Thank You for Making the Virtual Rally a Great Success

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!

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    • Thank you, Martha. We will be planning more virtual events to bring this amazing community of advocates together for the horses!

  1. Thank you, Nicole, Patrick, Joy, and everyone at HORSERACING WRONGS for giving us the opportunity to speak out about the cruelties of horseracing! Thanks to everyone for caring and organizing a worthwhile and non-violent event to help stop the violence against horses!!!!!!

  2. Thanks for putting this on.
    It was lots of fun and inspirational to see that we are not alone in our quest to end this killing business.

    • We have come so far from the Tweet Storm we did years ago, haven’t we, Gina? The Horseracing Wrongs community is growing so rapidly! Thank for you being with us from the beginning!

  3. All thanks to everyone at Horseracing Wrongs. Love you all for your shared desire to end the carnage across American horse tracks. But the dinosaurs in horse racing/killing are not feeling a lot of that same love. They’re getting even more angry and defensive. And not at themselves and each other, but at us.
    For the first time ever, I was blocked on Twitter by a racing “journalist” from NBC. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been blocked by plenty of racing people and racing institutions. But never by a so-called “reporter.” For some reason, I had thought they all had thicker skins than that. After all, they’ve witnessed breakdown after breakdown, horror after horror as they pretended to cover their favorite anti-sport throughout their writing careers. I guess this particular writer doesn’t want to hear the case against horse racing. Too bad for him; our legions are growing, while theirs is dying off (or quietly bowing out from shame and embarrassment.)
    Also, I saw more comments, posts, and tweets than I can count about exactly why the Virtual Kentucky Derby was better than the real thing: BECAUSE NO HORSES WERE HARMED. Not one. Not a single horse had to die in training, from a racing breakdown, nor from getting dumped in a kill pen at the ripe old age of five.
    So bring on the virtual races, horse killers! When we get the real thing banned, y’all will finally be able to enjoy your “safe” horse racing:)

    • Kelly,
      I think that is awesome that you struck a nerve of an advocate of horseracing and horse abuse and horse killing. Good on you!!!! There is no good reason to have horseracing that only abuses and eventually kills the horses that are exploited for money in the form of wagering handle and government subsidies.

      I suppose that NBC stands to either gain or lose revenue from the advertising they sell to “giant corporations” that buy commercials during a so-called sporting event; that is if you can call whipping and doping underdeveloped young horses to catastrophic injuries and death a sport. Horseracing is a blood sport like shooting wild animals for the sheer bloodthirsty evilness to satisfy human devils that commit such heinous, inhumane acts against animals.

      • Thanks, Wanda:)
        “Struck a nerve” is right. And this from a “sports reporter” whom I’ve never even tweeted, LOL. Most of the others just ignore me, of course; I accept that we’re never gonna convert the die-hards. But at least everyone at Daily Racing Form, BloodHorse, Paulick, L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, Thoroughbred Daily News, et al. doesn’t throw a twitter-tantrum and block access to those readers with whom they disagree.
        Too bad for him I haven’t been blocked by NBC Sports.
        So, sorry, Tim Layden! We’ll still be speaking out against all your sappy, disingenuous horse racing BS — at least until you find something to write about that doesn’t involve maiming and mangling thousands of animals each and every year. Hey, I hear Pickleball is quite the exciting sport these days. Plus, hardly any horses die from Pickleball. Maybe you should report on that;)

      • Thanks, Bonnie! I laughed too. I think it was the comment I made about the Kentucky Derby involving only “silly people in stupid hats placing bets on carnage” that did it for him. He probably said, “You can protest all day about all the horses we in racing kill off, but don’t you dare make fun of our hats! Blocked!”

    • Congratulations Kelly and welcome to the blocker club!
      When I first started commenting on HRW and social media I was attacked by the pro-horse racing people.
      I even had a direct threat to my health and safety.
      i reminded them all that if they “got rid of me” there was an army of people that feels the same as I do.
      So I asked them: are you going to kill all of them too? Block all of them too?
      It didn’t take long for them to BAN me on every single social media account I had.
      Within 48 hours of opening up another account I get blocked again and I’m not even violating any social media rules whatsoever.
      In fact, it’s the pro-horse racing people that are malicious and derogatory.
      They are the ones that should be shut down – not me.
      I’ve been forced to post under a parody account or a fictitious name account like so many others such as: “shewolf” or “marathon man,” etc etc.
      Under my guise I’ve been able to post for 4 months now, uninhibited, but I still follow the “respect” rules.
      The fact that horse racing entities were able to shut me down ,blatantly violating my constitutional rights, and they were able to do it swiftly while others were still posting violent threats tells me that horse racing still has lots of power.
      They’ve done things to me that nobody would believe and it’s very unnerving which it’s intended to be.
      The racehorses need our voice now more than ever and I intend to carry on under the perilous sky.
      I know you will too.

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