Patrick J Battuello

Mr Rabbits Dead at Finger Lakes

In Dead Athletes on October 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Running in his very first race, 2-year-old Mr Rabbits broke down and died yesterday afternoon at Finger Lakes, trainer James Acquilano’s 2nd dead horse in 3 days (Magestick Tomahawk on Saturday). The kill allowed Mr. Acquilano to hit his annual average at the western NY track (9 dead since 2009). Condolences to the connections, anyone?

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  1. What a beautiful horse destroyed by greed cruelty and disregard. Condolences will not help Mr. Rabbits and I don’t believe the connections really care. It is so very sad to see his legs crumble.

    • Ok first of all that’s not even the horse in the photo second of all not only did James have 2 horses break down in two days there were also 3 others that didn’t belong to him. Maybe anyone stop to think it’s the track!??? Chops is a great horsemen and in this business stuff like that happens all the time… It’s part of it. Tell me in never happens in the show world or cross country ??? Really???! Come on

      • and the reason it happens all the time is because the horses are started way too young, the same as they are started way too young in other disciplines. It’s all about greed and making money, push the horse to do too much too early and this is what you get.

      • It’s really too bad people have the notion that its ok just because it happens all the time, because it’s the nature of the sport. Yes, it happens in other aspects of the horse world too, but it doesnt make it any more acceptable. Those horses are run too young, they are still babies! It’s sad, the ones suffering are the horses…Shame on the trainers and owners for being ok with running them so young!

    • there is no turf course like we see on the photo in Finger Lakes.

  2. So continually horrified by the blatant disregard for the life of young, innocent babies for the sake of man’s ego and greed, I weep for this youngster. For the fact that he never had a life after birth. I’m sure he enjoyed the love and protection of his mother but for how long? Did he enjoy the pleasure of peer group bonding. Did he run and play with others of his own age? I guess not, not if he raced at two with joints not yet calcified. And emotionally, what did this baby know. He knew he had to serve a cruel God…Mankind. And in an instant he folded and his poor legs gave way and he died…for what? How sad and so totally unnecessary.

  3. OR you could find out the whole story, like the other 8 horses who have all snapped a leg at the exact same spot, 1/4 pole on the track in the last week! What a coincidence don’t ya think!!!!!! Perhaps the track needs to be fixed when perfectly sound horses are dropping!?

    • or perhaps the racing industry should halt the training and racing of such young horses. A 2 year old, even a 3 year old, is not mature enough, physically, mentally or even emotionally, to cope with the demands of racing. I own a OTTB. He broke down after his 1st race (which he won) he was off for almost 1 year, they raced him again, after 3 races (all of which he won) he broke down again and was off for another year. He only raced 8x total, won $69,000. On his 8th race, he was pulled up, and crossed finish line, dropped and was vanned off. He has 28 pin fires scars on each foreleg and surgical scars on back of both front fetlocks. The fact that he broke down after 1st race should have been proof enough that he was not physically ready to run. But his breeding and talent said otherwise. HIs then owner is very well known and respected in the racing community, this “caring” person put my horse thru hell and why? because she showed incredible talent. And that is what the Registry goes by.

  4. What the heck is this guy doing to these horses? Shouldn’t someone launch an investigation?

  5. Think Maybe they would learn running these babies too hard is killing and ruining them!!! Sad..

  6. I hate this Industry because of things just like this…running a 2 yr old until they break down…How do you people sleep at night? In my book that is nothing short of ABUSE!

  7. Surely there should be an investigation into this. 9 horses, wow that is horrific. A perfectly healthy horse just collapses and dies. Mmmmmm something is wrong and this guy gets away with it.

  8. Maybe you should find out the truth in the story other than saying hes just dead sheesh. The trainer takes very good care of the horses and this story should have more of the truth less of the bs. He wasn’t ran until he broke down.

  9. It’s not only our industry that this happens. Tell me cross country is human? Oh wait it’s ok for all u show people to have horses fall on logs or run for miles just for pleasure. This is a business and maybe if some of u people came out to the track and saw how well these horses are cared for u would see. It’s a sport and in sports accidents happen. Investigate what?? That a man who cares for his horses had a accident? It’s sad yes but it’s nothing James did that caused this. So get over urself

    • I suggest you take your head out of the sand and stop defending the indefensible.. This so called sport is riddled with cheaters who drug and run unsound horses. And as to how well these animals are cared for, that is true with a few of the trainers especially when the horse is a winner. The downward spiral of the claiming game is the path to misery and hell for the horse. Eventually, if they survive, they are loaded on to the truck bound for slaughter. These animals are pushed way too hard at too young an age and at every level of racing and you know it. Horses are run sore and medicated when they probably have micro fractures and tendon/ligament problems…. Every aspect of this “sport” is full of deceit from start to finish.

      Also I can tell of outrageous incidents of cruelty like the beating of a 2 yr. old refusing to go on the training track. The horse was in pain with bucked shins. There are other incidents I know of because I witnessed them…

      And your question :, “investigate what ??” goes along well with the head in the sand syndrome !!!

      • Rose,

        FYI, Mariann Manning is a woman trainer here at Finger Lakes, and she is involved with a jockey named Mike Davila. They have a child together, in fact. Mike Davila went through several years of hard times (bad choices, etc) and he lost his license for quite some time. Trainer Jimmy “Chops” Acquilano stayed loyal to Mike and gave him a chance, putting him on many winners and being his first call rider. And Mariann Manning was Chops’s assistant back in 2009.
        So that is why she is defending him so strongly. I know the barn very well and how Chops runs it. There are good outfits at Finger Lakes and people who really care about their horses (in fact, I feel that Mariann Manning is one of those). Chops, on the other hand, is a scourge to the industry and a slap in the face to the horsemen who are trying to win the old fashioned way. There is almost no way that he is not using something to get those horses to run as well as they do. He arrives at the barn at 3am and gets everything done before 8am. He is a hard-working man but I don’t trust what goes on behind the scenes.

      • One Who Knows, Do you really think it is necessary to bring a someones boyfriends personal life into the discussion?? Their bad choices?? Really?? I am the first one to say I have made some “Far out” comments, but to talk about someones “Bad Choices” when they are not here to defend themselves. Should not be a part of this discussion. I am sure butter would not melt in your mouth but it would be hard to find anyone that would say they have never made a BAD choice or two in their life. Those of us who have should not have to be slandered on a web site we don’t even associate with. I get it, you are probably infatuated with Ms. Manning and think she could do better with you…

    • Marianne I have been over and over the eventing issue with these guys. Look under the recent post “Congaree King Killed after walking off”. I had the numbers at Fairhill International CCI as 126 started and 69 finished, But when you start talking about “Eventing” people seem to stop posting comments. Patrick Battuello has confirmed he is against eventing. Some of the others have foundations that award eventers. So they wish to save all race horses and make them eventers. Talking about a tough retirement…

  10. Isnt’ it obvious that racing these very young horses is inhumane and cruel? And these owners proclaim to care and love their horses? I am sickened by this continuing situation and all the beautiful horses who suffer and die needlessly.

  11. To bad you talk of only what happened and not how good this trainer is and all his great win percentage this race track is chippy and loose it needs more water and the association is correcting the problem why can’t you tell all the facts when you try to ruin someone’s reputation !!!

  12. First hes the best trainer and thats how he make a living , getting horses ready to run doin the best out there and it’s life . animals are born and died . Unfortunaly ones die a worse dead then other .and this person that wrote this bull shit make a living putting others down and talking shit and should mind there business because aquilaino is one of the best and always has been..

  13. Really? I ride my 20 yo mares for 20 miles after proper conditioning and they don’t die mid ride. I wouldn’t even think of putting a saddle on a 2yo let alone racing them. Maybe they should change the rules to 5 or 6 year minimums. Would put a crimp on their profits but would be much nicer to the horses.

  14. Maybe people ought to look at the track and its officials……… I have gotten 4 very lovely horses from this trainer when they were done racing and they were all in excellent condition and have gone on to have wonderful lives with their new families. You people should be ashamed at branding this trainer when you don’t even know the whole story of what happened. They obviously care about these guys. I keep them updated with how their retirees are doing and they love to know about them. Doesn’t sound like an uncaring greedy trainer to me…………SHAME ON YOU

  15. before you can even begin to point the finger at anyone, some basic facts have to be known, like what was the actual injury? different injuries are caused by different things. like in any other discipline, there are good race trainers and bad. I’ve never heard anything bad about aqualino, in all my time at the track. not saying he’s perfect, but he’s not one of ‘those guys’. so, while I hate to be the voice of reason, i’ll refrain from attacking him, the horse’s owners or any other connections , as neither I, nor any of you, have enough facts to make a smart, educated guess as to the root cause of this horse’s breakdown.

    • Mr Rabbits was Acquilano’s 2nd dead horse in 3 days. He has lost 9 horses in NY since 2009. I believe these qualify as “facts.”

      • He has also run 1,587 since 2009. Which is 0.567%. 3 days ago his percent was 0.441%. Not really the way you would want to post it if you want the “Shock Value”…

      • I think it’s interesting that some people equate a high win percentage with being a good horseman. Jimmy “Chops” Acquilano is very good at winning races, yes. He’s also good at keeping his horses in a very strict routine and schedule. He is very strict about giving them almost NO hay, and he beds them on some unpleasant stuff called Woody Pet. I have seen his horses every day, for years, and I feel sorry for each and every one of them. How they so often are able to run out of their skin is beyond me. I would like to see Chops be taken care of the way he takes care of his horses. It would be my privilege, in fact, to hook him to the hot walking machine for his alloted 23 minutes a day and squirrel him away in a stall somewhere until the next day.

      • One Who Knows, if you are referring to the percentages I posted they have nothing to do with wins. I personally do not know “Chops” or anyone else involved. I have noticed he has a good win percentage but only because you brought it up…

    • Jen, you said “neither” you, ,”nor any of you have enough FACTS to make a smart, educated guess as to the root cause…” Well that is a huge part of the problem in this business. FACTS are as scares as hens teeth. However, numbers are facts and 2 fatalities in 3 days is a FACT and not a fiction.
      And you know very well fatalities at tracks such as Finger Lakes get little or no attention. I claimed a horse from that track and retired him. His last start was in a $4,000 claimer there.. He is lucky to be alive because the horse should not have been anywhere near a racetrack with the problems he had and that is a FACT. After almost 3 years of recuperation he will be fit for light trail riding, maybe.

  16. your talking out of your ass….. I could qualify that as a “Fact” too

  17. The number of dead horses is a fact. Also, why so rude, it just serves to undermine your position rather than enhance it.
    And speaking of facts, your facts are ?

  18. Sick crule industry, , money making racket no love for the horses sad really sad that these beautiful creatures of god have to indure our greed.No horse at the age of two should be racing or riden until three or older.my heart brakes for these poor race horses.

  19. Amazing, isn’t it…as Patrick pointed out, where is all of the media press about Mr Rabbits?…and all of the owner and trainer statements exclaiming their dismay at the death of this 2-year-old that had barely begun life?…where are the horseracing industry messages of condolence to this youngster’s connections? As always, the hundreds and hundreds that die in this multi-billion dollar gambling industry are dead, gone, and forgotten in an instant without so much a mention to the masses that proclaim their love for this “sport”. No, it is only the BC hopefuls or the Baffert-Pletcher-Lukas type-trained horses that garner any outpouring of sympathy when they snap a leg and subsequently die. My theory on why that happens?…the public – television audiences and racing publication readers – is already aware of the high-profile horse’s existence and racing prowess, and that makes it quite difficult to sweep the horse’s injury and death under the rug. Racing needs to explain, proclaim, and exclaim to all who KNOW the horse exists how tragic the death is and what a sad part of the business it is…it is impossible to ignore and move on, as it is with the Mr Rabbits of this world.

    To “Marianne manning”; your statement “in this business stuff like that happens all the time…It’s part of it”, is chilling…you are not telling any of us something we don’t already know. We are well aware these deaths happen all the time. But firstly, the “stuff” you speak of?…to have someone refer to the painful breakdown and death of a sentient, living creature as “stuff” is quite telling of where you are coming from. Typical…have seen comments like yours again and again from those in this industry. The horses are nothing more than a means to an end. Secondly, if ONLY I had a dime for every time I heard or read comments like your “It’s not only our industry that this happens”! Again, so typical. There is not one person here, I am certain, that does not realize abuse of animals exists in any discipline/sport/arena where fame, fortune, and accolades are sought after. So to you I will ask…do you visit a website where the rampant abuse of the TWH is exposed and exclaim “Hey wait a minute here!…don’t you know that racehorses and cross country horses and show horses and polo ponies and rodeo horses are abused too?!?!”…I highly doubt it. You see, the abuse of ANY other horse does NOT negate the abuse in horseracing…you simply want the spotlight of scrutiny to be pointed elsewhere. I once had a very well-known trainer on the west coast say to me (with much irritation, as our small group was trying to acquire a horse of his…which we ultimately successfully did!); “Why don’t you rescue whales?”…to which I nicely replied “Well, how about you race cars?”. The way he saw it was, if I were putting my time into saving whales, I wouldn’t be making him uncomfortable in the fact that he was still running a horse that should have been stopped on 20 starts ago! And the same holds true, I’m sure, of those who constantly shout about the other equine abuses…they don’t want racing’s dirt laid out for the world to see. We know the abuse is widespread – horses in a variety of equine disciplines, food animals in factory farms, orcas held captive in amusement parks, animals tortured in experimentation, dog and cock fighting – we know it exists, and every bit of it is indefensible. So does that mean we need to speak to it all or to none of it? Someone else, in some other post on this website, mentioned another equine discipline abuse yet continued that he/she actually knew little about that particular discipline. So I will speak for myself, that while I abhor the abuse of any innocent, I witnessed the horrific treatment of Thoroughbred racehorses…six months out of the year for nearly 10 years. THAT is the abuse I am most familiar with, and for those horses I choose to be a voice.

    Again to “Marianne manning”, your comment “maybe if some of u people came out to the track and saw how well these horses are cared for u would see”…I did see…until I didn’t want to see anymore NOR keep my shout shut about it anymore. There is so much that is unhealthy and abnormal about track life for a horse that there isn’t enough space or time here. Or how about these statistics…of the 30 trainers we took in horses for (and mind you, some required we PAY for their horses, regardless of if the horse had a fracture, chips, a bow, end-stage arthritis, etc), 19 of those trainers “gave” us horses that had been training and racing on EXISTING injuries. 19 of 30! Not to mention, some of the trainers never even gave their horses a chance by placing them with us…no, they just gave them directly to the licensed owner/trainer that also happens to be the largest supplier of horses to a Canadian slaughterhouse. Direct line…stable to table. So don’t try to tell anyone here they need to come and visit the backside…it’s enough to make one ill.

    In 2008, a congressional subcommittee held a hearing entitled “Breeding, Drugs, and Breakdowns: The State of Thoroughbred Racing and the Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse”. I provided nearly three years worth of horses’ names and their injuries/euthanasia dates from one small track in Michigan to Jo Anne Normile, who in turn submitted that and additional damning information to this hearing. Now those owners and trainers from that Michigan track moved their stables to other tracks when the MI meet was over…to Tampa Bay, Mountaineer, Penn National, Charles Town, Oaklawn, Beulah, Thistledowns, River Downs, Hooiser Park, Indiana Downs, etc. Those SAME trainers that ran INJURED horses just moved on and repeated their MO all over again. So any argument that this outright abusive behavior was just at this Michigan track is ridiculous. Like I was told by another poster, google it…check out the names and deaths of the horses submitted to the hearing. It’s enough to make a caring person sick.

    Lastly, to Another Country, there’s much to respond to you. Since the hour is late and this post is extremely long, I’ll try to keep this concise. Eventing seems to be a discipline that is a bone of contention with you. I don’t do it, never have, know basically nothing about it. But do I think there are abuses in it? AC, my own honest opinion is that ANYTIME there is something to be “had” by a human at the expense of an animal – those “somethings” being money, awards, laurels, etc – I fear for the animal. But as I asked before, do the abuses that exist in any or all of the other equine disciplines just negate those that exist in racing? I know you know the answer to that…of course not. This is a website that educates its readers to racing abuses. Doesn’t mean we don’t know about the others, or care about them, or strongly desire for those abuses to cease. There is not enough time in my day to address TB racing abuse…much less to try and take on those I know little about. I can only hope there are those that do because every animal that shares this earth with us is deserving of a life without suffering. (and for those of you that want to jump all over me with “what about all the sick people with blah-blah-blah…and let me tell you, I’ve heard it…I am in the health care profession so there is no sense in going there)

    One last thing for AC, I must just mention the “rescue folks” that are arm in arm with racing. It’s tough for me to see, as well. But let me tell you this…if they don’t, they will likely lose the fragile link to the horses that need them. Case in point; in 2007, a television station over in Detroit decided to do an investigative piece on TB racing in Michigan. Without going into all of the details, a trainer bragged to me (on hidden camera) about “how he ran injured horses all the time”. Another trainer’s horse that raced that night came into the program within days with a pre-existing injury that was then exacerbated by continued training and racing. This was all part of the report, and it was aired shortly thereafter. What we thought would happen did…the rescue was denied licenses the next year. The outrage of the owners/trainers/racing commission at being exposed?…they took it out on the horses. There were still a small number of horses that came into the rescue that year, but the intake numbers drastically decreased from prior years. Their embarrassment, it seems, was much more important than the lives of their used-up horses.

    • Joy I don’t think anyone commenting is in belief that racing is perfect. The eventing aspect I go on and on about is that their training is overly demanding on a horses, egspecially on th TB that has already gone through racing, CANTER who I believe you were associated with for close to a decade rewards these athletes. They hold them in such high reguard, but race trackers are scum.There is a reason people come looking to buy “eventing prospects” because a huge percent if these horses, TB or not never make an event and even fewer make the “recognized ” events. These horses go approxamently 3 miles over fences that don’t come down if hit. In order to do that you have to have a horse that has gone through excruciating training. So to think these horses are 100% sound and don’t get treated is a fairy tale. So why are people so infatuated with eventing but horrified with racing???? I am on my phone so please excuse any grammatical errors. I am sure you have been asked this before but you kind of set your self up for it, since you are worried about all animals are you a vegetarian , do you wear or ride in anything leather?? What do you think those Prada bags are made out of?? Do you think those animals die of natural causes?? No those animals are in feed lots suffering just like the horses in the feed lots. I don’t know if you are vegetarian and make your own clothes. If not maybe you should amend your ways before judging others. Here is one that no one has brought up, have you ever been to a state or county fair and see the kids kissing and loving all over their goats, cows, lambs, and rabbit then they are rewarded for selling them for meat. Who is trying to stop the slaughter of animals that Americans eat?? I feel there are a lot of people against horses racing and slaughter because it has become high profile. I am sure some will say they have this intamate connection with horses. To that idea I believe Bill Mahar said it the best, ” sure horses let you ride them but cows let you pull on their titties….

      • Same ole same ole ….are you a “vegetarian…do you wear leather” Your argument is tired, very tired. So with your way of rationalizing if one thing is wrong then it absolves all the other wrongs, right !

      • You are absolutely correct Rose.It is the “same ole same ole”. In her words “I abhor the abuse of any innocent”. Yet some of these people walk around with their alligator bags and order the filet at dinner. If you want to live it ,live it. Talk the talk ,walk the walk, however you want to put it. People knowingly eat slaughtered animals which puts the money into the pockets of the ranchers, farmers, feedlot owners what ever name they have now, but wish to criticize other businesses that deal with animals. I don’t really like calling names but I know there is a name for people like that. Rose if this argument is tired you should have a very good explanation for it by now. I didn’t see the explanation.

        Joy about the rescue people arm and arm with the racing folks.You have just told me they are knowingly and willingly deceiving people to get what they want or need.This is what you are telling me not what I am telling you. So their deception not only keeps them in contact, it also enables them to get sizable donations from race tracks, HBPAs and anywhere else they come from. So it could be said they are deceiving people and companies for donations, MONEY..I guess this could be categorized as another horrible part of the racing business.

        Patrick this is not for $2 bets it is for sizable donations……

    • Thank you Joy for your absolutely outstanding post. You are EXACTLY RIGHT !

  20. Well AC, with your way of looking at things, none of us should advocate for anyone or anything that is being abused, preyed upon, or exploited. Because there will always be another living creature that is being abused, preyed upon, or exploited. And how can we speak up for one and not another?

    It is too bad you hold that way of thinking…if you didn’t, I would expect you to advocate for eventing horses. You seem knowledgeable about the discipline and passionately exclaim abuses in it. But why do that…because I’m certain you wear clothing (but then what about the “labor conditions endured by workers producing products for the [American] market”-taken from the ILRF), and use products that pollute our earth (including light, noise, and thermal). We have become an apathetic society, and it has sadly become that way for various reasons…your way of thinking is one of them.

    I am so far from being perfect, and will never attain perfection in this lifetime. Nor will you…nor will any other human on this earth. There is but one perfection in all of the universe and “it ain’t us”. But with that said, I will continue to “set myself up” as you put it. Folks who choose to do nothing to help the innocent and voiceless (because WHY would one do that?…how hypocritical to advocate for animals used in experimentation when there are food animals being cruelly treated!) will continue to take pot shots at those who put themselves out there in an attempt to make the life of an abused creature better. And that’s OK…I have learned important life lessons in listening to differing opinions. But right and wrong will remain right and wrong…and if pointing out a wrong is judging, then so be it.

    To wrap up, I prefer Ralph Waldo Emerson to Bill Maher : “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded”.

    • I believe we should clean out our own closets before we tell others how to organize theirs. I am glad there are people advocating for animals. Some people on this site think they are an advocate for the horse but in my opinion you are just campaigning against horse racing. There is a difference. I personally am not against horse racing or eventing, but I am most certainly not going to be in favor of one and down the other. To me they are closely related.I know it seems I have a lot of bad to say about eventing but I was really just trying to open peoples eyes to the fact that they are related. There are people on here who love eventing and I believe they are being hypocritical with their stance on racing. To think a horse isn’t used as hard eventing to me is nonsensical. If you really are an advocate and think racing is cruel I believe you should feel the same about eventing. If I owned a horse I would not have a problem with them doing either.Now maybe I am being a hypocrite when I say “I would not want a horse i hated to go to polo”. I guess we all have our likes and dislikes…

  21. what is wrong with people don’t you all know that horses knees are not fully strong enough to sustain the pressure of running and jumping at the age of 2 years old. you all take such beautiful and graceful horses and just push them so hard for what? money and yet do not care if they get hurt. when is it all going to stop??????????????????

  22. If a horse is run on the flat (which 2yr olds are,) and they are properly fit and trained, and have a light weight jockey (which they do) – can’t see the problem. The problem arises when one or more of these factors are not in place.

    • So which of the factors you listed was not in place when 2y/o Secret Compass suffered a condylar fracture with dislocation? Horrific, excruciatingly painful injury this baby of a horse endured. Absolutely horrific.

  23. Ok let me tell you something….NONE OF YOU BACK YARD SHOW PEOPLE KNOW WHAT HAPPENS HERE. Behind these gates is a different world. A down to earth world and it’s pure reality. The people here are amazing to these animals.. We spend our whole days here caring for our horses and making sure we do right by them. You all are noisy people with nothing better to do then write shit about people u don’t know ( good people) and then go on these ranting debates about what’s right and wrong. Who the hell are you all to pass judgement about our industry. Like I said this is a sport . These horses are born and bred to run. Some of them are not happy unless that’s what they are doing but u dumb ass egotistical people don’t know because you never took the time to find out. All u see is the bad. There is bad in EVERYTHING we do in life. Why not take time out and look at the good????!!!! I don’t agree with a lot of things in this world but who am I to knock people i don’t know or pass judgement on what someone else does for a living or even for fun? Next who ever wrote sow thing about medication. If u had ANY idea about our world u would know that we r not allowed to use shit and we get tested to make sure we have not used anything so don’t open ur mouth about something u have no idea about and to the person who has the 20 year old mate who never broke down! U don’t race her…our horses wouldn’t break down either if we rode then 20 miles at a walk though the woods!!! Bottom line is that these horses are pure athletes with heart and drive. They love what they do and it’s not abuse in anyway. So move on for this and go bash someone who cares what u think….

    • Ah, yes, we DO know what goes on…on the backside and on the farms. Saw HUNDREDS of broken racing TB’s…loaded them on my trailer, stood with them when euthanized, rehabbed them after their surgeries, brought them back from near starvation…so yes, we know.

      And you’re not allowed to use “shit”?!?…b/c you get “tested”? Wow…some racing apologists claim adequate and accurate testing…others claim testing far from adequate. You are aware, aren’t you, that there are “substances” used that testing has not been developed for…right?

      Pretty sad that you could care less about how others make their living (implied; regardless of what that might be)…so dealing illegal drugs and selling to high school kids is OK with you?…wouldn’t want to “pass judgement”? And you want to turn a blind eye to what some folks might do for fun?…ever heard of crush videos? There is such a thing as right and wrong…people with conviction and strength of character stand for what’s right. Your way of thinking, and therefore your lack of action if you see a wrong, most certainly explains why so many animals linger in abusive and neglectful situations. You choose to turn away…because it’s “none of your business”, right?

      One last thing…and this from a friend, a world renown equine orthopedic surgeon regarding racehorses…”Speed kills”. Racing is an industry that takes horses’ limbs and lives on a daily basis. That cannot be defended.

  24. Oh and one more thing.. What r u all doing on a Sunday morning at 4:30 am??!!! Because we r up and at the barn taking care of our horses!!!

  25. Ok if you don’t like racing y r u watching it knowing every horse that breaks down and then on top of that adopting horses from the track and then complaining about how they r broke down and sore?! U clearly watch this sport… Otherwise u would not know every move made by every trainer in the business….

  26. This is a rather spirited debate, isn’t it?! Surely, not all of horse racing is bad. I know good horsemen and bad horsemen. But I think it’s pushing it to say that Chops is such a swell horseman. I feel sorry for the horses in his barn, as would most of the people on this forum if they were able to see them. Sure, they run big when you walk them over there. But it’s hard to find a more depressing shedrow of horses (or should I say numbers) than that one. The people who defend him don’t seem to realize that they are defending the enemy; at least, if you are one of those trainers who is trying to win races the old fashioned way and not break any rules and try to keep your horses happy.

    • Ok please don’t bring my family into ur debates. I agree that all people at the racetrack don’t care for there horses the same way others do but all I am saying is if this is not a sport u don’t like then do not watch it nor follow it because this is the way people make a living. Everyone makes bad choices. It’s life. You learn from it and move on…. I’m done with this website and these stupid debates cuz really no one gets anywhere except going back and forth trying to fight a losing battle on both ends!!

      • One Who Knows, I am not defending “Chops”. Again i do not know him,Ms.Manning, and I have never been to Finger Lakes. My percentages were based on the “FACTS” of 9 horses in so many years. I am not privy to the goings on in his stable. I was going by what was stated as fact in here. Oh and you telling someone what someone else said, that is gossip, rumor, or hear say. I do agree with you that if he is “Juicing” the horses it is unfair to the honest people trying to make a living…

  27. And there is a statistic that Chops has lost 9 horses since 2009 … was that the stat? I can promise you that that number is far higher. For one thing, if a 4k claimer is going to need a year off to recover from a soft tissue injury, he will euthanize that horse. And while they do make an effort to find homes for them, there is the unlucky percentage that get shipped off to cheap (meat) sales. This came from the mouth of his daughter, so it’s not rumor or guesswork. It’s good to be loyal to people who have been good to you; but when they’re probably cheating (or rather, definitely cheating) … they are essentially taking food out of your mouth and money out of your pocket if you don’t play the game the way he does.

    • This note is to Another Country … My comment about defending Chops was 100% directed at Mariann Manning, not you. I just know there’s a personal relationship there that goes way back, and she is being loyal to him. I think Jimmy Acquilano is a very bad person for the game and especially for the horse. I’d call him dangerous. But what does it matter what I think? You win races, you get more horses to win more races, and the cycle continues. :)

      • Understood. My percentages were on the article. It says 9 and then there was debate about what is “fact”. Actually before this post I have never heard of either people you are addressing. I am 100% with you about cheating trainers. (Not saying he is or isn’t) I have a habit of defending the business. It is difficult when I don’t personally know the trainer. I was born into racing and consider it home. I am with everyone here wishing it was better , just have different views of how to do it then most on here. I believe you and I are on the same side we just started off wrong. The boyfriend statement just hit me wrong…

      • I’ve been reading these comments, it seems endlessly; and of course personalities enter the picture but I think we’ve lost the whole point of this tragedy to Mr. Rabbits and SO many others like him at the tender age of two. It doesn’t matter if you race horses or show horses or play Polo, et. al. The whole point is this: when you choose a sport as a human, then you know the risks and you make that choice. A horse doesn’t have that choice…it is decided for them. In particular, the horse is a serving creature for the most part. He doesn’t want to get eaten so he obeys. He only asks to be in a herd for security and protection. He yearns to forage and in so many instances a human friend can intervene and they can become his herd, protector, securer. They give much… this equine beauties. I’ve owned and loved many along this road of life. It’s simple…but I guess it’s not. Although the average horse is 1200 lbs. that horse is unaware of his prowess and power. By nature, they are not aggressive. I’m not blowing smoke as I have been taking care of horses in many venues for about 60 years. I know the excitement of racing and showing because I participated in the romance of those sports initially before I saw the reality of the situations. I took in track lay-ups and stopped because the end goal really wasn’t to help the horse but to recoup money. I showed horses in registered AQHA shows and watched as an upcoming AQHA future Champion was showing that day to achieve a goal to further his breeding career. I watched a trainer bleed him out into a bucket so he would win a Western Pleasure Class. In the ring, he looked like someone suffering from low sugar…ya think. He won the class and got his Championship. I wonder what he produced down the road. Bottom line, when it comes to money and power, greed becomes the impetus for many lower forms of life. They are on the track, in the show ring and all over. Two year olds and even three year olds don’t belong on a race track just like horses shouldn’t be eventing over jumps that are too high and stationary. There are many forms of cruelty in the world of horses and we can extend that to the Amish farm lands in PA. to those who think of their work horses as vehicles and are discarded like garbage at kill buyer auctions. Our equines deserve more and respect. They have served us well and throughout the history of America; they were our industry. And we can all go on but It is time to stop this insanity. When we all learn compassion for the creatures who live on our Earth, we will be a better people and perhaps then there will be hope for our own futures.

      • Well-said, Susi. But may I add that the horse’s service time (servitude) is done. This site stands unequivocally against all equine exploitation.

  28. AMEN Susi Fechter! Abuse to animals comes in so many forms, and our equines bear an enormous brunt of it. I cannot get my head around it…how that desire to win – if that be money, ribbons, classes, championships, whatever – gets in the way of what is good for the horse.

    Yes, this thread was to acknowledge and mourn 2 y/o Mr Rabbits. Thank you for bringing that back around to us.

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