Oregon Politicians Say, You Can’t Ban Racing; “Horses Obviously Love the Sport”

Back in June, Oregon State Senator Peter Courtney introduced a bill to ban horseracing in that state. While it has yet to gain traction, we certainly applaud the senator’s bold, courageous action – to my knowledge, the first of its kind in the nation. In any event, as fully expected, the racing people and their apologists are none too pleased. And, as fully expected, they are punching back with disinformation. But the commissioners of Josephine County – the site of Oregon’s sole commercial track, Grants Pass – have scaled new, risible heights.

The following letter was sent to the Oregon Senate. Enjoy.

June 9, 2021
To: Senate Rules Committee
Re: Josephine County Objects to SB871 (Horse Racing Ban)

Josephine County, as the owner of the racing facility that hosts Grants Pass Downs, objects to SB 871.

Because of horse racing, racehorses generally lead good lives. Race horses nurse from healthy mothers, sleep in secure and comfortable settings, play with each other and people, eat well-balanced diets, get expert veterinary and dental care, and receive copious human love. Racehorses love to run and to participate in a structured routine at which they are the center of attention. Beyond that, it is impossible to overstate how much horse people love their racehorses.

It is true that horse racing involves risk. But the benefit that horse racing provides to both horses and people far outweighs that risk. Horse racing is highly regulated by both the Oregon Racing Commission and by its own industry participants. A ban on horse racing would not improve the lives of the horses who obviously love the sport, or of the people who love racehorses.

Please enter this letter into the legislative record for SB 871 and all other proposed legislation that pertains to horse racing.

[signed by the three commissioners]


  1. The idiots who penned this obviously know absolutely NOTHING, not one damn! thing about horses or horseracing! Sad when people like this open their big mouths and lay forth their ignorance for the world to see.

  2. Do the horses also love being whipped, drugged, then shot when they are injured? Or sold for slaughter overseas if they are too slow?

  3. Obviously, the three commissioners who signed this really dumb ass letter are exceptional people because they can read minds, in this case the minds of horses that race, and frequently are so badly injured doing this they get euthanized.

  4. I used to live in Oregon. I truly hope that the people realize how insulting this statement is.

    We can spot BS when we see it.. This certainly fits the description of that. Horse racing is cruel and corrupt.

    It cannot be justified in a civilized society.

  5. Really ? Someone needs to take that bitch on a walk through an killing shed. Or better yet , make her run with her horses til she fucking drops dead !

  6. While it is a agreed that a routine is important for any animal, it is highly gregarious to assume a horse enjoys any or all aspect of the racing circuit. The stages that can include being drugged if injured, whipped during the race and the common use of euthanasia solution when “permanently” injured. To continue to force this “sport” would be only in the selfish capacity of the owners and spectators.

  7. Again, I am pleasantly Astonished at this bill.
    An incredible move by an experienced politician.
    If Horseracing Wrongs ( PETA, anyone) Can disprove this ridiculous letter, Maybe the bill WILL gain traction.

  8. That letter is unbelievable. How can you state that the benefit that horse racing provides to both horses and people outweigh the risks. How does it benefit horses? We know how it benefits people. The owners hope to make loads of money from the horses if they win. I cannot see any benefits to horses. They are just money making machines. If the owners really loved the horses they would never have their animals put down if they broke a leg. I remember years ago one famous horse did break a leg and the owner would not put it to sleep and the leg did get repaired after a lot if work and patience. Most owners would just want to collect the insurance money and buy another horse. I would much rather see a horse running around a field and being ridden for pleasure rather than pushed to the extreme to win a race. This is not a kind sport.

    • …like Carol wrote, people and horses both benefit???? Um, I think not. What tone deaf and horse mis-understander-er extrapolates this conclusion?! Try asking a horse who benefits, ya selfish ‘human’ eejit.

  9. This is not a sport. The horses get no choice. Furthermore this letter written by these clowns who have no idea what they are talking about. These are not even mature horses. And it doesn’t matter when they are born they all have the same birthday. Allegedly so they can track their pedigrees. I say bull 💩 to that. It’s more likely set so it’s easier to exploit the horses who suffer all the consequences of human greed and not because they love it. Who wants to be run into the ground sometimes dying before they hit the ground while being beaten all the way down. Horse racing needs to die along with a lot of these other horrendous treatments of animals that are done because humans want it not the beasts. How do we call ourselves human? There’s better ways to spend the money wasted to torture animals. One more thing as I live near Fingerlakes Racetrack I always thought how stupid can humans get. They are betting there while people slam the slots too all the while they have notices in the bathrooms that tell you where to get help if gambling is a problem. Ridiculous. Stop horse racing and end breeding them just so they can die.

  10. So is the author of this letter claiming that it is just not possible for humans to ‘love’ horses, give them balanced diets, a secure place to sleep etc, without also making them risk their lives for our entertainment? Because if it is possible, then surely anyone who really cares about the horses will want give them balanced diets and the rest but without also exploiting them?

  11. These racehorse people are so deviant and devient (both spellings and definitions apply) that there is no end to their twisted, contorted, perverted, and convoluted actions and words.
    I am so, so grateful for the existence of HORSERACING WRONGS website and blog!!!! I am so glad to know that there are many people who have been able to be a VOICE OF TRUTH ON BEHALF OF THE HORSES!!!!!!!! Keep up the great work in being actively engaged in the campaign to SHUTTING THE KILLING SHOW OF HORSERACING DOWN!!!!!!!!!!

  12. You forgot to mention how much they love it when they die an agonizing death while racing at the track.

  13. Should we all send letters to the Oregon Senate in favor of the bill then?

    • Absolutely, Christine. I’ll post the contact information in a comment here. Thank you!

  14. Thank you, Senator Courtney – horse racing must be banned.

    Obviously, the owner of a racing facility has her own agenda to continue to make money by abusing and exploiting horses to their death. Her letter is nothing but lies.

  15. This woman who praises Horse Racing is looking at these Horses with $$$$ Dollar signs. She makes me “sick”, I know all about Horse Racing 🏇 for centuries. These Horses have no choice , But to be Beaten, abused Maltreated, & then Murdered, YES, MURDERED! When they can’t keep up the speed, because they are Drugged, or sick, or too old to Race! They are only Ronning to make the Owners of these Race Tracks “RICH “, on their 🩸 Blood! They Over-Run these Horses, a lot of them have health problems with age, But, they still run them into the Ground! You are a very Cruel ,Heartless Woman , along with the Demonic people who side with you! I want to see YOU, be a Horse, & get Beat -up! You know the truth, Lady, Horse Racing is Barbaric. Ban this Long Suffering Sport, In All States!, it’s a very Ugly & Deadly Sport! Ban it!!!’n

  16. You are full of crap and everyone knows it. How can you see the deaths and drugs injected into these animals and say the horses enjoy it? These horses are money for rich scum (probably well connected to you) and nothing more. If they don’t produce – they are sent to slaughter!

  17. We know that the owners, trainers and tracks don’t care. But where the hell are the animal welfare authorities or the state of California?

  18. Advocates! Take Action Now! Contact information for Oregon Officials below. Call, email, Tweet and Facebook message. Let them know that you support bill SB871 to Ban Horseracing in Oregon.

    Governor Kate Brown
    Phone: (503) 378-4582
    Contact form: https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/share-your-opinion.aspx
    Twitter: @OregonGovBrown https://twitter.com/oregongovbrown
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oregongovernor

    Senator Peter Courtney
    Phone: 503-986-1600​
    Email: sen.petercourtney@oregonlegislature.gov

    Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner
    Phone: 503-986-1719
    Email: Sen.RobWagner@oregonlegislature.gov

    Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
    Phone: 503-986-1717
    Email: Sen.ElizabethSteinerHayward@oregonlegislature.gov
    Twitter: @ESHforOregon https://twitter.com/eshfororegon
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SenatorElizabethSteinerHayward

    Senator Fred Girod
    Phone: 503-986-1709
    Email: Sen.FredGirod@state.or.us
    Twitter: @FredGirod https://twitter.com/FredGirod
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fred.girod.1

    Senate Leadership: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/senatedemocrats/Pages/leadership.aspx
    House Leadership: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/house

    • Thank you for the extensive list of contacts & links Nicole.The letter signers have got to be dumber than dirt to believe or state these reasons. We have galloped dead lame, at a walk, horses that when injected in their carpal joints then would pass the pre-race vet exam.After 2 weeks the horse was lame at a walk again. Poor 5 year old Rocky had no business being raced! The very wealthy promoter/ investor of Grant`s Pass downs,( a coffee shop owner) is the proponent of racing in Oregon. Without his MILLIONS the racing industry would have died out a couple of years ago.We have seen & experienced so much over the last 40+ years we could write a multi- volume series of our experiences.We have seen horses shoulders pumped up, (with a hand pump) full of air to supposedly ” loosen up their shoulders” Many of these horses if they don`t have a temperament for racing or become unsound, are quietly shipped off to auctions in the southern part of our state where everyone knows where they end up! We know so much & have experienced so much we could easily overwhelm Pat`s comment section.We have seen jockeys back at the barn strike a horse in their face as hard as they could with a whip before a race & in the mornings to” Wake them up”.

  19. You’ve got to be sh*ting me. They finally got rid of greyhound racing because of its problems. Now you want to tell me that the horses just love to run? Then what the Sam Hell do they need to whips for. Decorations?
    And do you think I haven’t seen the statistics on the number of horses PUT DOWN ON THE TRACK??
    That doesn’t even include the numbers of those put down off track, on the stalls of the track or back at the owner’s stable.

  20. Oh my…how obtuse! The owners of race horses, the race track, and the letter writers, are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the Oregon politicians and the public…IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY! If, indeed, it is a wonderful sport, why is there so much abuse, doping, horses sold for slaughter if they don’t “measure up”, and shipping undesirables overseas in horrible conditions to race in other countries?! How can it be thought that horses enjoy those aforementioned aspects of horseracing life?Do the research…people… check out online videos of catastrophes on race tracks, get information on exactly how many race horses are sold for slaughter and/or shipped overseas. Doping is rampant…I don’t care how much they deny it. So much for treating race horses with loving care, respect, and concern! You’ve got to be kidding!!!

  21. Horses love the sport?!?!?! Yes there are horses that love to run and are glorious in doing so, but horses that are drugged and medicated and pushed beyond their capacity for selfish human greed and entertainment is a whole different story!

  22. “You can’t ban dog fighting! These animals obviously LOVE tearing each other to pieces for gambling degenerates. Just think of all the sad puppies without jobs if you take our sport away!”

  23. You literally talk out of the horses ass.
    Horse racing is killing horses, it even comes from your own circles of “Horse lovers”.
    I can’t believe the outrageous lies in your letter.
    Have they come and pick you up yet? The man with the straight jacket. Because you’re delusional.

    All you signers are mentally challenged.
    Where do you come up with this shit????
    You don’t see blood, injuries and killings that this SPORT cost on a daily basis?
    Your are disgusting to defend such a vile brutal circus.

  24. Pros and Cons. (1) Running horses in 106 degree heat is inhumane and STUPID. (2) ILLEGALLY drugging them is WRONG and SELFISH. (3) Racing them at two-years old is TOO YOUNG. Their bones and muscles are not fully de-veloped. Prone to more injuries. TOO RISKY. (4) *** And, most importantly, today’s technology is killing all lifeform. The “5G” ELectromagnetic Radio Wave Frequency that is being installed everywhere, quietly and stealthily, is extremely harmful to ALL LIFE. It works on the Oxygen molecule causing it to Not bond with the hemoglobin. (5) Bleeding from the nose is one of the symptoms.

    • Bleeding from the nose has been a thing for a long time before the invention of the satellite dependent technology we have now.
      At some point, the horses are run for such a long distance and amount of time that their heart and lungs are overworked and can no longer get oxygen back into their blood and therefore into all parts of the body. I believe that horses basically suffocate from the inside to put it another way. Horses are not race cars and they’re not 4-wheel drives either. Some people don’t care about the horse when the horse needs to stop or at least go at a slow walk to give the horse a chance to get their breath back. In endurance trail riding, they have TPR stations where each horse and rider must stop and have the horse’s Temperature, Pulse, and Respiration checked. Sometimes, some horses are not allowed to go on, because they have had it. They don’t deliberately cause horses to die in Endurance Trail riding/racing as they do in Flat Track and Steeplechase Racing.

    • Interesting link! The family foundation of Kentucky has it right! All these kinds of gamboling should be illegal! We have know of several good friends & neighbors who became addicted to horse race gamboling as well as the states video poker games. You`re correct Alan its all about the $$ to be gained only!

  25. I must have missed the interview that had a “racehorse” saying he loved the sport !!!!!!!!of the thousands of foals born each year, the small % that reaches a stable lifestyle is small. Where do the rest end up?????

  26. This is an idealistic and misleading statement about horse racing owners, let us ask whether without betting and gambling this would even exist. These people might say they love and care for their horses but if they do why not let them lead natural existences, do you see horses run in the wild to a point that they collapse and die from heart attacks. At least tell the truth. All involved need a reality check, but mostly the idiots who bet on these races without you there is no industry.

  27. I tell you what. Let’s put these greedy idiots into the place of the horses, and see if they survive the first foot.

  28. It’s likely that it’s easier for folks to see the cruelty that exists when it involves household pets, than it is to see the cruelty involving horses and horse racing. Thank you, Senator Courtney, for understanding and “seeing” that horse racing is wrong, just as greyhound racing was wrong. Thank you for taking action to address this wrong.

  29. This is so WRONG to run these Animals until they drop or have An accident on the track that ends their Life. They should put the Jockeys on the track & whip them to go Faster

    Only stupid humans who when they stop winning and making money they are crammed into a trailer and shipped away to be sold for meat or some other horrendous thing

  31. Are they serious ! What horse shit ! Do they honestly believe that we the People will bye this crap…..

  32. Horses on racetracks do not get to socialize with other horses and are usually alone in stall 23 hrs a day even though social animals. They are run when their legs are to young, 2ys old instead of 6 when bones fully formed. They are tattooed, tongues tied, whipped and sent to slaughter. End cruelty of horseracing now. Be ahead of other states ending cruelty.

  33. I’d be interested to see this individual live as a horse for a week during the racing season and see if she enjoys it. Give it a go. I dare you!

  34. Talk about pure ignorance, the proof is in the pudding. Horseracing is a pure living hell just like the awful dog racing & dog meat trade.

  35. Horses hate horse racing! They hate being whipped. They hate being shut in with no life. Hose racing is appalling! Many horses die or are severely injured racing.

    People who make money out of these poor creatures love hose racing.

  36. Horses “ receive copious human love”??!!
    Hmmm… so, whipping them, drugging them, shoving them into a gate, forcing them to run and when they no longer can sending them to slaughter and/ or starving them is testament to the LOVE you feel for these amazing beings, right?? RIGHT??
    This ignorant broad’s “plea” belongs in a damn garbage bin. I am appalled it saw the light of day. She knows all too well what is going on in her morally deprived “business”
    Love?? PLEASE!! Deeply insulting!!

    • It seems as though there is somewhat of a misunderstanding about who “she” is and who the owner is. Sorry, but I don’t see anywhere where it is stated that Josephine County is a person. “She” is a County.
      The letter was signed by three “men” “serving” as county commissioners on behalf of the County of Josephine, or Josephine County. The County owns the facilities that host Grants Pass Downs. This despicable plea for the State of Oregon legislative branch to not ban Horseracing at Grants Pass Downs hosted by the County as the owner of the land/ facilities is/was signed by three men named (as Patrick has answered to Phil above):
      1) Daniel DeYoung, 2) Herman Baertschiger, Jr. & 3) Darin Fowler. I don’t know them personally but if they are anything like the three commissioners of Asotin County in Washington State, they are overpaid and well off financially, and just want to get richer. The WAGERING HANDLE revenue and PROFITS would be pocketed by “whoever” and taxes would be paid on that revenue. It’s all about the money and I think these “commissioners” are well aware of their immorality and don’t care.

  37. Mr Peter Courtney..
    The decent people are behind you all the way!
    Thank You!!
    As for the pos that wrote this letter..
    I for one do not believe your bs…
    .. grow your self some balls and do something good..
    Evidently you don’t know how….

  38. How can this complete moron make an ignorant comment like this, knows nothing about horses at all.

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