Hey, But at Least He Didn’t Leave a Mark This Time

A ruling at Running Aces (harness) in Minnesota for one Luke Plano: “Mr. Plano did use the whip excessively and other than wrist action, while driving Mandeville in the 8th race on August 28. Mr. Plano is issued a $800 fine.”

The stewards then added: “This is Mr. Plano’s 4th whip violation at Running Aces in 2022. Fortunately there were no marks on Mandeville. Mr. Plano’s use of the whip must change…. Furthermore, Mr. Plano is put on notice that any future whipping violations at Running Aces in 2022 will receive immediate suspension.”

And why did they breathe a huge sigh (“fortunately”) when no marks were found? Because this is what Luke Plano does – repeatedly. A joke, huh? It’s as if they’re saying, you’re a serial animal abuser, but because you didn’t leave a mark this time, we’re going to give you one more chance. But we mean it, just one more chance. Unreal.


  1. Beating any living being into submission is cruel, inhumane and unacceptable in a civilized society.
    Horse racing claims that they just ‘love to run,” well then why do you have to beat the hell out of them to do it?
    That’s not love – that’s cruel and it will never be justifiable – ever.
    Just once, for one day, all of you apologists get a saddle on your back, go out to the track so you can be beaten and whipped while you are tired and sore.
    See if you you “love it,” you delusional pieces of manure.

    • And/Or, the owners and drivers of Standardbred horses could hitch themselves up to a sulky, or maybe a chariot, and let the sting of the whip “motivate/encourage/coax” their butts into getting the lead out!

    • Hold on there Gina! Do you own horses? Have you ever raised horses? Have you ever trained babies into racehorses? Your rather passionate, judgemental, and vitriolic comment(s) indicate you haven’t done any of those. Additionally: – not all of us are abusive and I, for one, don’t and haven’t; – they DO LOVE TO RUN when properly housed and cared for, including cooperatively racing each other in pastures. Please familiarize yourself with those who don’t abuse and experience, anew, that, like in everything, there are bad and good apples. The name-calling is/was of no positive worth and, in fact, was shameful.

  2. There doesn’t have to be a visible to the eye mark to evidence that the horse has suffered injury to his body. Sometimes it can take a few hours for welts to appear. Decades ago my late father began to expose the cruelty of whipping racehorses – he consulted a veterinarian at Sydney University who stated that when a racehorse is whipped the horse, at the very least, would suffer tissue damage.
    Needless to say, the horse suffers psychologically as well – he’s giving his all, doing his best and for doing that he’s cruelly struck again and again.
    It’s my belief that this merciless whipping is a contributing factor when a horse breaks down and dies. The whipping often forces the horse to run beyond his natural limitations.
    Many racehorses standing in the gates about to jump out are already –
    carrying pre-existing injuries
    carrying injuries that are still healing
    carrying injuries/conditions that haven’t been identified and treated
    carrying injuries/conditions that have been identified but are not being treated
    being overraced
    suffering from stomach ulcers (all racehorses)
    not fit to race
    not up for high stress exercise
    wearing gear that causes them pain e.g. tongue ties, cross-over nosebands, severe bits
    running on dysfunctional feet
    and the list goes on…….
    It’s blatant (and intentional) animal cruelty to whip a racehorse but the fact that so many racehorses are being whipped to go faster when they come under the above list, is unbearable to think about.

    • Everything you wrote is true Carolyn. We left the industry in 2005 after becoming disgusted with all of the above ” accepted training techniques”. We have never used whips or spurs to teach a horse to be ridden or to gallop the 1st time. We proved our points several times at our now long gone redeveloped 1 mile track by accomplishing the fastest workout of the day without use of a whip or spurs used by many riders! Yes we saw many young horses beaten with whips & use of spurs to force the young horses to gallop down the back stretch in the mornings! We cringe remembering all of what we saw & refused to participate in. Always hated the use of ring bits , tongue ties, tie downs, 3/4 cup blinkers etc, etc.

    • Carolyn, good on your late father for exposing the cruelty of whipping racehorses and the fact that this CRUELTY causes tissue damage.
      When you know that whipping obviously causes PAIN, and then WELTS, and then subsequent BRUISING of the skin, it is logical that there is TISSUE DAMAGE. How can there not be tissue damage when you can see bruises after the inflammation of the welts goes away???!!!! The problem of being able to see the bruising of the skin is complicated when the skin is covered up with hair as it is with horses, of course.
      The bruises are only obvious when there is no hair to cover up the bruising that the bruising/bruises can be readily seen by a human being.
      Whipping is sadistic!!!!!! The whipping of horses needs to be stopped. I believe that hundreds, if not thousands, of people would agree with you 100% that the (merciless) whipping of racehorses contributes to the horses breaking down sooner more so than later.

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