Yes, They Slaughter Racehorses

The willfully ignorant excepted, everyone in and around Racing knows that slaughter happens – that is, that “retired” American racehorses (of all breeds) are being shipped to foreign abattoirs to be shackled, hoisted, slashed, bled-out, and butchered for European and Asian dinner plates. While hard numbers remain elusive, the prevailing wisdom is thousands – likely tens of thousands – annually. But because of this nebulous terrain (in stark contrast to my kill lists), the racing people are able to squirm and slither their way around the issue with boasts of “zero-tolerance policies” and “aftercare programs.” Every once in a while, however, some honesty surfaces.

In a recent Paulick Report article entitled “How Do You Protect Horses After You Sell Them?” (how bout don’t sell them?), $46 million owner/breeder Maggi Moss said this:

“The anti-slaughter policies, they’re worthless. The track policies are not going to do anything at all. I’m not an extremist, I just love horses, and I have seen what is truly happening to our racehorses. What is happening is what no one wants to talk about. I have sat down with the head of The Jockey Club; I have sat down with some of the biggest owners and trainers in the country. I start talking and I promise you, they start staring at the ground. They do not want to hear it.”

“They start staring at the ground.”

The article continues:

Moss said the slaughterhouses work with facilities belonging to middle men who often are stationed within an easy drive of racetracks (she alleges one operates within 30 minutes of Churchill Downs). Moss stated that she led an undercover investigation of a kill pen in Louisiana that was used as an outlet for moving horses on to slaughter in Mexico. She described deplorable conditions and horses with their racing plates still on, some of whom still had sweat marks from racing saddles removed after competing at a Louisiana racetrack.

Moss said after publicizing her findings and alerting legislators and law enforcement, she received threats via social media… Her experience leads Moss to believe trainers use these middle men specifically so they won’t face house rule sanctions from racetracks.

What more can I add…except perhaps this reminder:










26 Comments

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  1. We all know it. THEY all know it. But yet it continues because in the racing industry, the “beloved” horses – the “family members” – are NOTHING but objects to be used for financial gain and ego strokes. There are TOO MANY (and TOO INJURED) to be re-homed to loving, forever homes once their owners can no longer profit off their labors – so slaughter is a necessity to this industry. Has been and will continue to be.

  2. Right on Joy and Patrick.
    The slaughterhouse is the main disposal system for unwanted, and crippled racehorses.
    I live in Canada.
    There is one kill buyer that stops just outside of Ottawa at a pre-arranged farm to give the horses one last chance at buying so that they don’t go to slaughter.
    I’ve been there. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
    It’s horrific, and heartbreaking.
    Many of the racehorses still have racing plates on.
    Some even have saddle marks still on them.
    Some have the tattoos skewed so that they can’t be identified. The paperwork accompanying these racehorses, when checked out, almost always are fraudulent.
    We now know, through reliable sources, that many of the thoroughbreds are being categorized as quarter-horses to cover-up and protect people in the horse racing industry from the dumping.
    Many have made over $100,000 which is contrary to what most people think – that only the “poor” horses go to slaughter. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    The rescue groups here can’t keep up with the never ended slaughter trucks, and racehorses on them.
    They simply don’t have the funds to keep these horses going knowing full well that they are usually a high needs horse with a bevy of vet bills.
    The former connections?
    Very few contribute ONE DIME when contacted stating things like this: “if we send money now than you will be bugging us for all the other racehorses that are dumped so we don’t want to start a trend.” No kidding.
    Longrun at Woodbine, and most other industry-funded aftercare programs are up to their eyeballs with racehorses.
    Many are no longer taking them, and most of the ones they have can’t get a suitable home.
    All the OTTB rescue groups in North America, including just individuals like myself – COMBINED can’t keep up with the over/irresponsible breeding of racehorses in order to fill races, and the industry knows this.
    Anybody who participates and/or supports this industry is either directly or indirectly responsible for every single racehorse that stands in a kill box waiting for a captive bolt to their head.
    The whipping/beating, doping, dumping, maiming, and/or killing HAS GOT TO GO!
    There’s no place in a civilized society for the exploitation of animals for profit, and egos.
    This is what this industry is all about – not to mention the environmental disaster of any slaughterhouse.
    ALL funding MUST STOP to this industry because when it does the industry will go down, and go down hard just like the racehorses who go down while snapping their legs-off.
    This is the horrible world of horse racing.

  3. Of course, racehorses go to slaughter and the vast majority go underground just like Deputy Broad, Cactus Café and Canuki. A few end up at the various auctions throughout the country but there is a risk that the horse will be ID’d through its tattoo so the underground pipeline (direct to kill) is alive and well. I have heard from a VERY reliable source that a well known owner/trainer here in the Midwest has a holding pen on his property for slaughter bound horses and this individual works closely with Jaron Gold, a contract kill buyer. I can’t divulge the name of that TB owner/trainer since I gave my word that I would keep the info confidential but there will come a point in time where I will blast it for the world to see.

    When Deputy Broad was sent to slaughter, I spoke to Deputy Broad’s owner/trainer, Danny Bird, on the phone. Bird told me that DB was with Fred Bauer who is a contract kill buyer in LaRue, Ohio. I know Bauer personally so I called him and offered him $5,000 for the horse. Bauer told me that DB had been “processed” the day before at the plant in Canada. When I shared that info with Rosemary Williams, who is the Racing Director at Mountaineer, she told me that Bird had signed an affidavit DENYING that he had sent the horse to kill. Therefore, Bird lied but Williams believed him. Remember…racing covers for their own. Cards must be filled, bets must be placed, races must be run. Anything else is superfluous.

    For the people who continue to deny that thousands of racehorses are sent to slaughter annually, those individuals simply don’t understand basic math. There are 22,000 TB’s born annually, down from a high of 40,000 twenty years ago. There simply aren’t enough good homes for all the horses coming off the track since the years of a productive racehorse are limited. It seems so simple to me but those who support racing struggle to understand that basic concept.

    What I find troubling is that Ms. Moss indicts the industry that she participates in but continues to love it so very much. Personally, I find that revolting but many, including those that run rescues, continue to throw accolades her way. I would not participate in ANY so called “sport” (I use the word “sport” loosely) that uses slaughter as a way to “get rid of” its participates but I don’t consider myself to be morally and ethically bankrupt as so many in racing happen to be.

  4. Here’s the most recent example of an email I received. I get plenty of these emails. They are endless, but this one is a CLASSIC example of racehorses coming off the track. These 2 were rescued minutes away from boarding the slaughterhouse truck:

    Meet Riley and Sunnie

    Riley is a former track horse with two bowed tendons and a super friendly personality. He has several veterinary and nutritional needs we need funding for in order to restore his health.
    Sunnie is a little two-year-old filly needing TLC! Our guess is that she was thrown away due to her umbilical hernia which a former owner could easily have fixed. Her time in less than ideal conditions has left her sick with a respiratory virus which we are treating. She also requires veterinary care to assess potential shoulder/hind end issues which were reported to us. Once we get her past all of that, we need funding for surgery to repair her umbilical hernia.

    These are former racehorses, and a racehorse prospect that was specifically bred to churn profits for tracks, their connections and/or feed egos.
    They were once “loved,” “cared for,” oh if I had a dollar for every time I heard that. Then look what happens to them?
    The one breeder didn’t even fix the umbilical hernia – instead the filly was dumped!
    The other people, after bowing both tendons, dumped the horse.
    No vet care, no diagnostics, not even food as the pictures show both horses to be undernourished, emancipated, and stressed out. These are the “family members,” and what happens to most of them.
    This is a common, and classic scenario for most racehorses, and that’s why it needs to stop.

  5. THIS MAKE ME SICK, THIS MAKE ME ILL AND THIS IS ALL DONE SO THAT PEOPLE CAN EAT HORSE MEAT SO WHAT CAN BE DONE TO LEGGAL SHUT THIS DOWN I AM REALLY ANGRY….. NO MORE KILLING

  6. The track I was at had a no slaughter policy, the two kill buyers are not allowed on the grounds. Ok…that will stop it…right? Nope. Not at all. There are two different guys with farms, that allow the trainers to bring their unwanted ex-racehorses to their farms, where the kill buyer purchases them and picks them up. One of the guys even has made the Canada trips himself. Now get this…they both hold racing licenses, and the track is where they make their living. So who do you tell? Because the two people I am telling you about are the ‘good guys’ in racing. And everyone at this track knows about these two. This is an industry that is incapable of change. The people that could or would try to make changes are silenced, fearful, and too far outnumbered. Every time a policy is in place to help the horses (in this case..no slaughter policy at racetracks) the horsemen find a way around it.

  7. Cannot watch these horrific videos…..It’s bad enough that these precious animals must go through cruel and unnecessary deaths, but also because fellow human beings do this without so much as a second thought. Wonder what they respond when asked what they do for a living…..

  8. As for racetracks having “rules”. The KY Derby winner’s 1/2 owner, a veterinarian, Doctor Leonard Blach was featured in a movie “50-1” which praised Mine That Bird and the whole akward team behind him. Churchill Downs was very hesitant to speak with me, as I called & called & pushed them to ban Dr. Leonard Blach. The reason? He & I both live in Roswell, New Mexico where major efforts were made a few years ago to open a horse slaughter house. Doc Blach testified ( while under a heavy influence of alcohol) that it SHOULD be allowed to open! Of course the plant is next door to his ranch & if it had gone through, I wonder who the deignsted vet would have been for Ricardo De Los Santos …. hmmmm And while investigating all of this I found his neighbors who said the stence of the vet burning dead horses was unbearable. Blach told me that ohhhhh, these sick old horses…… BS BUT! He also told me that Mine That Bird would never come to that fate. I worked @ Belmont/Aqueduct/Saratoga/Santa Anita and Hollywood Park for a long time, even with a Triple Crown Winner. I truly didn’t know about this horror. Now I fight the fight that we all should for the horses, ALL horses.

  9. SO WITH ALL THE INFORMATION HERE AND W OTHER SITES THEY GOVERNMENT AND THE BIG POLITICIANS AND THE MONEY BACKERS NEED TO SHUT THIS DOWN THIS IS HARD DUE TO THE FACT THAT HORSE MEAT IS A HUGER ELLER ….. THIS IS A HUGE UNDERTAKING AND THIS CAN BE STOPED AND PUT TO AN END NEED FUNDS TO DO THIS I PRAY TO GOD THAT THIS WILL END FOR ALL OF THE HELPLESS HORSESE AND COWS, PIGS, DOGS , CAT ECT THANKS EF

  10. I am new to this site, and am horrified at what I am reading here.I found out about Horseracing Wrongs through reading the Sunday Times Union in the Albany, New York area, where the group was featured in an article about a recent protest at the Saratoga racetrack.
    Searched the group online, and instantly became a member.

    I have been vehemently opposed to the Horseracing industry for a number of years, but have felt overwhelmingly outnumbered by friends and acquaintances who support Saratoga, and who continued to be duped by NYRA and other racing groups into thinking that the Sport of Kings is seriously concerned about the health and wellbeing of thoroughbred horses.

    I know about the horses that die every year at Saratoga, and I had some knowledge of what happens to race horses when they no longer are able to race. But I had no idea how widespread and ubiquitous these practices were until I started reading on the website. So I want to take a minute here and thank Patrick and all the Horseracing Wrongs membership for being pissed off enough and courageous enough to oppose a “sport” that is truly cruel to horses, and for being willing to confront he corruption and the lies perpetuated by the Horseracing industry.

    The common thread to all of this Horseracing abuse is, of course, MONEY. The industry itself could never exist if it wasn’t for money. It requires money to raise thoroughbred horses;….a breed of horse which has been bred specifically to be light and fast for racing, despite the fact that those long, fine bones snap like matchsticks under pressure;….it requires money to purchase and train a racehorse, and money to transport horses to and from tracks all over the United States and abroad. Not to mention feed, shoeing, vet bills etc. In short, it seems that the first requirement for participation in Horseracing is money. Let’s face it- the industry is run, supervised, supported, perpetuated, and protected by the rich and wealthy. This is a very big hurdle to jump ( no pun intended) from the perspective of animal rights organizations, who often are grass-roots, not-for-profit oriented, and lack the legal representation that Big Industry can afford. Seems like the cards are stacked in their favor here.

    Money is also what brings speculators and spectators to the sport, and this is what the industry depends upon. So they polish up their image for every racing season, giving the most publicity to the big stakes races and the seasonal track favorites. Spliced neatly in between are those familiar shots of horses being groomed, hosed down, fed grain, and gauzy videos of training runs in the early dawn hours. The average person sees race horses as some of the most pampered horses in the world because of these images. They are so pervasive and potent that whenever I speak out against racing, I am regarded as some hostile extremist who is trying to ruin everyone else’s fun, which just makes me more adamant and determined to get my point across.

    I believe this is where our strength lies, but we need to become a more persistent presence …. a stronger motivation for people to at least think about what it is they are actually supporting.
    We at not be able to fight city hall, so to speak, but we can continually mount protests, and continue to inform those who are in denial, or, like me, are unaware of the enormity of the situation. It would be so easy to say: “they’re bigger than we are, we can’t beat them.” It would be less trouble to simply walk away and let someone else deal with this. But we can’t. These horses need a voice, and their lives, quite literally, depend upon our voices. We need to fight, against all odds, because the horses deserve better than the tortured lives so many succumb to.

    • Thank-you Eileen.
      What an incredible, well-informed, heart touching post.
      First of all I want to say this: you are now in good company comrade.
      You have now joined our voices here for the voiceless racehorses.
      In order for cruelty, and abuse to continue there must be enablers.
      There must also be silence.
      Whether it’s domestic abuse or slavery in the past – it’s all the same symptoms only the victim is different.
      Speaking for myself, yes I have no finances. Most of my money is used up rescuing the trail of unwanted racehorses that this industry dumps even to the extend of spending my own grocery money.
      I need to lose some weight anyways, so whatever.
      We are fighting a well-funded, firmly entrenched “traditional,” and legitimized cruelty circus, and death camp.
      However, I do have a voice, and I intend on using it.
      Collectively, we will make a difference, and there’s a very effective blueprint that is achievable.
      The most effective way to diminish, and eventually shut-down this cruelty circus is to ensure that they don’t get outside financing such as casino money.
      Casino money, and corporate/taxpayers welfare is propping this industry.
      Without it, they will have to shut down.
      So I encourage all people to write Governor Cuomo and demand an end to racinos.
      This is often referred to as DECOUPLING.
      They are on the verge of passing the Decoupling Act in Florida, and hopefully this will start a trend.
      The casinos are generating billions in profit that can support infrastructure, health care, education, and so many other much needed programs.
      Instead, the racetracks are getting MILLIONS from the casinos to run racehorses in circles.
      This Blog focuses on the DYING for the most part, but the environmental fallout from methane gas, chemical leakage into the sewer systems, and the slaughterhouses, which is the disposal system for unwanted racehorses, is another huge reason why this antiquated business model has got to go.

    • HI THERE; I ATRULY AGREE WITH YOU 1000 PERCENT AND I WILL COUNTNUE TO VOICE MY THOGUHTS AND REACH OUT TO AS MANY GROUPS AS I CAN AND YES IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY …. PLEASE SEND ME ANY MORE WEB SITES THAT CAN HELP GET THIS MESSAGE OUT THAKS ELAINE

      • And thank you, as well, Elaine!! Please spread the word about Horseracing Wrongs to your friends, family and acquaintances that are “in the dark” about the cruel realities of horse racing! TY!

  11. I don’t understand how any human can send a horse on a crammed cattle or hog trailer just for the
    Flesh on it’s bones. It’s made me start swaying away from red meats to a vegan diet. Just seeing the videos makes any animal loving person feel so I’ll inside that the horses are in horrible conditions before being killed. Something we all need to do is keep voicing our opinions on the horse slaughter industry. In a short time my fiancé Ryan and I are going to be joining the hundreds of people who help save from the kill pens.

    I’m also working on my first book called Melanie and Zips. I’m not sure if it will be a series yet or not but it will have horses saved from a kill pen auction.

  12. As some of you likely saw, 8-year-old ridgling King Congie was rescued from a livestock auction August 19, this past Friday. King Congie was MGSP…two of his graded stakes races, the 2011 Toyota Bluegrass Stakes (3rd) and the 2011 Preakness Stakes (7th) for West Point Thoroughbreds. In fact, the dark bay ran all of his 11 lifetime starts for WPT and earned nearly a quarter of a million dollars. His last race was in April of 2012 in an AOC race where he finished 4th but needed to be vanned off after the race. He had suffered a “career-ending injury” and subsequently underwent an extensive surgery that involved an “implant”.

    Now on social media, after the news was out that a former WPT runner was found at auction, their spokesperson was quick to point out that they had paid 10K for the surgery to “fix” the then 4-year-old’s broken leg and as Rosemary Farm (the rescue that found and purchased KC at the auction) stated, “[to save] his life.” To West Point Thoroughbreds, why SHOULDN’T you pay 10K to repair the fractured limb King Congie sustained running for you?…and since he made you nearly 250K, what’s 10K to hopefully ensure a comfortable life for him?

    From the article; “When Rosemary reached out about the horse’s identity, West Point was surprised to find him in such condition, as he had fallen through the cracks after the partnership seemingly secured his retirement. ‘He was adopted by a friend of reputable farm owner in Saratoga. So saddened to hear somebody could do this to such a special horse,’ West Point posted on its social media outlets.” I think it’s sad that WPT didn’t keep that “special horse” after his injury…and doesn’t it make you wonder, just how much follow-up and checking in on KC did West Point Thoroughbreds do in the years since they let some “friend of a reputable farm owner” acquire the damaged horse?

    So now WPT will be “adopting” King Congie and he will “have a great life.” While some will praise them for their actions, I am, once again, sickened that this former racehorse was too close to enduring the horrific transport to and the unspeakable death in a slaughterhouse. And it is ONLY because a rescue happened to be at the auction, noticed KC and made the decision to purchase him that he won’t be butchered. How many others weren’t so lucky…

    http://www.drf.com/news/king-congie-saved-slaughterhouse

    • Thank you for informing us all of the facts Joy.
      This is such a common scenario in the industry.
      Most former connections that “loved” their “family members,” are nowhere to be found when we are begging for $200 to rescue them.
      The breeder who brought the horse into this world? Nowhere to be found.
      All the people who made the money off the bones, and back of the racehorse from the breeders, to the sales consignors, to the jockeys, jockey agents, starting gate crew, people who filled races, ALL the participators and supporters who made money off the horse is NOWHERE to be found when they are minutes away from loading the slaughter van.
      Even when found – the majority will not give ONE DIME towards rescue, and re-homing of the racehorse that they were so happy to stand beside in the winners circle, collecting a check.
      Their win photos on the wall? Most are dusty, and often get put into the closet after the thrill wears off.
      So when connections like WPT’s steps up to pay for life saving surgery?
      They are portrayed like heroes.
      What a sad reflection on this despicable industry, and the people in it.
      WPT’s, as all former connections, SHOULD pay for THEIR horse, but it’s particularly disgusting when the horse made them lots of money.
      In fact, the horse should have never been dumped in the first place.
      However, entitlement to them while they are churning profits, dumping when they are no longer profitable is the mantra that they chant, and practice.
      What should be accepted as the norm instead is seen as a luxury for these horses.
      Furthermore, with the extensive information readily available, such as stable mail, there are no excuses as to any person not following any horse they want to.
      There are no plausible excuses to claim ignorance – there just isn’t.
      Nor is their any excuse for the proverbial “we thought he was going to a good home.”
      They all know that Santa Claus isn’t real, and neither is a “good” home anymore.
      About 1% go to “good” homes, and most are usually dumped afterwards.
      Prior to all this their lives can become a living hell hole, and most owners are well aware of what their former horses are subjected to when dumped into the claiming ranks.
      Take, for example, ADDAR. I cry when I look over the ongoing torture of this 5 year old mare.
      “6 day rest.” “8 day rest” “DNF” and put right back into a race another “DNF.” and STILL allowed to enter and race. This all going on at the prestigious Gulfstream Track owned by Frank Stronach who apparently “loves” racehorses. A guy that can change the world with a wave of his baby finger while sipping champagne.
      The same guy that permits this kind of abuse to continue on his track. Oh, I’m sure he has a valid excuse for it as they all do.
      Another pattern since the funding from racinos – hell, they are grabbing them out of their retirement paddocks to make them race again it seems.
      Horses such as 9 year old ABILIO coming off a 6 month lay-off or AGGIE FRIEND or ALISA’S ENGINEER.
      Now anybody with half a brain knows that these horses with such long lay-offs had some serious issues that required the time-off, probably serious enough NEVER to bring them back into racing.
      This is no deterrence for the high purse money fueled by the casinos.
      AURORA’S SECRET a 12 year old who has been ridden, and beaten into the ground, but is still forced to give out one last drop of sweat.
      I’m only in the “A” section of my stable watch, and this is blatant animal cruelty, abuse, pain, and suffering that MUST BE SHUT DOWN.
      This is the horrific world of horse racing my friends.

  13. I am just appalled with how Maggi Moss places her horses at such great risk.

    Run Like Elle, Moss’ 4-year-old colt. She ran him on December 2 for 10K at Delta Downs. No takers. She ran him (at DD) on the 21st but lowered his sale price to 5K. Again, no takers. The dark bay colt is entered for 5K again on January 7 at Fair Grounds Race Course.

    It’s not new news that racehorses disappear from the Louisiana tracks. Many. And often. It’s also not new news that a known kill buyer is also a racehorse owner – Jacob Thompson. He just boasted via a FB post that he’s got 30 horses in training. He continued, doing his best to goad advocates; “I did have more tbs [sic] to post today [he advertises his slaughter-bound horses for exorbitant prices] but I will load them instead so ya’ll have a good day!!!” Verbatim.

    But then kill buyer Thompson says this, and includes a screen shot of the entries for January 7, race 5, at Fair Grounds…“[Maggi Moss] has a colt running for a tag on Saturday for 5K I think she wants me to go claim him at the fair grounds!!!”

    Every racehorse owner who puts their horses into claiming races (and that’s every racehorse owner) is placing them at great risk. Of injury and of death. Sometimes that death comes via having their throats slit while hanging – still alive – by a hind leg.

    Moss, an advocate? Please.

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