Bits of Animal Cruelty From California

Some notes from recent California State Fair (Sacramento) Stewards Minutes:

July 15, “There were no on-track ‘heat’ related incidents today. Highest heat index, less the wind factor, was 121 for the second race.”


July 22, “Today [Chester] Bonnet explained that he had concerns about the soundness of his mount down the backstretch and into the lane but did not take any actions to pull the horse up. …Bonnet was admonished that should he determine his mount is not physically able to give its best then he should take the horse out of the race rather than relax his efforts in late stretch and hope for the best.”


July 29, “Jockey PEDRO TERRERO who rode the horse MY FRIEND GEORGE in the eighth race at [Sacramento] on July 23, 2017 is fined the sum of $500.00 for causing a welt on the flank… The above ruling was issued after Jockey Terrero appeared and reviewed replays of the race in question and photos of the welts on MY FRIEND GEORGE who won the eighth race… Mr. Terrero was very contrite and apologized.”

$500 for animal cruelty, but all’s good – he apologized.

July 30, “Jockey JUAN E. SANCHEZ who rode the horse HIGH GREELY in the third race at Golden Gate on September 4, 2016 is fined the sum of $500.00 for causing a welt on the flank… Sanchez remembered seeing the pictures back in September of last year and agreed to the fine. Investigator Mulligan said that the case fell through the cracks, which is why we are hearing it eleven months after the incident.”

“Fell through the cracks.”


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  1. What a joke!
    A $500 fine is chicken feed to these jockeys. Where I am, it’s not uncommon for trainers and owners to instruct jockeys to get stuck into the horse with the whip. Often the connections will pay for the fine.
    Reprimands, fines and suspensions ( 5-14 days) have been proven to be ineffective and are not deterrents.
    If a jockey was suspended for 3 or more months, it might be effective as a deterrent but that will never happen. Why? Because the racing authorities haven’t got the guts or desire to take such action. Further, the jockeys, trainers, owners et al condone this brutal and violent abuse of these magnificent horses.
    Whipping tired horses when they’re going as fast as they can is abhorrent. Clearly it’s an act of animal cruelty and should be treated as such. If I whipped my horse, as a jockey does in a race, in full view of the public just outside a racetrack, I would be charged with animal cruelty.
    Why are jockeys not charged with animal cruelty?
    Exactly, Patrick! These apologies by the jockeys are meaningless and they have the audacity to think that when they ‘apologise’ the matter is concluded. It’s an insult. And the racing officials go along with it.
    And in the meantime, the horses continue to suffer from being cruelly whipped.
    This is horseracing.

  2. WHY WHY WHY are we even talking about this in the 21st century?
    It’s utterly despicable that the continued whipping/beating of a most likely sore/tired racehorse is permissible, and actually up for discussion.
    It shouldn’t even be allowed nor should these hell holes exist.
    Shut horse racing down NOW.
    Get rid of the disgusting lot – stock and barrel.
    It’s rotten to the core, and it will never change.
    The non-consenting racehorses are victims caught up in this macabre demented freak show.

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