for the faithful “Facebook horse rescuers”? And of course, we all know the answer to that.

  5. sharla sanders a “horse savior” ? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha works for one of the biggest dopers & horse killers on the track , isnt that a hoot for them all . she is nothing but a racetrack wanna be whore monger , it wouldnt matter what horse killer she worked for as long as she was rubbing elbows with her “dream” people – the horse doping murderers themselves , they are all so SICK .

    • Lexi63, thank you for your post. The facts were elusive for Ms. Roytz (they usually are when you are only interested in one side of the story) but suffice it to say that the first TWO requests that Joy Aten posted on the Doug O’Neill Racing Stable FB page were removed. Here is Joy’s first request, and I quote….”This is Dr. Mohrbacher – he is currently owned and in the possession of kill buyer Brian Moore. He needs your help, Doug O’Neill…racehorse advocates are inundated with trying to rescue racehorse cast-offs and there is NO ONE for Dr. Mohrbacher. Will YOU help your former horse?” There is absolutely nothing harassing or insulting in that plea yet it was removed by Sanders who states the next day in an email reply to Joy that she manages their social media “…and the posting was not appropriate for our page.” A plea for help wasn’t appropriate for O’Neill’s page? Really? Roytz never mentions, nor does Sharla Rae Sanders, that the first TWO posts were removed. That would give any reasonable person an indication that O’Neill wasn’t interested in helping a horse that he formerly trained. Oh, and Roytz can’t even get her dates straight. Joy posted her first plea on June 3rd, not June 4th, but who cares when there is a story to be told. It is best not to let the facts get in the way of that good story! Professional journalists know to check, and then double check, their facts so perhaps Roytz is still learning the ropes when it come to UNBIASED and ACCURATE reporting.

      Also, one must not miss reading the comments to Roytz’s story. From Delrene…”I applaud the efforts of Doug O’Neill’s team and especially Sharla Rae for making every effort and beyond for taking responsible care of their horses and keeping track of their whereabouts.” Wow! Sanders didn’t even know that Dr. Mohrbacher had been dead for six years and Sanders initially declined to help! Then we have a Rebekah Lane…”These people defame trainers and former owners without knowing the facts of the horse’s situation.” Really, Ms. Lane? The horse was with a contract kill buyer, Brian Moore, That, my dear, is a fairly serious situation. Oh, and how did Joy “defame” O’Neill? She posted two pleas on his FB page? Just another lie spewing from the mouth of Ms. Lane. However, hasn’t O’Neill done some “defaming” of himself? Here is a perfect example. In fact, many people call him Drug O’Neill and one of my contacts in racing calls him Drug O’Needle.

      Oh, and then we have the infamous Barry Irwin who “…commends Doug O’Neill for his efforts and enjoyed reading about Sharla.” Does Irwin know that Sanders initially refused to help? Does he know that the first TWO of Joy’s post were deleted from DON’s FB page? Good ole Irwin doesn’t stop there. He goes in for a really good dig when he states that he “…can honestly say that the worst people I have ever encountered in any equine world have surfaced from the cesspool of the rescue world.” Talk about a slam! Good job, Irwin! With that comment, I will assume that Irwin can be counted on to pick up the thousands of discarded racehorses that have nowhere to go when their racing days are over. No one, including Irwin, should work with anyone from the “cesspool of the rescue world.” Hmmm….I wonder why Irwin doesn’t consider O’Neill from the cesspool of the racing world. Perhaps that Derby win has something to do with it! Finally, if there are so many “good” people in racing, Irwin, why do rescuers even need to exist? Can’t you do what is right for the horses that make YOU money? If YOU, and your colleagues did the right thing for the horses, there wouldn’t be any need for rescuers, got it?

      I have a lot more to say on this “story” written by Roytz starting with the title which, in my opinion, is not only sensationalistic but simply not true….”When Helping is Hurting.” No one was “hurt” by any of the events going back to early June…Sharla Rae Sanders wasn’t hurt. In fact, she garnered herself a few days in the limelight. O’Neill wasn’t hurt and the misidentified horse was “saved” by those who truly cared. I have been involved in rescue for many years and there is no “cookie cutter” answer to the “perfect” rescue. Every situation is different. Even those with minimal intelligence should realize that.

      • In all fairness to ms sanders she at first was way too stupid to be able to keep up with these slick talking , lying, sneeky horse dumping , killing bastards ( horse trainers), at the top of this list of course is the head doper himself ,better known as Drug O’Needle with those familiar with him , & with the list of positive tests to back it up, , & ms sanders was after all a “horse savior” hired by the slickster himself to try to save his floundering reputation as the head doper & to instill public confidence that he is “not a doper” or “dumper” but instead he hired sanders to say to the public , “see i’m a horse lover”, see who works for me, sharla sanders & she “saves” horses ! ( after so many positive & overage drug tests most think this man should be in jail not given license’s to mame & kill more horses – , The news media can’t keep up with his doping record, which started way back & follows him year after year after year with the industry giving him nothing but a slap on his behind for the massive ( “legal” overages & ILLEGAL doping that they all know goes on, an article on horse doping can not be mentioned without his name coming up, that is how prolific it is in his barn , then along comes ms wanna be sanders who so desperately wants to mingle with the race trackers & ms sanders i do think started out wanting to save animals , But who is gonna save the horses from her now ? So all these years later ms sanders has either had to pick up on the horse doping & dumping ways of these criminals , especially in a huge dumping & doping barn like o’neils or she is the dumbest person on the face of the earth , i vote for her as one of the most disgusting people on the face of the earth posing now just like a race horse trainer ” I love them all” as she loads them on the vans to mexico to be slaughtered one by one by three., thereis no way o save the amount of horses these people go through , its impossible..

      • Interesting comment by Mr. Irwin, Mary. I wonder if he remembers when I contacted him, needing assistance to reach a colleague of his – I’ve got our correspondence saved from January of 2013. In the end (one of the fastest rescues I’ve ever been involved in), the horse was acquired and just in time. Even though he had raced only 3 weeks prior to his RESCUE, he was in such horrific shape that the farm vet was not certain he would even survive. The individual Mr. Irwin helped me to contact, and who covered the expenses and arranged the retirement home, requested I keep his/her name confidential and I have done so to this day. I will always be grateful for the help that I requested and received for this horse – but why was it someone who never even laid eyes on the horse, who never made a dime from his labors, and who carefully followed him to ensure he didn’t disappear, putting forth the effort to save his life? The claims that racehorses “slip through the cracks” are tired and old…they don’t slip through cracks, they are simply forgotten.

  6. Pro-horse racing people like Ms. Roytz make huge salaries to defend the dumping of this despicable industry.
    Ms. Roytz – why don’t you cough up some of your salary to help pay for the 3 OTTB’s we rescued from a kill buyer?
    Their prior racehorse breeders, owners, and connections are wealthy and didn’t give one dime to either rescue them or pay for their upkeep.
    Instead, about 3 of us all pitch in to keep them going every month.
    We had nothing to do with their exploitation because it’s the horse racing industry who caused this unwanted horse problem to begin with. Nobody else is to blame. I don’t care who did the dumping because it’s the horse racing industry that bred these horses to fill races and increase wagering then dump them when they couldn’t grease the wagering wheels anymore.
    So Ms. Roytz why don’t you come out of your pristine office setting, get your butt over here, pick up a pitch fork come and muck some stalks, put a lead shank on them, lead them out to pasture
    (Yes we made sure they have a pasture unlike the horse racing dumpers), turn them out, then go to the feed store, buy some feed, get that pretty little French manicure full of manure while your doing the real work required to take care of a living breathing sentiment being.
    Come on out – I dare you.
    Then cancel your hair/mani/pedi appointment like we all do every month to scrape up enough to properly care for these dumped horses.
    I guess your fat salary will allow for payment of board, upkeep, and your pretty little finger nails right?

    • Gina, I doubt if Roytz makes a huge salary writing for Paulick but I could be wrong. What I have found to be so disappointing is that I have communicated with Roytz in the past, and she and I have never had a cross word in spite of the fact that we are on opposite sides of the racing issue. In fact, a few years ago, I was planning on visiting Overbrook since a very dear friend’s son-in-law leases part of that farm and I reached out to Jen to see if she would give me a tour of Three Chimneys while I was in the area. Jen and I communicated back and forth and I believe we actually had a weekend planned for her to give me a tour of TC, but, as the time grew near, she informed me that the new management at TC had let her go. I immediately reached out to her and offered to help her network. She wanted to stay in the Lexington area. Since I am good friends with someone whose dad once owned the farm where Native Dancer was foaled, I knew that Dan would be a valuable source of networking opportunities. Jen seemed very appreciative and thanked me for the offer but it never went further than that.

      Yesterday, I emailed Jen and asked her to do the right thing and clear up the inaccuracies in her story. This morning she accused me of being “rude”. Laughable, at best! It is clear to all of us that Joy is the “target” in Jen’s “story.” I find it incomprehensible that Jen would put a story out there with so many fabrications without checking to see if the facts were correct. Again, I have never had a problem with her and would have considered her to be a “professional”, but I have been wrong before. It always amazes me that when a racing supporter is caught with their “pants down”, they immediately begin to deflect away from the real issue and the name calling begins. When I think about it, her response was actually predictable. Jen has said that, since she writes for Paulick’s site, she must speak with him and she is awaiting a reply. Let’s now hope that Paulick does the right thing and has Roytz check into the “other” side of the story. Why? Because it is the right thing to do!

      • Mary, thanks for some clarification.
        Anybody that makes the choice to receive any salary, not only Ms. Roytz, based on the exploitation of a racehorse seems to deliberately avoid the obvious.
        There’s no pro-horse racing participant and/or supporter that can deny the facts that a racehorse is a victim of the necessary operating procedures which are beating/whipping, doping, dying, and dumping.
        There’s no amount of money that can justify this ongoing cruelty of a racehorse – none.
        There’s no excuse for this multi-billion dollar industry to continually deny a safe retirement to the racehorses that generate the profit.
        I’m sure you would agree, and probably add to this Mary.

  7. Joy et al, I’m so proud of people like you who go out of their way to assist these poor dumped racehorses.
    It’s people like you who are their last straw of hope before being loaded onto a slaughterhouse truck for their perilous journey.
    I curse every time the horse racing industry boasts about their record wagering revenue.
    I curse when I see the owners go out and buy another one for hundreds of thousands of dollars when we have just reached out to them to help with one they just dumped.
    I curse when I read about the 20,000+ foals born every year while there are already thousands waiting for homes or being loaded onto slaughterhouse bound trucks.
    Provides racing participants and supporters constantly blame everybody else for the mess that they create.
    They blame PETA, they blame anti-horse racing people like myself, they blame the government for reducing their endless money trough, and they blame other casinos.
    The list goes on and on.
    They feel entitled to everybody else’s money to financially support them.
    They are irresponsible who never solve the unwanted horse problem that they create.
    They deliberately perpetuate lies and deception on the unsuspecting public..
    They exploit both horses, people, and society as a whole while wrecking havoc and leaving a trail of dying horses.
    Horse racing is nothing but a cruelty circus, and death camp from start to finish.
    Everybody else is expected to save them, except for those who created the mess in the first place.
    What a despicable bunch of abusers and hoodlums.

  8. What ? We can’t believe the users and abusers ? So shocking. I love the use of the word vigilantes for those who have a soul, I have a word for them too – miscreants. They are greedy bottom feeders who are so selfish and soulless, they abuse and discount the very animal that they live off of like parasites. They would not know the truth if it whipped them in the face.

  9. Exactly Tracy.
    They are too busy whipping/beating their profit slaves (racehorses) to spare the rod for their own irresponsible and entitled business mode.
    These people are heartless scums who make billions off of these non-consenting participants.
    After beating and doping them then they dump them.
    They wash their bloody hands of the living breathing racehorse once they can no longer generate profit.
    The dirty work and the mess that they cause?
    That’s left up to people who had nothing to do with the exploitation to begin with in most cases.
    For all the billions they make little or nothing is contributed to their aftercare needs.
    Moreover, many of these racehorses are no longer profitable because they are broken.
    Either their physical, mental and/or spiritual being is broken.
    In many cases all three aspects are apparent.
    This cruelty circus leaves a trail of broken horses and people.
    There are very few homes available for good horses let alone horses with special needs and huge vet bills like most coming off the track.
    These racehorses are nothing more than a disposable commodity.
    There’s only one thing that should be disposed of, and its this cruelty circus, and death camp commonly referred to as horse racing.

    • Gina, you’re so right…“Moreover, many of these racehorses are no longer profitable because they are broken. Either their physical, mental and/or spiritual being is broken. In many cases all three aspects are apparent. There are very few homes available for good horses let alone horses with special needs and huge vet bills like most coming off the track.” Yes, everything you mentioned is correct! – the racehorses come off the track “broken”, there are not enough homes, and may I add, the industry does a horrific job of providing for their broken “athletes”! Just recently, I’ve seen a few apologists praise the industry for the assistance some racing entities have offered for the starving horses Maria Borell and her father abandoned…as they SHOULD. There is so much about this tragic situation that incriminates the industry, but to address just one issue and in regards to the funds now needed for these mistreated horses – why did it take so long for an industry member to step up and SAY something and WHY is there a need to solicit funds from the public? Every single Thoroughbred on that farm should be supported by the industry that created them.

      But again, there are not enough homes. Even the TAA-accredited organizations, we have found over the last few months, are full to the gills and cannot intake more horses. This past January, I reached out to TROT, a Florida-based Thoroughbred racehorse “retirement” program regarding a mare in need and was told they were “currently full”. A particular TROT board member is very critical of HWR and its supporters –in light of her insults, I decided to take a look at TROT’s website to see if her current barbs were at all warranted. The following is some of what I found there…now remember, this is an organization that SUPPORTS horse racing;

      -“We are at capacity and are not accepting horses into our program.”

      -“It’s our hope and goal that we will have the funding in the future to help any horse that raced at Tampa Bay Downs.”

      -“Horses [donated to the organization] must be riding sound (or be riding sound once given time to rehab from any injuries) and able to be turned out. This is crucial as all horses will be re-homed. Horses with neurological issues, joint infections or acute degenerative joint disease will not have a good future and are often euthanized.”

      -“By the time they are retired, most horses will have some sort of physical issue.”

      -“Those who are seeking a big, sound horse for jumping may wish to consider other adoption programs or options.”

      -“At the end of the probationary period, the horse may be sold but with certain conditions as we have a strict no racing, no auction, no slaughter policy that applies to the horse’s lifetime…”

      -“To protect the horses from ever racing again, TROT will maintain possession of the registration papers for the lifetime of the horse.”

      WAIT A MINUTE…to PROTECT the horses from racing again? Isn’t that what they were bred and born to do? Isn’t what they LOVE to do? And did you catch their three big NO’S? – no slaughter, no auctions, no racing. Telling.

      Then I looked at the horses available for adoption…of the six listed, FIVE are “companion only” horses.

      Frightening. All of it. Yet these apologists support an industry that discards more horses than they can intake. That doesn’t adequately fund them. That leaves them to euthanize the more severely injured. That damages “most horses”. That fills them up with $250 “pasture pets”. It’s no wonder they don’t allow the horses to race again…but they still support it?? Such a disconnect.

      • Joy – so true. Everything you say is the truth about the plight of unwanted racehorses.
        On the farm I’m currently boarding on the owner rescues racehorses.
        She doesn’t keep them permanently, but spends a tremendous amount of money, and time rehabilitating them.
        She then finds them a long term home or tries.
        She just got 3 last week – absolutely heartbreaking the sorry sight and horrific condition they were in .
        One didn’t make it. Her and her husband spent $1000 on vet bills and they only had the gelding for 8 hours!
        He was completely broken – physically, mentally, and spiritually.
        All 3 came from Woodbine, all 3 were at a holding facility that has lots there, but depends on Longrun for funds according to the lady at the holding facility.
        The funds have stopped coming and this older lady is stuck with about 20 thoroughbreds that have been sent to her. She’s dispersing them. So obvious they haven’t been fed in months.
        They were walking skeletons.
        However, silence is golden in this industry, and Kelly was told not to report her or they wouldn’t have a chance at rescue. She agreed.
        Of course nobody reports the super rich taxpayer funded racetrack Woosbine or their Owner/Trainers who dump these horses on a regular basis.
        Anyways, one died from colic. His body shut down. It couldn’t handle the stress of being neglected anymore.
        What a sorry sight. Another disposable commodity of this industry.
        The chestnut gelding that made it was from the Attard family (the “good” folks of horse racing) ridden by Emma Wilson, and made $286,000 a multiple stakes placed racehorse who also generated thousands at the wagering windows.
        This gelding made money for everybody, but was dumped.
        Not one of them gave one dime when contacted about the condition of the horse.
        I have the names of the racehorses, I have pics, but the owner where I board asked me not to publish them because she feels that she is their only hope and that Woodbine will block her from their holding facility.
        I must respect that.
        The mare is totally crippled. Her back legs are gone, and her feet are so sore she can hardly walk.
        They basically ran her into the ground while she generated profit for this despicable cruelty circus.
        I can’t bare to watch her walk. She’s in such pain.
        Quite frankly, I suggested they humanely euthanize her but Kelly said NO.
        When I left the barn last night she was soaking her feet in Epsom salts and giving pain meds.
        These are just a few of the discarded profit slaves of this despicable industry.
        Like I’ve always maintained on this blog – every single racehorse is subjected to the operating procedures of this industry which are whipping/beating, doping, dying and/or dumping.
        It doesn’t matter where they came from – opulence or small scale they are all subjected to the ongoing abusive whipping and doping.
        Just think that another 20,000+ foals will be born to generate profit and then be disposed of like so many others that’s IF they make it off the track alive.
        I can’t think of any other business in this country that receives huge amounts of corporate welfare or taxpayers money together ate such carnage.
        There are no amount of jobs (their Ace card) that’s worth such destruction.
        The destruction continues at the slaughterhouse which is a modern day environmental disaster.
        From the starting gate to the finish line there isn’t anything good about this antiquated business model.
        The greyhounds are finally getting shut down after years of abuse and destruction the horse racing industry should be next.

  10. Oh, good ol’ Sharla Rae again, champion to rehoming racehorses as long as she gets the accolades. Does anyone know what happened to her former organization, The Second Race? More importantly, does anyone know what happened to the horses she had once the CHRB was involved in trying to obtain $43,516 in back board for those donated horses back in 2012? Were previous owners contacted and did any take them back? Because $43,516 is board for a LOT of horses. Or was it just another case of everyone patting themselves on the back, horse’s actual futures be damned?

    • Wow I have no clue who Sharla Rae is, but I do know she tried to rescue and rehome racehorses that the industry dumps.
      Organizations that are pro-horse racing, like the CHRB, should pay for unwanted horses.
      They pay huge salaries to their Board members who, out of all pressing matters, finds the time to increase the number of whips on their profit slaves.
      You pro-horse racing people want everybody else to clean up your mess while you are corporate welfare recipients of taxpayers money, casino money or any other source, but yourselves.
      All this going on while racehorses are dying for $2 bets.
      Then, when some Good Samaritan steps up to clean up the mess of unwanted racehorses that this industry creates – they are attacked, and criticized such as Joy in a article by Ms. Roytz.
      You pro-horse racing supporters and participants are users, and parasites.
      Horses are dying for $2 bets. These are undisputed facts.
      That’s after their whipped/beaten, and most likely doped.
      This is a despicable industry that has no place in the 21st century.

      • your facts on ms sanders are misguided, do the research, she is nothing but a wanna be race tracker who’s “rescue” & the horses involved floundered under her mishandling & she ended up in one of the biggest doping & dumping barns on the backside of any racetrack in the U.S , hence her intentions to rub elbows with the scum of the earth from the start, she made it ! how sickening for the horses.

    • 4Sox, I have no problem calling Ms. Sanders out on her lies and she did lie when interviewed for this story on the horse misidentified as Dr. Mohrbacher. Also, thank you for the info on the back board issue. I went to the CHRB (California Horse Racing Board) site and found the following information on Sanders going back to April, 2012.

      A financial complaint was filed by Shirley Kimball, “SK Racing Stable” in the amount of $43,516.98 against Sharla Sanders dba “The Second Race.” According to the complaint, Sanders had boarded horses at SK Racing Stables since April, 2010, and agreed that she has accumulated a board bill in the above amount. After much discussion, a financial settlement was reached. I, too, would like to know where EVERY single horse is that she took into her program….EVERY single one!

      Sanders is employed by Doug O’Neill. Just Google his name and drug violation after drug violation pops up. Sanders must be mighty proud to be Operations Manager for someone who has a less then stellar reputation when it comes to drugs being administered to horses trained by him yet she claims that “damage” was done in regards to the horse misidentified as DM. Damage may have been done but it was NOT done by those involved with saving this horse who was with a contract kill buyer. O’Neill has done the damage to himself.

  11. I can’t understand how people like Joy, Mary, and others continually rescue the racehorses that this industry dumps while maintaining their sanity.
    I must admit. I’ve lost mine on many occasions, and then I had to focus on the living, breathing being standing in front of me just wanting a kind hand, bedded down stall, fresh water, and some good grain.
    They are innocent victims of this despicable cruelty circus, and death camp.
    There’s no hard rules as to what racehorses end up getting saved, and what racehorses end up on the slaughterhouse truck.
    I think it’s just being in the right place at the right time with the right person who is their only hope.
    People like Joy, Mary, myself and others.
    That said, there isn’t any way to save them from dying in the dirt on a racetrack.
    As we all know now, thanks to Patrick, racehorses dying on tracks for $2 bets is a fact, and it’s totally unacceptable, but so is this entire antiquated business model.
    It has no place in the 21st century.

  12. I continue to find some of the comments, on the Paulick Report, to be extremely hateful and also untruthful and I will now address one of those who has commented. This is from a Nicole R…

    “He was purchased and was safe even as Joy Aten continued to harass O’Neill, a former jockey’s wife and anyone else she could think of.”

    I suspect that Nicole R is actually Nicole Russell, a racing wannabe from Texas who certainly isn’t the sharpest tack in the box. In a short sentence, Russell has lied multiple times. First of all, I am the person who reached out to a former jockey’s wife asking her for assistance in regards to contacting Doug O’Neill. It was NOT Joy! I received this individual’s email from one of my contacts at Belmont Park and I sent her TWO messages, the first one asking for contact info and the second apologizing for inconveniencing her since the horse had been misidentified. Therefore, Russell is a liar. Joy did NOT continue to harass a former jockey’s wife. Now, Russell doesn’t stop there. Remember…one must NEVER let the facts get in the way of a good story. Russell accuses Joy of harassing “anyone else she could think of.” Really? Who did Joy Aten harass? Absolutely no one. In fact, the ONLY person Joy communicated with was Sharla Rae Sanders who deleted the first TWO posts on Drug O’Neill’s FB page when Joy first reached out for help. So, just in case Russell is still confused by the truth, Joy and I have EVERY single email in regards to this situation. There were no phone calls so everything can easily be documented but I personally believe that Russell doesn’t give a damn about the truth. The truth isn’t as sensational as the lies that the racing supporters spew.

    Russell then posts, publicly, that. “…Joy Aten and Mary Johnson…do more harm than good with your b.s. harassment tactics.” What a freaking liar! No one was harassed. If Russell thinks differently, then certainly she can provide WRITTEN documentation. Joy apologized to Sharla Rae Sanders, Sanders accepted the apology and that apology was posted on DONRS’s FG page. I have an email where Sanders ACCEPTS the apology in case Russell is still confused. Of course, let’s not forget that Sanders told multiple lies in Roytz’s story and I have reached out to Ray Paulick and asked him to PUBLICLY correct those inaccuracies. We will see how Paulick responds.

    Again, Russell just can’t stop her babbling. Joy and I “do more harm than good.” Can she provide documentation? Of course she can’t. Russell has no clue how many horses Joy and I have saved over the years, working together or working independently. She is clueless but, again, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    Russell is a nobody who desperately wants to be a somebody. Several years ago, she and I had a conversation where she stated that she never saw lame horses coming back from a race. I remember being truly astounded by her ignorance, so I asked her why horses ran on bute if none of them were injured/lame. I don’t recall her response but suffice it to say that Russell knows little about horses and certainly doesn’t have a veterinary degree. This is a quote from a track vet…”u can’t tell shit about the soundness of a horse immediately after a race unless it’s broke down completely.” Perhaps Russell can learn from this vet.

    There are many haters in horseracing and Russell is just one of those. She doesn’t know me personally and she doesn’t know Joy, but she spews pure hate. Since she hates us so much, I would strongly suggest that she get up off her butt, work long, hard hours and save up her nickels and her dimes since there are thousands of horses that need help and they need it now. Joy and I no longer need to help the horses discarded by racing because Russell will be in the trenches day in and day out. Oh, and I’ll bet, if my eight “rescued” horses could talk, that they would disagree with Russell in regards to “us” doing more harm than good. I would venture to guess that they would challenge the “hater”…Ms. Russell.

  13. Mary, your comment exposes the dirty world of horse racing, and the individuals who support it.
    All the lies are all too common, but so is the deception.
    This industry, and its supporters do everything will say anything to maintain the delusion.
    They are such scum that they even attack people who clean up their mess of unwanted racehorses.
    This industry exploits both racehorses, and people.
    The exploitation is extended beyond this cruelty circus, and death camp.
    They convince the unsuspecting public, our local governments, and media that racehorses killed in action for $2 bets is totally acceptable.
    Their tactics even exploit compassionate people, who had nothing to do with the exploitation, to clean up their ugly mess.
    It’s infuriating that our government financially supports this death camp, and cruelty circus.
    This is the dirty world of horse racing.

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