Ryan Goldberg is one of America’s finest long-form journalists; on this issue, horseracing, he is quite simply without peer. Having already covered slaughter (Deadspin, 2019), the anti-racing movement (Deadspin, 2019), and doping (Vice, 2020), Ryan has now turned his withering pen on subsidies, the giant elephant on Racing’s turf. As usual, his writing is clear, fluid, and exhaustive – easily the best treatment on the subject yet. It was so good, in fact, that even for someone who considers himself well-versed on racing economics, there were parts that left me agape.

Thank you, Ryan.

Please read and share, especially with our elected leaders, for nothing this big changes unless we force it.

“Is Horse Racing Still Too Big To Fail?”

The Philadelphia Inquirer continues to be in the vanguard on the issue of horseracing. Having twice before decried the giant subsidies keeping that state’s racing industry afloat, and just last week publishing a scathing article on how those subsidies and animal cruelty intersect, yesterday the paper struck again. The Board’s editorial – “How long must Pennsylvania prop up a dying racehorse industry?” – opened thus:

“Welcome to Pennsylvania, the animal welfare state. By that, we definitely do not mean a state devoted to the well-being of animals, but rather, one that has created a massive $3 billion subsidy program for the owners of racehorses. The money props up an industry that is not only failing but is responsible for the deaths of more than a thousand horses in the past 10 years.”

The Board went on to say that the industry “needs to be put out of its misery.” Excellent, indeed. The Inquirer becomes the second major U.S. paper – joining The Washington Post – to call for an end to horseracing. Thank you, to both. Know that you are firmly on the right side of history.

Earlier this month, I highlighted the plight of Sequana at the Camarero Race Track in Puerto Rico. I called it then, and stand by it now, perhaps the worst case of abuse I’ve seen. One day after I sent an email to the relevant authorities, Sequana was released from his servitude – landing at an island-based rescue. My contact in Puerto Rico has created a dedicated page for Sequana for anyone interested in helping. Thank you.

Many, if not most, Americans, including politicians, have no idea how cruel and deadly horseracing is. So it falls to us advocates to educate. And nothing as entrenched as horseracing will end without unrelenting pressure. So please consider sending a message to our elected leaders. That message need not be long; in fact, shorter is better – e.g., “Horseracing is animal cruelty, no different than dogracing, which has been banned on moral grounds in 41 states.” For the subsidy states, tell them to “End the handouts – coming at the expense of schoolchildren – to a cruel, dying (as measured by demand), decidedly nonessential industry.” Copy/paste, send links from our site: most recent kill list, individual state reports (in “Categories” on homepage), etc. Speak from the heart, but use our facts, too. And please be respectful. Thank you.

In addition, please consider joining our “Horseracing Wrongs Action Group” on FB.

(This post will be permanently available on our homepage.)

(The social media links are on the pages linked – sometimes on top, sometimes on side, sometimes on bottom.)

(All active U.S. racetracks can be found here.)

Arizona (3 tracks)
Governor Ducey: 602-542-4331; contact/social media
Senate Leaders (leadership positions in bold)
House Leaders (leadership positions in bold)

Arkansas (1 track; subsidy state)
Governor Hutchinson: phone/contact/social media
Lt. Governor Griffin: 501-682-2894; contact; twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

California (5 tracks)
Governor Newsom: phone/contact; twitter; facebook
Lt. Governor Kounalakis: phone/contact; twitter; facebook
Legislative Leaders

Colorado (1 track)
Governor Polis: phone/email/social media
Lt. Governor Primavera: phone/email/social media
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

Delaware (3 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Carney: phone/email/social media
Lt. Governor Hall-Long: phone; twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

Florida (3 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor DeSantis: 850-488-7146; email; twitter; facebook
Lt. Governor Nunez: twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders: Majority; Minority
House Leaders: Majority; Minority

Illinois (4 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Pritzker: 217-782-6830, 217-782-6831; contact/social media
Lt. Governor Stratton: phone/email/social media
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

Indiana (2 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Holcomb: social media (bottom of page)
Lt. Governor Crouch: social media (top of page)
Senate Majority Leader Alting: phone/email
Senate Minority Leader Taylor: phone/email
House Speaker Huston: phone/email
House Minority Leader GiaQuinta: phone/email

Iowa (1 track; subsidy state)
Governor Reynolds: phone/contact/social media
Lt. Governor Gregg: twitter; facebook
Legislative Leaders

Kentucky (7 tracks; partial subsidy state)
Governor Beshear: phone/contact/social media
Lt. Governor Coleman: twitter; facebook
Assembly Leaders

Louisiana (4 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Edwards: 225-342-7015; email/social media
Lt. Governor Nungesser: phone/email; twitter; facebook

Maryland (5 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Hogan: 410-974-3901; contact; twitter; facebook; instagram
Lt. Governor Rutherford: twitter; facebook; instagram
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

Minnesota (2 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Walz: phone/contact/social media
Lt. Governor Flanagan: twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

Nebraska (4 tracks; will be subsidy state starting this year)
Governor Ricketts: phone/email/social media
Lt. Governor Foley: phone/email

New Jersey (3 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Murphy: 609-292-6000; contact/social media
Lt. Governor Oliver: twitter; facebook; instagram
Legislative Leaders

New Mexico (5 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Grisham: phone/email/social media
Lt. Governor Morales: phone/email/social media
Legislative Leaders

New York (11 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Cuomo: phone/contact/social media
Lt. Governor Hochul: twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders
Assembly Leaders

Ohio (7 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor DeWine: contact/social media
Lt. Governor Husted: twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders
House Leaders: Majority; Minority

Oklahoma (3 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Stitt: 405-521-2342; contact/social media
Lt. Governor Pinnell: 405-521-2161; contact; twitter; facebook; instagram
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

Oregon (1 track)
Governor Brown: phone/contact/social media
Senate Democratic Leaders
Senate Republican Leaders
House Leaders

Pennsylvania (6 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Wolf: phone/contact/social media
Lt. Governor Fetterman: 717-787-3300; twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

Texas (4 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Abbott: phone/contact/social media
Lt. Governor Patrick: phone/contact/social media
House Speaker Phelan: phone/email

Virginia (2 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Northam: 804-786-2211; contact/social media
Lt. Governor Fairfax: phone/email; twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

Washington (2 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Inslee: phone/contact/social media
Lt. Governor Heck: phone/email; twitter; facebook
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

West Virginia (2 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Justice: phone/email/social media
Senate Leaders
House Leaders

Wyoming (3 tracks; subsidy state)
Governor Gordon: 307-777-7434; social media; staff contacts
Senate Leaders
House Leaders