“There’s a mortuary under the rug.”

“The system has failed.” So says a recent op-ed on slaughter in the Thoroughbred Daily News. Let’s start with this: The writer, Nicole Forbes, is unabashedly pro-racing. But while I abhor much of the tone (sappy) and her patent passion for this vile business, that support (of racing) makes this latest debunking of industry “aftercare” all the more impactful. I’ll let you read the entire piece, but here’s the takeaway:

“To be frank, it might be too late. I’m honestly not sure if we can act fast enough on an industry-wide solution to eliminate this crisis. And crisis it is – no matter how neatly swept the room may seem, there’s a mortuary under the rug.”

A mortuary, indeed.

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  2. Anyone have any theories of why a slaughter house (that will pay per pound) is chosen over someone who has shown an interest in purchasing the horse? How much effort is it to jot down a name and number for future reference? File it with the horse’s paperwork? Plus, why would they risk their livelihood if they are fined for sending a horse to slaughter? I don’t get it. Anyone have any ideas?

    • I don’t have all the answers but there is a thing about timing and convenience. There is the inevitable factor of needing to go to an extra effort to find somebody or track somebody down and then they might not have the money at the time the horse is available or I should say “ready to dump” as well as the horse would most likely be in a condition of needing expensive vet care (for whatever that’s worth). I think it’s more convenient for people who don’t care what happens to the horses anyway to just get rid of the horse fast and to somebody that they know is definitely going to take unsound/injured horses and take them now. They don’t have to make any extra phone calls or something like that when they know killbuyers have a contract to fill with certain buyers (meat packers). It’s a business.
      I think the most likely way of getting a horse from the racetrack is to be physically present at the racetrack so that when a horse is not going to be profitable for a trainer, you can be there to rescue the horse. Not everyone can be able to be at a racetrack, of course.
      Trainers are thinking about stall space as well. A horse that can’t race anymore is not part of the business model, so dumping horses quickly is their modus operandi.

      • This is what I suspected. Heartless is what comes to mind here. Also, the picture of the dead horse with his trainer sitting on the dead horse talking on the phone also came to mind. Cold, cruel and heartless.

  3. It is beyond me how someone could write an article about her beloved horse and its perilous journey from racing to the kill pen. She did save the animal but many and not saved. Knowing what she knows, and has experienced about this vile industry; how can she and others with their comments still promote horseracing? Every aspect of this business, not just lack of after care; is immoral, unethical, abusive and corrupt with the horses being the victims and paying for it with their lives. From the horses point of view what is good about horseracing???

  4. Crisis?
    More like mandtory collaterel damage because there’s no way that there will ever be enough permanent loving homes for their unwanted racehorse mess.
    They’ve known this for years only long ago they could cover this blatant fact up before social media and they did it deliberately.
    I’m not a Math major, but anybody can just do the math and it’s astounding how many racehorses will need homes on a yearly basis.
    For example, there are at least 50 thoroughbred racetracks in the USA with at least 50% having active race meets at any given time.
    Each track runs, on average, 8 races with, on average about 8 racehorses each race.
    I emphasis this is average some have more some have less.
    Nevertheless, that’s 64 racehorses per day and most have 5 day race meet.
    So they require at least 320 racehorses per week.
    So one track will require about 1200 racehorses to run its meet taking into consideration the frequency that each racehorse runs which is, on average, every 2 weeks.
    So for 50 tracks per year that’s 60,000 racehorses per year (there is rollover from previous years obviously), but if you half that for the active meets that’s 30,000 per year and we know, based on factual statistics coming out of the Canadian Agriculatural Agency that at least 15,000 thoroughbreds per year die on the slaughterhouse floor in Canada and probably another 10,000 in Mexico although it’s difficult to know because they don’t put out statistics that I’m aware of.
    Now, from somebody who has been in this business my entire life and who has often been on the frontline of rescuing racehorses at either kill auctions or, most of the time, right out of a trainer’s barn who has called the van to come and take them away I can tell you that it’s almost impossible to find a forever caring home for even 1 thoroughbred and it’s getting worse every single year due to the high cost of upkeep.
    That said, there are many racehorses that earn more than enough for their retirement, but are still dumped and all are at risk of becoming an unwanted racehorse.
    We know that if a racehorse is not earning they are deemed a liability and the inevitable dump is around the corner either in their claiming ranks (which is designed to make it super easy for people to dump their racehorses) or at the nearest kill auction.
    Their aftercare programs are not even putting a dent into it and neither are private individuals and they just keep on coming like a gushing water pipe that has burst.
    No matter how good anybody’s intentions, pro-horse racing or otherwise, there are not enough homes to accommodate their unwanted racehorse mess which is precisely why the pro-horse racing entities, that make millions, refuse to give even 1% of their profits to aftercare.
    They leave it up to the “dumb” public to clean up their unwanted racehorse mess.
    When you really analysis this bleak and sad situation their slogan of “Born to Run,” is really “Born to Die,” – on the slaughterhouse floor that is.
    I welcome any other math that can perhaps fine tune my elementary math here, but no matter what it should be obvious to anybody that most racehorses will end their life in a horrific way – being bled out on the slaughterhouse floor.
    There is a widespread silent accepted majority on the track “hey if they die on the track at least that saves us a whole lot of money,” plus they think that they are actually being kind to the racehorse who dies on their tracks by eliminating a trip to the slaughterhouse.
    As hard as it is for many of you to accept I truly believe that many racehorses are sent out to the track to die, that they know they have a serious injury that is pumped up with potent drugs (knowing that they will never race again or get tested for drugs) just enough to get them out to the track knowing that they will go down in the dirt.
    Some collect on equine insurance policies, about 10%, and most don’t, but in the end you have a beautiful living being suffering in the dirt waiting for the pink needle and this is AOK for people in horse racing.
    Now they can argue that it’s not okay and that they are doing everything they can to prevent this from happening, but the bottom line is as long as you participate and/or support horse racing then you are contributing to every single racehorse death on their tracks, on their farms and/or their private training centers.
    Any person that decides to continue with horse racing after knowing or experiencing the level of daily abuse and inhumane treatment required to keep them flipping a buck has a piece of their brain and heart missing.
    There’s no math that can quantify this, but there doesn’t need to be.

    • There is evidence of the FACT that horses are sent out to die on racetracks during a race. It is UNACCEPTABLE CRUELTY to horses, but it is a FACT THAT THIS HAS BEEN DONE. I can give one specific documented example and that is the case of MONGOLIAN GROOM, a Grade One level GELDING, who was one of the many equine casualties of horseracing at Santa Anita Park Race Course in Arcadia, California in 2019. There was a downloadable PDF. I downloaded it on one of my previous cellphones. It is written by Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Bramlage and I think it could still be found on the internet and downloaded. It goes on and on with the facts and the evidence and you have to be a die-hard, horse-abusing, horse-doping, horse-killing supporter to think that it’s okay to send a horse out with stress fractures or microfractures in the fetlocks, which is what this GELDING had in both hind fetlocks. The pictures of the X-RAYS of the MICROFRACTURES (of MONGOLIAN GROOM) BEFORE the Breeders’ Cup race and the pictures of the LIFE-THREATENING FRACTURES that happened when the microfractures continued to break even more DURING THE RUNNING in this specific race are in this PDF.
      It absolutely defies common sense that the connections of this horse didn’t know, because THEY DID KNOW he had issues! They knew it from both 1) his way of going in the days leading up to the Breeders’ Cup races & 2) the X-RAYS of his stress fractures/ microfractures which made it very clear and obvious that he was not “fit to race” in any ethical way.
      But, as many people know, ethics in horseracing are acutely lacking in this egregiously CRUEL horse-killing game. It’s not about putting the horse first. It’s about putting on a mask or a false front to make something that is extremely disgusting, dark, evil and UNACCEPTABLE & UNDESIRABLE look like something that is acceptable and desirable. For example, referring to horse racing as the “Sport of Kings” is one of the ways that is used to justify this egregious cruelty to horses. It’s still horse-killing.

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