According to the Collins Dictionary, “stupid” is “lacking in common sense, perception, or normal intelligence”; “slow-witted.” With that as backdrop, I call your attention to a recent op-ed from former jockey and current analyst Donna Brothers in the Paulick Report. While the article, which is mostly a diatribe against PETA, should be fully ingested for a true appreciation, here are my highlights (and comments in italics):
“…[on domestication] PETA is on a mission whose end-game is to eventually halt the natural bond between man and animal that has led them to co-exist since before written record!”
There is, of course, nothing natural about domestication; in fact, it is the antithesis.
“Horses have also seen man into civilization; helped them win battles at war…”
In the Civil War alone, the number of equines killed to “help man win battles” is measured in the millions. Scores of patently gentle, innocent animals killed in violent, horrific, and terrifying ways so man could wage war. There’s no glorifying that.
“The thing about horses is that they’re going to run, play, jump, frolic and race across vast fields with or without us. What makes us love them is that they are gracious enough to let us go along for the ride.”
What happens in nature bears no resemblance to what happens at a racetrack, where nose chains, tongue ties, mouth bits, and perched, whip-wielding humans prompt the “playing” and “frolicking.” “Gracious enough to let us go along for the ride”? Vile.
“And, yes, sometimes horses are fatally injured alone in a field—or on the track—while doing this. It will break my heart every single time, but I know with all that I am, that they love their humans and their sport as much as we love them and this sport that allows us to interact with them in a deeply meaningful and fulfilling way.”
Yes, they “love their humans” – the same humans who lock them in tiny stalls for over 23 hours a day (born to run?); who stick them with needles and beat them with whips; who buy, sell, trade, and dump them like common Amazon products; and who ship them – by the thousands every year – to brutal, bloody, and violent ends. That’s “interact[ing] with them in a deeply meaningful and fulfilling way”? Contemptible, Ms. Brothers.
“Though musculoskeletal injury to a horse during racing is an aberration, it is a gut wrenching event for everyone.”
Yes, that’s right, I’ve documented thousands of “aberrations” on this site.
“Much of what humans know about the care of horses…is owed to private funding from the thoroughbred racing industry. We reduce the likelihood of terminal skeletal injury, and we’re getting better at it all the time. That said, we cannot totally eliminate the evolutionary destiny of horses left to their own accord anymore than we can eradicate all diseases and fractures in man.”
“…the evolutionary destiny of horses left to their own accord” – I’m running out of adjectives.
“It sounds silly to those who don’t follow horse racing, but these horses aren’t just our friends. We work with them day in and day out. Our entire life revolves around their care and they become family. We cheer for them and fear for them. We hope for them, we laugh with them, and we even cry for them.”
Question for Ms. Brothers and her “horse-loving” brethren: Ever dropped a horse in a “claiming race,” thereby putting that “family member” up for sale? Thought so. And can you identify the whereabouts of all your past “family members”? Didn’t think so. And to say you “fear for them” after you yourselves have willfully and unnecessarily put them in harm’s way is but another in a long line of obscenities.
“Compared to approximately 55 training or racing fatalities per month in the U.S. (1.86 per 1,000 starts), there are nearly 3,300 human deaths per month due to automobile accidents. … It turns out that it is actually safer to race our horses than it is to drive our children on the roads…”
First, your number – 55 – is woefully understated; it’s more like 155. As to comparing racehorse kills with automobile deaths, I’d wager that even those children you speak of would grasp the absurdity.
“One of the arguments against racing that I’ve heard is that people can accept injuries in human athletes since they choose to compete, but race horses are forced to race—it’s not their choice. Any horseman reading this can confirm that this is not even possible! … If a horse does not want to race there is no amount of persuasion that will change that horse’s mind. I’ve seen horses that don’t want to race—and we don’t race them! Not every thoroughbred is born with racing on their mind but the vast majority of them are… … Our horses that race, love to race, and we love to watch them—even help them—achieve their best form.”
And finally, this:
“People haven’t domesticated horses, dogs and cats, they’ve domesticated themselves.”
Your capacity for perversion is truly dizzying, Ms. Brothers. Again, I refer to the dictionary: “domesticate: to train or adapt (an animal or plant) to live in a human environment and be of use to humans.” Tamed by man for man, including, of course, your precious horses. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, stupid is as stupid writes.
F’n claiming races is the purest of pure fuckin’ evil
If I were still 7 (seven) years old, I might be gullible enough to fall for some of that phony bullshi* coming out of Donna Brothers “mouth” but I can see through her phony bulls**t! I am 67 years old now and I don’t make a living in the racing industry and I don’t make a living killing horses either. I have heard/read similar lines of phony bullshi* from other people who do buy and sell horses and send semi truckloads full of horses to slaughter in Mexico or Canada. They fear for their livelihood, not for the humane treatment of horses! There are some people who own, breed and train horses but they don’t put the excessive and cruel demands of riding and racing young fillies and colts at the tender age of yearling on them. There are people that I think of as true horsemen/horsewomen that allow their young horses to develop until about the age of four years old to demand the horse carry weight and still no racing. A lot of these people can be found raising Morgan horses and Arabians but any breed of horse is better off when not exploited to the maximum exploitation. Racing is a very cruel and unnatural activity for horses. If horses had their choice, they would be out grazing on a pasture in a herd. They are gregarious animals. They don’t like being isolated from each other. Put these Thoroughbreds out on pasture and let them be horses and, Donna Brothers, you would learn something about horses!
Omg Patrick!!! Just shut up. You are getting ridiculous.
Another thoughtful, well-reasoned rebuttal from the racing world, I see. Gosh, “Bonney,” how will Patrick even begin to attempt a cohesive response to your brilliant analysis?
Well, you got him there.
You are more patient than we are responding to that hideously stupid article. Paulick must have been kicked in the head or something to post that. We didn’t have the stomach to read the replies. Well done to you. 👏👏👏
She’s an industry whore – she HAS to keep buttering her f’ing bread. She also tweeted to go ahead and “let them ship, for now”….referring to the many Thoroughbreds who were standing in kill pens. I say ban this Godforsaken so-called “sport”. 🚫🏇🏿
Wow. Just wow. Even coming from the racing industry supporting choir, this is a lot of shit to wade through. I would hardly call running at breakneck speed while being hit full force with a whip “frolicking”, and its not like they have a choice to let you along along for the ride, what with the bits, stud chains and tongue ties. No, these horses aren’t your friends, they’re your slaves; they’re not your family, they’re disposable liabilities. You fear for them? You create every conceivable condition that would cause injury and suffering for these horses and you have the audacity to say you even cry for them? Do you cry when you trade them off dozens of times like chattel, or when you send the horses that don’t want to or can no longer race off with the notorious shed row meat man to be shackled and bled out while still alive? You love to watch and help them – is that what you call the needles full of drugs, and the abusive therapy used to hide their injuries, and the whips and shocking devices? Is their best form laying in the dirt with a broken spine or desperately hobbling with a limb swinging by a thread of skin?
There’s no glory or beauty in horse racing. Just abuse, suffering, exploitation and death.
7/3/17 John’s Afleet went wrong early on in the race…apprentice jock,whips the living hell out of him,since he was favorite. So upset me I called head of Parx’s racing,Sam…something at the time, I also had found out his trainer had been arrested for theft of services,only days prior. Trainer tells police as soon as I win a race I’ll pay you back. Doesn’t the whole thing sound fishy? YES it does,of course. This is the EXACT moment that sent me on my QUEST of uncovering the evil. It led me down a rabbit hole of the stomach churning horrifying truth. This whole thing stinks to holy hell,there’s no putting “lipstick on a pig” which I HATE to say because I love 🐖. people I’m here to tell you…there’s no making this right…believe me.
“…they love… their sport as much as we love them..”
Self serving, evil comment, especially since she sees them die when they are forced to race. By her!
I don’t think our little southern belle is too smart. In fact, I’d be surprised if she even finished high school. And she is not that nice either. I remember an interview she did with Chantal Southerland when Chantal came back to be a jockey in Kentucky. Our little southern belle was very nasty to Chantal in the interview. Very condescending. I’ll never forget that interview. There was no “welcome back” from our dumb little southern belle.
The included pic was a nice touch.
Start with the first quote:”…[on domestication] PETA is on a mission whose end-games is to eventually halt the natural bond between man and animal that has led them to co-exist since before written record!” Where is the evidence that man and animal have co-existed since before written record??? Chapter four of the book SAPIENS, a Brief History Of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harare (The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller) explains how our species has managed to cause mass extinction of large mammals in every continent we expand into. The author writes “Homo sapiens drove to extinction about half of the planet’s big beasts long before humans invented the wheel, writing or iron tools.” He backs this up with scientific evidence. Where is the scientific evidence that supports her claim?
After that everything is bullshit
Thousands shipped to slaughter annually. End of story.
If you think this article is stupid you should peruse the article she has on her blog donnabrothers.com.
There you will find this article, but also an article called “Thoughts on Santa Anita Crisis.”
The title alone is completely inaccurate because this is not a crisis nor is it an anomaly.
On average, 50 racehorses die on the grounds of Santa Anita EVERY SINGLE YEAR.
She tows the line just like the industry does and, at some point, they had the media convinced that this was an abnormal rash of deaths, but thanks to this site and the facts we’ve been able to dispel this myth
Ms. Brothers is all about myths so typical of horse racing apologists.
In this article, she again draws the analogy between racehorses dying and people dying in car accidents.
We know how ridiculous and baseless this claim is so I’ll go onto the next one.
This once is a doozie.
She claims that human athletes and equine athletes are one in the same, that they both have “injuries” and fails to provide any facts.
Simply put, human athletes have choices – racehorses don’t.
Ever see Tom Brady get a beating for throwing the wrong pass?
Or how about dumping him at the kill auction when he retires?
I don’t think his wife, Giselle, would appreciate that Donna.
The differences go on and on just as their baseless talking points are void of logic and compassion.
She claims that beating a horse with a whip doesn’t hurt them.
She defends Lasix.
Typical horse racing apologist.
I must admit that there’s 1 think that I agree with her on this article and I quote:
“this is a watershed moment in the (sport) of horse racing and what happens in California will effect horse racing everywhere in the United States.”
Yes Donna, when we vote to shut this down in California the complete dismantling of horse racing will start.
Now go back and finish your university education that you dropped out of because you sure as hell need it.
Donna Brothers says, “I’ve seen horses that don’t want to race–and we don’t race them!” Exclamation point. What about Mongolian Groom. See Comments section in PR 11/5 “Breeders’ Cup Mum on Mongolian Groom’s Exam History.”
“MG knew, he refused to load, took seven crew to FORCE AND LIFT HIM IN THE GATE, knew loading would follow with the pain of racing, a sore horse does not want to run, the poor thing was worried before the race, when I think of the look in his eyes my heart just breaks, these horses are smart enough to know they are not up to the task at hand but no one listens,” etc.
Another industry article stated Mongolian Groom’s euthanasia was delayed for hours pending consultation with the insurance company. So they made him suffer unneccessarily for their own greed, not caring about his pain.
But the point is that there is ample video and a LOT of people, vets, trainers, who knew he was unsound and lame and should not race, but they forced him, LIFTED HIM in the gate and made him race anyway, And race he did, until his leg snapped off.
That beautiful big boy, I loved him so. And this just tears my heart out seeing what he had to go through.
I don’t know how someone could send a horse of theirs to slaughter. That’s a concept I just can’t even fathom. Really, who does that? I could never…not in a million years.
No words. I’ve been struck dumb by reading her rationale.
Fact check: in 2017 there were 1.16 car crash fatalities per 100 million miles traveled per the US Department of Transportation. Auto racing had 523 accidents over the period of 25 years, significantly less than the number of horse racing deaths in one year. Shame on you Ray Paulick for failing to fact check Ms. Brothers outrageous claims. And shame on you Donna Brothers for lying to protect the source of your blood money.
Thank-you to all comments here, but special thanks to Bonnie, Sandy K (for providing link), and MAC for providing statistics that clearly blow Donna Brothers delusions right out of the water.
This article and example exemplifies the delusional baseless stories put forward by apologists of this vile business and that makes them vile as they continue to defend the massive suffering and carnage of racehorses.
These are not people who “care” or love them like “family members.”
The convince themselves that they are, but clearly anybody who participates in the daily abusive business practices REQUIRED by this business and the subsequent fact that most racehorses end up dying on the slaughterhouse floor should be reason enough to demand the shut down of this business.
I don’t buy Donna Brothers’ load of DELUSIONAL FAIRYTALE CRAP for one minute, not even for a second. To say that horses, dogs and cats domesticated themselves and that horses are gracious enough to let (greedy, abusive, sadistic, cruel) people along for the ride is so self-serving as another commenter has stated. It is a statement that reveals the degree and level of dishonesty and deception that those who “earn” a living exploiting horses for their own selfish interests stoop to on a daily basis for years and years and years!
Actually, humans did not domesticate cats. Cats simply started hanging around for the perks. A dog will lay beside your corpse – a cat will eat you and move on. True survivors.
Have you seen California Chome going to Japan. Article On PR that the Martins will monitor his wellbeing.
Sure they will. Like they gave two shits about him while he was here beyond the money he made.
Those are some thick rose colored racehorse glasses she is wearing… More like cracked glasses glowing with the blood of those horses or shall I say ‘family’ she speaks of. How much was she paid to write such nonsense??? When are any one of these people going to just say it, they use and abuse horses for their own gain, end of story.
By the way…when I called Sam Elliot who in 2017 was in charge of racing at Parx’s,he treated me over the phone like I was some overly emotional WOMAN,no surprise there. After going back and forth on the phone, he said to me…why don’t you take it up with the stewards,he was totally annoyed with me,god forbid he have to deal with an “overly emotional woman” this is a Classic example how so often women are not taken seriously and brushed aside as an annoyance.
Yes, if horses won’t race, they won’t race them. They just send them to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered. The breadth of this woman’s ignorance and her incapacity for critical thinking is absolutely mind-boggling.
What a stupid bitch. Does anything she sees, on a racetrack, ever register with this idiot? Does she ever go backside, to the stalls, to talk to grooms? Talk to the people who really know what goes on, and who might, anonymously, tell what goes on?
Stupid, stupid, bitch.
Someone sounds ticked off that Donna Brothers called him out. I mean, what did she say that was wrong? Horses were used in battle in the Civil War, and by Napoleon and by the American Indians fighting off, or trying to fight off the White Man trying to take their land. Dude, how did you think General T. Sherman got around, when he and the Northern Troops marched into Georgia, and made their famous “March to the Sea,” and burned Atlanta (way before the New England Patriots burned the Atlanta Falcons) to the ground? They didn’t have tanks, you know. They went by horseback. We fought the REVOLUTIONARY WAR on HORSEBACK. How do you think you have the freedom of speech to write you hatred of animal and human bonding? It’s by brave men like George Washington, etc on HORSEBACK fighting the British. Oh, brother.
Apparently, reading comprehension is not one of your strengths.
Yep Terri and using horse as transportation, and unfortunately for battle, was an evil necessity. Racing is not. It is greedy humans purposely putting their horses lives in danger. Racing doesn’t have to be a necessity at all.
What did she say that was wrong? Umm, how about EVERYTHING. From the usual drivel about their horses being family and how much they love them, to the glorification of millions of horses that were forced into servitude during war and destroyed, to the sheer idiocy of the claim that racehorses aren’t forced to race. If these horses can no longer benefit their owners they are literally thrown out like trash – remember that racehorse lying in the landfill? That is the quintessential picture of the love shown to the slaves of the racing industry. Created, used, exploited, and discarded.
We are not against anyone having horses and taking good care of them. We are against people exploiting horses from birth to death and actually causing their death by abusing them to death which is what Donna Brothers is paid to defend. Can you comprehend that, Terri Bey?
Donna Brothers…another one who benefits from the existence of horse racing. When horse racing goes, so does her paycheck. We’ve got nothing to gain or lose either way – but Brothers and everyone else who makes their living off the horses’ backs have much, if not everything to lose.
“What makes us love them is that they are gracious enough to let us go along for the ride”, she says – well, that certainly fits an apologist’s MO – they “love” the horse when THEY benefit – when THEY get something from the horse. We just love them. Period. There is nothing the horse must do to “make” us love them. We love them after they are crippled up from racing. We love them as they stand broken and abandoned by racing in a kill pen. No “going along for a ride” necessary. No getting a check necessary. Brothers doesn’t understand that kind of love.
If I have to read one more time that racehorses are “family”…yea, sure, they “become family”, Ms. Brothers – because isn’t what racing does to its horses what families do to their young and totally dependent family members? Put them in a job that is high risk for injury and death? – take every cent that juvenile family member makes? – sell them or give them away when their money-making ability begins to wane? FAMILY? – You make a fool of yourself, Ms. Brothers.
“I’ve seen horses that don’t want to race–and we don’t race them!” So not only do you make a fool of yourself, you lie. Firstly, put a horse in a running “herd” and he is going to run. Wants to or not…dangling leg or not…sound or not…jockey aboard or not…he WILL run. It’s his instinct. Secondly, “we don’t race them” if they try to refuse?- One of the things that first struck me when I went to the track (as opposed to what I had seen on TV) was the number of horses that resisted loading into the starting gate. From balking to rearing, kicking and even flipping when finally in the gate, they were still made to race…
*Greenwish – I watched the gate crew twist his ears and spin him in circles to get him to load. After, I listened to them calling him a “stupid f****r” and complaining to his owner/trainer “I hate that f*****g rat”. Eighteen years later, Greenwish still trembled if brought into a confined space.
*Runnin’toluvya – fractious in the gate, reared off his rider, injured his left rear limb…they raced him anyway. He was vanned off after the race with blood dripping the length of his left hind – stifle to hoof.
*Mongolian Groom – I’m quite certain everyone knows the facts of this poor gelding’s last day on earth. I felt sick watching the video of him not wanting to walk forward into the starting gate. He tried…no one listened.
*Quality Road – I was no longer a fan by the time this big, gorgeous bay colt was to run in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic, but I was following closely for the same purpose I follow racing now. I wish I knew how to include the nearly 4-minute video of Quality Road trying to avoid loading into the gate, but it’s incredibly distressing to WATCH…imagine how he felt. But of course, they kept trying to load him – finally putting a blindfold on him and spinning him. From the 11-11-2009 BloodHorse, this; “Quality Road not only suffered several injuries from his traumatic incident prior to the BCC, he suffered mentally as well…he’s got stiches, he nearly knocked a tooth out, he’s got a laceration and a big bruise over one eye, and a pretty significant hematoma on his left leg.”
*Just Marion – her story is horrific. Blindfolded like Quality Road, she stumbled out of the gate, lost the jockey and continued to run with the blindfold still in place. My questions are many regarding how this could have even happened (for starters, WHY was her blindfold not removed before the gates were opened?!?). Her terror was indescribable, her death, unspeakable. We often hear how much “better” racehorses are treated in England…below is the link to Just Marion’s story – you decide. In the United States or overseas, racehorses are made to race each other, made to “compete” against one another with bets being placed on their order of finish. They didn’t choose it. They didn’t ask for it. And they certainly don’t want it. From a friend who was brought up in a horse racing family, this; “Horses are not employees. They don’t get to choose their job and even if they did, the idea of a job makes no sense from the horse’s point of view because jobs for humans spring from the ideas of division of labor and capitalism, both of which I invite you to attempt to explain to a horse.”
Thank you Joy for all of the information.
About the link you shared regarding Just Marion. I can’t believe how STUPID they are saying the stuff about seeing if there are any lessons to be learned and as if there is nothing they could do differently.
As if taking the blindfold off would not have changed the outcome of JUST MARION, they gloss right over the most obvious point. They go on to suggest that they might need to improve the railing so that a horse would not be injured as badly if a horse runs/crashes into it. WOW! Their modus operandi is to pretend like they did everything (right) and they are not going to change or admit anything (wrong). Repeat offenders deserve to be behind bars. This is criminal abuse and criminal negligence to blindfold a horse to force it to load and FAIL to take the blindfold off before the starting gates open.
Another thing that was not mentioned in the article was the use of electrical shocking devices in the starting gates. I don’t know how widespread the use of shocking devices are in the starting gates but I watched an undercover video with audio of Gary Stevens the jockey and D. Wayne Lucas the trainer talking and laughing about what happened. Gary Stevens accidentally shocked himself and they mentioned how the rythym of the sound of the shocking devices sounded like a classical type of composer’s music; I don’t remember the composer’s name mentioned but it might have been Mozart. I think that is the wrong name but you get the idea.
I wonder how many volts of electricity are in these shocking devices used by GARY STEVENS and the rest of the jockeys that shock horses in the starting gates.
It always amazes me that racing apologists are focused on PETA. PETA this and PETA that. Donna Brothers is no exception. The fact that PETA doesn’t want racing to end seems to elude these dimwits. Yes, PETA does want the drugs out of racing but that stance certainly isn’t an unusual one. Even some in the industry support drug free racing although I don’t think that will happen since drugs are an integral part of racing’s culture just like slaughter.
As children, we thought that the monsters were under our beds. As adults, we know that the monsters are living among us. We shouldn’t be surprised that paid mouthpieces like Brothers support an industry that cripples, maims and kills daily, but I have to admit that even I was shocked by a post from a Ms. Karen Gentry-Norton that was sent to me from a racing supporter. Gentry-Norton is usually busy peddling her bright blue WSHR wristbands to racing folks in California. However, this time her post was found to be reprehensible even to a racing supporter! Gentry-Norton posted a pic of a Dee Dee Sorvino with a “real fur dyed burgundy” hat perched on her head that her husband had given her as a bday present. Gentry-Norton gushed that she “loved” the hat and seemed delighted that it was fur and then wished Dee Dee the “happiest of birthdays.” Dee Dee then says that the hat is “something to drive PETA nuts.” These two women are the monsters living among us, imo.Their comments are heinous unless the two, Gentry-Norton and Sorvino, are clueless as to how fur from fur bearing animals is harvested but I’m happy to bring them both up to speed. The most common method used for killing foxes is anal electrocution. Anal electrocution involves inserting an electrically charged steel rod into the animal’s rectum, literally frying his or her insides. Of course, there are other horrifying ways to end the animal’s life including, but not limited to, skinning it alive, clubbing it, or breaking its neck but it is all good because Sorvino is pleased that her pretty hat will “drive PETA nuts.” Thankfully, I don’t know either of these women but, if I did, I would immediately end any relationship I had with them. They are truly human monsters.
Although one of these women professes to love the horses running for their lives in the racing industry, I find that hard to believe. As someone said on FB yesterday…”There are many harmless animals on this earth but the human animal is not one of them.” The delight that these two women showed in regards to a fur hat bears witness to that.
The fact that animals are obscenely tortured to death in order to produce fur apparel for some one to flaunt for whatever reason they see fit is reprehensible. Further, to state that wearing a pretty fur hat will “drive PETA nuts” says nothing good about that person.
It is disconcerting to think any animals might be at the mercy of such individuals.