Whipped to Her Death at Thistledown; 3rd Kill at Del Mar; Another at Los Alamitos

Forza in the 8th at Thistledown yesterday, as relayed by Equibase: “Forza…suffered an injury near the furlong marker, was eased to the wire then euthanized.” Not just killed, mind you, but abused beforehand: Jockey Hector Berrios was whipping the hell out of this poor animal right through the final seconds of her life (of course, as you will see below, the other riders were no less cruel). In her only other three times under the whip, all at Thistledown, Forza finished a combined 58.25 lengths back. Oh, and one final bit of vileness: The “connections” – Rodney Faulkner and Bruno Schickedanz – had Forza “For Sale” at $5,000 prior to her death.

(pick up around 2:45 mark)

Monday, Bowl of Soul, three, “broke down” training at Del Mar and is dead. Trainer Bob Baffert, to the LA Times: “…she was coming into the turn and went to switch leads when she suffered a rare twist of a hind ankle. You just can’t predict these things happening. You work so hard to keep them healthy. It’s so tough on everybody.”

“Rare twist”? “Just can’t predict”? “Tough on everybody”? Lies.

In the most recent Minutes from Los Alamitos, “one equine death was reported this week [ending Jul 21] due to racing injuries” – identity of the victim withheld.

This is horseracing. Every day. Unabated.

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  1. The obvious is not even happening. Which is, such abuse and cruelty ought to be criminally prosecuted. In addition to the banning of this sport. There are so many acts in racing which cry out for justice and punishment!!

    • I agree. People compartmentalize what animals species are “for,” and decide some level of abuse for some species is acceptable, when they’d be outraged if it was done to pet cats and dogs. Even that dog racing still exists shows that people can’t see animals “bred for” entertainment, food, etc, are really no different from beloved pets. And of course the people who don’t even care about pets may care even less what happens to race horses or other animals.

      • Exactly. I think it’s disgusting…anything for human entertainment right? Ughh i wish we could make the people who support this abuse run around the track in the sweltering heat while they are whipped and kicked.

  2. Now, whip the jockey to his/her death as well!!! An eye for an eye with respect to animal abuse!!!! This is unconscionable, disgusting cruelty!!!! Zero Mercy on the jockey and trainer for allowing this BS!!!! This makes me see RED I get so angry!

  3. There is no excuse for this blatant cruelty, which of course, will go unpunished, at least in this lifetime. How can people watch this and not think that this is fundamentally wrong? When the day comes that horse racing is finally abolished, I hope that there will be serious penalties handed down to the owners, trainers, and most definitely, these monsters in fancy silk.

  4. BRUNO SCHICKENDANZ , in my opinion and based on my direct observations, is a brutal, cruel, abusive killer of racehorses.
    This racehorse killer perpetrated egregious acts of cruelty on racehorse WAKE AT NOON.

    Jennifer Morrison, a paid public relations mouth for the horse racing industry who also works for The Toronto Star actually issued an APOLOGY to Bruno for killing his racehorse.
    Now the word killing seems to imply that he did it intentionally – the general consensus in the horse racing community was that he sent Wake At Noon to his death and collected huge on an equine insurance policy.
    He was initially barred from Woodbine, but the super rich Bruno hired attorneys and sued the Ontario Racing Commission which is a common pattern of his.
    Anytime he’s caught with his pants down, and there has been plenty of racehorses die and be raced into the ground for him – he hires lawyers and they bow down to him time and time again.
    He’s been claiming racehorses for years, running them into the ground, dumping them, killing them for years and nothing is done about – absolutely nothing.

    Back to Wake At Noon. I heard Bruno directly complain to people in the stable area something like this “that stupid Wake At Noon is shooting blanks and can’t get them pregnant.”
    Well he’s not going to sit there and cost me money I’m going to drain every last drop of cash out of him is what he supposedly told people.
    Then within days Wake At Noon is dead.

    Ms. Morrison you are a low life piece of shit who continues to get money from people like the HBPA to sit on your big fat ugly ass, handicap races and are supposedly given a wagering account so that you can ensure that the general public in Ontario doesn’t get the truth or you filter the truth in defense of the racehorses dying.

    Bruno Schickendanz is not unlike all the other apologists, racehorse dumpers and killers.
    It’s just another example of how sleezy this business is and how they don’t even put the most basic protections in for racehorses.
    In my opinion, Bruno you are a serial racehorse killer.

  5. Another day of horse racing and another day of severe animal abuse. OMG whip the shit out of those jockey’s – who in the hell do they think they are to inflict this pain on these poor horses. The owners and trainers are just as much to blame – all of you involved in this so called bullshit sport need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The racing commission is another JOKE as they do piss all about this abuse – everyone involved just looks the other way at the whipping, doping, etc. So many far too young horses in this racing circuit that still should be still no where hear a track. Way too young and not the proper training but I basically do not believe that any of these bastards involved know how to properly train a race horse without the abuse. This is so uncalled for and such horrendous acts of cruelty. These race tracks need to be gone yesterday – horses are far to important in this world to have them treated in this cruel manner. Get rid of all of it and send these so called owners and trainers home to rot in hell better yet let’s see them do hard time in a jail. What a pathetic bunch of losers all of you are!!!

  6. At every race the tarps and vans are ready. Hide the magnificent, fallen equine under a tarp, switch the attention somewhere else and van the poor, innocent one away to be killed out of sight and out of mind. Like so much tissue paper — to be used and thrown away without a thought or care. My fury is overwhelming. IT’S NOT A SPORT. IT’S PSYCHOPATHIC VIOLENCE.

  7. So tragic! I wonder if they will change their rules on whipping the horses like Santa Anita did? Of course all horse racing has to end.

    • Believe it or not, they are slightly better than they used to be. I would often see the jockeys beating the horses incessantly, even though they were obviously spent and were 20+ lengths back. With horse racing being such a hot topic recently, I’m sure the jockeys have had a “talking to” to make it appear less brutal and to tone down the whipping. But as of now, this area has no whip rules, as the horse that swerved around the poor broken down Forza proves. That horse really got the snot beat out of her, and would not have improved her position with that flogging.

  8. At Del Mar, where counter-protesters from the track are raucously cheering for horseracing, one of the track workers had the gall to insist that jockeys use the whip to “guide” the animal, who can barely feel it.
    Does the idiot really not understand that if the whip didn’t hurt there would be no point in using it? Or does he just want to justify the savagery of his occupation? Following this third death I expect the counter-protesting will escalate, as they are scared to death of a ban.

    • These counter- protestors are no better than the crowds that cheer wildly when bulls are set on fire and left to run around an arena in agony. They are not interested in the sport, but the excitement of seeing a defenseless young horse literally break apart trying to escape the vicious beating being dolled out by these horse abusers they call jockeys. Why hide the horses behind tarps? I doubt very much that these people in the stands would be bothered by it.

    • I’m against horse racing because it results in too many deaths. I also grew up around horses and horse riders who loved their animals, treated them extremely well and you could tell the horse loved their owner. However, my friends, you are wrong when it comes to “whipping”.

      It’s not a whip at all, it’s called a crop. It doesn’t have a string (like a whip does), it’s a thin fiberglass rod wrapped in cloth with a padded leather tip specifically designed to make it hurt less. Before you judge crops as “cruel” I implore you : go into a riding store and test out a crop – you can’t deliver much force with it because the shaft is so thin and flexible and the tip is padded leather, and the whole thing has very little mass behind it as well. Have someone hit you thru a t shirt with a crop and you will see they are not abuse – a horses thick hair is about equivalent to a t shirt. Crops are used by all riding disciplines, people that love their horses and treat them like family.

      If you still insist that the crops are cruel, at least use proper terminology – “cropping” is what it’s called, not whipping. If you’re trying to say something is cruel you should at least display basic knowledge of the issue, otherwise you really lack credibility to anyone who’s been around horses.

  9. Enough is enough. I love horses, have owned four, as well as a retired racehorse at only age 4. Because of his injuries he was no longer needed. It’s time to stop this sport which makes no sense anymore. Bless the Beasts and the Children.

  10. Sick of all these horses dying!! For what? GREED!!! What these trainers & jockeys do to these horses is abominable!! Where in the hell is their moral dignity & integrity!! These scumbags need to be accountable for the treatment of these majestic animals. These racetracks need to be closed permanently!! What in tbe world is wrong with people. This fallen world is so full of evil & greed!!

  11. Only in America are we so cruel to such beautiful animals, race horse’s. I pray soon such actions will be a Federal offense with serious jail time w/out parole for good behavior. Also big, big $$ in fines.

  12. This is so cruel and wrong.No animal should be treated like this.They cannot chose racing or speak up for themselves.

  13. Haven’t you made enough Blood Money yet Mr. Baffert? Why not retire, spend some of your millions towards changing the racing industry? You have a platform in which you could be an advocate for Thoroughbreds, like waiting until Colts & Fillies are fully grown prior to the rigorous training needed for racing. Make it illegal, with jail time for any drugging, hormones, or masking their pain! Reward the horses after workouts with special treats, with absolutely NO whipping, ever! You just might be surprised, Mr. Baffert to see just how hard a willing horse can work for you, rather than the poor babies that are forced, beaten, whipped, and drugged! Try it, I dare you!

  14. How absolutely horrific is it to keep beating a horse when it is broke down. Anywhere else this would be called over driving a horse and abuse. For the love of God end this for once and for all all. Why are they not being charged with abuse. Sickening, There is a special place in h##l for these people.

  15. God put animals on this earth for man and woman to love and appreciate them. Not to eat them, shoot them for a trophy on the wall, abuse them or make them do want they don’t want to do. I agree that whips should be banned after Eight Belles lost her life after breaking both her front legs trying to catch Big Brown. But money stopped that from happening, so lets just ban the whole horseracing and the evil that runs it. The Wrath of God will deal with all these humans, but meanwhile these beautiful, majestic horses will continue to die horrible and painful deaths all for the shame of greed. I pray for each and everyone of them that they find peace and love they so deserve on earth and heaven xx

  16. The last thing an injured horse needs is to be beaten and abused. The horse is in pain and suffering – it needs love and conpassion. But just because people lose money, they blame it on the horse and take it out on them when most times it was the way the jockey was directing the horse. Maybe he should be beaten!!

    Horse racing & all animal racing needs to be stopped!

  17. Please stop abusing these beautiful animals! Horse racing is not a sport but a perversion to gaining wealth.
    Can we please evolve to treat all life with care?
    Can we arrange a protest at the track?

  18. I thought the use of ‘whips’ are banned??? If so why are jokeys using them in fact why are they still manufactured. People call for a ban on horseracing but sadly this will never happen due to the Queen owning race horses & very into racing same as many wealthy people all around the world

    • Because it’s not a whip, it’s a crop and they’re used in all disciplines of riding not just racing. They’re also not nearly as “painful” as you might imagine, they’re extremely light flexible fiberglass rods wrapped in cloth with a padded leather tip. Go try one out in a riding store if you think they’re so cruel – you can’t deliver much force at all with them. You could hit a human as hard and as many times as you wanted on bare skin with a crop and it would never draw blood or even bruise, it would just make the skin red. Horse hair is thick and their skin is thicker than human skin too.

      Note that I think horse racing is cruel due to all the deaths. I don’t think crops are cruel at all, and I don’t think the jockeys are causing these injuries – it’s the nature of the sport. Which is why the sport should be banned.

      • Try again, Justin. I have proof that indeed a whip hurts. In fact- the poor horse I have a picture of still had a bump on him a month later from the whip. The day of the race- it was a bloody welt – and remained a welt for a week after. And it’s not a “crop” in racing, they do call it a whip, thus why there are articles in Pro racing sites mentioning “whip rules”.

      • Well how about we let retired jockey Ramon Dominguez weigh in…

        “Stitched together with leather, Dominguez says jockeys aim to tap the horse with the whip’s flat side, to reduce impact.

        “‘If it hits with the edge, because it’s thinner, it can certainly increase the impact and actually hurt the horse,’ Dominguez said.

        “Riding a horse moving 45 miles per hour, Dominguez says it’s virtually impossible to strike it right every time.

        “‘Once in a while you will actually see your horses, their skin will be broken, and that’s the last thing we want to see,’ Dominguez said.”

        (From Spectrum Local News)


  19. Please take time to put your comment to good use and contact someone that can do something:

    Mailing address:
    Governor Gavin Newsom
    1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: (916) 445-2841
    Fax: (916) 558-3160

    Mail – phone or leave a comment at this link:


  20. I’m so sick of hearing about and reading about these babies dying for the sole purpose of people making money. Hors racing is not for the sake of sport this is all for greed. Horse racing is not for love of the animal it is for greed. Horse racing is not for the benefit of majestic animals who love running purely for the sake of running, this is for greed, ego and a twisted sense of superiority. Whipping, drugs and any other kind of coercion have no place in any sport.

  21. Those broken babies come to our farm. They are rehabbed and we have to teach them how to be a horse. At the tracks, they are stalled and have small turnouts. Here, they have 30 acres of woods and meadows to roam. It’s a beautiful thing, when it dawns on them , that they can run for the sheer joy of running. But they come with problems, cribbing, heaves, osteoarthritis, bowed tendons, soft feet, psychological issues, etc. some will be pasture pets the rest of their life, which is fine. Others , go on to be eventers, dressage, Hunter/jumpers Trail,schoolmasters, therapy…we just make sure they will be loved, treated well and everyone is happy. Had a mare from the tracks, really messed up. Very territorial. When you got in her space, she would kick out and bite. She also did this while eating. Take a bite, kick, take a bite, lash out with teeth and repeat. We called it Maddie’s cha cha. We would chacha while she ate and it really befuddled her..she would watch, take a bite, and eventually, she settled down. We also sang to her, a lot. Maddie had narcolepsy, we thought it was choke, but finally diagnosed as narcolepsy. Which is how we ended up with her, you can’t race a horse that falls asleep during the race and crashes. We loved her, her psychosis went away..she had a fantastic couple years off the track. Beautiful bay. She was sold to a loving lady and lived a great life. She knew Maddie was narcoleptic. She was euthanized, as the narcolepsy was being extremely frequent. But , she was off the track and knew nothing but love her final years. I think of her a lot. That is what we do here.

    • Thank God for people like you Debbie, for taking in horses like beautiful Maddie! If everyone had a heart like yours who love and care for these majestic animals, we all wouldn’t be here on this site, wanting to end horseracing for good. I pray you find comfort in knowing Maddie is a young healthy filly who will be waiting for you in heaven, love never dies xx

  22. Most people would be charged with cruelty to horses except those in the racing industry are exempt.

  23. This cruel and abusive treatment of these innocent creatures must STOP. Those who ignore or perpetuate this cruelty must be punished to the full extent of the law, and if that punishment does not include banning people from racing, then it ought to be changed to include such a punishment.

    The racing industry has always pushed horses to their physical limits so people could make money. Now that line is routinely being crossed, horses are suffering and dying and what is being done about it?

    Man O’ War never even ran in the Kentucky Derby, because his owner felt it was too much of a strain on the body of a horse at that age. Wow! An owner keeping his horse out of the most prestigious race in the entire country because he was concerned about the physical impact it might have on his horse? When did THIS happen? About 100 years ago. Humans have just got crueler and greedier since then.

  24. Was watching tvgnyesterday. Horse named our boss was leading and went down in the stretch. Sept 4 fourth race thistledowns. Never heard what happened to him. Can you find out?

  25. Announcer said horse is ok- but we will probably never really know until Patrick gets the reports from Ohio. And even then, if the horse was injured- he maybe dumped instead of being treated for his injuries. That is common practice at Thistledown.

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