Mountaineer Racing Officials, WV Racing Commission: Do Your Jobs (on Burton Sipp)

From yesterday:

3-year-old Flashfire was “reluctant to load” prior to the 4th at Canterbury, was raced anyway, pulled up in the stretch, and subsequently “vanned off.”

4-year-old Smitten by Kitten was “fractious in the gate” prior to the 10th at Del Mar, was raced anyway, “went wrong” at the 1/2 mile, and subsequently “vanned off.”

Then this: I recently relayed that the wicked Burton Sipp was “temporarily” suspended at Churchill Downs tracks but allowed to continue his decades-long trail of abuse elsewhere, more specifically Mountaineer in West Virginia – which is about as bad as it gets in U.S. racing. One of his victims, I’d noted, finished 27+ lengths back in a race on Aug 23. Last night, Sipp sent that same horse, Mutashabeh, out again: last, 45+ lengths back. But that’s not all. Another Sipp horse I highlighted, Ajzal, was put to the whip again last night too: last, 15 lengths back. And yet another, Pivotal Woman, who was “scratched” Aug 22, was run last Sunday: last, 37 lengths back.

Please pressure the people abetting these crimes:

West Virginia Executive Director Joe Moore: 304-558-2150;
West Virginia Commissioners: phones, emails
Mountaineer Chief Steward Jim O’Brien: 304-387-8371; jim.o’
Mountaineer Investigator Bret Smith: 304-387-8530;
Mountaineer Contact Form; 800-804-0468 (ask for racing office)


  1. Done. Mountaineer’s contact form tagged my message as “spam.” I don’t know if they’ll get it.

  2. Will contact, as I always do, and even though polite and respectful the phone bangs down.
    People in the horse racing office, all enablers of the abuse, convey the attitude that racehorses dying are all part of the collateral damage and that they don’t have to answer to anybody about it and you know why?
    It’s because they keep getting hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies that are rubber stamped, by our elected politicians, every single year no matter how many racehorses they kill.
    There are no caveats attached to these public subsidies, there is no transparency to the taxpayers of the respectful state, there is complete immunity from our animal cruelty laws and there is rarely any neutral accounting oversight.
    Please tell me one reason why they have any incentive to change?

    • One of the reasons why the racing Commissioners think they don’t have to answer to anybody about the horses they are responsible for the abusing and killing of, besides the public funding, is because they’re morally depraved.
      Regardless of how much money there is in the government subsidies, government-directed benefits including tax write-offs, not everyone would choose this just for the money. You have to be really MORALLY DEPRAVED to choose to be involved in this egregious abuse, brutality and cruelty that ends up killing a lot of horses.
      People who truly appreciate horses as sentient beings are not going to make lame excuses to be involved in putting their horses’ lives at risk no matter how much money is involved.
      The sad fact is that horses are viewed upon as chattel to be exploited for money and nothing more to GREEDY SLIMEBALL PEOPLE that think they don’t have to answer to the “public”. These greedy individuals and groups have no scruples and therefore no problems biting the hands that feed them.

    • Years ago, I was following a horse who raced in CA, and noticed after a while that he had dropped off the radar. I called the track–I think it was Golden Gate–and asked for the trainer’s phone number, so I could call to ask about his horse. I was surprised when I was readily given the number. I suspected the horse had died. Not only was I surprised to actually get the trainer on the phone, but that he confirmed that the horse had died. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he had been taken off balance by a stranger asking after the horse, and he blurted out in his surprise the truth of what happened. I’ve never had any of these folks hang up on me, but I did leave a lot of call-back messages where no one returned the call.

  3. At this point the only thing that will stop these habitual animal abusing sadists is if they get a case of the mysterious “sudden death” that plagues so many of their horses.

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