Racing Apologists: Read This, Then Defend

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills on that state’s tracks thus far this year:

Let’s Blaze, May 3, Laurel T – “[multiple] fractures”

Congrats Gal, May 17, Pimlico R – “artery rupture with severe internal hemorrhage”
“Dr. Daniel: When she collapsed after the wire in right lateral recumbency, my initial thought was exhaustion or heat stroke. We quickly got cold water on her, tack off, and after a few minutes, attempted to get her sternal. She rolled back, her heartbeat became harder to feel, and she developed nystagmus. Within 30 seconds she started taking agonal breaths and died on her own.”

String Bean, May 23, Pimlico R
“Dr. Walsh: On the morning she broke down, she was being her usual, high strung self and bucked/jumped down the shed row instead of jogging. The groom had to place a lip chain on her to jog her. When the jockey was pulling her up before the wire, I immediately called the horse ambulance for her as she had an obvious left front lameness. Palpation and visualization showed a displaced mid body sesamoid fracture with the proximal piece comminuted and beginning to swell. The filly was being difficult to hold still and examine. I asked [owner/trainer] if he wanted me to have her taken to the barn so he could get radiographs and see if she was savable or if he wanted to have her euthanized. He said she would be difficult to keep quiet to rehab, he didn’t want to fool with it, and elected euthanasia. For safety of all involved and to allow the horse to settle, she was vanned to the pen for euthanasia verse [sic] doing it on the track so that she could be safely restrained…”

Follow the Petals, Jun 16, Laurel R
“Dr. Daniel: When I arrived Follow the Petals was in left lateral recumbency, had grey oral mucous membranes, no palpable heartbeat, and was not breathing. I removed her tack and she took a few agonal breaths at that point. We believe that Follow the Petals did indeed suffer from cardiovascular collapse while running her race. The subsequent injury to her spinal cord/column further hastened her death on the racetrack in the course of her fall.”

“Dr. Walsh: I reviewed the race footage of Follow the Petals fall. She was racing along well, then as she passed the 16th pole, her head sinks as she has both forelegs flex. As she goes to extend her legs, she clips her toe in the dirt, collapses to the track knees and pole first before rotating in a summersault [sic]. Looking at the pathology report and the incident footage, we believe the fractures to her spine and both knees occurred due to the force of the impact with the track.”

“Pathologist’s Comments: We are very relieved to hear that the jockey is ok. We share your clincial [sic] impression that this mare suffered a severe acute ‘heart attack’, that cardiovascular collapse resulted in her stumbling and flipping and then dying.”

“HEAD: severe subcutaenous hemorrhage over top of head; LUNGS: focally extensive acute hemorrhage; JOINTS: some chronic degenerative joint disease in both hind fetlocks, and moderate to marked chronic degenerative joint disease with synovial irritation in both front fetlocks; STOMACH: acute glandular mucosal ulcers/erosions; extensive chronic active squamous mucosal ulcers; BRAIN STEM, THALAMUS: multifocal acute hemorrhage.” (Follow the Petals was five years old)

Hot Sriracha, Jun 29, Laurel R
“Dr. Walsh: Hot Sriracha was down in right lateral recumbency…when we pulled up. The gelding started to get up, but I was able push him back down. Davy and I were able to hold him down until help arrived so he didn’t struggle getting up and hurt one of the down riders. While holding his head, I could see his right front cannon bone had a comminuted fracture with a large bone fragment piercing the skin mid cannon. He was euthanized on the track as soon as additional help arrived to hold him down.”

“Pathology: The right front distal limb is dangling at an abnormal angle, with sharp bone end protruding out through a tear in the skin. The cannon bone is shattered. There are three full thickness skin defects (tears) through one of which 3cm of the distal end of a fragment of cannon bone protrudes. There are very numerous (>50) bone shards and splinters in the subcutaneous hemorrhage around the holes in the skin, and in the space created by the catastrophic shattering of the cannon bone.”

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  1. First of all, the thing that strikes me about these reports is the fact that these “veterinary professionals” misspell the most basic parts of horse anatomy. How much confidence should we feel in them? If your doctor misspells the lay version and most basic parts of your anatomy- would you feel confident in their knowledge and skills? I know I wouldn’t.
    Secondly, Congrats Gal died slowly in front of hundreds of thousands of people, as it happened on the day of the Preakness stakes. I remember seeing the pics of the audience in the background watching her death. Like a. Freak show. How many people felt sorry for her? Or did they party on? Did they even care, in the excitement of waiting for the “big race”?
    How pathetic this industry is.

    • How they must SUFFER — they’re already miserable due to day-to-day schedule of prepping for races, etc. — then, the race itself, and the mishaps that happen oh so frequently — the torturous agony these Sweeties endure — you’re right — not a soul even notices — the party continues — what a shameful, cowardly industry — I loathe it! — I loathe it so much.

  2. omg…….I am so ashamed I ever was involved with this industry as an owner… difficult as it is to read these reports, Patrick, I am thankful that you are letting everyone know what is truly happening to these beautiful creatures who run their hearts out for us….

  3. Patrick, thank-you for your dedication and facts that expose this business for what it really is: WHOLESALE CARNAGE – as you often put it.
    Second, the vets did misspell some of the anatomy parts, but there are so many racehorses dying (and this list doesn’t include the ones that were probably maimed at the same time, but sent back to their stalls for another round of abuse) that it’s possible to not detail the spellings although I agree that it’s no excuse.
    Third, thanks to Shawna for your comment. I feel the same. I was raised in this business, supported/participated in it and constantly rationalized the “horror show” playing out before me every single day.
    It didn’t take me just 1 death nor did it take me 1 abusive incident that I directly witnessed, it took many and I’m ashamed to admit that I often directly witnessed this vile business and the vile people carrying out their business practices on a defenseless, voiceless sentient being that didn’t deserve what it was getting.
    I finally faced myself and realized that I couldn’t rationalize it anymore, that there were no changes that could stop the ongoing massive suffering and dying and that’s why it needs to be shut down.
    Additionally, I want to make clear that the stable area, if you are there long enough not just for a brief owner visit, you will see the massive pain, suffering, disrespect, maiming, dumping and dying going on right before you. You see the terror in the racehorse’s eyes and you smell their sweat, blood and suffering every single day.
    It’s probably one of the most depressing places on the planet and for a trainer to go in there every day and carry out this horrific cruelty, abuse and inhumane treatment of a racehorse clearly supports a racehorse abuser no matter what they say, no matter the lines, no matter their wins, NOTHING NOT ANYTHING justifies this public butcher show.
    So sorry for all these racehorses who were treated like a piece of trash on the ground, sent out to die more or less and the one description stands out to me about STRING BEAN:
    “…she was being her usual highstrung self.”
    No, this ISN’T USUAL, THIS ISN’T NORMAL this is a filly crying out for some sort of relief.
    It’s you fuckers, you racehorse abusers that cause this deprived mental state just like a person who is lashing out at a horrible situation.
    This is no different than a poor monkey in a cage abused for “scientific research” that often leads to absolutely nothing.
    I swear only the human species could carry out such egregious acts of suffering on another living being.

  4. For String Bean: the trainer “didn’t want to fool with it”. Not was concerned the horse would be in prolonged suffering, just couldn’t be bothered. Let me guess, this horse was a claimer? The trainer was probably more than happy to be rid of a horse that couldn’t sweat out any decent winnings.
    And to the so-called veterinarians who work on the racetracks: you positively disgust me. You witness the indescribable misery and pain, and you do nothing to stop it. Worse, you enable it. You participate in the butchery, and have no conscience when it comes to these horses in their final agonizing moments of life. You can take your hypocritical oath and shove it up your ass.

    • I AGREE these so called vets are the worst of all. Complicity is in it’s own right is actually more evil,because they know better.

  5. Oh my gosh, you people are ridiculous. Grow up and get a real job. Like fighting for animals rights instead of destroying them. All because of your male ego. Racing horses is a crime, you pump them up with all kinds of steroids or whatever else is not good for the horse, and then the barbaric practice is if they don’t run to your satisfaction, they either die like this one or sent to the slaughterhouses. May you ALL BE DAMNED TO HELL!!!!

  6. May the wrath of almighty God come down upon all those involved in the Horse Racing
    Industry. It’s NOT a Sport! It’s just about making money and bragging rights for the most deplorable, despicable, disgusting, degenerates on the face of the Earth.

    • Perfectly said,it’s not a sport,it’s torturing Innocents,so the asshole deplorables can make money and brag to the other scumbags..booyah! No animal should ever suffer…PERIOD

  7. I am so disgusted @ this so called “sport” which kills innocent beings, doing what they are told to do, then painfully giving their lives, slowly, sickeningly painfully, yet all the idiots who are in the stands care about is “who won?! Did I win any money?!” Equally sickening to me is the big farms, mainly in the Lexington area, with their conveyor belt breeding every single year! “Better get that filly/mare pregnant, or she’s no good” I have to give some kudos to Rachel Alexandra’s owners, who at least put her life FIRST before more foals. Now the very unlucky as a broodmare Zenyata is pregnant again. Why? She has not produced anything, prob. will not but just because of what she did on the track, her idiot rich owners are going to keep jeopardizing her life, instead of putting her at the KY Horse Park and help bring in funds for horses in need. The whole industry, which I, too, was a part of, makes me SICK. How about the 2 year olds under tack shows? Not fully grown or developed babies, many not even legit. 2 years old, beating beat with the stick constantly to make them run as fast as they ever have, just to get that big money for the conveyor belt breeders. It is all about the money. They can’t think about the living beings that we fellow horse lovers know to be kind, sentient, beings, nope, they look at them as items, not living, just items to put more money into their stinkin’ pockets. Thank you for having this site for those of us who truly care. The sad thing is that “normal” people only know about the KY Derby, etc. and thats it. They all think that every horse goes to a nice green pasture somewhere. They need to completely outlaw dirt racing here, if they have to race (would rather they not race AT ALL) but at least get them on the turf so its a bit easier on the poor horses. I just want to cry. All of you have great comments, we need to keep it up, don’t know how much it will do, but it is going to take a very bad tragedy on TV, like the Breeders Cup, sadly, to get people to even notice anything. Dumb a$$ money hungry people.

  8. Horse racing should be outlawed! The injuries that horses sustain for human entertainment are inhumane! The obvious lack of empathy for the horses is disturbing, at best! Anyone involved in horse racing should be subjected to equal measures of torture & abuse! I’d bet $2 on them!

  9. I cant say it any better than you guys, its all about money and fame for them and the poor horses have to suffer and die for nothing. I once did worked on such a farm, not for long, and was shit out everytime I intervened when one was beaten in his stall or babies was not doing well. It brakes my heart to see and you cant do a thing to help them just because the owner is an asshole. Most of them don’t even want to look for other homes for them. They slaughter them and give it to their workers in South Africa. We need to expose them and send it viral to the public maybe the more people see the abuse and cruelty then hopefully people will stop gamble on a horses life!!!

    It needs to stop, these beautiful animals can be used for some other then racing!!!

    From: South Africa

  10. Most all people in this business know damn well that they have no intentions of taking care of a racehorse after they are done maiming, exploiting them and squeezing every last drop of sweat/blood out of them.
    This is precisely why the daily business practices are so abusive because they won’t have to deal with their mangled bodies, mental psychosis and/or broken spirits after they are done with them.
    They just dump them into the claiming ranks with absolutely NO vet/doping records following them (in other words total lack of transparency and responsibility) or dump them at the kill auctions.
    Then they expect the “extreme animal rights” people to pick-up their disposable trash, spend lots of their own money to bring the racehorse back to some sense of normalcy, if possible, and to provide them with a home!
    This is all going on in light of BILLIONS in wagering profits, BILLIONS in casino profits (compliments of our politicians who choose to divert this money FROM OUT COMMUNITIES and give it to the “horseman,” or the “horseman groups” AKA HBPA, which seems to support a criminal enterprise.
    How stupid do they think people are?
    This is unacceptable, it needs to end, and it needs to end now.
    Bang on the doors of your politicians and demand that they DECOUPLE and STOP supporting this blood bath.

  11. I could just throw up. How bloody disposable these horses are to their owners. When I read one horse was
    Being difficult I fail to understand how people can not realize the horses are in pain. Do you feel like going for a run when you are feeling pain? Arthritis in two year old horses? Unheard of in normal horses. The racing industry is running these horses to death. Literally. This kind of wholesale abuse would get anyone else in trouble. How do these owners get by without cited for over driving these animals? Do away with this useless and endless abuse of these young horses. And cite these abusive and uncaring owners for animal
    Abuse because that is what it is.

  12. NOW that we KNOW the TRUTH about what goes on, especially behind the scenes, the stronger our conviction must be in SHUTTING DOWN the unconscionably, depravedly CRUEL industry of Horse-Racing.

    • The horse racing industry swore it was going to do something when filly Eight Belles broke down in the Kentucky Derby…BULLSHIT.Nothing has changed.It CAN’T be “fixed” pure evil cannot be “fixed” PERIOD.

  13. Reading these reports just makes me sick. We as a society should never accept any form of animal cruelty or abuse. This industry is rife with such heinous abuse driven by greed and more greed, and public ignorance. Money and power Do not give us the right to harm, endanger, injure, abuse, and exploit animals. In fact, We who are more powerful have an obligation and responsibility to be good stewards to animals, care for them, not exploit them, not hurt them, not force them, and not kill them. It is sick entitlement by the wealthier in society that leads to this abuse of animals – it is slavery no less. Exactly the same as human slavery, but that is illegal. So the rich have turned her eyes on Animal Cruelty and slavery. We need to change animals’ status from PROPERTY to having the same moral rights and consideration that humans have. We are all sentient. We need to fight for animals to have rights, until they do, These in moral people will continue to exploit race horses. It’s so sick.

  14. This is one of the best, most condemning and most honestly commented article on this issue so far. Outstanding in its harsh honesty. There is not one person connected with racing in any capacity that is anything other than a vile, disgusting unfeeling piece of worthless shit. And there is not one horse that in any way should EVER be treated like this.
    I only WISH a jockey or trainer (or oh, so much better yet, an owner) would suffer an injury the way these horses suffer. Maybe then, since a PERSON is being hurt, they would put an end to this brutality that is NOT a sport. Though that didn’t work with boxing, did it? (Another idiotic sport, but frankly, as long as it’s a person’s choice, I don’t really care.)
    This monstrosity can’t end soon enough for me. I hope there is an afterlife where anyone connected with racing spends eternity in a special Hell where they are forever kicked in the head by the horses they tormented.

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