Owners “Disgusted” by the Death of Their 2-Year-Old – But at What?

Dangerous Star, two, is dead after breaking down in the 3rd at Woodbine (Canada) Saturday. Nothing unusual there: multiple horses are killed on North American tracks every single day. What did catch my eye was this from owners Al and Bill Ulwelling:

So I guess the question to the Misters Ulwelling is this: Whence comes the disgust? Is it for dollars lost or for this industry at large? I see by your Equibase profile that this wasn’t your first rodeo (yes, that’s a deliberate reference to another vile-to-the-core business). With almost 2,000 starts and over $7 million in earnings, surely you’ve seen your share of death at the track. So if indeed your disgust is at yet another intelligent life snuffed, for gambling, will it be enough to effect a change, to withdraw from the cruelty and killing – to renounce horseracing for good? Here’s hoping…


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  1. Heartbreaking — this industry MUST be SHUT DOWN! — A great majority of horses are worked to DEATH — 24/7 from the day they’re born, day-in, day-out, they WORK, WORK, WORK for the money-making machine — everyone benefits EXCEPT the horse — our sweet, magnificent horse!

  2. The problem with this industry begins BEFORE the babies are born. They’re bred for speed, NOT durability. It’s no wonder their bones shatter under pressure. Then there’s the nurse mare foals, who are just so much “trash” and treated as such. There is no regard for any of the lives of any of the horses, the ones who suffer and die to further line the pockets of their owners. Then, there’s the fact that no horse should have anything, especially a human, on their backs until they are 5 years old (new scientific evidence that their skeletal structures are not matured until then). These are babies that are being literally worked to death! I could go on, but I think you get the picture. This industry is nothing but legalized betting and animal abuse and needs to be shut down!!

    • Trainers and vets known for decades, that horses are not fully grown until about the age of 5. All these years, horses have been forced to race on unformed joints. Little wonder they break down! You’re right, it IS abuse!

  3. I just looked for the Ulwillings on Twitter. There’s no one there under those names. No surprise there-they probably deleted their account. I was going to tell them, you race a horse before its even done growing, this is what you get. I’m no horsewoman, not by far, but it seemed to me, Rise Above It was bobbling a bit well before she broke down. I saws her head dip at least once, while along that grey. I think her jockey should’ve gotten her to the outside of the track right there and then, and slowed her to a stop. Maybe she’d be alive still-but I doubt it. If her jockey had seen this, and gotten her stopped, she’d probably be in a slaughterhouse by now. I just became aware that Justify was retired. Apparently, the colt has a swollen ankle they can’t get to go down, and Baffert is afraid to race him. Well, at last Baffert is showing some brains, in refusing to race an unwell horse, or dope it onto the track. More likely, the owners were afraid Justify would break down this fall on a track, and deprive them of all those millions the horse will make them as a stallion. All the same, you race a young, still growing horse like Justify as hard as he was raced this spring, and this is what you get. Unhealthy joints that stay swollen, and probably, sore. If this colt hadn’t won the Triple Crown, at the best, they’d have probably have gelded him and sold him for a jumper, or a trail horse. AT the BEST. AT worst, he’d also be at the slaughterhouse.

  4. The human species has a long way to go before the majority view animals as fellow life forms, different but equally deserving of life and respect. All most people do is eat, wear and exploit animals in various sports to make money off of them. A handful of good people are working to make things better and truly care, but the vast majority of people are selfish, stupid, worthless money-grubbing entities that either actively do harm or almost as bad, do nothing. Horseracing is a perfect example of humankind at its worst. It needs to end.

  5. Because of Patrick’s website horseracingwrongs I have totally turned against horse racing There were also a good undercover video of the Steve Asmussen/Scott Blasi barn. It was eye opening. I was just telling my friend who still likes horse racing just how abusive it is to the horses.

    • Thank you, Richard – I wish more people would make the choice you have! We thank you…and the HORSES would thank you if they could!

      (Yes, the PETA video…Asmussen and Blasi should have been disciplined – prevented from being around any horse the remainder of their lives. Instead, Asmussen gets inducted into the HOF, I believe, and little Blasi is industry-employed, once again.)

  6. I used to go to the races all the time especially Saratoga or Del Mar if I was in California.
    Somebody told me about this blog, which I looked at.
    Then I Google horse racing and up came the undercover PETA video.
    There were also lots of other facts on other sites.
    All of this, had completely turned me against horse racing.
    I will never support it again.
    They are running their own private horror show with little to no oversight.
    I can’t believe that people actually permit the abusive practices of this business on their racehorses.
    There’s no way that these people “care” or treat them like “family members.”
    They are all disgusting and I feel so bad for the racehorses now.

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