The Obscenity of Horseracing as Sport

In a recent “Open Letter to the Racing Community,” two Breeders’ Cup execs decried anyone in racing still trying to thwart the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA). I for one don’t care about either side’s position or the reasons they’re taking it. In my estimation, HISA is but more (in a very long line of) industry smoke and mirrors. Its sole purpose, coming as it did in the wake of Santa Anita ’19, was (is) to assuage an increasingly intolerant public. PR. That’s it. And anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or delusional.

Unsurprisingly, in a relatively short letter the words “sport” and “athletes” were used a combined six times: “a sport rich in integrity is going to thrive,” “the stages on which our athletes compete,” etc. As this can never again be allowed to go unchallenged, here is my open response to the Breeders’ Cup:

In what other sport are the bodies of adolescent athletes pounded into the ground without remorse; the athletes kept in intensive, solitary confinement for over 23 hours a day; the athletes condemned to a life as (literal) chattel; the athletes drugged and doped without consent; the athletes whipped – beaten – for motivation; the athletes routinely dying on the playing field; the athletes bled-out and butchered upon retirement? Horseracing a sport, the racehorses athletes? Obscene.

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  1. Integrity are they kidding? We have seen many illegal practices done by both vets and trainers. SWT, improper and illegal use of steroids, joint injections, collusion of horse people in entries for races,etc. The attitude has not changed with regard to horses not being able to run and earn dollars. If the horses are not able to earn their keep, the attitude is just get rid of them not caring where they end up. We have seen many good horses, sadly, when they should’ve been retired, raced until they died on the track.

  2. Patrick you are so impassioned, so articulate. Please don’t give up. I need to collect my thoughts and write to this horrid group as well. I’ll never forget what they did to poor Mongolian Groom. Thirty vets on the track that day and they STILL failed that poor horse! There’s a special place in hell for these deceitful excuses for humanity.

    • Thank you LadyPurr9, that absolute SIN of those assholes failing Mongolian Groom, was criminal. Those California veterinarians have blood on their hands.


    • And the barbaric Steeplechase please add to the list. It goes on and on. A disgrace

  4. Well stated, Patrick. Thank you for showing up and doing your part for the horses, because it is only too painfully obvious that the people in this industry are only in it for their egos, the money, the power trips and chasing a so-called dream.
    Many times I have read about people who are in horseracing because it is their “dream” to “win the Kentucky Derby” which sounds really corny to me as an adult (especially after reading the vomit-worthy carnage of horses on a daily basis)!!!!! But as a fourth grade elementary school student in 1962/1963, the word ‘corny’ didn’t even enter my mind.

    In the real world, where the die-hard horse-abusing, horse-doping, horse-killing “racing industry executives” and everyone else in the industry at every level are creating absolute nightmares for the horses, the innocent horses are forced into a daily routine existence of being continually abused, being injected with many substances both legal and illegal, and to being subject to being killed on a daily basis.

    Watching horses breakdown catastrophically on the racetracks might be entertaining for a lot of these psychopathic sociopaths, but it is not in the best interest of the horses. What a no-brainer that is!!!!!

    At the Breeders’ Cup level, those executives are in it for billions of dollars!!!!! So, of course, they want to pretend and promote the lie that this industry of cruelty to horses is a ‘sport’ and it’s only the so-called “bad actors” that need to straighten up and fly right. Yeah, right. That is as if to say or suggest that there are any redeemable characteristics, qualities or values in horseracing.
    There are NO REDEEMABLE characteristics or qualities or values in horseracing. Everything about the exploiting of horses for racing, purse money, ego trips, cheap thrills, sadistic thrills, gambling & wagering handle, breeding & stud fees AND the unknown amounts of illegal drugs injected into horses, the illegal criminal activity associated with the use of illegal drugs and using legal drugs in an illegal manner ARE NOT REDEEMABLE.
    It is significant to note that all of these things occur at all levels in horseracing. There is no level of organized horseracing, both regulated and unregulated, that is justifiable. Animal Welfare rules, codes, laws are treated like toilet paper in this industry. There is no redeeming value in Animal Cruelty. The horseracing industry is based on committing continuous acts of Animal Cruelty on horses every day.

    The enactment of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is/was a farce and the formation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority is an even bigger farce.

    P. S. I am still curious about who the members of the so-called *blue ribbon nominating committee* of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority are! Could they also be members of the California Horse Racing Board and/or The Stronach Group…?????

  5. Oh, good! Two of my favorite topics today: the Bleeders’ Cup and the laughably-titled HISA. Both groups are interchangeable — along with The Jockey Clubbers, and a few others. The only real difference with HISA is that they’re trying to pass themselves off as a quasi-governmental “regulatory” agency. If they were real regulators, they’d have no problem releasing the number of HISA-registered young thoroughbreds killed, from all causes, over the last ten months.
    But HISA execs know how detrimental and damaging that would be to their sick game’s PUBLIC IMAGE. So they avoid that topic like the good little trade group they are.

    • Another thing about the Horseracing Integrity and Safety “Authority” is what they consider to be a conflict of interest and especially which members could be accused of, or not accused of, such. Is anyone else surprised, somewhat, at least somewhat surprised, that the “Authority” considers only those people appointed to their various committees that ARE NOT & WERE NOT HORSERACING INDUSTRY-INSIDERS, before being appointed to whatever committee, to be subject to being guilty of a possible conflict of interest…???
      Isn’t it “wonderful” and honest and oozing with “integrity” that all committee members appointed by the *blue-ribbon nominating committee* who ARE AND WERE ALREADY ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN THE HORSERACING INDUSTRY are EXEMPT from ever being accused of “a conflict of interest”????
      How’s that for a so-called “regulatory” group of people who are involved above their eyeballs in corruption, racketeering, illegal doping of horses, and don’t forget — conflicts of Interest…???!!!!
      The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority INDUSTRY-INSIDERS make a mockery of the meaning of the word ‘integrity’ and don’t even think about safety.

  6. Over time horse racing has evolved into a cesspool of corruption and inexcusable cruelty.
    This occurred with the help of our politicians, the advent of the claiming game, the gambling aspects and many other “changes” over the years.
    At the core are the wealthy owners, many of whom don’t know much about the horse and could barley identify their horses in a herd. They are driven by ego and a gambling spirit as well as the the generous tax breaks.They support the like of Baffert, Pletcher, the breeders, the blood stock agents, et al.
    The bottom feeders at the secondary tracks mostly exist because of the upper echelons of this game.
    Unfortunately, the business attracts individuals who lack integrity. It provides “cover” for all kinds of nefarious activity. There are no consequences for these activities with the exception of an occasional expose.
    The horse is the commodity and what he is forced to endure, regardless of how egregious, is of no consequence, none whatsoever!!
    There is no redemption for this game.
    It has to end. Period.

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