“The Man Who Would Kill Horse Racing”

Thank you, Ryan Goldberg:


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  1. An impressive thoroughgoing no-nonsense article based on facts. Thank you, Ryan Goldberg.

  2. Agreed, such a phenomenal, masterfully-written piece of real journalism. I must say I’m surprised at Mr. Goldberg’s ability to present such an honest, balanced, and compassionate perspective as a some-time racing reporter who continues to cover the seedy, cruel, sickening, depraved side of this anti-sport. Then again, I’m sure his experience is similar to (most of) our own; an awakening has to have taken place at some point. Let’s hope his efforts continue in this vein.
    On a related note, horse racing loyalists were absolutely outraged and livid about this piece, spewing their usual, nonsensical bile about “thoroughbred extinction,” and “pampered and bathed every day!” and, my personal favorite, “this guy is going to cause all TBs to be slaughtered!”
    Congrats, Patrick. The only change I would have had DeadSpin make is their headline:
    “The Man Who Would Kill Horse Racing” should have been more aptly titled,
    “The Man Who Will Kill Horse Racing.”

  3. Great article and exposure.
    Making progress.
    However, I’m still frustrated over the mainstream media not tackling this issue some more.
    I realize that the deaths at Santa Anita finally got the general public involved and exposed to racehorses dying, but this needs to have more coverage.
    Can you imagine if football players were getting crippled and/or dying every single day?
    You bet that it would dominate every single news outlet in the country and it would be shut down.
    It’s only because the racehorses are voiceless, defenseless under the mercy of these human parasites, morally bankrupt, and racehorse abuser monsters that they can’t fight back.
    I will continue to be a voice for the racehorses anywhere anytime.
    Their liberation from this modern day slavery ring is long overdue and the only way to accomplish this is to shut this public horror show down.

  4. Apparently the governor of California is warning horse racing that their time is coming, and I have seen more and more articles about the uncertainty of the industry’s future. Of course, many of these articles have a pro -racing slant but it’s encouraging to see more and more people admitting that this industry is dying. Isn’t it sad that the animal welfare groups that claim to be against exploitation and abuse had absolutely nothing to do with the decline of an industry that is built on these very things?
    I hope to see the end of horse racing in my lifetime.

  5. I apologize for the double post, but I just have to say that the comments left on that article’s page seriously made me want to scream. Comments like “these horses know what they signed up for” and “they should be glad they have a job” put on display a level of stupidity and callousness that calls into question not only a person’s IQ but the existence of their very soul. How can anyone with a shred of decency, morality, or compassion read about the utter misery, suffering, and abuse of a sentient living being and disregard it with such sickening condescension? I would love to see people like this forced to do something they don’t want to do over and over again and end up laying in the dirt with their body crippled and their bones shattered and then ask them if they feel lucky to have at least had a job, ask them if they feel their life had meaning to preform for someone else’s entertainment. This is beyond simple ignorance, this is a depraved enjoyment in the suffering of a living creature.

    • Rebecca, those snide comments that you mentioned, they just show the level of immaturity and idiocy of some racing fans – they don’t deserve a response that they are clearly craving. Comments in defense of the industry with weak arguments are those I prefer to reply to – I like for those who are newly exposed to racing’s realities to see rebuttals that would come from the horses’ mouths.

      There are quite a number of comments still pended (you can see them if you tap “see pended” or something similar – it’s a bit odd, actually). My pended comment is below…

      Thank you, Ryan Goldberg, for this well-researched piece. As a former avid fan of horse racing who then spent nearly ten years on the backside with a racehorse rescue organization, I am, again, encouraged that the truth about this unnecessary gambling industry is being provided to the unknowing public. Casual “fans” have been fed what the industry via the media wants them to see – the reality is far different.

      Those who defend racing exclaim racehorses are pampered, treated like kings and queens. Baths and leg wraps. Hay bags and peppermints. Their own stalls and a bit of exercise in the morning and maybe a little more if racing in the afternoon. I am often ridiculed by pro-racing individuals for my anti-racing stance, suggesting I must certainly know nothing about horses if I can hold such a viewpoint…yet the aforementioned are what makes for a mentally, psychologically and physically healthy and happy horse? Then I have news for all the racehorse rescues out there that agree racehorses have such great lives – you don’t need to turn out a newly-retired racehorse so he can “just be a horse” – just keep giving him the “royal” treatment! Turn those paddocks and pastures into a racetrack backside – stall after stall of racing’s used-up and unwanted – throw a half-dozen at a time on the walker for a half-hour of exercise – give ‘em all a peppermint when you put them back in their stalls for the next 23 hours – hang those hay bags at nose-level – just think of how many more of the industry’s horses you can provide homes for treating them like “kings and queens” instead of needing all that space of pastures and paddocks!

      To the individual who mentioned the “thousands” of farms to where racehorses go (to “run free in fields” – what, no regal stall?), would you please share maybe just 50 or so of those farms’ names? – you see, we have literal LISTS of racehorses who need homes and for many, they need them now. Some having just raced within the last month, they now stand in kill pens – those beloved “family members” I believe you called them. You should also inform the racehorse rescue organizations that are always begging for funds (which is all of them)…the racing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry yet its “athletes” are never provided a forever home nor supported for life by it – I’m certain the rescues could use those farms.

      There is obvious desperation by the industry and its supporters in response to Goldberg’s piece as evidenced by the vehement backlash directed at the article’s subject, Patrick Battuello. Industry members and apologists cringe with every uncovering of another dead racehorse by Battuello and with the realization that there will be another…and another…and another. They despise the truths of his message and being there is nothing to refute it, they attack the messenger. Some racing publications seem to dare not utter his name, referring to him, instead, as “that guy”. Other prickly individuals attack his character – we see “hypocrite”, “moron”, “extremist” quite often in their rants. Yet the evolving, more animal-sensitive public recognizes the message remains the same regardless of who delivers it. Horse racing kill horses. For betting entertainment.

      Finally, Mr. Goldberg, you mentioned you didn’t think anything unusual about a cribbing or stall-walking racehorse when you saw them while walking the shedrows. I don’t know when it happened for you like it did for me, but at some point you chose to see them with your heart. Thank you for that.

  6. I’ve just learned of your dedication and hard work thanks to Ryan Goldberg’s article. Thank him indeed, and thank YOU for all that you’re doing to bring attention to this horrific industry.

  7. Article truly revealing — the day-to-day details must be shared with the world — SHUT DOWN the depravedly heinous industry of HORSE-RACING — PERMANENTLY — STOP the torturous abuse AND premature, cruel deaths — By virtue of living in a free-market-economy does NOT mean we are free to commit crimes, to abuse, to murder, to torture — whether it to be to Humans OR Animals — decent societies would NEVER allow this.

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