Horseracing Is a Moral Issue; Job Loss Should Not Be Part of the Discussion

I respect hard work, always have. Much of this appreciation for industry stems from my childhood and the indelible influence of my grandfathers. Both arrived at Ellis Island as boys – not knowing a stitch of English and with but an elementary-school education. They took what jobs they could in order to survive and, eventually, advance. They were and remain my role models and heroes.

Similarly, I respect the ethic of the racing industry’s backstretch community. They rise early, quit late – and mostly for modest (if we’re being charitable) pay. That said, this campaign – our campaign – to end horseracing precludes any and all discussion of “economic impact.” More to the point, in considering whether the abuse and killing of horses should continue, the jobs of free, autonomous human beings – who can and will find other employment; for perspective, see any one of the myriad industries that have come and gone in our nation’s history – are, or at least should be, irrelevant. And, yes, I would feel the same if it were my immigrant grandfathers working those stables.

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  1. LOVED seeing you on CNN’s expose, Patrick! Keep up the wonderful work…many KUDOS to you and your GREAT staff :)

  2. Like you Patrick, my grandparents came over from Italy to Canada with a total of $100 in their pocket.
    They worked hard like most immigrants do starting in the restaurant business as dishwashers.
    They eventually saved and started their own exclusive Italian restaurant in Montreal.
    It was a great success as they continued to expand over the years eventually moving to Ontario.
    They did all of this with NO government handouts whatsoever and they did employ people eventually.
    Collectively, small businesses employ more people than the vile horse racing industry ever will.
    You can bet your sweet bippy that when these small businesses go under they don’t go running to the government for casino handouts.
    Let the Free Market reign as you said in your presentation before New York politicians.
    Where did they ever get this idea that we, our communities, our people are obligated to support this crap?
    Where and why do these politicians insist on throwing this dying business (dying in more ways than one) billions in casino profits while they collect billions in sales and wagering profits?
    Where in the hell is this money going?
    We know it’s not going to the racehorses who pay with their backs, bones, and bodies only to be dumped when they are done maiming them.
    We know that this is a criminal enterprise – just look at the corruption going on so many articles and evidence.
    These tracks have been dictating to our politicians and communities for years and it has got to stop NOW.
    It’s time we start dictating to this business by shutting them down.

  3. YES — the response of, “what about the loss of jobs …,” is insulting AND absurd, given the information presented — just because we live in a free-market society, does NOT mean we are FREE to abuse and murder; who’s ever heard of a job description, “to abuse, torture, murder horses?” — this should’ve been ILLEGAL decades ago — oh yeah, no one KNEW about it — but, NOW WE KNOW — SHUT DOWN THIS abusive, cruel INDUSTRY — PERMANENTLY!

  4. I worked as a exercise rider at santa anita.
    I very upset and disgusted with this killing business.
    the stables here are assembly lines in the big trainer barn they don’t care about the horse
    they hurt the horse and dump them
    i have left this terrible business and got another job that’s much better
    i agree with the animal rights people
    this business needs to shut down
    i feel so bad for the poor horses and i no longer want to make money from their misery
    thanks to everyone here who speaks up for the horses

    • I believe there are a LOT more workers like you out there, Jose. They are afraid of losing these jobs, but CAN AND WILL get better ones, just like you have done. Once this whole industry goes away for good, they, too, will have the freedom to speak openly about all the cruelty they witnessed. Good luck to you and all these workers who will make a better life for their families with jobs that don’t involve animal abuse.

    • Awesome, Jose. Thank you! I too saw this at the cheap low level claiming tracks.

    • Thank-you Jose.
      I would like to remind readers that if it weren’t for illegal/undocumented Mexican labor horse racing wouldn’t exist especially in the big trainer barns that are qualify for horse hoarders and “collectors” who probably have mental problems.
      If it weren’t for Mexican labor busting their backs, just like the horses, horse racing wouldn’t exist.
      If it weren’t for voiceless defenseless racehorses getting maimed, dumped, beaten, and killed every single day horse racing wouldn’t exist.
      If it weren’t for an unprecedented sum of taxpayers/casino money financially supporting this dying killing business – horse racing wouldn’t exist.
      So why in the hell does it still operate?
      There are no more excuses to keep this carnage going – none.

    • Thank you, Jose — you made a wise, compassionate, smart, right decision — I hope you have a wonderful future — I wish you happiness and good health.

    • Jose, maybe someday you can work with horses at rescues/retirement farms, that will hopefully soon be properly funded and need horsemen such as you. If racing were to be shutdown tomorrow, or next year, there would be tens of thousands of horses needing acreage and some human care for 20 to 30 years…

    • I enjoyed reading your comment. Thank you VERY much for your courage & honesty!

  5. Regarding horse racing employment, how is it that Madeleine Auerbach has been on the CHRB Board for several years and the Vice Chairman of this California public agency for the past few years and has owned and bred racehorses up to last year? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Would the Stewards rule against reckless rides, disqualify, or other discipline against jockeys or trainers riding Auerbach horses?

  6. Madeline Auerbach is the vice chairman of the CHRB for past few years and has owned and bred many race horses. Where are all her horses now? If her trainer used special cocktails that could be masked by Lasix, would her horses be properly tested for drugs? This sample conflict of interest in and of itself indicates that the CHRB cannot be trusted, and possibly not even the LA County District Attorney because they all come from the same state… is Los Angeles County DA really going to uncover illegal activities that may implicate State employees?

    • Pam, thanks for your excellent point of view.
      ALL members of the CHRB are in CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
      They are all owners, breeders, pin hookers, horse racing investors, gamblers etc.
      They are NOT neutral.
      They are there to protect this industry at all costs, which brings me to the next point.
      The recent bill passed to close down a racetracks that the CHRB deems is unsafe for horse and jockey is a joke.
      What in the hell is that going to do?
      It’s just a another ruse.
      Even if they did shut it down the owner/trainers will just pack up and go somewhere else to continue the abuse.
      Finally, the fact that the entire CHRB and its staff is taxpayer-funded should legally negate a more balanced board with people who are NOT connected to horse racing in any way, shape or form.
      That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

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