Who We Are

Horseracing Wrongs is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to eradicating horseracing in the United States. We are in fact the only organization in the country that is clearly and consistently working toward that end.

Facts, as the great John Adams once declared, are stubborn things. And facts are what we present here. We firmly believe that if those coming to this site do so with an open mind, a fresh lens, they will see horseracing not for how it has been sold – as sport, “The Sport of Kings” – but rather as the cruel and deadly gambling industry that it is.

Patrick Battuello, Founder, President, Director (patrick@horseracingwrongs.com)

Patrick Battuello has been writing on animal-rights issues since 2009 when he launched the Animal Rights blog for the Times Union (Albany, NY), one of the first of its kind in the United States. Patrick founded Horseracing Wrongs in 2013. Through his seminal FOIA reporting, he has become recognized as the nation’s foremost expert on racehorse deaths. He has been interviewed by and quoted in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, the Boston Herald, Newsday, USA Today, The Guardian, the Sun-Sentinel, et al., and was also recently featured on HBO’s “Real Sports.”

Nicole Arciello, Vice President, Director (nicole@horseracingwrongs.com)

Nicole Arciello has been active in the animal-rights community in Albany, NY, for the past 10 years. Shortly after becoming a regular contributor on the Times Union Animal Rights blog, she co-founded Albany Animal Rights, a local advocacy group that protests various animal-use industries – circuses, rodeos, puppy mills, fur, etc.

Nicole is also an accomplished vegan chef and baker. She was co-owner of a successful vegan bakery, has presented cooking demos in multiple public forums, and currently teaches vegan cooking for various school districts’ continuing-ed programs.

As vice president of Horseracing Wrongs, Nicole spearheads protest operations (to date, HW has organized and supported actions at 21 tracks, in 16 states) and oversees our social-media and community-outreach departments.

Joy Aten, Director, Cruelty Investigator

Horses have been a major part of Joy Aten’s life for 30 years. Shortly after the creation of CANTER in 1997, she became a volunteer and eventually an executive board member. Her responsibilities as chair of the rescue’s Track Committee at Great Lakes Downs (Michigan) took her weekly to the barn area. It was in these backside “shedrows” that she first became aware of racing’s dark underbelly.

Joy devoted nine years to CANTER Michigan, beseeching owners and trainers to sell or donate their “spent” horses rather than sending them to slaughter. Today, through individual and group efforts, she remains active in the rescue and placement of retired racehorses – indeed, of all breeds in need. Joy was also a co-founder of Saving Baby Equine Charity, a member of the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition, and an adviser on the film Saving America’s Horses – A Nation Betrayed.

In addition to 4 children and 10 grandchildren, Joy cherishes her equine family members, which include former racing Thoroughbreds. She says: “My ‘boys’ came off the track injured, worn-out, and used up. Sharing their lives is a constant reminder that there are thousands of horses just like them. Daily across this country, Thoroughbred racehorses are sacrificed for the financial gain of owners and trainers. And thousands more end up on the slaughterhouse floors.”

Jo Anne Normile, Advisory Board

Jo Anne Normile is a former breeder and owner of racehorses. Upon becoming disillusioned with the industry, she left and went on to found the racehorse rescue CANTER – the first organization to take Thoroughbreds right from the track to safe havens. CANTER now has chapters across the country. After leaving CANTER, Jo Anne co-founded a second successful horse rescue – Saving Baby Equine Charity.

Jo Anne co-authored a memoir about her racing experiences entitled Saving Baby – How One Woman’s Love for a Racehorse Led to Her Redemption. Her book was featured in Reader’s Digest and has been met with outstanding reviews, including five stars from Barnes and Noble. She has received the “Catalyst of the Year Award” from the Michigan Horse Council for her “significant contribution to the Michigan horse industry,” and was described in The Thoroughbred Times as having “rescued more horses than any other organization in the equine industry.” She has been written up in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, among others. She has also appeared on CNN.

Jo Anne’s dedication to horses includes research on equine self-mutilation syndrome and compulsive behavior in formerly feral horses; she coauthored studies that appeared in the prestigious Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and The Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine. In 2012, she coauthored the case study “U.S. Thoroughbreds Slaughtered 2002-2010 Compared to Annual Thoroughbred Foal Crop.” Jo Anne has provided exhibits for a Congressional hearing on the use of drugs in racehorses and has been a guest speaker at equine safety conferences around the country.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Advisory Board

One of the world’s most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviorists, Nicholas H. Dodman was a professor, section head, and the program director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. In 2016, he was honored as Professor Emeritus.

Nick is a founding member of the Vets for Equine Welfare, a co-founder of Saving Baby Equine Charity, and a member of the leadership council of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. Nick has written five books. Both his first and second – The Dog Who Loved Too Much and The Cat Who Cried for Help – sold more than 100,000 copies. His other titles include Dogs Behaving Badly, If Only They Could Speak, and The Well-Adjusted Dog. He has also authored two textbooks and more than 100 articles and contributions to scientific books and journals.

Nick has testified before a Congressional committee on the inhumanity of horse slaughter and has appeared on 20/20, Oprah, Today, Good Morning America, Dateline, World News Tonight, the Discovery Channel, NOVA, Animal Planet, the BBC, the CBC, Inside Edition, MSNBC, NPR, A&E, among many others.

Dr. Holly Cheever, Advisory Board

In addition to her private practice serving companion animals and wildlife, Dr. Holly Cheever presents programs to elementary through college level students on environmental and animal welfare issues. She is also a regular lecturer at veterinary schools, providing mentoring with an emphasis on animal welfare. She serves as a consultant for local, state, and national animal protection organizations, and assists law officers in animal abuse cases, both by lecturing on how to effectively implement the state’s anti-cruelty laws and by serving as an expert witness for the prosecution. Holly has also worked with many states and municipalities in an effort to eliminate the cruelty of urban carriage-horse tourist rides.

For her work in helping to prevent animal cruelty, Holly has won awards from the New York State Troopers, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Humane Society of the United States. In 1991, Holly was named Veterinarian of the Year by the New York State Humane Association, and she was Good Housekeeping’s veterinary columnist from 1997 to 2001.

Holly is a founding member of the Leadership Council of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, is vice president of the New York State Humane Association, and sits on the New England Antivivisection Society’s advisory board.

Holly was educated at Harvard University (A.B. 1971, summa cum laude) and at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University (D.V.M. 1980, class rank #1). She resides on a small farm sanctuary in upstate New York with her husband and a host of barnyard friends; their four grown children return to the farm as often as they can.