They’re Running This Poor Mare Into the Ground

Salt On the Rim was made on January 30, 2010. Her first time going under the whip came three years later, in March 2013. 100 – yes, 100 – races have followed, all at cheap tracks: Tampa Bay, Presque Isle, Thistledown, Hazel, Mahoning, and most recently, Mountaineer, the bottom of the barrel. With those cheap tracks, cheap races: In over 90 of her starts, Salt was “For Sale” prior to, and in fact she’s been going for the price of a rundown used car ($4,000) for quite some time now.

Salt’s last race was at Mountaineer June 5. Her current exploiters, Country Acres and Lois Meals, have her scheduled to race tomorrow night, again at Mountaineer. She is 12 years old, and this will be her 102nd race – and, to make it more egregious, her second in just 11 days. Knowing what we know about the effects of horseracing – 4-, 3-, even 2-year-olds suffering from osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease; upward of 90% of active racehorses suffering from ulcers – imagine what this poor, old (for racing) lady’s body must look and, more important, feel like.

Given the audience – Mountaineer Racetrack; West Virginia, the last state in the union defiantly clinging to dogracing – I’m afraid our entreaties in behalf of Salt will fall on deaf ears. Still, they should hear and feel our anger.

Jim O’Brien, Mountaineer chief steward: 304-387-8371; jim.o’brien@wv.gov
Bret Smith, investigator: 304-387-8530; bret.smith@wv.gov
WV Racing Commission ED Joe Moore: 304-558-2150; joe.k.moore@wv.gov
Commissioners Ken Lowe, JB Akers, Tony Figaretti: 304-558-2150

49 Comments

  1. Keeping in mind that Mountaineer is billed as “the premier destination” in West Virginia, this is the bottom of the barrel reality. It’s beyond sad that a place like this could be billed as a top destination! If this is the best that West Virginia has to offer, that’s really sad. It’s beyond sad! This is absolutely disgustingly horrible!!!

    • agreed Wanda! I don’t know how they have a conscious or sleep at night honestly. Trying to get every penny out of a poor animal- I hate humans anymore! That’s why I sleep with my dog!

    • Wanda,if you’ve ever been to that neck of the woods,you’d know what they were talking about.

      • Nancy, I can imagine the scenery of the natural landscape is nice (the outdoors) but they’re selling the gambling and creature comforts for humans and CRUELTY to horses.

        • Not around mountaineer it’s not.
          It’s surrounded by chemical plants, the dirty Ohio river, nasty little town of Weirton, and the nasty city of East Liverpool on the Ohio side! That area has an incredibly high cancer rate, and the air constantly smells bad from the factories and at times it seemed like a green haze hung in the air!

  2. ALL these low level/claiming tracks should be shutdown.  These folks are the bottom dwellers!  This poor mare! I emailed all them and ask what they are going to do about her saftey aND THAT SHE’S 12 AND HAS Already raced 100 times!  Jim’s email it says IS NOT VALID. Tish

    • You got that right. Shut down the whole evil. It’s only still around for lazies who don’t have the ambition or wherewithal to WORK a REAL job.

  3. Reminds me of Fox Rox. He made it in yesterday and lived another day…til the next time anyway.

  4. Yes, but the comically-named HISA is about to step in and make all this straight-up abuse go away. So, if only poor Salt can hang in there for just a couple more weeks…

    A. She’ll be retired to a life of loving care, kind treatment, socialization with other equines, and a family who wants to provide her with a forever home, even when she’s not earning for them.

    B. Oh, who am I kidding. HISA’s not gonna do anything for these horses who are already suffering a fate worse than death: being trafficked to run at shithole meatgrinders like Mountaineer.

    Sorry, Salt;(

  5. As if I could hate prince harry more, they say he crashed and went through three horses in his corny bullsh*t polo crap in california a couple days ago, That dumbass, who got snookered by meghan m. Does anyone know are the horses he “crashed” survive?

    • Agreed. Can’t be raced at 13 in WV.
      I’m looking for a ottb to save just for trail riding in fairhill md

  6. Bret Smith called me and we had a lengthy conversation. I’ll update tomorrow.

  7. I called all of the numbers above and was told that I had to “put it in writing ” to Joe Moore, (email: joe.k.moore@wv.gov)W Va member of the Racing Commission, who is, by the way, allegedly “on vacation”. But one of these (unidentified) people by phone gave me the number of the mountaineer racetrack (304 387 8371) stewart office itself, and I called there and they were very firm that they are “following the rules” and ” the horse would never be raced if she wasn’t considered fit”. That a veterinarian checked her over. (Eye roll) Nothing I said moved them. “She has very caring owners”. They hung up on me. Before he hung up on me the man that I spoke to said that I that I should be calling where there is going to be a 3 day event with 16 and 17 year old horses jumping hurdles and why aren’t I calling them instead. I told him that if anything happens to this horse remember that I warned him about her age and how she raced 100 times, the last being 11 days ago. Mid-sentence, he hung up on me.
    I want to give some credit to the unidentified very first person that I spoke to , a secretary, at Jim O’Brien’s number, who called over to the Mountaineer track to convey my message. Very obliging. She went out of her way.

    • My e-mail just sent: Dear Member of Commission Joe Moore,

      Please don’t run Salt on the Rim. Tonight, Wed 6/15/22, she is scheduled to run her 101 st race at the age of 12 at the Mountaineer Race Track. She’s been sold over and over and now is priced at only $4,000 and yet they plan to run her. She ran only 11 days ago!

      Let’s give her a break. How can her owners do this? No matter the veterinarian’s OK on this. It makes no sense whatsoever to force her into another race at her age and recent history.

      I follow horses who are being put to the trial so very unjustly. Please have her pulled out of this race and sold to a person who will give her a safe retirement (not a to a kill buyer!).

      Thank you.

      Martha Waltien

  8. Martha,that was a very impressive correspondence. I am checking the entry page for today every hour or so to see if there’s a scratch. If they do will post here immediately. There was a horse a couple of months back that HRW pointed out was unfit. At the last minute a vet pulled him out of the race. So we see what pans out today at Mountaineer.

    • Hi Nancy,
      Do you think that it would help if I beg people to call the the track? I’m scared of getting them defensive and angry after that call that I made which was basically polite but at the very end the guy got hostile and I just said to him if something happens to that horse you know I called to warn you. He hung up 3 /4 into my comment, as I talked. Would you think that it would make it worse if I asked people to make polite calls to the racetrack steward office or should I nor should I not in your opinion?? I don’t want them to get so angry that they will make the horse run out of defiance.

      • Martha, for the people who are responsible for the racing of horses to fill out race cards, they are going to run any horse possible. If they kill them, it is not your fault. The responsibility lies on their shoulders, not any activist or protester. This one horse is just another horse to them.

      • My mind “goes there” too Martha. I do NOT trust the type of people who choose this type of job. That’s why last week on wouldn’t on public forum answer Wanda’s question about if I remembered the horse’s name … I told her I most certainly do, but, I don’t trust the used car salesman looking men in this pure evil activity.

        • Bonnie,
          No, none of them (who work at the tracks) care or are trustworthy. Least of all the veterinarians who betray the animals at the tracks EVERY SINGLE DAY. There is a special place in hell for the latter.

          • Someday I’m going to tell you guys the lengths I went to in 2018 to save a horse, and what ending up happening. The irony is that I DID get a certain trainer I spoke with to get him the Hell out of Parx, and son of a bitch ny ends up Killing him (an earner of almost 700,000 dollars). Jo Anne Normile walked me off the ledge,so to speak, and I will tell by my true life story … eventually.

            • Oh Bonnie, that sounds terrible. I am sorry. And to think you actually spoke with the trainer….:(

              • Yes, and to only have NY kill him. I was beyond heartbroken. Thought I was gonna have a nervous breakdown.

                • Can I ask what happened? NY killed him? it’s heartbreaking either way. I’m sorry!

      • Martha,as soon as they figure out you are not calling in a positive light about their careers,they get nasty and terminate the call. Happens every time. There are people here who are blocked from social media and horseracing sites that “they”have figured out what is about to be said. You did an incredible admirable job!!

        • Thank you, Nancy, but I only made the calls and e-mail requested. :) How accurate, though. You can’t get through to trainers, stewards, owners, etc for a real dialogue. They are the definition of defensive and threatened. I learned that fast doing protests. A man obviously involved with the horses on some level ? a trainer? showed me that 3 years ago as we stood inside (with security permission, amazing) at Belmont. He was livid!

      • Marie, where is racing cancelled? I looked on Equibase and there is nothing that I can see that would indicate that the race card for this evening (Wed., June 15, ’22) at Mountaineer is cancelled.

          • Canceled?! Mayb with any luck the whole track burnt down leaving all the horses safe!

        • At mountaineer, due to the heat. A few other tracks have cancelled also. There is an article in paulick but the cancelled tracks are also reflected in equibase, under the results.

          • Marie, The man who was in the steward’s office at Mountaineer said they will cancel if it gets too hot. But he never hinted that this was the likely plan. Please God the owner will withdraw this horse completely.

  9. Thank you, Nancy, but I only made the calls and e-mail requested. :) How accurate, though. You can’t get through to trainers, stewards, owners, etc for a real dialogue. They are the definition of defensive and threatened. I learned that fast doing protests. A man obviously involved with the horses on some level ? a trainer? showed me that 3 years ago as we stood inside (with security permission, amazing) at Belmont. He was livid!

    • Imagine having a real dialogue with someone who thinks that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing (thinks their **** smells like freshly baked cinnamon rolls) while they are actively engaged in abusing (and killing) horses for financial reward or compensation. You did great, in my opinion, Martha! Many thanks for your efforts!!!!

      • Wanda, thank you! But under the tutelage of certain TB rescuers and owners (not to mention Patrick B and Nicole A) who take part in the efforts to ban racing altogether, I have received confirmation after confirmation from them that yes, the owners, trainers, jockey AND VETERINARIANS (they are in my special “place in hell” category) that they are THAT bad, THAT callous, THAT ice cold, THAT abusive and THAT much pure evil liars when it comes to animals. And everything that I have seen since has confirmed this information. Humans are the worst species.

        • Amen to that (there WILL be a special place in HELL,especially for the veterinarians).

  10. After my email yesterday to everyone I actually received a quick VM and text from Bret Smith. I actually called him and we spoke for quite awhile. He agreed with me that NOT every body should be “in the game” (actually I wish none of them were in the game!) as in the low level claiming races should be NIXED! He mentioned the http://www.hisaus.org site (I see some are you are familiar with this site. I am NOT. Need to read up) and said that is something they want to do but he believes it’s more about the government not liking the low level claiming races due to tax reasons…a lot of shady deals going on with $$$ at that level. He came across to me and pretty genuine. He listened to me and agreed with many things I said. Told me about the age racing limit of 13. and how great the track vet is. I didn’t like to hear that they are allowed some low levels of some drugs, he only mentioned but to me NO DRUGS or even better NO racing! I hope he was as genuine as he seemed and I’d suggest anyone can call and/or email him. He responded pronto!! He seemed to care but mayb that’s my hope.

  11. This poor horse is one of many who are treated cruelly. The fact that people will race this horse until it is worn out and ready to die is proof that e=we need to demand the end of racing horses.

  12. OMG what a horrible story of abuse. Why in the hell is this poor mare not just retired out to pasture (and I mean pasture not the slaughter house) – what the hell do you expect of her you stupid god damn bitch. She doesn’t owe you a thing but you sure as hell owe her – you race people are nothing but a bunch of greedy bastards always concerned about the almighty dollar and never the animal. I hope you rot in hell and the sooner the better.

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