From our executive director, Nicole Arciello:
After a few years of advocating for racehorses, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who was feeling sad and helpless on the big race days – the hype, the ads, the posts from those unaware of the cruelty attending Derby parties. I saw posts from other advocates who felt the same way.
I was determined to take that day (and others: Preakness, Belmont, Breeders’ Cup) and make it a day of positive action for the horses instead. We will no longer sit idle and allow the smoke and mirrors to continue unchallenged.
Last year on Derby Day, we staged a “National Day of Protest to End Horseracing.” The feedback we received not only from advocates who were able to attend protests, but from those following the live-streams and media coverage, was extremely positive. The day was changed from a day of sorrow to a day of action. This year, we were planning the same until Covid-19 arrived and changed everything. The race was rescheduled, but we advocates would not let the still-suffering (and, yes, dying, because some racing continues) horses be forgotten. But, I wondered, how best to go about that? Enter “The Virtual Rally to #EndHorseracingNOW.”
I asked everyone with the means – data, wifi, social-media accounts – to take part in an all-day event. Not for just an hour or two, but 24 hours of continuous posting to Facebook and Instagram, and an all-day Tweet Storm, too! It was a lot to ask.
So as I awoke at 5 am Saturday, I was delighted to see that people all over the world were already tweeting and posting and sharing our event! The outpouring of support was amazing! I’d seen other virtual events with 20 people “interested” or “going,” but we had over 500!
As the day unfolded, there were posts of rescued horses, activists at previous protests, dogs wearing our t-shirts, stories of people turning their backs on the industry and people sharing our information. Our hashtags – #EndHorseracingNOW and #HorseracingKillsHorses – trended on Twitter for the first time ever! While I’m always optimistic that the day for liberating these beautiful creatures will come, yesterday gave me even more hope. I am more certain than ever that their day is near!
Thank you to all who participated, and a heartfelt gratitude to those who donate, who read this blog, who attend events, who sign petitions and who post on social media!
Thank you for being their voice!