As Another Apologist Admits That the Whip Is Abusive, Donna Brothers Spews More Stupid

Having already opined on Donna Brothers – stupid is as stupid writes – perhaps you may think it a bit uncharitable of me to pile on. Thing is, she makes it so damn hard (easy). In an InsideRacingRegs blog post, the writer, “Joe” (can’t find his full name anywhere on the site), took the racing industry to task on the whip “debate”:

“I listened to last Thursday’s audiocast of the CHRB public meeting during which they debated the use of the whip/riding crop. [O]ne thing stood out. That was the CHRB’s unwillingness to acknowledge the obvious. Not one board member suggested that whipping a horse inflicted pain or was inhumane or out of step with the views of California residents, whom they are responsible for representing.

“The obvious remarks were from animal activists in attendance who laid bare the fallacy of the racing industry’s argument for continuing to permit horses to be whipped during a race. More than once during the public comment on a proposed whipping rule, animal activist [sic] repeated comments of the board’s own equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur. ‘There are those that argue that whipping does not hurt horses, but that is nonsense and we all know that. Whips are a noxious stimuli. They hurt. That’s why they are used. Run fast or I’ll hit you again.’ Not only does the whipping of a horse look abusive, it is abusive.

“[J]ockeys testified of the need to use the whip as a tool. They spoke of their ‘love,’ ‘respect,’ and ‘partnership’ with the horse. No one on the board asked the riders of the oddity of a position that sanctioned the whipping of a beloved and respected partner. There is a term for that. It’s called cognitive dissonance. … We live in an age that whipping an animal is unacceptable. In other words, this is a moral imperative.”

Okay, pretty good for an apologist. But not according to Ms. Brothers. Her comment:

“Mr. Gorajec [apparently, that’s his name], I respectfully disagree with your conclusion that is based on the false premise that riding crops cause horses to feel pain. Especially today’s riding crop and particularly Ramon Dominguez’s 360GT riding crop which is not much different than a pool noodle with a handle.

“We know that horses do not run fast because of pain–they SLOW DOWN when they’re in pain. However, the riding crop does serve two purposes: one, it reminds them of expected behavior (maintain a straight course, don’t duck out sharply, etc.) and it encourages them to keep running to the finish line even though, like the jockey, they are beginning to fatigue.

“Horses are pack animals and some will not willing [sic] leave their herd without encouragement. Also, they have NO IDEA where the finish line is. We think that because WE know where it is they do too–not so. We change distances, surfaces, venues, etc. on them all the time. They only know to keep running until we say the race is over. And the riding crop plays a big role in this encouragement. Warm regards, Donna Brothers”

I almost feel sorry for her. Almost.


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  1. I have heard that most jockeys have opted not to go with the “pool noodle” (as apologists call it) whip, because it does not provide enough “encouragement. “ Not to mention- most tracks never made the jockeys switch to it in the first place. It was rolled out at a select few tracks and that was it. It’s still pathetic to see the jockeys beat the hell out of tired horses who are in the back of the pack and have no chance of placing well in the race, and disgusting to see them continuously whip in the stretch run when they are in contention of winning at tracks with no whip rules, or in quarter horse races. Some commenters on pro racing site have said this is the jockeys “adrenaline kick.” Sick way to get an adrenaline kick.

  2. Follow the money.
    Donna Brothers AKA Donna Barton has made a living from riding and beating racehorses for years.
    Then, through some unexplained miracle, she landed a very lucrative deal with NBC for horse racing.
    Follow the money.
    If racehorses “love to run,” as apologists like Donna Brothers claims, than why do you have to beat them?
    Just watch any race and the whip is being used as a beating and behavior tool, primarily, just like Pavlov’s dogs.
    If these pro-horse racing people loved the racehorses like “family” then you wouldn’t beat them when they are tired and/or sore, in pain, and protecting their lives.
    In fact, if you truly loved racehorses than you wouldn’t exploit them to begin with.
    Of course everybody should know by now that after they are done crippling them they dump them into their disposal systems: 1. claiming ranks 2. kill auctions for the most part.
    So not only does Ms. Brothers spread lies (she knows damn well that the whip is not used ONLY for safety) she lacks compassion like anybody who participates, supports and/or defends this abhorrent practice.
    You can’t possibly love a sentient being that you dope, beat, dump and watch die – it’s not possible.
    So, like all other apologists, she lands firmly in the deliberately delusional category.
    She’s also nothing more than a pimp, like all of them, who lives off the avails of a subordinate, the racehorses, who is unable to adequately defend themselves and, in this case, doesn’t even have a voice.
    Her choice ensures that the money into her wallet keeps flowing.
    Like I said follow the money.
    A pimp and/or a parasite – that’s the only 2 categories that fit these sadistic apologists.

  3. Did this woman have a lobotomy to get into this industry? If whips are such a great guidance tool, why not incorporate them into daycare centers? Just a couple quick taps on the side to keep the toddlers moving in a straight line to the bathroom or on the way to snack time. And if whips are merely for guidance, why do jockeys use overhead swings and dozens of strikes in a row? If a horse is already running straight, why does he need 42 reminders to keep running straight? It isn’t like a racetrack gives a horse a lot of options on which direction to go. Whips are like bits – their only purpose is to inflict pain to force compliance from a horse, as evidenced by the welts and bloody lash marks left behind. And one last point: if whips are a benign guidance tool, why did the racing industry feel the need to Photoshop them out? The general public may not know a lot about horse racing, but they know damn well what a whip is for.

  4. Fool. “They slow down if they are in pain” she states. Not when they are nerve blocked and have medications that numb the pain! That is how they are breaking legs, etc. What about when she needs knee replacement and we never block her leg and ask her to run as fast as she can with someone hitting her on her back! These people just want to stay employed on the gamblers dollar!!

  5. I hate it when anyone advocates abuse and substitutes the word whipping with a word such as encouragement or persuade. It is toxic dysfunctionalism. It is wrong and unacceptable.

  6. Incredible, isn’t it? – how these folks who benefit from horseracing JUST CAN’T HELP but prove our points about animal abuse when they open their mouths…

    “[Horses] slow down when they’re in pain” – so they are going to be hit/whipped/struck/caressed/patted (call it whatever you will) to “encourage them to keep running to the finish line even though they…are beginning to FATIGUE” – or as Brothers pointed out, are in PAIN. The horse is slowing down? – Hit ‘em. With a “riding crop”, a “pool noodle”, just HIT ‘em because that WILL demand they continue running despite their fatigue (which has been proven to be a factor in breakdowns) and their pain.

    “[The horses] only know to keep running until [the jockeys] say the race is over” – hey, don’t y’all claim they just LOVE to run? Isn’t that why we see racehorses with dangling limbs continue running? And jockey-less horses “racing” to the wire? No pool noodle needed! – they love racing!

    Keep talking, apologists and industry members – you make things so much easier.

  7. I do feel sorry for her! Such stupidity
    and obnoxiousness does not come around often. But she concludes her pathetic response with “warm regards”. She deserves a “warm” whip on her back day in and day out… just for encouragement and to guide her to the finish line! ( we know where that is and so will she) because it does not inflict pain, now does it??!!! Another human excrement deeply rooted in an abhorrent industry. The end is near! Very near!

  8. I have a stand against all animal abuse. The animals never age past the innocent loving mental state of a 3 year old child and the punishment should be the same legal one as if the victim was a 3 year old child. You whip a 3 year old child for financial gain it’s the same prison sentence as using a 3 year old child in porn. Pit bull fighting should carry the same prison sentence as kiddie porn as well. It’s all abuse of a 3 year old child for financial gain .

  9. I have never left a comment on this site previously. I have received countless emails about the status of horseracing. I do not watch horseracing either in person or on TV or other sources. I believe that horseracing is cruel and evil and continues to exist because of human animals’ continued support of the corrupt business of horseracing. So the exploitation of horses continues and the human animals continue to be exploitive and evil. How do I make or encourage another human not to gamble on a horse and not to use that horse for profit? If I had more faith in the good of the average human animal I would say the solutions are easy. The horses will continue to suffer needlessly and humans will continue as they are today. I hope one day humans will progress to the point that they have earned the right to forgive themselves for the corruption and inhumanity that they , for the most part, have participated in for a very long time.

  10. California residents are very progressive towards animal welfare. Outlaw horseracing like they banned fur sales/trapping etc. Put it to a vote and hopefully it will be banned like the greyhound racing in Florida. Donna should be whipped like they do the horses.

  11. There is only one way to solve this problem. If the board members do not think that “whipping” a horse does not inflict pain, then let each one of them take a stand and let someone use the “whip” on them. Let them then find out that this is very painful. Horse racing is quite ridiculous as it is quite obvious horses were not meant to race around in a circle or oval. They were meant to ride free.

  12. It is “highly paid” martinets like this that cause nothing but problems by ceasingly saying the same old baloney in a different way, each time it is said.
    What an idiot.

  13. For some reason today,I keep thinking of the two baby brothers who lost their lives at the hands of New York racing. First the younger brother Ciaran three days shy of his third birthday in 2018,then this year his older brother barely five,named Go Big or Go Home, broke down in a race. Both died on New York tracks. Two baby beautiful brothers DEAD…..for what?????????? I get so overwhelmed by sadness thinking of babies like those two brothers and so so many other innocents.

  14. It would be pointless to have a whip if they were not hitting the horses. The horses cannot see the whip behind them, if they can, then it is still used to threatening them, all to win money the horse doesn’t benefit from either. Many horses are killed on the track or end up in a cruel slaughterhouse anyway. These people don’t care if the whip hurts. It’s me, me, me.

  15. Would Ms.Brothers like to demonstrate the “pool noodle” properties of the “360GT riding crop”? While she may fantasize of being ridden and whipped repeatedly, I’m sure the horses do not. For thousands of years These majestic creatures have played a vital role in history. Modern society was created on the backs of horses; perhaps its time to think about that

  16. What most people fail to realize is that jockeys are penalized for NOT trying hard enough to win races ( failure to use whips ), and now they are being penalized for trying too hard ( not using the whip enough ).Most jockeys decide that winning is more important then NOT winning. So they continue to whip.

  17. I cant help but think all horse racing should be stopped, as they are doing with dog racing. Are we barbarians who enjoy seeing animals suffer? I am almost 70 and I know that it will not change in my lifetime, but I do not attend any activity with animals such as races and circuses. I can only pray that Jesus will return and destroy those who do cruelty to the animals. They are is creation and we are instructed by him to care for those who have no voice. But let me say, they do feel pain !!!!

  18. What a dumb bitch blonde. There’s only one way to see if these whips hurt. Try them on all of the deniers and you’ll get your answer!!

  19. Stop wiping horses. Furthermore stop
    Racing horses-Leave these majestic animals alone .
    Do something positive with your life!

  20. If this was put on the ballot in California as an up or down vote- I’m sure horse racing would be “killed”. Good Riddance!

    • In a recent poll, 62% of Americans questioned did not view horse racing favorably, mostly because of the media coverage of all the horrible breakdowns and deaths. I’m sure that if put to a (impartial) vote, horse racing would go the same way as dog racing.

      • Rebecca, A normal human being would not want it…after seeing ONE catastrophic breakdown. This tells you that these apologists are not “wired” right,and are most certainly not caring,sensitive humans!!!!!!! You cannot be right in the head,and want these breakdowns to continue unabated !!!

      • Bonnie, your assessment of the people involved in horseracing who advocate the abuse of horses even to the point of obvious catastrophic breakdowns and death being not “wired” right is spot on and priceless. Anybody that could do what the horseracing people do to young and underdeveloped horses, as well as all racehorses of any age, are not horseman in the true sense of the word! Horsemanship was my favorite subject as a child. I still like the definition of true horsemanship. Horseracing is animal abuse, cruelty and torture to horses, not horsemanship.

    • Many years ago I was at Belmont and a horse went down in a spill. I told the person next to me I was more concerned about the horse than the jockey. He looked at me like I had two heads. My point was that the jockey has a choice to ride and also knows the risks. The horse doesn’t have a choice. It may have seemed cold of me at the time but I still feel that way today.

  21. So if pro racing people believe the whip doesn’t hurt – why did a horse just almost launch his jockey when the jockey tried to whip him intro the gate when he balked at golden gate fields? The jockey used much less force hitting him than he would while whipping during the race, and yet the horse pinned his ears and proceeded to start double barrel kicking as soon as the jockey started hitting him. Then it took most of the gate crew to shove the horse into the gate. I’ve often seen horses pin their ears and wring their tails, some even appear to kick out, when they are hit during a race. Would the horse have that much of a blatant dramatic response to a mere “noise” that racing apologists claim is the only noxious stimuli from a whip?

    • Racing operates as though people are stupid, gullible or just don’t care.
      An ethically and morally corrupt business cannot be trusted to do the right thing or tell the truth, ever.

  22. Here we go again.
    The “do-nothing.” “lip service,” “public wallpaper” CHRB is once again talking about whipping and beating the racehorses.
    They’ve been talking about this for years – FOR YEARS while racehorses continue to get beaten, mainly in the stretch, while they are tired and/or sore some beating leading to horrific breakdowns.
    Why are we even talking about this?
    In any other setting in this country a person who beats an animal gets fined, jailed and/or a criminal record under our Felony Animal Cruelty laws.
    Not horse racing.
    So who comes out swinging to defend this abhorent, unacceptable business practice?
    Well, the horse beaters of course.
    Mike Smith, racehorse beater extraordinaire and another racehorse beater Aaron Gryer:
    Smith and jockey Aaron Gryder disagreed, expressing concern for riders’ safety if use of the whip were restricted and also expressing frustration that whip rules have become considerably variable from state to state. The Blood Horse.
    So they want to continue beating racehorses for their safety?
    Who do they think they are kidding other than their own stupidity and egrecious inhumane treatment and abuse of racehorses?
    This is the CHRB’s “reform” approach.
    In the past, when they tried to pass any sort of protections for racehorses it was always, eventually watered-down and got right back to usual business.
    Horse racing is full of people who don’t want to change and even the changes are not enough.
    What really needs to happen is the total shutdown of this ugly, revolting business who regularly mains, dumps and kills racehorses in order to keep their wagering windows flowing.
    Everything is done to the detriment of the racehorses’ and is required in order to keep it going.

    • Here’s another excerpt that displays just how delusional these beating jockeys really are:
      I’m very proud of the relationship I have with horses,” said Gryder. “It’s a partnership, with complete respect for each other. I don’t just ride the horses, I care for their safety and their wellbeing. I care about them. And chairman, I respectfully disagree with your comment that jockeys want to leave everything status quo. As jockeys we all support continuing to create and/or modify to ensure we’re doing what we can for the safety of the horse and the riders.”
      Complete respect for each other?
      Are you kidding me?
      The only time it will be “complete respect for each other” is when you stop explolting, doping, beating dumping and killing racehorses.
      If racehorses carried a whip to whip you parasites into the ground just like you do to them then we could call it “mutual respect,” but how does somebody respect something when they are beating the crap out of it knowing that they horse is suffering?
      Gryder for the sake of racehorses go jump into a manure pile and take this vile business model with you,
      These comments are despicable and refletive of this antiquated business model full of people who have no clue and are completely out of touch with their communities.

  23. Gina, not only is the remark of having respect for the racehorses a delusional statement, it is also EXTREMELY MANIPULATIVE! Dare I say, “an attorney told him to say that.” It is a legal spin if I ever heard one; and I have heard more than one legal spin even though they were in a different context.

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