The Killing at Laurel Park: Business as Usual

As Laurel’s owner (the Stronach Group) and the horsemen who race there continue to bicker over who’s responsible for the four (possibly five) kills this month – spoiler: they both are; horseracing is – our perspective was covered by Baltimore media yesterday: NBC Baltimore; and ABC Baltimore. The latter features our Maryland Coordinator (and board member), Jennifer Sully. Our quote in the NBC piece:

“Since 2014, 270 horses have perished at Laurel Park – that’s an average of 30 dead ‘athletes’ per year. So you see, the latest round of killing is simply business as usual.”

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  1. Fuck this “business as usual” – everyone involved in this brutal sport needs to be doing hard time, they are all animal abusers in one of the worst forms. The poor horses don’t have a chance with all of these ignorant bastards and I mean all of them right from the owners down to the useless racing commissions. Everyone seems to be either buying someone out or being bought out – it is tragic what happens to the animals. Shame on all of you and I hope you all rot in hell.

  2. Great quote by Ms. Sully! Everyone involved in this fiasco knows her words to be true. So what will they say (the Stronachs, the “Horsemen,” the Maryland racing commissioners, officials with the laughably-named HISA, et al.) when Laurel resumes racing, and (surprise!) the killings resume?
    My best guess is it’ll be something like: “We are all shocked and saddened by these latest racing deaths. But it’s all THEIR fault, not ours. And we will not be held responsible for these totally unforeseen, not-predictable-at-all tragedies that we willingly subject our beloved athletes to every day. If only THEY did more, we’d surely get our kill count down to zero. Surely.”

  3. When the man says “…so this doesn’t happen again….” I get the picture that what he means by ‘THIS’ is: the race card coming to a screeching halt for any reason.
    I think what he wants the public and the news reporters to think is: the track being closed because they don’t want to kill anymore horses and that they are such responsible and caring horsemen; they just want someone else to take the blame.
    This is as if all the senseless, ruthless killings of racehorses are magically not the horsemen’s fault or responsibility. They simply don’t want to stop subjecting horses to this insane cruelty called horseracing.

    How many ‘third parties’ are in existence who would be invited or welcome to come in and tell them “the track surface is as good as it will ever get and that racing itself, regardless of the condition of the racing surface, causes irreparable damage to the bodies of the horses and therefore death of horses is the inevitable result or consequence”?
    I think Horseracing Wrongs would be the perfect ‘third party’ to advise the groups of people calling themselves horsemen, but I don’t believe that the horsemen are ready to hear the truth.

    I don’t see or hear the “horsemen” coming up with the veterinary records and the X-rays of their horses’ PRE-INJURED bones, joints and the prevalence of disease, especially one of the most common diseases in horses exploited for racing known as Degenerative Joint Disease.
    We really should demand that a third-party step in and evaluate the condition of the horses’ bones and the rest of their anatomy.
    Why are the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Associations and all of the “Horsemen’s” groups representing the OWNERS AND TRAINERS NOT TALKING about what great condition their horses are in and how THEIR HORSES’ bodies and minds are stronger than the strongest steel???
    After all, these so-called horsemen and their veterinarians are in it for the long-term so why are they not telling us more stupid lies that can prove themselves to be the heartless, morally depraved horse exploiting heathens that they are?

  4. After the closing of Laurel Park, the Maryland Jockey Club’s statement “________While we all know that catastrophic injuries will not be eliminated completely it is clear from the above that our track is not the issue.” is very telling. They admit there is nothing, even the condition of the track, that can be done, to stop the inhumane killing of racehorses – It’s part of the “sport”. Sad.

    • Richard, I agree that it’s sad but it’s beyond sad. It’s outrageous that these morally depraved human beings are willing to sacrifice horses’ lives for their own entertainment and for money. These pseudo-horsemen knowingly and willfully continue to cause harm and death to the horses as part of their so-called sport. It definitely is business as usual to cause fatal injuries to horses in racing and the Stronach Group and many other human participants in this industry have been knowing this for decades. It’s nothing new. It’s today’s transmission of information at the speed of light and so much more information sharing about these atrocities that is relatively new. It has become increasingly more and more difficult for these horse killers to get away with so much abuse and brutality against horses due to the technology we have at our fingertips in this day and age plus activism.
      It is not so easy to sweep it all under the rug as was done in the past.
      In 1980, the video replay of a horse going down suddenly and not even trying to get up was NOT available for replay. The incident on the racetrack during a race resembled what I now know is referred to as “sudden death” but that particular horse going down at that time (at Centennial racetrack in Colorado) will remain a big mystery. It was swept under the rug without explanation of any kind and the racing continued as though this was all Business As Usual. It’s morally depraved. That racetrack is no longer in business.

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