Momentum: Philadelphia Inquirer Calls for Horseracing to Be “Put Out of Its Misery”

The Philadelphia Inquirer continues to be in the vanguard on the issue of horseracing. Having twice before decried the giant subsidies keeping that state’s racing industry afloat, and just last week publishing a scathing article on how those subsidies and animal cruelty intersect, yesterday the paper struck again. The Board’s editorial – “How long must Pennsylvania prop up a dying racehorse industry?” – opened thus:

“Welcome to Pennsylvania, the animal welfare state. By that, we definitely do not mean a state devoted to the well-being of animals, but rather, one that has created a massive $3 billion subsidy program for the owners of racehorses. The money props up an industry that is not only failing but is responsible for the deaths of more than a thousand horses in the past 10 years.”

The Board went on to say that the industry “needs to be put out of its misery.” Excellent, indeed. The Inquirer becomes the second major U.S. paper – joining The Washington Post – to call for an end to horseracing. Thank you, to both. Know that you are firmly on the right side of history.

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  1. We would rather our tax dollars go to the education & health care for those young people already here than into industries that harm & injure so many horses & people yearly. The taxes paid by racing don`t make up for the harm done to both people & horses.The racing industry should have $$ set aside to handle all the many horses used up by their business & not just make huge profits on their “crooked , crummy, gamboling game.” That is direct quote from an English born & trained jokey who we used to gallop horses on our states local tracks with.

  2. You’re one sick puppy, marymbaggaley, but in the USA, most people are still entitled to their own opinion and you certainly have yours.

  3. This Op-Ed and the Inquirer’s front page headline last Sunday – “Death at the Track” – are a direct result of Patrick’s persistence. Persistence with his research and investigations, and persistence with the media. Every interview he gives, every inquiry phone call, he is a voice for the horses and this is where it pays off and this is where change begins. This is a victory in the fight to end horseracing! Ending subsidies will result in tracks closing, but it’s not enough for tax payers, the people of Pennsylvania, to just hear about subsidies drowned in government math. The people need to know that their state financially supports animal cruelty. They need to know about every death. If not, why would the public make change. When I approached Patrick and Joy to make HW a nonprofit so that we can partner with like-minded people that care about the horses this is what I knew we could do. Thank you all for being a part of this campaign, this movement. I know there are days when it looks grim, but I am positive that we will end this! I want to empower us all to use our voices for the horses. If there is anyone here from Pennsylvania, we need your help. Everyone, please tweet this Op-Ed to Governor Wolf. Let him know Pennsylvania is watching, let him know the country is watching for him to make history and stop the bailout to a cruel industry that can’t support itself. Together, we can end horseracing. if you want to learn how you can help!

  4. A huge shout out to The Philadelphia Inquirer and any newspaper who reports the facts about this vile killing business.
    Horse racing is a state-sanctioned killing business that is financially supported by taxpayers, the public coffers and/or casino profits in most states because they can’t financially sustain themselves and haven’t for years.
    It goes without saying that the biggest losers are the racehorses and what do pro-horse racing entities do when their millions in profits are being jeopardized like in Pennsylvania?
    Well they suddenly start to care for the racehorses and put out statements to the public like the one today from the PA Horse Breeders Association (PHBA): we are endorsing the John Stringer Rainey Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act to put an end to the slaughter of horses on American soil.
    “In addition to our commitment to the health and safety of Thoroughbreds, aftercare is also a top priority of the PHBA,” according to president Greg Newell.
    Aside from this statement being delusional and laughable just remember that they are ONLY WORDS and when it comes to taking care of their racehorse’s words are often all they have to offer and, believe me, words are not enough when it comes to taking care of the broken bodies of racehorses solely caused by this vile business.
    Have you ever heard the saying: “money talks bullshit walks?”
    Well that’s horse racing because this multibillion dollar industry gives little to nothing when it comes to the aftercare of their dumped racehorses that usually require expensive, extensive vet care not to mention the price of housing and feeding a 1200 pound animal.
    To this day, every single pro-horse racing entity refuses to implement a mandatory percentage of profits to racehorse aftercare in the wake of billions in wagering profits plus millions from state coffers including casinos.
    While groups like the HBPA and the PHBA sat at the bargaining table to sign secret deals with our politicians to get their millions in casino profits not one of them spoke up for the racehorses, in fact, refused to authorize even 1% of these handouts to go to aftercare so why in the hell would they care now?
    So to hear the PHBA say that they care is an insult to my intelligence and to all of those who have ever been involved with racehorse rescue or are still involved because their unwanted racehorse mess just keeps on getting worse.
    Does the PHBA think that bales of hay, bags of oats, farrier and vet services just drop out of the sky?
    Don’t spew out this bullshit that you “care” while thousands of your racehorses stand in kill pens begging for their lives even champions like THE DEPUTY not to mention the fact that aftercare programs are begging for donations from the public, people who didn’t exploit them in the first place, because you deliberately omitted a mandatory percentage contribution to racehorse aftercare.
    You always find the time to fight for your right to exploit the racehorses, but are nowhere to be found when it comes to actually taking care of them when you’re done maiming them are you?
    These apologists are parasites and the racehorses are their hosts and what does a parasite do when their host can’t give them anymore of their blood, sweat, and tears even their life?
    Well they dump them for a new host and that, in a nutshell, is horse racing.
    There is not one justification for our politicians to be giving even one dime to horse racing not from the public coffers and certainly not from our casino profits.

  5. It’s well-known that former harness racehorses (trotters) go on to provide Pennsylvania Amish transportation as buggy horses. Was this Enquirer article referring to other breeds that compete like Quarter horses, thoroughbreds and Arabians? I’m much more (much more!) concerned for my family members that live in Philadelphia are having to deal with soaring Human homicide rates that will soar thirty percent past last year’s total of 500 lost. Why can’t the media and politicians stay focused on the highest priorities? It’s sad.

    • Since you missed the point here I will clarify to make it easier for you.
      The millions being handed out to support horse racing would otherwise be diverted into community essential services such as EMS personnel and mental health services which will prevent lots of homicides according to multiple accredited research projects and papers.
      In fact, many serial killers and young people who kill often have a past history of abusing and killing animals such as Jeffrey Dahmer who describes, in a recent Investigative program, that he enjoyed mutilating cats and squirrels in his backyard and enjoyed watching them suffer.
      Killing is killing whether that’s homicide or theriocide (Theriocide is a fairly new term being adopted and promoted by our younger generation for people who kill animals). Reference: University of Maine PhD student Piers Beirne “Naming Animal Killing.”
      I now denote any animal killing as theriocide because it does require its own term.
      As you are aware theriocide is a daily common occurrence when it comes to horse racing because they kill racehorses.
      Any person who watches a racehorse die and still supports it is demented in some capacity and they really need to check into some sort of mental health program.
      I would provide you with a list in your geographical area, but since I don’t know where you live nor want to I suggest you just Google it and perhaps that can assist you with your priorities.

      • So sorry, Gina, that my aside on Philly crime caused a distraction or response. I was simply asking if the paper’s op-ed focused on a particular breed. Morgans and standardbreds are my personal favorites (though completely understand the Clydesdales cult! haha).
        Certainly see now on this thorough and well-organized website that equestrian, flat racing and steeplechasing is the focus. While not a gambler personally, I am in agreement that racetrack properties be limited to the lawful profits of their individual racino and not receive additional taxpayer monies. The public gets fleeced enough as it is.
        Have a safe and happy Earth month.

        • Sorry, Dee, but I think you are still missing the point about horseracing.

  6. YAY — Good news — it’s a step in the right direction — we must keep at it and share.

    • Thank you, Gina — I couldn’t agree with you more — knowing what we NOW know about Horseracing, you’d think most would get it — putting aside the unconscionable, depraved cruelty to Horses, the monies from Governments supporting this vile industry is downright criminal — WHO says it’s OK to use taxpayer money to support Horseracing? — As you already mentioned, this money COULD go to so many other deserving areas — something is very wrong – we must keep pushing and pushing.

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