NYRA’s “industry standard when it comes to safety and integrity”: Over 1,000 Dead Racehorses Since 2009

Monday, the Coalition to End Horseracing Subsidies in New York (of which we are a part) held a virtual rally, with Edie Falco of Sopranos fame kicking it off:

Representing HW, I gave the following statement:

State Senator Robert Jackson, a bill co-sponsor, said this: “At a moment when our working-class communities so desperately need funding for critical services like education, human services, and economic justice, to prop up a deadly industry that often abuses and neglects the horses in its care and is known for violations of workers’ rights, with $230 million of New York taxpayers’ dollars, is not right.”

Excellent, of course. But not all thought so. The New York Racing Association’s ubiquitous Patrick McKenna: “This is a willful and irresponsible characterization of the state of horse racing in New York offered by groups whose only goal is to destroy the sport. NYRA is as healthy today as at any point in recent memory and sets the industry standard when it comes to safety and integrity.”

While this grows tiresome, it is, alas, all too necessary. NYRA’s kill totals over the past 13-plus years (2009 is the first year the state began publicly releasing data):

2009: 67 dead horses (partial: database went live in March)
2010: 109 dead horses
2011: 85 dead horses
2012: 95 dead horses
2013: 70 dead horses
2014: 79 dead horses
2015: 59 dead horses
2016: 66 dead horses
2017: 78 dead horses
2018: 60 dead horses
2019: 65 dead horses
2020: 83 dead horses
2021: 76 dead horses
2022: 13 dead horses

That, to be precise, is 1005 dead racehorses at the three NYRA tracks since 2009. And these are only the ones disclosed; surely, there were many more who simply fell through the cracks. The average, in case you’re wondering, is 75+/year. Over the past two full years (2020, 2021), the tolls come in at 83 and 76, respectively – higher than the average. In other words, the lie of “reform” and “safety,” yet again. As for Mr. McKenna’s claim of “integrity,” need I really respond?

4 Comments

  1. Way to go, Ms. Falco! I’m so glad you’re using your considerable talents for the good of these exploited horses. May your efforts help us succeed, not only in ridding your state of the obscene subsidies to those who profit from a horrific, animal-killing blood sport, but in abolishing the archaic, state-sanctioned animal cruelty that is horse racing throughout the U.S.
    Bravo!

  2. What an uplifting shot in the arm. Beautiful presentation by you two superstars. Thank you Patrick,and thank you Edie, from the bottom of my heart.

  3. I have long admired and enjoyed Edie Falco’s acting abilities. Now I have another very important reason to admire her!! Thank you Ms. Falco. And Patrick, your statement was, as always, spot on. My gratitude for all you do every day in this exhausting fight to convince people that horse racing not a sport; it is the emodiment of greed, corruption, and cruelty.

  4. Bravo! I thank God for all the people who fight against the evil of horse racing and to stop the subsidies to horseracing. I think of all those horses, thousands of horses, locked up in solitary confinement in stalls for 23 (twenty-three) hours a day and then treated with cruel, sadistic, brutal equipment when they’re taken out and forced to run on a race track. They are there waiting…

    Congratulations to all who have the courage to stand up against this horrendous cruelty to horses. The horses need your voice, Edie Falco! Thank you so much! Thank you for sharing this good news, Patrick and Nicole!

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