Horses Killed in Back-To-Back Races at Charles Town

I have confirmed back-to-back deaths at Charles Town Wednesday night.

In the 3rd, 2-year-old Northern Exchange “broke down” and was euthanized on the track. It was but her fourth race. The first three (all at CT): 7th of 9; 6th of 7, 25+ lengths back; and most recently, last of 10, 20 lengths back.

One race later, Mr. Ripken; he, too, was euthanized where he lay. Days shy of turning seven, Mr. Ripken was under the whip for the 43rd time. Most recent four: two lasts, two second-to-lasts. Minutes before dying, he was “on the market” for $4,500.

This is horseracing.

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  1. The sickening suffering of horses in this industry is a disgrace.
    Death after death after death.
    Utterly unjustifiable.
    Totally unethical.
    Completely unnecessary.
    No need to guess why racing is struggling to attract new fans and racehorse ownership. Reading about these innocent horses dying every single day is impossible to accept.
    Anyone who bets on the horses is supporting abhorrent animal cruelty.

    • It is a sport it is a risk everyday but so is going to work I hit a deer last night am I a nurderere no it happens I know someone whose horse was injured real badly they took all her money and then proceeded to starve the animal and then took forever to train then was injured once again she has made sure her horse was taken home and now is stronger than ever lived and will be returning to racing in a few months all those bad experiences but still is racing and the horse absolutely loves it so be real careful before you judge she isn’t and neither is a the horse who should be the most miserable prick because of what he went through but is a champion and true survivor

      • Wow, Joanne…I’m not certain of what you were trying to say in your comment, but one thing I was able to decipher was that you hit a deer while driving to work – and that THAT somehow negates or at least justifies/makes acceptable the killing of racehorses in an unnecessary gambling/entertainment industry.

        Let’s see…driving to work…necessary, correct? Risking sentient beings’ limbs and lives so “fans” can be entertained and bettors can get their gambling fix. Necessary, Joanne?

        Ridiculous.

    • Some of these horses are treated better than your dog! If you have never been on the backside, you don’t know whats going on. You only see the few that get hurt, like an athlete in any other spot, the only difference is that it’s hard for a horse to recover from a major break, they can’t lay on their backs for 6 weeks.

      • Athletes don’t get put to sleep when they hurt themselves. These horses could live for years if they weren’t racing

      • Not the same… Sports athletes have a choice to play the sport. These horses do not have any CHOICE in the matter of them running for sport!

      • Why is it that racehorses only live for a couple to several years when the horse living in a normal environment usually lives for 30+ years?
        Oh, I think we know the answer to that.

      • Stephanie, your statement reeks of ignorance. I grew up galloping racehorses at a lay up farm and I spent years on the backside of a low level track picking up the broken bodies of horses discarded by racing. Treated better than my dog? Surely, you jest. Approximately 24 a week die in the dirt so that some freak can bet and be entertained and those are the ones we know about. It does NOT include the ones that limp back to their stalls only to later be euthanized such as Marsella Delight, Bionic Brine and Sounds O K. Those three that I named are racing fatalities, as well. Get your facts straight. Got it?

      • Stephanie – 1), I’ve been on the backside – nearly 10 years. I know very well “whats going on”. 2), I saw more than a “few that [got] hurt” – I loaded too many to even count on my trailer…injured, discarded, emaciated, crippled. 3), comparing a human, consenting athlete to a non-consenting animal made to compete in an unnecessary industry is ludicrous….for so many reasons. But for the sake of that ridiculous comparison, here, just ONE – when was the last time an injured football player was shipped off to be butchered in a slaughterhouse? And 4), the very fact that horses require 4 sound limbs and are at an increased risk of requiring euthanasia when just one limb is injured would be reason enough to not risk their lives in a known high-risk activity that exists merely to entertain humans.

        Treated better than my dog? – no. Probably not yours, either. Unless you keep your dog caged for 23 hours/day…regularly inject him with a number of drugs via his jugular (which will in time become sclerotic)…isolate him…demand he take part in a high-risk activity…continue to demand he take part in that high-risk activity with existing injuries…then sell him when he no longer meets your expectations…no, that’s still not better – that’s a racehorse’s life.

  2. This is despicable and barbaric! These horses don’t stand a chance. They don’t deserve to be tortured and then dumped when they can’t run any longer, killed in their prime, used like a piece of machinery. Shameful and wrong!

  3. So sad…. tragic loss of elegant animals. I hope an investigation is completed. “If” there was some human wrong doing, that they are banned from racing……….

  4. You all don’t have a clue. Growing up in the racing business, I’ve seen the good and the bad, most injuries can be worked on, like a sprained ankle in an athlete. But unfortunately there are some things that you can’t predict, like a break. Some of those can’t be fixed on a 1200 lb anamal. That’s why it is the most human way to “put them down” not because they want to, because they want to end the suffering of the anamal. You don’t see the sadness of the groom, or anyone elase that cared for that horse daily, took care of it, loved it. All you people see is the #s! What about the million + that make it around the track and get ready for the next race.

    • So true. We go to Saratoga Springs NY every summer and go to the paddocks and know first hand how well the horses are treated and loved. Putting any animal down is the most difficult decision anyone has to take.

      Pet owners (cats or dogs) often try to prolong the life of their pet when they are suffering when sick.

    • Charles Town has had a bad reputation for many years. WV should shut them down but its all about the money and after all they’re just horses. Besides horses breaking down on the track–lets not forget about the drugging of horses and the fires that burned down the barns and killed horses in their stalls.

    • This is so very true….I am an assistant trainer as well as a groom and i can assure you….if a horse does not want to run you can’t force them….i also have seen the breaks that can’t be fixed as well as fixed the ones that could….i have shed many tears for the ones that didn’t make it and the one filly i loved her so much 3 months after we lost her i had her and my last picture we took together before her last race tattooed on my back….and back in September my favorite colt broke down but he was one we could fix, the owners gave him to me and he is now being reschooled to be a pony or riding horse whichever he prefers to do….nobody sees the pain in the trainers, owners or grooms eyes as their horse goes down….even the soundest horses can take a bad step on the track and breakdown……and again lets start talking about the other equestrian disciplines out there that actually do use cruelty, the Tennessee walkers with their soring, the western pleasure in denerving the tails as well as tying their horses heads up for hours just so they are too tired to lift their heads and are unable to lift their tails all so they can have to look the part of a docile head and tail down horse do you really think that everything you see in all those types of disciplines are all natural….news flash y’all in every discipline theres ugliness and in every discilpline you have those owners and trainers and people that don’t give a dam

      • Spare yourself the tears Nicole.
        If you really truly loved, and cared for the racehorses then you wouldn’t be part of their exploitation.
        Your tears should be over the senseless, abhorrent exploitation, and dying of racehorses.
        Further, as we have repeated numerous times on this blog, the suffering of other horses in other disciplines are not supported here.
        Moreover, the suffering of other horses doesn’t automatically wipe out the suffering of racehorses nor does it condone it in any manner whatsoever.
        So stop trying to yield attention away from racehorses dying in the dirt.
        Your feeble attempts at rationalizing are very disturbing to read.
        The horses would not be dying if this cruelty circus were to shut down.
        You are an Assistant Trainer so that makes you not only the abuser, but the enabler of the abuse.
        So take your blinkers-off, and stop exploiting thoroughbreds.

      • Not by the way they age horses. Learn your facts before calling someone out. A horse turns 1 the January after they’re born regardless of their actual birthday so it was a 3 year old.

      • I am well aware of this vile industry’s methodology; I, however, age according to actual birthdays, and have been doing so for four years now. So perhaps it is you who needs to “learn your facts before calling someone out.”

      • This 1 Jan. birthday for all Thoroughbreds was put in place for the benefit of the “business” and, of course, money. Period. It is one more example of how the horse is just a commodity.
        My mare will turn 18 the 26th of May. She did not turn 18 on the 1st of Jan.

      • Angie, no matter what you or racing say does not change the FACT that the horse was foaled on the 24 April 2014 and was not 3yrs. old when he was killed. And that is a fact !

  5. Well I have been on the backside. And yes these horses are taken care of. By that I mean they are fed they’re stalls are cleaned. But ultimately it is all about that chasing the dollar.. For the horse’s they are just like an inmate in prison they get out maybe for an hour each day and they get fed and water…… ALL ABOUT THE 💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰

    • Another thing that irks me – that I constantly address on this blog is racing apologists who say “the horses are so well cared for.”
      By that they mean they are given a stall, confined 23 hours per day, totally contrary to their natural needs.
      So this I refer to as Myth #1 because it is intense confinement.
      Myth #2. They are treated royally fed the best oats in town. Guess what? There are millions of horse owners that feed their horses oats so you are not doing anything “royal” at all. You are doing what every single horse owner should be doing, and that’s feeding their horse.
      Myth #3. They have grooms tending to their every needs, brushing and wrapping their legs. So the brushing is basic horsemanship 101. Again all horse owners should do this. Nothing special at all. The only thing unique about this myth is that most horse owners don’t have to rub and wrap their legs because they are not constantly sore like the racehorses are. So this is just an attempt to alleviate the pain, and suffering. This is not “royal treatment” this is cruelty to animals because you continue to send them out when you know they are sore. Then you put them on a “needle regime” that consists of pain masking drugs so no royal treatment here.
      Finally, to send a horse out knowing that you are risking their life and limbs is anything BUT royal.
      Then to come on here and claim that you cried when they died qualifies you as delusional.
      Then you go in the next morning and do the same thing to the racehorses!
      You are all abusers or enablers of the abuse.
      You are even an enabler of death and you are all pathetic, demented, and delusional.

  6. This was 2 horses of thousands that race daily. Horses get injured in every sport they compete in but horse racing is the only sport that get nationwide attention.

  7. It’s is so disgusting and disrespectful to show Eight Belles picture on all your posts.
    Can you please show some respect for her and take her picture down!!!

    • No Terri.
      What’s really disgusting and disrespectful is a business that permits this to go on, that enables the ongoing pain, suffering, abuse, doping cocktails, cover ups, dumping at kill auctions, going to the slaughterhouse, and dying the dirt – that’s disrespectful Terri.
      I will make you a deal, irrespective of the Blog owner, when you stop killing racehorses then we will stop posting the carnage – GOT IT?

  8. these poor horses need to rest too. they are ran to death and they should be treated better! Charles town makes a lot of money off these horses, atleast treat them well and make sure their health is good!

  9. They shouldn’t be raced before age 3. Their confinement stalls at the track are small, dark, and unhealthy. The majority of these horses live a sad life.

    • Rhonda, a horse isn’t skeletally developed until six years of age and one study I read suggested it is closer to seven or eight. If a horse is raced at three, that means the horse was broken to ride and in training way before that when the horse was still a baby. The racing industry will never wait unti the horse is three to race him/her because the horse needs to get to the track in order to make money for the connections. The sooner, the better, plus there is big money in races for two year olds. No horse has ever made money when standing in the stall and that is why so many are racing with injuries and not given adequate time off when it is needed. Confinement at the track is another issue but those that support racing will try to convince you otherwise.

  10. This is horse racing !!!!😡 Poor Northern Exchange was just a baby. The owners should be ashamed. Mr Ripken RIP
    God bless both your souls and ended your suffering.

  11. I don’t race or own actively racing TB’s, but my best horses are OTTB’s from CT. All well cared for by their owners/trainers, most came to me after minor injuries. One ran 5 races and couldn’t get out of his own way, he’s now 15 and the best horse I’ve ever owned. Unless you’ve been involved in what goes on behind the scenes, don’t assume to be an expert. I can only speak for the trainers/owners that I deal with, their horses get the best of everything 24/7. The purses at CT are dismal, these folks do it for the love of the horse and the sport, you’re not going to get rich racing horses at CT. After a horse comes to me, most owners/trainers keep in touch and know exactly how the horse is doing (and where the horse is at after they leave me for a second career). Horse Racing is one of the oldest documented sports. If you feel Horse Racing is cruel, maybe you should acquaint yourself with other, less publicized Equine sports, like horses being hobbled and sored to achieve a desired gait. Olympic horses jumping a 7 foot wall. Eventers that run a very dangerous course of jumps and obstacles, just to name a few. Don’t even get me started on backyard breeders and people that get that cute pony that ends up at a slaughter house because it nipped at little Suzie. The difference is, these aren’t in the general publics eye. Thousands of horses die yearly that you never hear about. Also, most aren’t aware that CT Casino can’t exist without Horse Racing. CT employes hundreds of people. If you’re strongly opposed to Horse racing, stop gambling and supporting the casino. No Horse Racing=No Casino. Personally, I prefer to blow my money on these magnificent horses when they retire, not sit in front of a machine, mindlessly throwing my money away for hours on end. Rant over.

    • Yet another racing apologist.
      May I remind you Mary-Ellen that the regular posters here have extensive experience with the racetrack in many different capacities such as Trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, grooms, and horse rescue groups.
      The horse rescue groups need special mention because they are the ones who go to the kill auctions and rescue the discarded physically and mentally broken racehorses who are steps away from the slaughterhouse truck.
      Funny thing is Mary-Ellen all the people who claim to ‘love” and “care” for the racehorses are nowhere to be found, no not even the connections of the racehorse who, in some cases, have made thousands of dollars for them.
      They don’t even pitch in a dime to get them out of harms way.
      Moreover, the industry sponsored aftercare programs are FULL to the brim in most cases, and not accepting horses.
      The only time horse racing people love them is when they are making money, bringing in checks, and stoking their egos.
      When they can’t get anything from them then they become disposable commodities with few getting any type of safe forever home.
      That’s the industry that you support, and it needs to be shut down.

      • Let me repeat, I do not own and have never owned an actively racing horse. Some say I “rescue” horses right off the track. I do not rescue them, I take them in when they retire from racing for various reasons, let them down for 90-120 days, rehab when needed, then retrain them for their next career. Some are with me for years, others only 5-6 months. The horse basically decides what they want do, some hunter/jumpers, barrel racing, dressage, ect. I do so with my own hard earned money, Unlike a Rescue Organization, I do not ask for, nor expect, financial support from anyone for their post-racing career expenses, Vet, Farrier, dentist, ect. (some horses really rack up the bills). I rehome them with a background check, facility review and Veterinarian reference, along with a contract and nominal fee. I DO NOT MAKE ANY PROFIT by doing this, in fact I lose money. I am rewarded by seeing them move into a second career. To date, more than 30 horses have gone thru my program, a few have their forever home with me, the rest I can tell you who owns them, how they’re doing and have lots of current pictures of happy horses and people. Also, I clearly stated I was only speaking about owners/trainers I personally deal with. These horses come with full medical records, no surprises after I get them home. I’ve even had a few that never raced because they didn’t have the aptitude for it. One of which is currently turning heads in Dressage Arena’s. I have issue with the narrow minded description of all owners, trainers, grooms, ect. Yes, there are some bad ones, no question about it, but there are many good ones as well. The “Pit Bull” idealism isn’t accurate nor fair to the people involved in horse racing. It may be hard to believe, but I don’t go to the races to watch or bet on them. I fell in love with OTTB’s when I got my first one some 25 years ago and currently have 3 that have their forever home with me.

        I ask that you focus on bad owners/trainers, like ones doping horses, shipping horses directly to New Holland just to be loaded on a truck to Canada. Offer your followers highlights to the owners that seek out individuals like myself to ensure a happy future. The idealism behind aftercare groups are good, however lots of work is needed to educate the equine community. So many see that hot horse on the track and say “Nope, to hot for me” when in reality most are very laid back and love human contact after they’re let down. You also don’t have to look very far into any equine sport to see other high morality rates and horrific abuse. You’re against horse racing, I get that, you have every right to your opinion on the matter. Please just stop pigeon holing everyone and anyone connected to racing.

      • On a final note, I highly recommend you include a statement that explains “This forum is for non-racing apologist only”. Also include, “Any person(s) who voice any insights or perspectives which are not favored by primary contributors will receive a written, demeaning lashing in response”.

        Here’s a few suggestions:
        1) Read (and comprehend) an entire post before responding. By doing so, you “might” be able to respond accordingly.
        2) Be very careful when dismounting your high horse, that first step is a ball breaker.
        3) It might just be time for someone to start a “horseracingrights” forum in order for those that have experienced the positive, caring side of horse racing may share their insights and opinions.
        4) Block me from responding to any further uneducated, narrow minded comments posted within this forum.

      • Your language is definitely low class and obscene. You should apologize to Gina and contain yourself when making comments Mr. Fuckyougina.

    • They do it “for the love of the sport”? – they DO it because it’s all they know and they need to pay their rent and buy groceries!

      And you’ve got the financial facts backwards, Mary-Ellen…horse racing wouldn’t survive without being subsidized by the casino money. With decoupling, horse racing would meet its long overdue demise much quicker.

      Lastly, any OTTB is amazing…magnificent…worthy. What track he/she was finally acquired from means nothing – any one of them who makes it out alive is simply and incredibly fortunate.

    • There are many posters here, myself included, that have rescued racehorses.
      In actuality, we are all enablers of this abuse UNLESS we don’t support this business.
      Another thing, I don’t for a moment think that you or anybody else should financially support THEIR disposable commodity because, after all, this is a multi-billion dollar industry that does little or nothing for aftercare.
      So essentially, they produce the mess, they create a mess, and then they discard the mess expecting everybody else to clean it up for them.
      This has been going on for years, and it’s only because of animal rights groups, animal advocates, and horse lovers that their dirty little secret is out of the bag basically forcing them to address their unwanted racehorses.
      Any person who participates, supports, and/or invests in this business falls into 3 categories:
      1. Abusers 2. Enablers of the abuse 3. Both
      They are delusional if they think otherwise.
      In response to your suggestions:
      1.Responding accordingly to you is to agree with what you support which is the ongoing abuse of racehorses that often end with them dying in the dirt. So don’t expect me to respond “accordingly” – got it?
      2. I’ve dismounted many horses thus far and I don’t intend on breaking any balls.
      3. You have every right to start whatever blog you want, but make sure you include the Death Facts as this Blog does. I would hate for you to be another cover-up for this rotten industry. Moreover, there is no positive to a horse being bred to potentially die. The only positive is when this despicable cruelty circus shuts down.
      4. Anybody who disagrees with you, who chooses not to support this carnage seems to fall into your category of uneducated, narrow-minded comments. It doesn’t take an educated person to realize that this business breaks the bones, backs, and spirit of horses. All it takes is a person to have one iota of compassion which people in this business can’t possibly possess when they send out a sentient being to risk their life and limbs for a buck and an ego.
      So go peddle your BS elsewhere or on that Blog that you want to start.

      • Gina…Mary-Ellen prefers a “horse racing rights” blog – last I knew, there was one started in response to this Horseracing Wrongs site. And the last I heard, it was floundering badly so I’m certain they would be happy to have Mary-Ellen’s support.

        And for you, Mary-Ellen, doesn’t the light go off in your head regarding the need for you and many others – like a number of us here – to take in the unwanted racehorses (because they ARE unwanted), nurture them, rehab them, have diagnostics performed and a treatment plan implemented, and take on the enormous responsibility of safely re-homing them on our own “dimes”?…when that should be the responsibility of the individuals AND the multi-billion dollar industry that used them for their own financial gain?

        As long as horse racing exists, there will be a never-ending raging river of DISCARDED racehorses needing help. That in itself speaks volumes of this unnecessary entertainment industry.

        Lastly, yes, you’re right about one thing – this IS an anti-racing site…Horseracing WRONGS should be your first clue.

    • You’ll just be much happier on a “racing rights” forum, Mary-Ellen. They’re not “narrow minded” – about slaughter, about breeding “cheap” or low-level racehorses – no, they accept it all. They’re tolerant and open-minded about what we, as animal advocates, regard as abusive.

    • The responses from this Mary-Ellen Rodgers – regarding where she accuses us of being “uneducated” and “narrow-minded” – bring to mind a conversation I had recently with another racehorse advocate.

      Racing apologists use that term – narrow-minded – against us frequently. I imagine, since we speak the truth and expose facts (Ms. Rodgers doesn’t know, it appears, that we are actually VERY educated when it comes to horse racing realities), there’s nothing apologists CAN say to defend the indefensible so we’re attacked with negative terms such as narrow-minded.

      But as we know, there are issues in our world that are RIGHT and WRONG – there is no middle ground – no gray area – just RIGHT. Or WRONG. So when it comes to equine slaughter…are we narrow-minded because we are anti-slaughter? Regarding marine animal captivity and their enslavement at SeaWorld, forced to perform tricks for paying customers…are individuals who oppose those horrors narrow-minded? How about greyhound racing? – am I narrow-minded because I adamantly oppose it?

      There are WRONGS that those unable to defend themselves endure – and acknowledging those wrongs are nothing close to being narrow-minded. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. Realization, acknowledgement and action in defense of the vulnerable – regardless of the species – is simply an expectation of a compassionate society. Sadly, too many are without the constitution to make that strong yet often unpopular stand.

      • Actually, the racing apologists are the narrow-minded here. They just don’t seem to grasp the fact that this business subjects the horse to a life of exploitation and cruelty. They talk about how hard it is on them and how sad they feel when a horse is killed or maimed. Do they also feel bad that the horse is “finished” in this business at around 6 yrs. old and has very few prospects for a life outside of the track. Do they feel bad that racing just dumps their unwanted and that 70% of Thoroughbreds foaled each year are loaded on to the slaughter bound trucks.
        But the apologists don’t seem to “see” this. At best, they are “suffering” from tunnel vision.

  12. This sucks! I find it really odd that 2 horses died on the same night. The one horse was 7 yrs old according to the article, dont u think thats a lil too old. Someone is doping this horses!!!! SPCA/Humane Society where the hell are you.

  13. Oh my after reading some of the comments I’m not sure what to say……I would like you all to Google this video: MORE ABUSE FROM HORSE RACING it will be the first video you come too it is kind of graphic but this video tells it better then I could ever dream of one shouldn’t expect a damn thing from their animals and should do everything in their power to be fair and honest to them we asked to have them they did not ask to have us

  14. I don’t have a problem with racing, what I do have a problem with is the age in which they run these horses. 2,3,4 yr olds should not be racing, thier bones are not fully developed. Most people I know won’t even start baby’s until they are at least 3

    • Well Dawn, then you DO have a problem with racing – because they will never stop training and racing before the age of 3. Never.

    • Dawn, you say you don’t have a problem with racing. Then obviously you condone and support the miserable life of the racehorse, the severe confinement depriving the horse of natural equine behaviour, the terrible boredom they suffer, the joint injections, the drugging, being beaten with whips when through no fault of their own they’ve run out of fuel, the abusive riding, forced to race with pre-existing injuries and/or when sore, forced to race in terrible weather conditions, not being given the opportunity to recover from a race and the vast majority that don’t die on the track are put on trucks for the horrific long journeys to Mexico and Canada only to endure an unspeakable inhumane death, the ultimate betrayal.
      Many OTTBs are not suitable for a second career because they’ve been irreparably damaged (behaviour is often a factor) as a result of being abused in racing. Many don’t come up to the expectations of an equestrian and i’ve seen many who are disappointed with their OTTB. Those that have compassion and money will humanely have them euthanased but the majority are sent to slaughter. I’m 6th generation racing family background and also worked for a trainer at one stage to find out what really goes on with these horses that the public never sees. It is ugly.

      The horseracing industry is unsustainable.

  15. ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING, YET ANOTHER BARBARIC “SPORT” literally played upon the backs of slaves. STOP THE SADISM, END THESE IDIOTIC, INHUMANE PRACTICES. There is nothing “SPORTING” about this crap.

  16. Many horses at the track are treated like machines. A sound horse can hit a bad spot or take a bad step and break a leg. I spent 20 years at the track and have seen it all. I left because I couldn’t watch the horses break down anymore. It’s sad….My husband rode races and it broke his heart too

  17. I think it’s horrible to put the horses down due to injury. They will never return to previous status but may be used for thraputic riding for children with disabilities, kids with cancer, persons with mental issues, etc…they would be low keyed, loved, and would be appreciated for honoring those less fortunate than themselves…

    • Lynn, just to be clear these racehorses are, in many cases, shattering their bones;completely obliterating 1 or more limbs to the point of no return.
      In fact, some videos on YouTube taken at 2 year-old in Training Sales or races, clearly show the fragments of the bones flying out of their broken leg onto the track.
      In other words, they don’t have a leg left to stand on, and it’s irreparable.
      Moreover, this industry strongly falls back on Private Property laws.
      In our legal system, livestock (including racehorses) are considered Private Property.
      Years ago women and African-American slaves were considered Private Property.
      So when a racehorse is laying in the dirt suffering, and dying the owner/vet makes a quick decision.
      The owner of the racehorse almost always opts to put the horse down instead of paying for huge vet, lay-up, and recovering costs.
      In many cases, the horse has an insurance policy so the owners actually financially gain from their death.
      In some cases, there have been suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of high level horses which have corresponding high priced insurance polices.
      Yet, this industry continues to get away with self-management, no mandatory necropsy regulations in many racing jurisdictions, and lack of transparency to the public.
      In essence, they are running their own legitimized cruelty circus, and death camp.

  18. No different than cock fighting and dog fighting except its legal. The only “athlete” is the person on the horses back and they are really animal abusers who get away with it.

  19. people are fooled by the idea that horses and dogs love to race. Yes, they do but not on an oval racetrack where they pick up speed on the “straight” and then get hurt on the “curve”. They also don’t like being given drugs to mask injuries and living in restricted environments. Racing is only good for gamblers not for horses.

  20. If you’ve been on the backside at Charles Town (unless you are fairly new), you know who I am by my nickname and if you don’t know me then I’ll give you my background. I was 1st introduced to horse racing in 1973 at the age of 5. My Dad owned a horse and about a year later he received his trainer’s license and trained and owned a few horses. The 1st wager I made (age 5) resulted in me making 40 cents and at that time a coke cost a quarter in a vending machine so I was hooked so to speak. During the time my Dad trained a few horses, I helped muck stalls, unload saw dust and hay, wash water buckets, feed the horses and sometimes was allowed to walk a horse a round or 2 when cooling them out. Though I made good grades in school, betting horses became my love. So much so that from time to time I’d take a racing form to school, never attended a prom or home coming since the track raced at night and it took preference. I even went to school 1/2 day as a senior citing having a job but the truth was on Wednesday the track ran during the day.
    During my early time on the backside, I witnessed horses getting shots from trainers and I don’t like needles. I had dreams of being a Jockey but by the age of 12 I weighted more than they did and making it as a professional horse player didn’t pan out and it wasn’t until my best friend who had become a Jock’s Agent (very successfully I might add) went into a different direction that I found my place in the sport I’d grown to love. Like my best friend, I excelled in this career choice and in less than a year I was offered a job as an Agent at Delaware Park. When I was exposed to mile track backside and trainer mentality, I saw a huge difference in many things and after 3 years Charles Town had reopened; I’d taken up drinking and returned home. Being a Jock’s Agent, I could roam from barn to barn without scrutiny or suspicion from trainers which allowed me to see a LOT of things (good and bad but mostly good) and since I am a HUGE animal lover, there were times when I mentally struggled with horses being confined in such a small place for 23 hrs of the day and not getting out on Sundays (which is not the case at the milers), seeing horses my Jock won on the day before laying down for days or limping when being walked amongst a few other not so inviting scenes. But 1 day I relayed (basically unloaded my thoughts and guilt in tears) to a trainer that had become a very close friend and I’ll NEVER forget his response. He said “Chief, if it weren’t for racing, thoroughbreds would basically become EXTINCT. They have no practical use in today’s society.” and even though I continued struggling with the humane part, his reply holds much truth and reality.
    I’ve left the horse racing industry behind me for over 3 years now but even so, there are MANY good people on the backside of all race tracks of which would rather feed their horse (s) before they’d feed themselves and 1 of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life that applies to all situations in life is that you can’t hold or judge a group for the actions of a FEW.
    I hope this lengthy post helps enlighten those that sit on BOTH sides of this issue.

    • Thank you for the comment, Chief. Putting aside the (daily) killing – raceday, training, “non-racing” (stress-induced colic, wear-and-tear laminitis, etc.), and, of course, slaughter – for a moment, what you describe, what you “mentally struggled with” – that is, the awful, spirit-crushing confinement/isolation – is enough, at least for me, to say: better they were never born. Sorry, but a world without racing-Thoroughbreds is not something to lament at all.

  21. I’m disgusted in the abuse of defenseless animals over humans greed to make money! They should all be ashamed of themselves! Makes me sick!

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