A “commentary” in Monday’s Paulick Report, presented with my replies in bold…
“Don’t Let Animal Rights ‘Terrorists’ Make Horse Racing Go The Way Of Circus Elephants” – by Alan Pincus, an attorney in Pennsylvania
“I went to work at the track in 1965 because of my abiding love for horses. No one can question my love for the animal.” I can, and I will. You can love horses. You can love horseracing. You can’t love both.
“However, there is a faction of society that does not love our game. These are the animal rights terrorists whose agenda is nothing less than the ending of racing altogether.” If that’s to be the definition of a “terrorist,” then yes, I am a terrorist.
“They don’t want horses to be subjected to the inherently dangerous sport of racing.” Yes. “Instead, horses should be treated as pets.” So – horses shouldn’t be treated as well as our dogs, Mr. Pincus? “They shouldn’t be treated with medication for their aches and pains…” Whence the “aches and pains,” Mr. Pincus? “They shouldn’t be hit with whips…” So, they should be hit with whips, Mr. Pincus? “They should be given a lifetime home when their racing days are over at anybody’s expense but the terrorists.” Of course it is we, the advocates, who should be financially responsible for this multi-billion dollar industry’s refuse. Speechless.
“The animal rights terrorists are not interested in the thousands of jobs that racing provides and the sheer joy that it gives its participants. They believe racing is an anachronism that must be ended.” Yes, yes, yes.
“If they stated the above positions people would not respond to their radical agenda. So they nibble at the edges, getting naïve and frightened stakeholders in the industry to slowly accede to their demands. But have no doubt we are on the slippery slope toward the animal rights terrorists’ ultimate goal. These people cannot be placated. They are true believers who are much more dedicated to their goals than the leaders of our industry are to ours. In that sense they are tougher than we are.” No “nibbling at the edges” here at HW; our goal is clear and concise. And yes, we are more dedicated than you – ending cruelty and killing is quite the motivator.
“So we try to calm them down by suggesting that we should use cotton balls instead of whips. We try to get them to stop screaming by stating that one breakdown is unacceptable when we can never guarantee that to be true. …we must admit that there is no way to guarantee that horses will not break down.” Thank you.
“The Stronach Group has presided over the death of California racing. What used to be the crown jewel of racing is now a laughing stock. Congratulations. They tried to appease the animal rights terrorists by implying that Lasix is somehow linked to breakdowns. Are you serious? And now, they have used Jerry Hollendorfer as a sacrificial lamb.” While right on the last two counts, what is Pincus doing here but scapegoating Stronach? Horseracing kills horses, everywhere. In 2018: Turf, 45 dead; Charles Town, 60 dead; Belmont, 29 dead; Gulfstream, 55 dead; Los Alamitos, 40 dead; Prairie, 24 dead; Laurel, 39 dead; Penn, 45 dead; and on and on and on.
“Are there no horseman’s groups willing to defend our game? Are there no industry groups that will defend racing against the onslaught of the animal rights terrorists? Or are we cowering in the corner hoping no other horse breaks down lest we lose the game we love entirely?” Good luck fighting facts, truth, and right.
“Now is the time for people to stop apologizing about the greatest game in the world before it goes the way of elephants in the circus.” I’m sure you love a good bet, Mr. Pincus; care to wager on Racing’s future?