“A Terrible Thing to Watch”

The death of Follow the Petals, Laurel Park, June 16. Is this what is to pass for entertainment in 21st Century America?

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  1. Can’t watch it.
    Won’t watch it.
    Then again, I’ve seen YEARS’ worth of this carnage, and it’s constituted all of my nightmares for the past decade. Even still images of horse races cause a sickening feeling in me. The only upside(s) to my exposure to the horrors of this non-sport is my awareness to the plight of all of these poor thoroughbreds and my determination to do what I can to help end the abuse. If that means ending racing altogether — and obviously, it does — then let the banning begin.

  2. Sickening to watch – pushing this horse beyond her limitations. The thoroughbred racehorse gives his all, more than 100% – being a prey animal he’s self-preservation 24/7 and therefore does his utmost to stay alive in whatever circumstances he’s placed in. He is subservient, has no voice and at the mercy of the human animals.

    Also sickening to watch were the horses suffering horrific breakdowns and death in the very recent CNN expose.
    Galloping at fast speed, suffering catastrophic injury, other horses falling over one another when one ahead breaks down, nowhere to go and running at fast speed and no doubt those fallen horses suffering terrible injuries and/or death.
    SICK!

  3. STOP the horse racing!!! These horses don‘t deserve this practice of torture and greed! These beautiful animals should not be racing to their deaths for these dark and evil, greedy humans to make them richer. 30 deaths so far at Santa Anita!! Does anybody feel their pain, receiving shuts of chemicals to increase their performance, it’s all artificial and not natural. Sure, and when they get injured, will just euthanize. Easy!! You bastards. The beauty of these horses is just way above your ugly and evil souls. STOP horse racing forever!!!!!!

  4. How could you witness that horrific demise of a beautiful innocent animal and still think this is a sport? My heart is just broken and so angry. I hope others are getting damn angry too. Thankyou, without you we wouldn’t have heard of Follow the Petals. Rest In Peace dear babe.

  5. All crying she says. Well I bet she goes back again to watch racing again even though it was a terrible thing. Better to get educated on really terrible it is. And stop dropping your money at the tracks

  6. People who engage in horseracing are actually breaking several NYS laws. The problem lies in the fact that it is not under the control of a legitimate law enforcement agency.

  7. I feel ill…this is called sport, but for who? The bettors, the managers and owners, the jockeys? Certainly not for the animals who have no choice about participating. Are evolving or devolving? After watching this, i’d say the latter.

  8. I agree with you all on here to whom want to “STOP/PUT AN END” to all forms/fashions of horse racing, which if this were successful, then yes…all forms/fashions/ways of racing horses would/will be “BANNED”!!! These poor purebred/thourobred horses to which people pay way much more for than anyone would spend on buying a typical house or vehicle….only to then be abused, whipped, starved, not given appropriate amounts of required food and water that they all require plus vet visits, shoe cleaning, grooming, cleaning up after, and the “love and care” from true loving people whom wish to rescue and remove as many of these abused and raced to death horses ASAP, it needs to be “DONE”!!!….this horse racing abusive bullshit!!!! Needs to “STOP”!!! And STOP RIGHT NOW….I agree with you all on this petition that we should not rest nor stop supporting this petition to possibly also put an end to horse racing forever….until it is DONE!!! End of story, right?

    Also, I used to do volunteer/not payed for by taking care of, cleaning up after, and feeding/watering/cleaning hooves/brushing/grooming, and riding the horses that I volunteered to help take care of, they too were abused, and treated very badly when I was not around because the woman whom owned them worried that if I saw her being cruel to any of her horses, she feared I would report her…so she was only nice when I was around but when I was not around or not doing volunteer work on any day or days, she continued to abuse her horses…one thing she did to them that I know of and saw her doing was: that everytime one or more of the horses if they put their heads and necks through the open spaces in between the barbed wire fence that she and her husband had around the while place/property…she would take her BB gun, and shoot them on the neck or in the butt if she could shoot them in the butt, and by her doing this..it caused for the horse/horses to jump so hard, that their necks got spiked/caught up in the metal barbs on the barbed wire fence which made them suffer even more, plus the effected horses had red bloody holes or even long gnashes/cuts so deep from when they were shot with her BB gun that they yanked so hard to get their necks out of the fence that the barbs literally caught into and cut those horses necks. It was disgusting for me to see this woman do that to her horses, and soon after I realized she was an evil, cruel woman whom treated her horses badly and abused them…I told my mom about everything cruel that I ever saw the woman do to her horses, and my mom said to me, don’t go work over there anymore! And so I never ever went back over there again.

    Also this woman was so mean and cruel to her horses that she made the other people(her family-young girls mainly..to whom were getting paid by their aunt for their work and supposed care of this woman’s horses. When I first worked there, as a volunteer, she had me sign a waver/liability form that states in no way or ways is the owner of these horses(which was this woman) was or is not responsible for any injuries or death from the results of working with any of her horses what so ever….now to me, this whole form was a bunch of “BULLSHIT”!!! As anyone whom own horses and truly loves and cares for them, would have liability forms that would say the opposite of what I had to sign, right?

    Anyhow, when I first started out, she assigned a horse to me, he was of a black stallion, whom though was not yet broken in because she said he was a “stubborn” horse, that refused for anyone whom mounted up on top of him to be able to break him, so in other words…she assigned to me the most dangerous horse she had to whom was still very much so more in his wild horse instincts….but however, when everyone saw that I was assigned to this most dangerous horse, they all looked at me and said to me…well, him….I wouldn’t even try to get near that damn stubborn horse, as even when we went to go put him in his stable and give him his food, he would stand up on his hind legs kicking and gnashing at them and at the gate on his stable. This dangerous horse even killed two of her workers whom were “professionally” trained to work with and deal with stubborn wild horses like him…but it did not work out between them and him at all.

    So when I went to go work with this wild stubborn not yet broken in horse, at first he looked me in the eyes and started to get uneasy and uncomfortable around me, and he wouldn’t let me get near him, as before I was told to attempt to ride him and try to break him in, first I got the brushes, and tools for cleaning out his hooves, I was shown as to how to do this by a licensed horse veterinarian and that went ok, as he did like the feeling of his hooves being relieved and cleaned of the hard mud, grass, and rocks to be cleaned out of his hooves…after this he seemed to calm down a bit and looked like he was happy, however though whenever I went to go brush him down and to brush out his mane to make it all smoothe, he jumped at then away from me when I touched him with the brush, then afterwards I talked to him calmly and looked him in the eyes saying to him: calm down boy, it’s ok…it’s gonna be ok, I’m not going to hurt you, and that talk did work and so I guess I had made a connection to this wild stubborn horse for me to be able to brush him out, as he did not allow for anyone but me to be able to both clean his hooves, and to brush him out.

    When it was finally time for me to put a saddle on his back, I was also shown by this same veterinarian as to how to do this…and oh this did not go well at all, as when after several attempts of trying to put the saddle on his back, every time we attempted this feat, he just went mad and kicked and bucked so hard until it broke loose from him…well only other option was the veterinarian said to me was: to get him into the horse arena and get him to stay up against the fence/railing of the arena, and use a step-ladder to gently step up on, all while slowly attempting to sit up on his back, the veterinarian and I were only able to get the reigns to stay inside of his mouth, so I at least had those to hold on to instead of me having to just beat with him and try to keep myself up on him by me only being able to grab ahold of his thick mane…so I was able to get up on top of this wild/dangerous/stubborn horse, but when I was shown to gently give a kick on him from where the back of my shoes were, he did not like that gesture by me, and as a result he started to run around and around in full circles around the arena at full speed, during this whole hiatus, he realized I was trying to ride him to which to him, meant that I would be able to break him of being the wild stubborn asshole of a horse he was at that time…well guess what?…,it only got worse from there, as he was running around at full speed, he also decided to include a bunch of hard jumping, kicking, and bucking, and standing up as tall as he could while I was still riding him….ugh that whole thing was a true nightmare to me, as he had somehow managed to “chew” the reigns from out of his mouth to which fell down on the dirt in the arena and it was broken, so…as a result of that…instincts told me to just grab around his neck completely with my arms and to lock my fingers tightly into both my hands and hold on as tightly as I could but without choking him in the process…so I did this for a good few hours, and I did not fall off of him that whole time as he tried everything in his power to buck me off of him…so after all he could do to try and buck me off did not work, he gave in to me but only because he was out of energy and he was tired…however when I noticed when he was tired, he took me into the shade underneath an oak tree, and there he kneeled down ever so genlty and layed there on his legs for a few minutes, and then when he felt rested enough, he got back up and just started to walk around the horse arena slowly and gently, and when the woman whom owned him and all her other horses out there came out to check on me, she said to me that she had expected for me to be injured with Beoken bones or dead from trying to deal with this wild stubborn horse….but no!!! Instead, she was wide eyed and awed/amazed that I had not a scratch on me from the whole ordeal, the woman looked at me and said: a big congratulations to you for being the “only” person out here on this whole ranch to be able to break him and tame him! That took some serious guts, and your life to even try to attempt to do what you just did.

    So as he was now broken in and only used to me and me only to riding him(because I allowed for him to stop running constantly when he was tired, so he could just slowly walk around in between riding/training sessions). This horse ended up loving me and so I was also the “only” one able to go feed and water him, to brush him out, to clean out his hooves, and also to clean out all the horse shit from his stable by shoveling it out with a big wide shovel.

    I rode him a few time more afterwards, and the woman wanted for me to train him to be able to participate in rodeos, well I told her that when I was a little girl, I had ridden horses and rode them in rodeo competitions for the nonprofit organization of: CPC(Cerebral Palsy Center of Midland Texas). I don’t have Cerebral Palsy, but at that time when I was a little girl, they had made special braces for me to wear inside of my shoes as so these braces would hopefully strengthen out the weak muscle tone that I had in my legs…and guess what?….it did work, and ever since then, I have not needed to wear any kind of brace/s for supporting my muscle time in my legs ever again.

  9. Assholes,I Truely hope that rider and owner is satisfied!!!! This is an atrosity that beautiful majestic animal. They should be ashamed!!! Our Goverment should be ashamed to allow this cruelty. When will we learn! Horseracing is crimanal,and should be banned ANY animal racing or exploitation should be banned. Disqusting,and All of the participants from owner to spectator are vile people that have to much money and time on their hands to be constructive to society. It makes me sick. Ban,ban,ban!!!

  10. Why are the spectators so upset? This is what they paid to see, isn’t it? This IS horse racing.

    I only wish the jockey had broken his neck when that poor filly collapsed.

  11. Forgive me. I cant watch this. But thank you Patrick for having the courage wi don’t have. Conversations are becoming clear that over training snd overracing is the killer

  12. I’ve seen this time and time again over the years as a former owner/trainer.
    These morally bankrupt people go back into their barn the very next day to send yet another horse out to risk its life.
    They do it over and over again until they kill another.
    Obviously, they need some serious mental help because for a person to watch a horse suffer and die like this only to keep doing it there’s something wrong with your moral compass.
    During these kills, there are usually NO investigations or investigations leading to nowhere, which brings me to my next point.
    New York horse racing has “welcomed” multiple racehorse killer Jerry Hollendorfer into the circuit.
    So it doesn’t matter what The Stronach Group does because these killers just go to the next state where they can carry on their killing with no accountability whatsoever.
    You would think, at a time like this, the horse racing community would be pulling together to outright BAN these people and their horrific actions.
    I can tell you, they won’t and they never will and that’s why they need to be shut down.
    This is one of the many things wrong with horse racing, aside from the obvious killing of racehorses, every jurisdiction gets to set their own rules and regulations.
    Multiple doping violators just go to another state.
    Then there’s multiple doper and killer Steve Asmussen.
    He now has his 3rd labor violation.
    Let me give you a hands on account of Steve Asmussen.
    I stabled right across from him at Keeneland back in 2004.
    His entire stable help was Mexican labor, many undocumented and illegal aliens.
    Steve and his multi-millionaire owners took full advantage of these people as they were often coming to my barn for food or to borrow money or to do anything they could for me to get a buck.
    In fact, a lady with a baby came to me begging for milk and I’m not kidding you.
    She was working about 80 hours per week for this low life parasite.
    There would be 10 of them sleeping in a tack room with no heat, no bathroom and no cooking facilities.
    They would be washing their clothes out at the horse wash racks and sometimes they would even sleep in the stalls at night just for warmth.
    May I remind everybody that this was going on under the auspices of the multi-billion dollar empire known as Keeneland and they knew damn well what was going on so as far as I’m concerned these tracks should be sued because they were facilitating this illegal human trafficking horse racing stable.
    Just like the horses the Mexicans were worked to the bone.
    Then pay day would arrive, but their pay never came and they would have to keep their mouth shut or be threatened with deportation.
    That’s a small glimpse of what’s been going on in Steve Asmussen’s barn for YEARS!!
    The exploitation didn’t stop there as his father ran their ranch outside of Laredo where hundreds of Mexican workers were exploited and maimed with no assistance whatsoever.
    This was well known in the horse racing circles and nothing was ever done about it.
    Then when I was stabled in New Orleans I dated a guy that worked in the feed store there.
    I was on account and I owed $252 and it wasn’t even 30 days yet.
    He told me flat out that they ordered him to harrass me for the feed bill so that I would leave the grounds.
    He then told me that Steve Asmussen’s barn owed $30,000 in feed bills FROM THE YEAR BEFORE.
    Yet, nothing was ever done about it – imagine that?
    I knew right then and there that they are training for high level politicians, racing commissions or attorneys who continue to monopolize wagering money and do some very dirty tricks along the way.
    Enter Chad Brown.
    He hasn’t been paying his help for years and had a recent million dollar judgment against him.
    Since this morally bankrupt horse and human blood sucking parasites can’t and won’t change, even in light of billions in sales/casino profits, it’s long overdue to SHUT THEM DOWN.

  13. Please stop the unneeded deaths at these horse tracks. Hasn’t this gone long enough? How many more have to die in such horrific ways? And we call this entertainment? I’m ashamed of all humans nowadays that abuse, drug, neglect and in any other way harm or kill animals just for money or sport. Please end this NOW!!!

  14. Am just getting deeper into what’s really going on here. Is DRUGGING the MAIN CAUSE OF THE CRUEL FATALITIES? And . . What do you think of the Udall/Wyden Doping Ban as at least the best first step we can make?

    • No, Mary, it is not simply a matter of drugs, though they certainly play a role. In truth, horse racing kills horses, inherently. From breeding for speed (big torsos, spindly legs); to working pubescent bodies (the typical horse doesn’t fully mature until 6; the typical racehorse begins training at 18 months); to the incessant grinding of those bodies (if they’re not racing, they’re not earning); to forcing them to “race” at an unnatural rate (breakneck), in an unnatural way (always counter-clockwise), through unnatural means (perched, whip-wielding humans); to the commodification (the average racehorse is bought and sold several times over the course of his “career,” making his long-term well-being of no concern to his current people) – racehorses are made to be expended, and for many that means death in the dirt.

  15. Oh, Patrick! Thank you sooo much! While I’d heard these things mentioned, I needed to hear them within the whole context you’re giving. Makes ALL the SENSE in the WORLD. (Honestly, I think the HORROR of our collective complicity in this and my own UNknowingis so great that my mind can’t wrap itself around it. OMG! Atrocities of the past come to mind along with too much UNknowing. . . I WILL DO ALL I CAN to be part of “NO MORE SUCH ABUSE !!!” Don’t understand why there have not been MASSIVE DEMONSTRATIONS at the races and training camps . . . BUT my not understanding is not important here now (AND I need to read through ALL the many posts on this site. I’ve hardly scratched the surface :( at this point. I’m *IN*, though. THANKS SO, SO MUCH PATRICK! mb

    • Just for the record there’s NO BILL that will change the fact that this industry is nothing more than wholesale carnage with no accountability whatsoever,.
      Furthermore, the bill is going to be enforced by the hens who will guard the hen house just like they’ve been doing for years.
      Self-management protected under impunity is no bill at all.
      Just like their “go to” is the track surface so is this bill.
      They are treating like the magic pill that will end all abuse, maiming, dumping and racehorses.
      This simply isn’t the case.
      There is no bill, there are no changes that will stop racehorses from dying.
      This vile business needs to shut down.
      That’s the only answer and that’s what everybody should be advocating for.

  16. Please, stop hurting these wonderful creatures. Do it for them, for their right to be safe and free on this planet… And if not, do it for yourselves! You will be judged for these deeds. Belief or not of that fact makes absolutely no difference.

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