So I’m wondering, what does it actually take for a trainer to get a figurative death sentence in horseracing? On the surface, it would appear that trainer Raul Vega was hit hard by the New Mexico Racing Commission last week: 5-year suspension, $10,000 fine. But then you learn what he did.
Vega’s horse, 3-year-old Cause for Love Too, was scratched by the regulatory vet at Sunland Park March 21, prior to what would have been her second race. (In her first, by the way, Feb 24 at that same track, she finished dead-last, 27+ lengths back.) The scratch came because Cause presented with “large open wounds” on her hindquarters and “signs of being underweight.” (Because of an ongoing vet shortage in NM, Cause was not seen and scratched until she hit the paddock.) Here is how she looked that day, and remember, Vega had every intention of putting her to the whip like this:
Vega, with his horse in tow, then hightailed it out of there, not only the track, but the state, not stopping till he reached El Paso. Texas authorities were then alerted and Cause was eventually brought back to NM for further evaluation. Bringing us up to this ruling.
Clearly, to anyone – everyone – this is unadulterated animal cruelty. Raul Vega is a repulsive human being and should be in a prison cell. Instead, he’s a free man, no criminal record, open to reapply for his license in five short years, and, I assume, unimpeded from working with other kinds of animals in the interim. And you wonder why I’m an abolitionist who holds that the evil lies in the very idea of animal property. Speaking of which, what of owner Erika Aldrete? Where are her repercussions? Is not she ultimately responsible? As for Cause, I do not know her whereabouts and current condition, but I can tell you she hasn’t been raced since.
Thanks for posting about this vile pseudo-horsemen and posting the pictures of the abused filly!
This so-called horseman pretending to be a trainer should definitely be in prison for Animal Cruelty and Unethical Business Conduct but this is horse racing where the human participants are “happy” to be able to get away with this vile, sadistic and vomit-worthy behavior. You could not be more right that all of horse racing needs to be banned and the criminal minds need to be held accountable in ways that they never have before in their lives.
What is even worse than “regulated” horseracing is the UNREGULATED racing which I can only assume that this vile, sadistic creep will engage in for the next five years during his suspension from regulated racing.
It looks like either the horse has rubbed herself raw or suffers from chronic diarrhea to where the constant fecal matter on her hind legs causes the hair to fall out. Either way, between those horrible wounds and her severely undernourished condition, Raul Vega should be publicly castrated – if there’s actually anything down there – and then hung. And the owner should be swinging in the breeze next to him.
Rebecca, the diarrhea theory is plausible and could account for her overall poor condition as well.
Of course this is speculation. But it is not speculation to see there is something very wrong here in addition to the obvious cruelty.
There should have been a complete evaluation by an independent vet.
Were there any vet. records?!!
This guy should have been charged with animal cruelty under the justice system. Then he would have additional charges such as fleeing the state and tampering with evidence since he took the horse with him.
The situation highlights how useless these internal processes are. In fact it is outrageous he was not charged under the law.
It is likely this callous individual has a history of animal cruelty and is not going to stop.
P.S. Nobody at this abomination of a track noticed the condition of this poor animal?!!
The REGULATED racing in this state, New Mexico, must be more like UNREGULATED or possibly somewhere in between. Maybe it could be classified as “Semi-regulated” because of a lack of veterinarians and a lack of security to oversee who brings horses onto the racetrack grounds and nobody to oversee the condition of the horses brought onto the grounds whether it is in the morning or any other time of the day or night.
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