Jo Anne Normile on the HSUS’ Position on Racing

I recently upbraided the HSUS for their position on horseracing (it’s a sport; it’s worth saving) and took some criticism for doing so. But, fortunately, I am not alone. The following comes from renowned advocate (and author of “Saving Baby – How One Woman’s Love for a Racehorse Led to Her Redemption”) Jo Anne Normile:

In response to the recent HSUS blog post on horse racing: This disingenuous drivel has so many errors in it, it’s difficult to know where to start.

“The horse-racing industry is plagued with dozens of poorly run and regulated tracks . . .” Are you kidding me? The inference is that they do not want this “plague,” yet they have fought any change in the status quo for over 40 years. Just who do you think brought this “plague” upon these horses? The people in this gambling industry that daily abuse and sacrifice the life and limbs of thousands of sentient beings who cannot even give a whimper to indicate when they are in pain and if they show any signs of not wanting to run faster, they are whipped. How many years of morning training has the HSUS attended? More horses are on the track every morning than on any race-day and there are no rules – any whip goes and they don’t even have to count their injured or dead! Some tracks do not even have a vet on premises, so when a horse breaks a leg training it lies there in agony until a vet can be found.

Drugs? Why are they given the majority of drugs in the first place? Do I have to spell it out? Racing in and of itself is maiming horses, and then ALL tracks, not just the ones cited, continue to race unsound horses until they have to resort to steroid injections into fractured joints, torn tendons and ligaments and painkilling drugs – which then increase the breakdown rate. There’s no chicken or egg theory here. RACING a healthy horse is abusive in and of itself and that’s what causes death or injuries – drugs come after.

Sport? Referring to racing as a sport? Really? True sports do not routinely see their athletes snapping a leg off or lying dead in the dirt, yet it happens in horse racing all the time. And when their careers are over, human athletes are not slaughtered. Yet the HSUS believes racing is a sport? How can that be? Horse racing is a form of gambling, pure and simple. Take away the gambling component and the whole thing collapses. Horse racing has been on the decline for decades. People were so disinterested in attending every-day races that they had to have a federal law passed allowing simulcast gambling across state lines – the only gambling entity allowed to do this. Despite these offsite wagers now comprising 90% of their intake, they began whining about state lotteries and casinos, so then they were allowed to inflate purses with “racino” (mostly slot machines) revenue.

The HSUS should be “putting the horse first.” If they have followed horse racing, then that phrase should sound quite familiar. This very industry they are striving to save made that promise back in 2008 after Eight Belles crossed the finish line in the Kentucky Derby and promptly shattered both front ankles. Millions watched as she pitifully attempted to rise with her nose slammed into the dirt until a screen hid the view. This industry did not keep its promises and the death, destruction and slaughter of these horses has galloped on.

Racing is not a sport. It is a gambling business that uses live animals instead of cards or dice. If the HSUS cared about “putting the horse first,” they would be supporting the “Teller All Gone Horseracing Deregulation Act of 2015″/”Coronado Heights Horseracing Deregulation Act of 2015,” and they would strive to take away slot machines and casino subsidies (that could be going to much-needed education or infrastructure improvements instead of propping up gambling on horses!!). Then, if successful, horse racing will die a slow death – just like so many of its horses currently do.

Jo Anne Normile
“Saving Baby – How One Woman’s Love for a Racehorse Led to Her Redemption” http://www.savingbaby.com
Saving Baby Equine Charity http://www.savingbaby.org

64 Comments

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  1. Excellent, as always, Jo Anne!…thank you for allowing Patrick to share your words here!

    Patrick, you are definitely not alone. I’ve emailed the HSUS and commented on Pacelle’s FB post about their stance and recent “joining up” with racing entities in supporting the racehorse-drugging issue/legislation. But the one simple question of mine they do not (and cannot) answer is this; “Why, Mr. Pacelle, does the HSUS oppose dog racing yet support horse racing?” They’ve got nothing.

    • Thank you, Joy Aten, for your support and agreement and to Patrick, of course, for posting my position. To you both and to everyone here, I will go through and apologize for my delay in responding. I forgot to check the box to be notified of any posts and with so much need to continue to post at various places wiith reference to this and other issues, I did not get the email nudge that people commented here. I am so sorry to be so late with this!

  2. Jo Anne Normile, you are racehorses’ champion, and my hero. Thank you for saying (and expertly and brilliantly) what the HSUS should have said.

    • rcatheron, you are too kind to offer me such praise which is humbling knowing what the horses go through. I am too late in thanking you because I forget to check the box “notify me of comments” when I first posted. So please accept my apologies for my delay and I thank YOU and everyone else who are speaking out.

    • Kathy, I am going through and replying to all belatedly with my sincerest gratitude and I’m so embarrassed that I forget to check the box to email me when there’s a comment posted. It was a week of lots of posts with reference to this shocking news from HSUS. Thank you!

  3. This causes one to wonder why the HSUS wasn’t more truthful, accurate, and thorough in their statement. Thank you, Jo Anne Normile for brulliantly and expertly stating what they SHOULD have said, had they truly had the welfare of the horses as their numbr one priority.
    You are the racehorses’ champion, and my hero.

    • rcatheron, again my apology for the late reply as I mentioned earlier in response to your other kind post. Their cheerleading for the exploitation of race horses instead of being advocates for these poor beings is indefensible. All who “speak” on behalf of these horses, take them in, donate to their rehabilitation and help save them from the slaughter pipeline, and people like Patrick and other sites that tell the truth, I have the utmost respect for as heroes and that includes YOU!

  4. Agreed Jo Anne. I will always take the position to ban horse racing. Initially, I thought that HSUS was really going to expose this industry for the death trap it is, but now know that they are being financially rewarded by the industry to validate what’s going on. They are paid endorsements for this horrific business. This is not unlike their paid endorsements at the end of a movie that says something like “no animals were harmed during the making of this film.” We now know that this isn’t always the case because animals have died and been harmed even when HSUS claimed otherwise. So this is just another paid endorsement without regard to the racehorse and the industry that exploits them for profit. The horse racing industry has been buying-off people for years. Recently, they allegedly bought Premier Kathleen Wynne of Ontario Canada who did everything in her power to ensure that a mega-casino was approved despite enacting work to rule legislation on thousands of Ontario Teachers. It’s clear that the industry is buying politicians by hefty political contributions to bully through financial support of horse racing via casinos. There was 1 Democrat in New York State (sorry I forgot her name), in fact the only politician that questioned WHY billions of casino profits automatically go to horse racing? She said why isn’t the money going to much need infrastructure, education, and healthcare? Nobody had an answer for her, and despite this she was the lone dissenting voice against money from NY Casinos. The rest just rubber stamped it with few questions. Despite the fact that the Ontario Horse Racing Industry got 345 MILLION per year for 12 years with the monies unaccounted for they are still back at the trough. In fact, Kathleen Wynne BLOCKED a legal inquiry investigating where the money went. What a dream she is for the horse racing industry- a paid dream highly likely. In essence their buying politicians to ensure that the exploitation of racehorse continue. Frank Stronach AKA Magna Entertainment AKA Adena Springs is a major power player owning racetracks like Gulfstream, Santa Anita etc. Not only does he own racetracks, but farms, Stallions, and an estimated 600 horses. He keeps breeding though. Most importantly he owns and/or operates the wagering company Xpressbet which brings in millions. It has a role at Woodbine Racetrack. Recently, he and his cohorts have bullied and put a tremendous amount of pressure on the CHRB to completely monopolize horse racing bets by being the sole provider of wagering bets in California according to recent CHRB meetings, and if I understand this complex transaction. What a power grab. Talk about conflict of interest and possible further abuse of horses. Most people struggling in the industry don’t like this outfit claiming they are bullies. I’m no legal eagle, but it seems clear that fixing races at the detriment of the racehorse can be easily accomplished when an outfit owns the racetrack, racehorse, Stallions, offspring, and wagering. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but the racehorses will pay the price – they always do.

    • Gina,

      This statement is misleading.

      “no animals were harmed during the making of this film.”

      Animals are oftentimes badly traumatized and harmed BEFORE making the film in order to get them to perform DURING the film.

      Pat Darby (Founder of PAWS) wrote a book called “The Lady and her Tiger” in which she exposed the abuse that takes place in training the animals before the movie. She was an animal trainer in Hollywood movies. One of the few animals that she said was not abused was LASSIE. Many of the other animals are abused by most trainers according to her book in order to get them to perform. Wild animals like tigers, bears, elephants, etc.
      Pat wrote the book and then was pushed out of HOllywood for stating the truth and then started the Sanctuary for animals (PAWS) She had incredible courage and love for animals.

      How the Death of a Horse Changed Hollywood Forever

      this is an interesting read I just found on how that ending came about.

      EXCERPT

      “It’s a familiar and reassuring (though occasionally misleading) declaration hiding in the credits of many a movie: “No animals were harmed,” complete with the stamp of the American Humane Association.”

      “In a 1939 film about Jesse James (starring Tyrone Power as Jesse James and Henry Fonda as his brother Frank), the filmmakers THREW A HORSE OFF OF A CLIFF!

      The fall didn’t actually kill the horse (as, again, the drop wasn’t that steep), but the horse was so freaked out by the fall that it began thrashing wildly and ended up drowning itself.

      Yes, there are still too many instances of animal abuse and exploitation in the entertainment world. It’s sad and infuriating. Some question the veracity of the AHA’s silver screen decree entirely”

      http://www.horsecollaborative.com/horse-death-changed-hollywood-forever/

      • Thanks Kathleen for the information. Agreed. The HSUS rubber stamps animal abuse on movie sets so it only stands to reason that they will do the same for the horse racing industry. That’s exactly my point. Thanks for the book recommendations – I will read them. The key question that the HSUS can’t answer is why they are against Dog Racing, but not horse racing? The only plausible answer is that they have been bought-off by the well-financed horse racing industry. No doubt in my mind.

    • Gina Powell, thank you for your detailed information because that is what we need to do — get the information out there. I do believe if the public truly KNEW what was happening, that they would strongly object and these horses need your voice (I read your superb comments in many places!) It is an insult that states desperately need funds to improve education or infrastructure yet they hand it over to breeders and stallion owners and racing incentives to those to win a race with a state-bred horse. Thank you also for naming names!!! I also apologize to you for my delay in responding. Embarrassingly, I forget to check the “notify me by email” box when there’s a comment and it’s been a wild week! I hope all forgive my delay.

      • Kathleen, thank you for your very informative post and the story of how PAWS was founded. A must-read. I have not trusted the American Humane Association’s stamp of approval at the end of films after reading in Equus in the 1990’s about a movie made (cannot remember the name) and the film company BLEW UP the horse pulling the buckboard or stage coach it was pulling — BLEW IT UP horse and all and still go their approval. I’ve never trusted them since. Thank you for validating that belief and please accept my apology for my long delay in responding.

  5. Jo Anne is SO right about horse racing ! A sport worth saving ???? A SPORT ??? WORTH SAVING ??? …. Ridiculous! What kind of sport does kill its athletes on a regular basis ?? Oh, yes, the gladiators in Rome fighting for their live … does the HSUS really want to be compared to times like that? And, can anybody be an admirer of, audience to, part of a “sport” that accepts death and drugging on a regular basis ?
    And, “Humane Society” – please tell me whatever is humane about the way the racehorses are treated !!!

    • Susanne, I thank you heartily for taking the time to post and your comments are right on! I neglected to check the box “email me when a response is posted” and because it’s been a very frantic week with all this happening, I didn’t realize there were replies here. Please forgive and allow me to thank you on behalf of myself and our nation’s horses who are exploited as gambling tools!

    • Jane Allin, thank YOU for understanding as heaven help these poor horses now that they HSUS has become a cheerleader for the racing industry. I’m so sorry for my delay in responding but I so appreciate that you took the time to read my post and comment.

  6. “Racing is not a sport. It is a gambling business that uses live animals instead of cards or dice.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. I refuse to watch any horse races anymore and have thankfully never bet on one.

    THANK YOU for all you’re doing to expose how truly bad this industry is Mr. Battuello. You are doing an amazing job.

    • Elinor Hawke-Szady my gratitude and thanks to YOU for understanding this simple concept that unnatural speed, around tight ovals on varying surfaces, after imprisonment for 23 hours of the day — day after day so that these magnificent beings can be gambling tools is inhumane and it looks like we must work on a grassroots level. Mr. Battuello allows a great forum and check out Tuesday’s Horse too. I apologize for my long delay in reaching out to you.

  7. Jo Anne, thank you for a great post that states the truth.. The pro-racing apologists can’t refute what you have said. It is time for racing to “die in the dirt” just as thousands of their horses do. Bye bye racing!

    • Mary Johnson, I see your posts everywhere on behalf of these majestic beings and I thank you heartily and so very sorry I am doing so belatedly. In error, I forgot to check the “notify me” box and it has been very busy week of posting due to all that has occurred. Racing is in decline by their OWN admission so how they use the excuse that they do not support dog racing because it is in decline when horse racing is too is beyond me! Feel free anyone to share this link http://www.jockeyclub.com/default.asp?section=FB&area=8

    • Mary , I understand Cactus Cafe is doing Cross Country Eventing now , how is that so much better than HorseRacing ? Don’t most of these events last 3 days and courses are what 3 to 4 miles ?

      • debraolivas78 I cannot answer your question about Cactus Cafe but I can about eventing and the answer to that is a resounding NO. You are referring to a very high level of eventing and I doubt Cactus Cafe or his rider would ever be capable of reaching the highest level. You can google eventing and learn all about it and the various levels and where the majority of people compete. Horse racing has ONE level — the death level. I cannot recall the last time even one horse died per year in eventing out of the thousands of horses that compete in eventing competitions in each year.

      • Ms. Curtis-Olivas, thank you so much for your interest in my horse, Cactus Cafe. Obviously, you are just as ignorant when it comes to eventing as you are when it comes to horseracing so I will try to “educate” you although I’m not very hopeful that you can be educated. Cactus Cafe was just shown Starter Level at a local show a month or so ago. The jumps were about 18 inches to two feet and Cactus was on course for about 2 minutes. Oh, and Cactus trotted between a couple of fences. Boy, was she tuckered out at the end of it all! Oh, and she did NOT compete with any drugs in her system….that means, Curtis-Olivas, no bute, no thyroid meds, no cobalt, no clenbuterol…plus we left the whip at home..you get the picture, don’t you? Now, I have a suggestion for you. Learn the difference between one day and three days. Learn the difference between one-quarter mile and four miles. Learn the difference between Starter Level and Upper Level eventing. I know it will be tough for you but I know you can do it. Good luck!

      • Debra Curtis-Olivas
        I remember posting a comment some time back about a racehorse that had a terrible time in horseracing, she was damaged, she was being overraced, barely getting around the track and owner/trainer mentioned she was going into eventing. I was angry about that for the obvious reason that she would most certainly not be up to it in any way whatsoever.

        It goes against my better judgment to go personal here but I’m not going to let this one go by on your pathetic attempt at a “gotcha moment” post on Mary’s horse, Cactus Café. Mary has responded with aplomb! I’ve never been an event rider myself but some people close to me are and I’ve learned about this horse sport. The vetting is of a very high standard (wouldn’t go within cooee of the racing vets!). Injuries/deaths are very rare. A member of my extended family is an event rider in America and he was once invited to a particular race meeting. We all know how the racing industry sometimes uses equestrian riders and their horses to promote horseracing, you know “we the racing industry are right alongside other horse sports folks!” Kidding themselves big time. Well, he went along with it and something took place (he’s too well mannered to do anything unkind) but let’s put it this way, there were some stunned looks on so called “important” peoples’ faces. In a nutshell – THEY GOT THE MESSAGE!
        In the trials for an Olympic Games eventing team he was well ahead of all the other competitors but his horse was tiring more so than usual, rather than risk pushing his horse (a TB that had raced only twice) to the extent that he might suffer pain and injury, he slowed his horse down, got off him and walked him all the way back knowing that he threw away competing in the Olympic Games but the well-being of his horse was his priority. As for whips in eventing they are carried and are used as a signal when the rider taps the horse with the whip.

        One cannot say the same about jockeys on racehorses, can one Debra?

      • Here ya go Mary and JoAnne , Maybe these articles will refresh your memory .
        http://horsetalk.co.nz/tag/eventing-safety/#axzz3hCPmRCHQ

        Also , I just did a little side by side comparing on USEA med rules and racing med rules . Did you know that most acceptable therapeutic med. Amounts are higher in eventing horses than in race horses for example Bute : Event horse max is 15 micro-grams per milliliter > racehorse max 2 micro-grams per milliliter and this is just one on the list . The are quite a few that have acceptable limits in eventing that are not allowed in racehorses. I also read that there is a current cardiovascular and pulmonary study being done on event horses . Apparently Pulmonary Hemorrhage and diagnosed cardiovascular events (sudden death) Happen in eventing to, huh who knew.

        Here is a little bit of an article published in may 2015 from Eventing Nation :

        I do not have the answers for how to prevent or at least significantly lower the rate at which horses and riders are suffering serious injuries and dying on course, and, for that matter, we don’t even have an accurate picture of the rate at which these accidents are occurring.
        I contacted the FEI last October asking for statistics on horse fatalities and injuries at FEI events. This is what I received in response: “The FEI Veterinary Department is currently working on horse injuries and fatalities statistics, however these are not available yet.”
        The FEI publishes a comprehensive report on rider fatalities and injuries going back to 2004, yet there is no information currently available to the public — and perhaps not even compiled — on horses that suffer the same fate. That is extremely disconcerting.
        The fact remains there is currently no comprehensive database for globally tracking fatalities and injuries for both horses and riders at non-FEI events around the world. Each national governing body tracks this information independently for their own events; the USEA just released a report going back to 2009 for rider injuries only. The FEI tracks the data for FEI events only.
        Until there is some sort of global database to compile this information from the FEI and every national governing body, we have a very incomplete picture of horse and rider injuries and fatalities occurring around the world.
        Horsetalk does publish a list, but it is not complete. In addition to the fatalities from 2015, there are three horse fatalities from recent years missing from the list: San Calido, broken leg, Osberton CCI* 2014; Happy Go Lucky, cardiac episode, Saumur CCI3* 2014; Visionary Patriarch, critical injuries, Poplar Place Prelim 2013. There are likely others missing.
        here is the link: http://eventingnation.com/it-is-time-to-scrutinize-every-aspect-of-this-sport/

        So Mary , JoAnne Please Defend this discipline some . See what happens when i educate myself ? I got all this out of a 10min google search .

      • I will repeat and this is the last time: Horse racing is not a sport. It is gambling using disposable horses instead of dice or cards. Take away the gambling component and not enough people would ever pay ticket prices to watch horse racing as they do for professional hockey, baseball, football, basketball et cetera and that’s after they’ve paid parking fees. Horse racing is gambling and the industry itself admits that. As I wrote before: There is only one level of horse racing — the death level. There is no limit on what is considered an optimum time to complete the race. It is race to the death at the fastest speed possible.

        As was stated by Mary, if you wish to object to any other equine discipline, there are places to do that and you can start with the organization of the discipline you abhor and begin complaining there. You can also start your own blog in addition to taking your complaints to the animal welfare and humane organizations such as PETA. But certainly, you wouldn’t be taking complaints about English Pleasure competitions to a Rodeo Association blog but that’s what you are attempting to do here.

        You cannot legitimize the horse racing death numbers by misdirection to some other equestrian discipline especially when you are comparing one discipline and you are using statistics from other countries and only counting the very highest levels to achieve those stats which leaves most states in the United States totally out because they do not even hold such high level competitions. If you truly want to compare racing (not a sport remember) to real equine sports, then why not add in all disciplines such as 4 H shows including in-hand halter classes, English and Western Pleasure competitions, dressage shows, gymkhana and Pony Club competitions?

        Lastly, you cannot start talking drugs allowed in anything involving horses without including detection times. Bute in eventing, for example, has a seven day detection time but I’m sure you came across that in your investigation.

        To support racing, no doubt you will further wish to misdirect people and find fault in all of the equine disciplines I mentioned and both of you will now be very busy finding the PROPER blogs to be effective.

      • Just to be clear, while this is an anti-racing site, Horseracing Wrongs stands unequivocally against all equine “disciplines/sports.” The wrong is in the domestication/exploitation.

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        Horses
        (Name/country of accident)

        Easy Tiger IV (GB) Jun 15
        Uwald (GB) Jun 15
        Wise Espartaco (US) Jun 15
        Favotrit Z (Ire) May 15
        Orient Express (NZ) May 15
        Dambala (NZ/US) Apr 15
        Conahy’s Courage (US) Mar 15
        Orto (GB) Sep 14
        Wild Lone (Fra) Aug 14
        Liberal (Ger) Jun 14
        Conair (US) Apr 14
        Powderhound (US) Apr 14
        Santa’s Keeper (US) Jan 14
        Tortuga Bay (US) Dec 13
        P’tite Bombe (Ger) Jun 13
        Cavalor Telstar (GB) May 13
        King Artus (Ger) May 13
        Flashpoint (US) Apr 13
        Neveah (US) Feb 13
        Apache Sauce (GB) Oct 12
        Franco Jeas (GB) Sep 12
        Heartbreak Hill (GB) Sep 12
        Jagganath (GB) Jun 12
        Lead The Way (GB) Jun 12
        Sugoi (Ire) Jun 12
        Sir Roscoe (GB) Apr 12
        Chicago II (GB) Mar 12
        Willpower (US) Mar 12
        The Grasshopper (US) Feb 12
        Jack’s Irish Z (US) Feb 12
        Greystone’s Harley (US) Jul 11
        Spring Along (GB) Mar 11
        Dekorum (US) Mar 11
        Mandar (US) Mar 11
        JB’s Star (US) Oct 10
        Barenjager (NZ) Oct 10
        Extravagance (US) Sep 10
        Roxanna VI (GB) Aug 10
        Chauncy (US) Jul 10
        Tangleton (NZ) May 10
        Desert Island (GB) May 10
        Porloe Alvin (GB) Apr 10
        Chummin (US) Oct 09
        Out To Sea (US) Sep 09
        Cavort (GB) Aug 09
        Uni Griffon (US) Jul 09
        Which Way II (GB) May 09
        Catherston Defender (Ire) May 09
        Volitation (NZ) May 09
        Ease A Blaze (UK) Apr 09
        Bailey Wick (US) May 09
        Kingpin (US) Apr 09
        Double Chocolate (NZ) Apr 09
        Call Again Cavalier (GB) Nov 08
        Tsunami II (GB) Oct 08
        The Templar Aug 08
        Task Master (Can) Jun 08
        Nullabor (Fra) May 08
        Tigger Too (US) May 08
        Which Way To May 08
        Frodo Baggins (US) Apr 08
        The Quiet Man (US) Apr 08
        Direct Merger (US) Mar 08
        Leprechaun’s Rowdy Boy (US) Mar 08
        Task Force (US) Mar 08
        Mister Barnabus Nov 07
        Monarch’s Aristocrat Oct 07
        Eight Saint James Place (US) Jun 07
        Icare D’Auzay (GB) May 07
        Skwal (GB) May 07
        Le Samurai (US) Apr 07
        Dutch Twist Apr 07
        Lenamores Dreamer Feb 07
        Brookland Jun 05
        No even one huh Jo Anne , and this is not even close to a complete list .

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        Eventing horse dies on US course
        July 13, 2011
        The US Eventing Association has reported the death of preliminary eventer Greystone’s Harley, who died on the course at Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials on Sunday.

        Greystone’s Harley © Normandy Farms
        Greystone’s Harley, a nine-year-old chestnut gelding, collapsed and died of a pulmonary hemorrhage between fences on the course in Georgia early on Sunday morning.

        Officials say that temperatures were in the low 70 degrees and conditions were optimal.

        Owned by Normandy Farms of Keller, Texas and ridden by Kadi Eykamp, Greystone’s Harley was an Irish Sport Horse who had just begun his preliminary career.

        Eventing accidents and safety news

        Sign up for daily horse news

      • Carolyn ,maybe as it has been suggested , you do a little more research , perhaps read Laura’s posts. It is beginning to look like the pot is calling the kettle black. I am all for racehorses having second careers , they thrive on having jobs , but please do not condem one disciple over another.

      • EV111 Abuse of Horses
        1. ABUSE. Any act or series of actions that, in the opinion of the Ground Jury or in its absence the Technical Delegate can clearly and without doubt be defined as abuse of horses shall be penalized by disqualification. Such acts include, but are not limited to: a. * Riding an exhausted horse.
        b. * Excessive pressing of a tired horse.
        c. * Excessive use of whip and/or spurs, and/or bit.
        d. * Riding an obviously lame horse.
        2. RAPPING. As an exception to the General Rules of GR843, all rapping (poling) is forbidden in Eventing Competitions, and shall be penalized by disqualification.
        3. WHIP. The use of the whip must be for a good reason, at an appropriate time, in the right place, and with appropriate severity.
        a. Reason—the whip must only be used either as an aid to encourage the horse forward, or as a reprimand. It must never be used to vent a rider’s temper. Such use is always excessive.
        b. Time—As an aid, the only appropriate time is when a horse is reluctant to go forward under normal aids of the seat and legs. As a reprimand, the only appropriate time is im- mediately after a horse has been disobedient, e.g. napping or refusing. The whip should not be used after elimination. The whip should not be used after a horse has jumped the last fence on a course.
        c. Place—As an aid to go forward, the whip may be used down the shoulder or behind the rider’s leg. As a reprimand, it must only be used behind the rider’s leg. It must never be used overhand, e.g. a whip in the right hand being used on the left flank. The use of a whip on a horse’s head, neck, etc., is always excessive use.
        d. Severity—As a reprimand only, a horse may be hit hard. However, it should never be more than 3 times in one incident.
        U.S. EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION RULES FOR EVENTING 29

      • Ms. Laura Kemling-Mohr, I can’t directly reply to your message here on this blog so I sincerely hope you see my response. You and I have communicated, privately, through emails and I mistakenly thought that we had reached an “understanding” in regards to our differences concerning the exploitation of the TB racehorse, but I see I made a huge mistake to think that we “agreed to disagree”. Therefore, when my personal horse is brought into a conversation by the “crazy baby” (Ms. Curtis-Olivas), I take the gloves off. So, here goes….!!

        First of all, as I have stated numerous times, this blog is called HORSERACING WRONGS…NOT EVENTING WRONGS. Got it? There are abuses in EVERY horse industry but the abuses in eventing do NOT negate the abuses in racing. We know that Curtis-Olivas can’t seem to comprehend that statement (she seems to be as dumb as a box of rocks!) but I thought you MIGHT be able to comprehend that this blog is about horseracing. How wrong I was! However, just to clear up confusion on your part, if you had done your “research” you would know that I am against ALL forms of animal exploitation, including upper level eventing and I NEVER said that horses weren’t killed in that sport. However, as anyone with minimal intelligence should know by now, horseracing kills approximately 20 horses a week at tracks just in THIS country and those are the ones we know about. Those statistics don’t include Marsella Delight, Bionic Brine, or Shanty Hill Road…horses that limped back to their stalls and were later euthanized due to injuries that occurred during racing. I applaud your efforts to shine a light on the dirty secrets in eventing, so please do your “research” and find blogs on which to post your displeasure with that “sport”. Unfortunately, I think you, and your “crazy baby” internet friend, are here in an attempt to discredit us, put us down and, most importantly, cause trouble. I don’t think either of you gives a damn about the horses you profess to “love”.

        Second, a few days ago, I posted on Wayne Pacelle’s FB thread concerning the HSUS coming out against race day drugs. You seemed to come out of nowhere and posted your opinion, which is your right to do. I asked you the difference between dog racing and horseracing. The first couple of times I asked, you ignored me, but finally you posted this response…

        *Laura Kemling-Mohr…Mary what question do you want me to answer ? I know NOTHING about dog racing so i cant even begin to compare the 2.*

        Wow! You, Ms. Mohr, know NOTHING about a gambling industry called dog racing yet you are immersed in a gambling industry called horseracing? I don’t believe that for a second. Just to bring you “up to speed”, perhaps you should do your “research”. It took me less than 5 minutes to find these links on the internet. By the way, there is NO difference between the two industries except the obvious…different animals.

        http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/local/greyhound-racing-report-documents-hundreds-of-deaths/article_314f0bd4-b23e-11e4-be9d-9331f1681a54.html

        http://animalcrueltyworldwide.com/Greyhound-Racing/Greyhound-Racing.html

        http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/animals-used-entertainment-factsheets/greyhound-racing-death-fast-lane/

        Third, I now want to “refresh” your memory, Ms. Mohr. Just to review, this blog is called HORSERACING WRONGS, Not too difficult to comprehend, is it? Therefore, I think it will be powerful to end with a HORSERACING WRONG story. Have you heard of a horse by the name of Chazishis? He raced, at a low level track, on 7/26, 7/2, 6/12, and 5/31 and for each of his labors he was paid $105. He is just barely four years old and, in eight starts this years, he has two third place finishes. Oh, but let’s not forget the saddest part of all. This poor baby finished approximately 60 lengths behind….yes, 60 lengths back….on 6/12 and in two of his races after that he was 15 lengths back. Perhaps this horse is trying to tell his “loving” owner/trainer that he just wasn’t cut out to be a racehorses and, as we know, most of them aren’t so this shouldn’t be surprising. Chazishis is still alive but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is racing with an injury. Perhaps you could reach out to good ole Ronnie and ask him to do the right thing for a horse that he “loves” so much…you know, a horse who is just like “family”. Find him a good home and retire them before he is damaged beyond repair. Your industry, Ms. Mohr, continues to nauseate me and your “crazy baby” internet friend, Ms. Curtis-Olivas, has the balls to come on here and question the fact that Cactus Café is cantering around a beginner course over 18 inch jumps. Of course, being that Curtis-Olivas is as dumb as a box of rocks, she doesn’t understand the difference between Starter Level and Upper Level. It is RESEARCH time for your little friend, Ms. Mohr!

        Finally, you have wasted your time providing me with info on the meds that the USEA allows compared to the racing industry. I am against all drugs, including those that mask pain and are used as performance enhancers, in horses unless they are for therapeutic reasons, i.e. horse has an abscess and needs to be on bute. Years ago, I attended Rolex and I was traumatized by what I saw during that competition. I grew up around horses and one of my top show hunters came from Meshewa Farm, the home of Jay Trump.

        Here ya go, Ms. Mohr…a video of Jay Trump winning the Grand National or, as I prefer to call it, the Demolition Derby. Yep, I’m against this exploitation,

    • Mary…thank you for your thorough response to the pro-racing enthusiasts/industry members Olivas and Mohr who eek out their measly living by exploiting sentient beings. And Mohr’s horse?- Chazishis – wow, SIXTY lengths back! Seems to me these “intelligent” trainers who “love” their horses and “listen” to them would have just an inkling that the horse isn’t up for the “challenge” they are putting before them! SIXTY LENGTHS behind! What the hell were these losers thinking?…obviously, they weren’t.

      • Joy , Chaz is not my horse and I dont “eek out ” a measly living , I happen to work my ass off for a very decent living !

  8. Excellent comments, Jo Anne! Wayne Pacelle also refuses to address the inhumane round-up, incarceration and slaughter of Wild Horse and Burros. In my opinion, he is too politically entrenched.

    • Barbara Sunblade — thank you for taking the time to read Horseracing Wrongs and to comment with such strong support. I also appreciate you giving us insight into their lack of position on the Wild Horse and Burro travesty as I had no idea whatsoever. That is soooo pitiful! It reminds me of this quote: “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence only encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Elie Wiesel I do apologize for my very late reply. Please forgive and thank YOU for your unwavering efforts to help our Mustangs and burros. Saving Baby Equine Charity adopted a wild burro when the BLM came to Michigan in August 2013. We wanted to adopt one that no one wanted. Well, we did and we knew it. Two weeks later, we had a baby jenny in with her Mom. But guess what? The wild burro we adopted had been rounded up in AZ TWO YEARS previously and had been with the BLM all that time having moved to three different locations in two years. So not only did our tax dollars pay to round her up, keep her imprisoned for two years, transport her from facility to facility and then to four adoption locations — these idiots on OUR tax dollars were not smart enough to separate the sexes as she clearly became pregnant when in their custody. There were at least two wild Mustangs bagged up and very much in foal at the very same adoption and they too had been rounded up two years previous. So the BLM and their cronies have figured out “job insurance” — BREED THEM when in holding facilities!

      • Bills Would Put States in Charge of Wild Horses, Burros
        The bills would remove some wild horse herds from BLM management and place them under the jurisdiction of the states and Native American tribes that request it.

        Photo: iStock

        A pair of proposed federal bills would remove some wild horse herds from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) management and place them under the jurisdiction of the states and Native American tribes that request it.

        The Wild Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act if 1971 federally protects wild horse and burro herds and places them under the BLM’s jurisdiction. The animals reside on Western public rangelands.

        Last year, Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT) introduced the Wild Horse Management Act of 2014, which would have preserved all protections under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, but would have allowed states to implement horse and burro management plans that address their specific needs. The proposed legislation died in the 113th Congress.

        On July 23, Stewart reintroduced the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2015 would allow states to form cooperative agreements to manage herds that cross borders. Under the proposed legislation, the federal government would continue to inventory the horses and burros to ensure that the population numbers as prescribed by the 1971 act.

        A twin bill was introduced into the Senate by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

        In introducing the bill, Stewart said he believes wild herds will do better under state or tribal management.

        “States and tribes already successfully manage large quantities of wildlife within their borders,” Stewart said. “If horses and burros were under that same jurisdiction, I’m confident that new ideas and opportunities would be developed to manage the herds more successfully than the federal government.”

        Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, disagreed.

        “Placing the management of our federally-protected wild horses in the hands of the state would be a recipe for disaster because states like Utah, home of the bill’s sponsors, have consistently placed commercial interests ahead of the public interest in protecting our public lands and wild horses and burros,” she opined.

        Both bills remain pending.

        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

        Pat Raia
        Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

      • debraolivas78 Thank you so much for taking the time to explain and acquaint me and no doubt many others of this pending legislation and as I was reading, being that horse racing is my area of expertise, I wondered if state control would be a good or bad thing. I assumed bad considering what Nevada has been doing which I hear about because my daughter lives there. I so appreciate you clarifying this and do you know: Has the HSUS spoken out and taken any stance publicly on their blog or website on the prior legislation or the current new legislation to allow states more control?

      • debraolivas78, from your comment, it appears you have not done an investigation of the wild horse and burro situation nor do you know anything about myself to jump to the conclusion that I believe any animal should be starved and left to die. Although this is not my area of expertise, I certainly as the co-founder of a rescue Saving Baby Equine Charity that provides funds to those that do rescue wild horses and burros (and have rescued a pregnant burro myself), I am aware of various situations. I have seen the wild horses and the ones in the wild that I have seen are healthy and not starving unless the BLM fenced off their water supply and their natural grazing areas so the cattle can lease our public land or relocated them to a desolate area again for the cattle to graze. Starving is not a solution and neither is slaughter or imprisonment.

      • Ms. Curtis-Olivas, who said it was much better to let the horse “starve out and die”? Can u provide documentation or did you just make that up? Why don’t you go back to the pro-slaughter blogs and associate with those despicable folks. You would fit right in!

        Joy and I have both said that we need to put you….the “crazy baby”…to bed. I am amazed that Patrick continues to allow some of your comments to be posted here. Now, you love it when we “engage” you and you continue to come to an anti-racing site even though you are “so busy”. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? It seems that your time would be better spent promoting an industry that maims, and kills, horses.

  9. Thank you Jo Anne.

    It looks like the HSUS is more interested in an even playing field for the bettors than protecting the unfortunate horses.

    One does not need to look too hard to se this “sport” is nothing but horse abuse.

    Tomorrow, 25 April, in the 10th race at Gulfstream, Jill’s Reflection, a 4 year old filly, will start in her 51st race and receive her 51st IV injection of Lasix !!! She started racing in May 2013, one month after she turned 2 yrs. In two of her races she DNF.

    The trainer is Vega and the owner is World Wide Promotion Enterprises, LLC.

    As we know, there are NO RULES to protect the horse from this abuse. Racing leaves such decisions up to these unscrupulous “trainers” and all “officials” look the other way . Some “sport” !

    • Rose Smith, you honor our racehorses with your detailed comment and I ache for this poor being as I cry for so many of them as there are so so many stories. We should start sending EVERY ONE of these instances of abuse: racing horses that are old (by racing standards), horses raced too often, horses that were DNFs or are finishing repeatedly double digit lengths behind but still being entered by the racing secretaries and allowed to do so by the stewards,and the track vets, horses that have trickled down from the highest levels to cheap claiming races, horses found in feed lots and at auctions or known to have gone to slaughter to the HSUS since they seem to want to take it upon themselves to make horseracing humane. They want this on their plate? Fine. Email them whenever you find something abusive. The director of Equine Protection is Keith Dane and you can email him at kdane@hsus.org Thank you!

  10. Another area where HSUS is failing the horses is HORSE SLAUGHTER
    They rarely speak out on this horrific abuse.

    Mary Johnson just made me aware of an excellent source on this subject. This website was put together
    in honor of DEPUTY BROAD. Thank you Mary for sharing this with me.
    ____________________________________

    DEPUTY BROAD

    “owned and trained by Danny Bird last raced at Mountaineer July 11, 2011.

    Less than 48 hours after running what would be his last race where he placed last, Bird had arranged for this Florida bred 2005 son of Deputy Commander to be taken directly to Ohio kill buyer Fred Bauer. Bauer confirmed that the horse was sent to the Richelieu Meats slaughterhouse in a load on Monday July 18th. Richelieu confirmed the load arrived on Tuesday July 19th and that he had been “processed”.

    Caring people tracked his story and had this to say:

    “Deb networked today (July 21st) in an attempt to uncover if Deputy was still alive. Yesterday, July 20th, Deputy’s former trainer contacted me because Deputy had run poorly in his last race on July 11th.

    Deputy’s current trainer, Danny Bird, told my contact that he had gotten “rid” of him and he didn’t deserve a home because he was nasty, mean and ornery. My contact said that he was a “doll baby” when she trained him.

    Bird actually admitted to me on the phone today that he handed Deputy off to someone who handed him off to Fred Bauer, a kill buyer in Ohio. Deputy went direct to kill, not through an auction so he had little chance of being saved. When I asked Bird if he knew about the Mountaineer anti-slaughter policy, he said he didn’t care and would “take care” of anyone who came after him. When I told him that he had broken the law, he promptly hung up on me.”

    This is another sad story of a horse known only to those into whose care he was placed. It has been reported that he passed through many hands before he ended up with Mr. Bird.

    This horse, no doubt, trusted those around him to take care of him and treat him well but like so many other horses who in their lives were racehorses, family pets, working horses and others, this was not to be.

    Doubtless, also, is the fact that this poor horse would have been full of drugs as any horse that is still on the track at this age will have ailments that require medication. So, the people who ate his body have more than likely ingested a cocktail of different medications most of which are dangerous to humans.

    Deputy Broad had a great pedigree like so many of his brothers and sisters who fall into the wrong hands and the sad truth is that until horse slaughter is banned many more will fall victim to “nasty, mean and ornery” people in their lives.”

    https://ripdeputybroad.wordpress.com/deputy-broads-story/

    • “Processed” ! Oh please, lets call it what it is, because slaughter by any other name is still slaughter. Reminds me of an article in the now defunct Thoroughbred Times where the writer was proposing horse slaughterhouses be called “horse recycling plants” !

      And I suppose Mr. Danny Bird is still “training” and, no doubt, still sending horses to a horrific end. Nice guy !!

      Kathleen, thank you for the post.

  11. Thank you Jo Anne Normile for this excellent article and your wonderful work for the horses.
    And the horses say THANK YOU!

  12. Debra Curtis-Olivas

    Are you serious?

    You have the deaths of event horses going back to 2005 covering the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany and New Zealand. Notably not one (that I could see) from Australia and not one in any of the abovenamed countries in the year 2006, according to your information.

    I counted seventy-four (74) event horse deaths from June 2005 to June 2015. That is ten (10) years. On my calculation that is 7.4 deaths per year in a total of six (6) countries (includes Australia which had nil deaths).

    In comparison, a conservative estimate of racehorse deaths in six (6) countries would be in the vicinity of ten thousand (10,000) over a period of ten (10) years. On my calculation that is 1,000 deaths per year in a total of six (6) countries.

    74 deaths compared to 10,000 deaths (a conservative estimate only) evidences that deaths of horses in the horse sport of eventing are rare indeed.

    • Carolyn, I noticed that, as well. Curtis-Olivas and her sidekick, Kemling-Mohr, are desperately trying to “put us down”. Yes, the list goes back years and covers multiple countries. Later on today, I will post links where Ms. Curtis-Olivas actually took up for the kill buyer middleman, Mark Wedig, when Cactus Café and Canuki were sent back to the states from the Canadian slaughterhouse. You would have thought that she would have been overjoyed by the fact that both horses were alive, but that simply wasn’t the case. It was sick…really sick!

      • I also would like to point out Mary , Patrick makes the choices on what is posted on here , and he is quite careful with that so you can not be discredited . Also , by your admitted beliefs , those of PETA , Cactus Cafe should be standing in a pasture to only be looked at.

      • Curtis-Olivas, you are a liar. I do NOT believe that Cactus Café should be standing in a pasture swishing her tail. You have made outlandish allegations on this blog before and, when I ask you to provide documentation, you choose to ignore me. Why? Because you can’t provide documentation. You make stuff up as you go along and I am done with that. Yes, Patrick does moderate your comments because he should not allow HIS blog to be a platform for pro-racing apologists to bash those who are anti-racing.

        I have NO problem with a horse having a LOW LEVEL career and I am NOT going to waste my time explaining to someone, such as yourself, what a LOW LEVEL career encompasses. In fact, Cactus’s trainer wants to move her up to Beginner Novice and I am thrilled with that. I am my own person and I don’t agree with everything that PETA stands for or everything that Patrick believes in. However, I support PETA financially and they are in my will. In addition, I will continue to support this blog and add comments that I deem appropriate. Got it?

    • Do you know why you only counted 74 , because they do not keep track of the deaths and injuries the way HorseRacing does . That list is far from complete.

    • Carolyn, here is the link to just one of the stories about Cactus Café and Canuki. About ten posts down from the top, I state….”Just to let everyone know, Deb Curtis Olivas posts on a FB Pro-Slaughter page”. Curtis-Olivas comes back and states (and this is a quote from her)…”Yes sometimes I do, and maybe you should go read it. Being right all the time must be a very lonely place Ms Johnson, please do me a favor go read what I posted because it concerns you as well as your troll John. Then I will be waiting to hear an intelligent reply, something that seems to be lacking from any posts I see from your group, all you preach is hatred”. Oh, and if you read through all the posts, Curtis-Olivas does a bit of grandstanding when she complains about not having a job and needing help with hay. Unbelievable!

      First of all, I do NOT need to go to a pro-slaughter FB page to read what a freak says about slaughter but perhaps the Curtis-Olivas girl gets a thrill out of spewing her pro-slaughter opinions for all her admirers to see. I don’t happen to be one of her admirers. In fact, I find her to be totally despicable. Even hearing her name makes me sick. Of course, she and her “sidekick” criticized those of us involved with saving Cactus Café and Canuki and this is another quote from the low life…”save a few here and there and we (meaning the people involved with saving these two horses) have managed to condemn the rest to hell in Mexico”. Therefore, according to this revolting dumb ass, “we” are responsible for ALL the horses ending their lives on a slaughterhouse floor. Of course, Curtis-Olivas doesn’t point a finger at her beloved industry…horseracing. She is one sick girl or, as we call her here on this blog, a “crazy baby” and she definitely needs to be “put to bed”…permanently. Patrick should ban her because she brings nothing to the table…nothing! Several weeks ago, she made a post about how sorry she was that she didn’t respond to a question I posed sooner because she was so busy working and taking care of five horses but she posts a hell of a lot of comments here on the blog…a blog that is anti-racing. Go figure!

      Finally, Curtis-Olivas actually takes up for Mark Wedig, a kill buyer middleman who purchased both Cactus and Canuki from Ms. Barbara Price for $150 a piece and then sold them to Fred Bauer, the contract killer. A quote from Curtis-Olivas….”This man (meaning Wedig) has stepped up to the plate and done what everyone wanted, he brought the horses back to safety, and after being railroaded by some of the parties involved I think he deserves credit also”. So we should give Wedig credit for bringing the horses back to the States? Stepped up to the plate? He lied in an affidavit that he signed for Ms. Williams, Racing Director at Mountaineer…yes, Wedig lied yet he stepped up to the plate? Richelieu REJECTED both horses because it was documented by Joe Deluca that drugs were in their systems. Wedig then held both horses for ransom in order to get his racing privileges reinstated by the officials in West Virginia and Ohio. Curtis-Olivas is, in my opinion, deranged. I find her totally vile and disgusting. She has no place on any blog where the welfare of horses is the primary concern. When you get some time, read through the info in the link I have provided. I’m sure you will be sickened by her comments just as I was and continue to be.

      http://www.drf.com/news/banned-trainer-pleads-his-case-anti-slaughter-policy

      • Thank you for this Mary, I appreciate it. It is late here so I will read the link tomorrow. The reason I responded to her posts was because I wanted to correct her untruths, especially for anyone reading this site who is not familiar with what goes on in horseracing. Reading your information on her leaves me stone cold. Any person who is pro-slaughter for these noble horses that have suffered a miserable life in the racing industry all in the name of “entertainment”, “sport”, greed for money/fame and gambling, is just plain evil, in my opinion.
        Debra Curtis-Olivas and Laura Kemling-Mohr will never get a minute of my valuable time ever again.

  13. Debra Curtis-Olivas

    These are the Rules only – so what’s your point?

    For good measure, how about you provide the Rules for horseracing.

    When there was an outcry over the abhorrent flogging of American Pharoah in the Derby (this horse was hit 32 times in 35 seconds), a representative of the Kentucky Racing Commission was reported to have stated that they (the KRC) had no restrictions re the use of the whip by a jockey on a racehorse.

    Your attempt at comparing eventing which is a real horse sport, with horseracing which is not a horse sport (it is a gambling activity using live animals) is perplexing to say the least.

    PS: Do you have any evidence of event horses being left in a box to die a slow agonizing excrutiating painful death of colic on his own – left unattended?
    As you know, this is the way some racehorses meet their deaths.

    The notorious Steve Blasi (assistant trainer with Asmussen) stated to doomed horse, NEHRO: “Quit being such an asshole. Aggravating son of a bitch.”

    After NEHRO died of colic: “I have seen a lot of shit. THAT IS THE MOST VIOLENT FUCKING DEATH I HAVE EVER SEEN.”

    https://horseracingwrongs.com/2014/07/30/blasis-back-and-we-shouldnt-be-surprised/

  14. Thank you, Jo Anne, for taking your valuable time in an attempt to educate these two – Olivas and Mohr. Both of these women certainly have a great deal of time on their hands! Maybe that’s true of all industry members involved at the cheap, low-level tracks…where these two exploit horses (or have). But I sincerely hope no one uses any more of their precious time – which I know we have too little of even without being involved in rescuing the damaged and discarded horses of their industry! – on these two. They truly are not worth it.

  15. Very well said! The HSUS, another organization too big for its own good, much less for the animals it purports to help, has Wayne Pacelle sitting on his throne, raking in a CEO’s check like an industrial kingpin. He really needs a wake-up lesson and this just might be it.

    • Thank you, Jalust! It is always appreciated when others recognize what is happening and voice their opinion. To oppose dog racing yet support horse racing is the height hypocrisy. Makes me wonder if perhaps those involved in horse racing, a 40 billion dollar industry, have a little bit more money to donate than the dog racing industry.

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