They’re Lying – Almost 1,000 Dead Horses Proves It

Last year, ahead of Belmont’s Opening Day, the New York Racing Association issued a statement that began:

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a number of safety initiatives…for the upcoming 25-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park. … The safety and welfare of horses…competing at NYRA tracks is our highest priority.

Two years ago, ahead of Belmont’s Opening Day, NYRA issued a statement that read, in part:

In addition to accreditation…by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, a variety of initiatives have been put in place since 2013 at all three NYRA racetracks…in areas such as racing surfaces and race-day scrutiny, as well as capital improvements and collaborative efforts…to ensure the safety of all participants. These extensive reforms and commitment to improving the safety of NYRA’s racing operations have led to demonstrably safer races.

Four years ago, in the midst of Saratoga’s 21-kill summer, NYRA released a statement that began:

In addition to the existing industry-leading equine health and safety policies and procedures already in place at NYS racetracks, the NYS Gaming Commission, NYRA and NYTHA are implementing additional actions immediately at Saratoga Race Course, including increased regulatory veterinary presence at the track during training hours, state-of-the-art monitoring of horses and comprehensive trainer education intended to share scientific findings of research into the types of injuries that occur at New York Thoroughbred racetracks and risk and protective factors that can help to prevent injury.

From a statewide regulatory and veterinary affairs perspective, other states look to New York for guidance in shaping their own regulatory and best-practice methods to ensure horse welfare.

State Equine Medical Director Scott Palmer added:

“Our goal is to reduce the number of racehorse deaths and injuries to zero, and we have taken many productive steps toward reaching that goal over the past four years.”

And NYRA Safety Steward Hugh Gallagher:

“There is no issue more important to NYRA than the safety of our equine and human athletes. That is why NYRA has implemented extensive reforms and made significant investments since 2013 to improve track surface conditions, upgrade equipment, provide vets with more authority to monitor thoroughbred health, establish committees to oversee safety measures, and actively seek out advice and guidance from independent experts and scientists.”

Seven years ago, in response to a relatively light 12 dead at Saratoga (for context, Saratoga had 21 kills last year), NYRA issued the following:

Although New York State has made significant progress in reducing injuries and preventing the inappropriate use of medication in racehorses, the job of equine safety is never done. There will be challenges along the way. We are experiencing such a challenge during the 2014 Saratoga meet. A thorough investigation of all of the racing fatalities…is being conducted. We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to identify the causes of death in all racing fatalities in New York. As stewards of the racehorse, we have a duty to do all that we can to honor and protect these incredible athletes.

Just this morning, Singapore Trader, five, was killed training at Belmont. He is the 16th dead horse at Belmont in less than four months – this, after 53 killed there last year. In fact, just since 2009 (when the Gaming Commission began disclosing these things), almost 1,000 horses have lost their lives at the three NYRA tracks. Almost 1,000.

“safety and welfare of horses is our highest priority”

“these extensive reforms have led to demonstrably safer races”

“other states look to New York for best-practice methods to ensure horse welfare”

“no issue more important to NYRA than the safety of our equine and human athletes”

“we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to identify the causes of death”

They’re lying. Through their teeth.

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  1. Yes, they’re lying alright. But at least they make their lies easy to disprove. Belmont’s Triumphant Opening Day Clusterf#^%* featured a three-horse spill (crash) in which the racing press immediately and proudly proclaimed that all involved horses are “okay.” Great, right? No, probably not. In fact, despite the lack of an announcement of any injuries the horses may have incurred, I think at least one will quietly disappear off the face of the earth. For the others, their connections will start getting itchy after a couple months’ down time, and, not wanting to pay for costs, will insist one or both of them get sent out to earn — invisible injuries and trauma be damned. But they know they’re under the microscope, and it’s not just ours. Kinda scary to send out a “survivor” to break down publicly, isn’t it, racing creeps?

    Meantime, though, Belmont will just keep racking up other horse deaths every single day. And the NYRA will keep issuing “new” safety statements. Kill a horse, rinse and repeat.

    • Sending those horses that survived a spill on opening day at Belmont Park out to race and die by catastrophic breakdown most likely won’t happen on the day that the running of the Belmont Stakes airs on NBC. That might be a little more difficult to hide if several thousand (more than the usual number of) people are watching.

  2. This barbaric horse racing industry has to STOP ! These poor horses are tossed aside and abused when they stop making money!! Absolutely disgusting!

  3. Three different Maryland trainers have had four horses killed.🤔🤔🤔🤔 in the past week….all in NY.

  4. Let us remember that animals, including horses, are not mere resources for human consumption, entertainment and/or monetary gain. They are splendid beings in their own right, who have evolved alongside us as co-inheritors of all the beauty and abundance of life on this planet.

  5. Marco, I appreciate your sentiment. Every person/commenter is like a horse shoe nail in that every person can do something, even though it might not seem big, and with collective effort change will happen.

  6. This sounds like another case of:
    Q. How can you tell if they are lying?
    A. Their lips are moving.


    • These parasites are literally addicted to the pain and misery they cause their horses. It makes them feel like little gods, holding the life of a helpless being in their hands and being able to do whatever they want, with no consequences.

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