Unbroken Chain Killed at Saratoga Today – 11 Dead, and Counting

About six hours after we finished another successful protest – 75 strong – at Saratoga Race Course, another victim was entered into the ’17 Death Log. In the final race of the day, says the Gaming Commission, 4-year-old Unbroken Chain “suffered a fatal musculoskeletal injury and was euthanized.” Said injury, notes the chartwriter, was the result of some “bad steps.” Incidentally, in this same race, Thirsty Donnerstag “…swung four wide onto the backstretch in apparent distress, heading [sic?] cocked to the right, bore out before being pulled up…” No word on the 3-year-old’s condition. (Curiously, this race, and this race alone, is inaccessible on NYRA’s replay page.)

To date, 11 animals have been sacrificed at Saratoga this season. 11.

Lakalas, May 28, “collapsed and died after breezing”
Queen B, July 6, “fractured leg while breezing…ambulanced to clinic – euthanized”
Wanztbwicked, July 22, “suffered an injury while breezing – euthanized on the track”
Angels Seven, July 28, “pulled up, injury to LF leg – euthanized on the track”
Howard Beach, July 29, “suffered a fracture to RF leg breezing and was euthanized”
Positive Waves, July 29, “suffered a fracture to his RF leg breezing – euthanized”
Brooklyn Major, July 31, “collapsed and died after the finish of the race”
Marshall Plan, August 2, “fractured condylar bone while training – euthanized”
Fall Colors, August 3, “horse fell at second fence, died on track”
Munjaz, August 3, “was pulled up…vanned off – euthanized”
Unbroken Chain, August 6, “suffered a fatal musculoskeletal injury – euthanized”

131 Comments

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  1. Not only are these horses insured to the max..the breeders churn out thousands that never make it to the races..the rescues are full of these animals that are headed to slaughter…I’m a former trainer .the whole industry is corrupt. Only dollars matter to the owners.

    • To BILL – the delusional apologist.
      1. Many people commenting on this blog are ex-horse racing people who have worked on the track in many different capacities. So they know what they are talking about.
      2. For those people who have not worked on the track they have more compassion in their baby finger than anybody who upholds this legitimized animal cruelty. You don’t have to get involved with dog fighting to see and know that it’s morally wrong, Same goes for horse racing.
      3. Not everybody on this blog are Liberals. In fact, some people commenting here are conservatives, but it’s not about politics. It’s about racehorses DYING for $2 bets and that’ why it needs to shut down.
      4. “Royal treatment.” You would have to check your mental state Bill to refer to DYING IN THE DIRT as “royal treatment” or you would have to redefine the word exploitation,.
      5. ANYBODY who supports/participates in this business doesn’t “love” racehorses. They love what they can get from them which is nothing more than exploiting a non-consenting sentient being for financial gain.
      6. “Love” you say Bill? “Care”???? You can’t possibly “love” or “care” for a racehorse when you are subjecting them to the daily operating procedures of this business and EVERY SINGLE trainer partakes or enables the ongoing doping, whipping/beating, running with chronic issues, confinement, DUMPING, and/or dying.
      There is no trainer that doesn’t do one, some or all of the above to their racehorses.
      Ex-insider, who used to be an exercise rider for the top trainers in this country often comments on this blog, and I’ve verified that he was indeed an ER on the track for years.
      He posted that EVERY SINGLE TRAINER, at some point, has sent a SORE horse out to the track that is in pain, and suffering.
      This is certainly not “caring,” this is trying to get every single drop of juice out of them, squeezing them for their own gain, and it’s despicable, unacceptable, and it will be shut down.
      Furthermore, you can’t continue to uphold this animal cruelty PLUS know that you will be DUMPING that horse at some point either into the claiming ranks or at the kill auctions.
      Every single trainer has DUMPED at least 1 of their horses at some point into the claiming ranks to further subject them to abuse knowing that they are handed them over to someone who will risk their life and limbs,
      This is not “caring” or “loving” this is inhumane treatment of a racehorse.
      So I suggest your family looks into some other business where it doesn’t involve animal cruelty, abuse, suffering and/or DYING in the dirt for $2 bets.

      • Wonderfully stated. All animals deserve protection from abusers to those being used for their own personal gain.

      • Gina, I have been around horses my whole life…on and off the track. Horses on the track are well taken care of for the most part and are well nourished and groomed. There are exceptions to every rule. Mot of the cruelty happens on private farms in the pasture where the animals suffer from malnutrition. Horses running and taking bad steps causing fatal injuries happens all the time…not only on the track but also in pastures and in the wild. They are herding animals and love to run. Your comments tell me you know very little about horses, their care, and their living habits.

    • Thousands are sent to slaughter now, Bill. But these people “love” the horses they send to slaughter? We had a trainer/ breeder near me who knowingly sent his own horses, that he bred, raised, trained to slaughter! Just because they were injured and broken – and he didn’t want to bother to try to find them homes!

      • What you are doing is So necessary…i am thankful that you are trying to stop this horror!….i do not live anywhere near a race track nor have i never been involved with horses or racing…. i had no idea that these beautiful beasts were being subjected to such cruelty…thank you for all your good efforts!

    • Bill…you just said these horses are LOVED – so WHY would all of those loving owners send their beloved horses to the “KILLERS”?!?

  2. I think is time ALL sports that involve animals should be banned for life, is complete cruelty and ignorance and disgust what these people Put these animals thru, we should use humans instead because we are the true animals that invented these bullshit “sports”, so, to anyone that owns an animal that is involved in a sport, go fuck yourself!

    • Couldn’t agree with you anymore,Oscar! And very well spoken! I don’t know much about horse racing, and while reading this article, I was wondering how many people actually knows what these horses go through, if more people knew, then there’s a better chance that it would stop.

      • I am not a member of PETA, I happen to have one of these throw away ponies in my back yard, horse has the biggest heart, he happened to belong to a good trainer/owner, but unfortunately wasn’t making them money, due to an injury caused by a cruel act……allowing under developed bones to run, and run……so I say a BIG F you, to YOU……you are clueless redlobo, or whoever you are

      • And then they sell them and leave them wide open to the risks of being owned and raced by those “bad folks” you just admitted exist in this unnecessary industry, right S.A. Hazard? In fact, Bill Casner stated the industry is PERMEATED with those who care nothing about the horses’ welfare.

        It’s all about making money – of course the horses get good “care” on those breeding farms you speak of! – those animals are “made” like automobiles on assembly lines to be SOLD.

        “Love”?…please.

    • You don’t do anything with animals do you? Do you realize the showing prospects that keep our kids off the streets and help the disabled are labeled sports. Do yourself a favor before you open mouth go and do with animals and then let me hear what you have to say!

    • You have blinders on like the horses. What is good about cruelty? This is a bullshit sport for the wealthy. Lots of animals suffer. All about the money.

      • You should worry more about the heroin addicts in up-
        state New York than horses….If you cared as much about humans as animals the world would be a better place…..

    • RedLobo – whatever your name is.
      Not all people who support this site are members of PETA.
      The mandatory operating procedures of doping, whipping/beating, confining, maiming, dumping, and/or dying is what every single trainer takes part in – to what extent depends on the trainer.
      Every single horse is subjected to this abusive treatment, and this is most definitely harmful especially when it most often results in DYING to the tune of 2000 racehorses per year.
      This is despicable, and I can guarantee you that if the horses could talk they would be saying fuck you to all the people in the horse racing business including you RedLobo.

      • I truly am against animal crulity and racing all together on the other hand we have to look at the economy what this bring to the town in Saratoga spring it’s the only time of year we actually bank in the restaurant industry also bring thousands of track jobs and people to the area with out the racing it would just be another town Aeneid the money to support our family’s and town but on the other hand they need to stop putting the hourse to sleep and give the a chance to be adopted and rehabilitated properly I’d even adopt a few it’s bull shit they never get that opportunity and are put down at the track that should be completely illegal and be no different than murder because that’s what it is but do we need the racing and the fans absolutely or it would put thousands out of work and on the street !

      • Money (jobs) has no place in a question of morality. And to be clear, as a rule when a horse is euthanized after breaking down it is necessary – the right thing to do for the animal. This goes to the anatomy of a horse; they are not good candidates for surgery/rehabilitation on broken legs.

      • Can we stop assuming that PETA gives a shit about animals? Their form of Ethical treatment is “euthanasia”. They run an animal shelter here in VA Beach and it may as well be a damn slaughter house – kill rate sitting 80-90% + per year (thousands of Animals slaughtered).

        Racing horses doesn’t seem cruel; pumping them full of drugs to race is horrible (and cruel).

    • Very mature.
      If you knew any thing. You would also know P.ETA was corrupt and pretended to love animals.

      I will agree, not all trainers. But 90% of the industry is about the all mighty Dollar.

      • The race industry ONLY TEST for specifics in the bloodstream of racehorses. The vets who prerace for the big stables in both sports (harness and thorobred) know the latest concoctions to administer and how many “cc’s ” to give,, so it will take full affect and not be detected at post race tests..
        Anyone who has ever held a license to train racehorses know the “juice guys”. The only ones denying it, are the ones practicing these deeds,or are making money off of it in other ways.

    • Extreme positions are only hurting the attempts to win the support of horse lovers who are in the sports, but kindly. There are many horse sports in which the horses are happy family members. Lots of horse sports pros and fans want to see minimum age limits on racing. These babies should not yet be backed, let alone raced. Don’t guarantee failure with absolutes.

      • Bill – you are wrong. Few racing jurisdictions have precrace exams. Also – there are some drugs that aren’t showing up on post- race tests. And – a lot of trainers gave been dinged drug positives- in fact, for class 1’s even – and are still racing.

      • Also, Bill- those 90% of trainers that “love” their horses? 90% of the ones I was around – their favorite “term of endearment” for their horses? “That horse is a common piece of shit donkey- fuck him- he needs to go!” I’m feeling the warm and fuzzy from all that “love” for the horse. If I had even the $2 bet money every time I heard that – I’d be a rich person now

    • Totally agree Oscar. The problem isn’t just with domestic animals like dogs and horses, but also with wildlife like elephants, big cats, and bears who have only known life in the circus arena. ❤️😢❤️

    • You are absolutely right Oscar! Especially these horses! It is a lot of stress on them! There should be no horse or dog races!

    • This is a very ignorant and broad response. I have competed my entire life in the sport of Eventing and have worked with top trainers all around the world and I have not seen one of their horses that didn’t love what they do, were completely spoiled, and were extremely happy. I think there are good and bad people in every sport whether they are associated with animals or not. I think you should do more research before making these offensive comments.

    • Save a horse,ride a cowboy. I am not making light of this in anyway.This is outrageous. Why isn’t this considered animal cruelty,just like all the other things people do to animals for their entertainment? Fighting dogs,roosters,and then there is ,just,plain abuse,neglect,etc. This kind of stuff makes me sick. How about the Romans and putting people in the lion’s den. Not only animals do humans destroy,but,even,their own kind!!!!! Our Lord and Savoir was crucified for loving us. This human race is screwed up,big time.No respect for life,which is a miracle ,in itself….

    • How about triple crown winner American Pharoah? Secretariat and Zenyatta? You probably have no clue who these athletes are

    • Bravo….Well Said!!!! And Very True!! It’s all about the money., fancy hats, a ribbon around their neck. It doesn’t take a highly skilled person to hang on to a thousand pound running horse while in motion. A Monkey could do it. And That would be abuse too!!! It’s truly about That dollar or Millions of Dollars. I personally know a few disgusting people who applaud racing and horse sports of all kinds. They are pure STUPID. Id love to put 120lbs on their back make them jump over 6ft objects n whip them for a few miles. Im sick of all this. My heart goes out to all the ponys. Im against any animal sport.

    • Kathy, So I suppose the horses verbally told you that they love it right you moron.
      You need to speed your way right off this blog, and take your daughter with you.

    • Kathy- “sweetcakes”- as far as racehorses “if they don’t like what they are doing- they won’t do it”- and if a horse “Hates racing- they won’t be seen on the track”- how many are whipped by the starter and jerked around by assistant starters and forcefully loaded by 3 or 4 of them and beaten by the jockey to get into the starting gate??? How many of the racing charts say “balked at loading”, “hesitated into the gate”? I have a horse who hates getting his ears touched because he was ear twisted often to get into a gate! I’ve seen them blindfolded to go in to the gate. Don’t you think maybe this is their way of saying they hate their job?? I’ve seen many gate scratched by the vet because they loaded into the gate then flipped or sat down! Would a horse that loves it’s job need all that to coerce it into the gate?? And as far as the whip- my state and 4 around me with tracks do NOT have whip rules! One of my horses had the crap beat out of him in his last race – getting hit both on the rump and the shoulder- I watched it first hand- and the jockey pulled him up right after the finish line and had him vanned ” because he was sore”!! So the jockey knowingly beat the crap out of a sore horse! In reality – the horse rebowed a tendon. Can you imagine the searing pain of a tendon tearing in your leg as your running, and yet someone is beating you to run more?? And a former jockey I knew used to brag about how he ” had a strong whip hand” and would whip his horses bloody in a race!
      And finally – a “horse that hates racing will never be seen on the track”? I’ve never known one that actually had a choice in the matter. I know all mine prefer the pasture.

    • And while we are discussing racehorses that hate racing, Kathy – maybe you should research a horse named “Halos and Angels”. I’m fairly certain she is telling her connections she hates racing. And honestly, she sucks at her job. And yet- there she is at the tracks, most recently at a shithole named Mountaineer. Is she getting a choice in whether she is there or not?

    • Kathy- you are a blithering fool because clearly you don’t know racing. There is no “room and board” – you don’t pay for stalls at most tracks – they are given to you with the understanding you will enter horses to race. And “entry fees” ? There are none unless you are entering a stakes race. Most American racehorses aren’t stakes racers. So maybe take your angry name- calling hatred and go somewhere else where what you say will actually be pertinent and make sense.

    • Don’t agree with your language, but yes, animals can’t say no, I don’t like that. They have no choice. However, another”human” industry that is also cruel to the players, sending them out when they are still injured and in pain is pro football. And probably many other pro sports. But football especially. There is such pressure to keep your position, play injured, ultimately ruining themselves permanently for life after football. Sad state of affairs.

  3. I would Like to See this Headline At Every Racetrack in the Country

    ILLINOIS RACING: ON THE BRINK OF DESTRUCTION
    8/7/2017

    Rozner: Illinois bumbles while horse racing crumbles

    What was once a billion-dollar industry in Illinois — encompassing the tracks, breeders, horsemen and agribusiness that supports racing in so many ways — is shrinking by the day as neighboring states take advantage of the disaster that is Illinois politics.
    “We’re very concerned about horse racing in this state. It’s very, very fragile right now,” said Arlington Park general manager Tony Petrillo. “It’s on the brink of destruction.”
    It took decades to create a gambling bill, and when the state managed to get a pair of bills passed, former Governor Pat Quinn inexplicably vetoed both.
    Already in significant trouble because surrounding states have casinos at their racetracks, Illinois horse racing quickly began to collapse.
    “The states that have gaming are taking advantage of us,” Petrillo said. “Owners, breeders and trainers are leaving Illinois in droves.
    “We have a historic low number of horses on the backstretch as all those folks leave for the states that have slots and table games at their facilities.

    So while horse racing crumbles, Illinois bumbles and neighboring states steal revenue and jobs.
    A game that was once so great is nearing the end, and if something isn’t done soon it will most certainly come to an end.

    https://www.dailyherald.com/sports/20170807/rozner-illinois-bumbles-while-horse-racing-crumbles

    • The sooner the entire corrupt web of Illinois racing shuts down the sooner I can celebrate on behalf of the horses.
      Furthermore, the government has finally figured out that they can run casinos, make tons of money to divert into the taxpayers coffers NOT the cruel, and abusive horse racing business.
      Neither the government, the taxpayers and most sane, compassionate people need or want horse racing.
      It’s on the way out, and it will be greatly reduced in the near future, and subsequently shut down.
      Moreover, it’s only a matter of time before racetrack owner/operators in conjunction with pro-horse entities get SUED into the ground for violation of First Amendment Rights and for defrauding the public with their claims that horses just “love to run.”
      Jockeys and/or stable workers should sue the connections of racehorses when they get hurt, and subpoena the medical records to finally hold these assholes accountable.
      This will all come to fruition, and the racehorses will have their day.
      Horse racing has finally lost their social license for their cruel, abusive, and inhumane treatment of racehorses for the sole purpose of generating billions in profit.
      I’m all for profit, and being successful, but not at the expense of a non-consenting sentient being.
      In the meantime, we will be a watchdog and a voice for these racehorses who are dying in the dirt.

  4. It does not surprise me at all that these deaths have happened. It has been ungodly hot much of this summer and they run those poor horses anyway. The horse is running as fast as it can and they are still whipping it to go faster! It is nothing but animal cruelty as far as I am concerned. What can they expect but that horses are going to die. They are living, breathing creatures with limitations, but that doesn’t seem to matter. MONEY MONEY MONEY !!! That is all it is all about. To hell with the horses and their health.

  5. You people need to grow up and educate yourselves on how well these horses are treated and looked after. They get better treatment than people like you who protest. I have zero tolerance for ignorance. Furthermore, the lack of education reflected in this small little paragraph is repulsive.

    • Mr. Thomas, your lack of education is quite evident in your “little repulsive paragraph.” Better treatment than those who protest? Either you are delusional or incredibly ignorant. By the way, protesting is part of our culture and it is a peaceful way to stand for what we believe in. I have protested against puppy mills because the mill dogs do NOT get better treatment than I do. If you think they do, then you desperately need to grow up.

      • Mike you are the biggest hypocrite I have yet to encounter. Your ignorance and uneducation is truly unbelievable. You are telling people to educate themselves when you clearly have to be one of the most uneducated people to comment on this post. Do you own horses, have you even been to race stables (not just a spectator on race day either) horse auctions, sale barns, feed lots, slaughter houses, visited rescue organizations that try to save and rehabilitate ex-race horses??? As a horse owner and someone who has assisted with rescuing and rehabilitation of ex-race horses I have seen some of the worst of humanity..The damage that is done to these animals is not only physically but mentally as well. It is one of the cruelest things to encounter. You have not been at a track when a horse has had to be euthanized due to an injury or has been so abused that it is dangerous and has to be euthanized. Thousands of race horses are sent to slaughter in the U.S. alone every year. And when the bill was passed to close a majority of the slaughter houses in the U.S. it actually made it even worse for these poor horses who have endured years of abuse to then be loaded up (50-60) and sometimes more, at a time into semi trucks with injuries and illnesses driven for three to four days straight to Canada and Mexico without being given food or water or care for their injuries. Imagine the distress these poor animals undergo to arrive at the feed lots where there are hundreds in one paddock trying to fight over what little food and water (if it is even offered). Not to mention the condition and practices of the slaughter house themselves – it is so inhumane and inconceivable. All because they either didn’t make money on the tracks or are injured. You don’t have a clue about the practice of “nurse mare foals” – unvalued brood mares are bred at the same time as valuable mares so that when they both foal, the unvalued mare’s foal is literally thrown to the side left to die and replaced with valuable mare’s foal, so that she is able to be sent out to be rebred or return to racing. Thousands of foals die every year because of this practice alone. These horses don’t live in acceptable conditions. Starting horses to race at 1-1.5 years old their bones, joints, tendons and ligaments are not even close to being developed. Horses joints don’t fuse until they are between 7-9 years old depending on the breed. Have you even wondered why so many race horses break their legs running on the track. Especially the 2-3-4 year olds… that’s why. Not to mention the fact that many of these horses never see a paddock or turn out. They go from being in a stall anywhere from 20 hours a day to then being hooked up to an exercise machine, then to the track to be beaten on to run then back to a stall. They are a herd animal, they need turn out and interaction with other horses. The sport is not only physically cruel but mentally as well. The abuse is way more prevalent than not. I have seen these things fist hand… but just do yourself a favor and be the keyboard warrior that you are and do some basic google searches on horse slaughter, feed lots, nurse mare foals, race horse abuse cases, soaring, horse development, race horse rescue leagues, well I could sit here listing plenty of sources of information for you to educate yourself with but I am sure this would just be a waste of time – just responding to your stupidity was probably a waste of time as well but maybe just maybe you could at the least try and respond with some form of intelligent response…

  6. That is beyond very sad.I haven’t been to Saratoga racing for sometime lost interest in racing horses. I felt some of the jockeys held their horses back which I noticed .so they wouldn’t win it was Rigged for sure 😠

  7. The problem is where the big payout is. They put the big purses on 2 and 3 year olds. A horse grows and developes their bones until they are they are 5. Put the bigger payout stakes races on the 5 and 6 year olds and let the younger ones grow and mature. These horses DO get the best of care, they just are not mature enough to run like this that young.

  8. Too many unnecessary deaths due to broken legs on babies. Yes babies. Let these horses mature and develop bone mass and maybe, just maybe, the numbers would go down if not be eliminated. Racing industry is all about money not the horses.

    • And? Asians have always eaten dog…it’s dinner. Spaniards have always tortured bulls…it’s sport. Just because it’s always been done doesn’t make it right.

  9. Horse racing is, and always has been, corrupt. You suckers can’t wait to part with your money for the excitement of watching your horse lose by a nose to the one that’s meant to win, who had been held back til the very last second to make it seem like an actual race. Obviously, it’s considered a stroke of luck if said horse breaks down before that happens. That being said, it’s beginning to look like the odds of your winning under these circumstances are improving. Don’t be too proud…….genius.

  10. I agree with another person who has commented. Take the damn whips away from the jockeys. Let the horses run on their own merit. I hope “authorities” will investigate this as animal abuse. If we hit other animals like that we would be in jail.

  11. Animal cruelty is hitting and miss yes of animals. So why is wiping a animal that is doing its best not abuse? They may live to race but they sure don’t get any credit for it , just more beatings. Cruelty!!!! Any thing for money, the route to all evil.

  12. There needs to be an investigation as to why the beautiful horses are dying in almost the same manner and reason. It sounds like they are selfishly being expected to do as far as a horse can make these maneuvers. I say close the damn racetrack down and have the Humane Society and the racing commission find out what is the cause of the similarities in injuries.

  13. It is and has always been about the money. The cost to raise, train and eventually race an animal is astronomical. It is only for the very rich. And, for owners, it is their hobby, not their livelihood The return, if at all, is minimal compared to the investment and so the motivation has become financial, and at any risk to the animal, because insurance will cover the price of the dead horse . Horses are pushed beyond physical ability and capability and limits at a very young age. They are not given the time to mature and grow as they should. If injured they are not given appropriate recovery time. They are Injected with synthetic drugs to accelerate healing and cover physical flaws and ailments. And so the animal breaks down. And when they can no longer run they end up in rescues, if they’re lucky.
    Next time you go to the track, think about that. How would you like to run at three years old with 100 pounds strapped to your back, having your ass whipped in 100 degree heat.?

  14. They have to start way too young.
    They cannot grow up and live on pastures what strengthens muscle, tendon, ligaments
    Obstacles in horse racses are not save as horses run in a pulk and if distances are not fitting they get down or injured – no welfare!!!!
    A horse should not be raced befor 5 years old. This way there’s time to grow up healthy and become stronger for races.
    No more obstacles in races
    Racehordes should kept on pastures or huge paddocks between the races it strenghtens their ligsments and tendons as well muscles
    Racehorses should be awarded higher for many race km in a saint state than winning in just one race and make a lot of money
    Race tracks with death of horses has to reduce the risk and if more than 2 death in a year this track has to become forbidden.
    Horse races are a sport. In a sport the welfare of the athlete comes always first.
    In horse races the sport became unsaint andf the money is on a higher level than the athlet – this is totally wrong – life is not just about money – first – life is about living and money is coming secondary.
    This is how the world should become and the sports too – here explicit the race sport -3- day eventer shows that under the right circumstances a high level horse athlet can life a long healthy life.

  15. Well, I hope all u owners and jokes are happy! Now you all can collect your big insurance money for running these beautiful animals to their death! That’s way too many that have died! It needs to stop! Dog races too! Your all a bunch of idiots!

  16. This is too sad for words .i will never go to a horse race again! If people stopped going maybe it would send a message to the greedy owners . These beautiful horses deserve better. I don’t think God is happy about what man is doing to his animals and I’m not either😢

  17. I am a 57 year old event rider. I galloped race horses in my youth, and have trained, raised and competed horses literally for 52 years. The racing industry does in fact have its flaws-as does every industry. However, to state that ALL trainers and EVERYONE involved in it are abusers etc is uninformed and simply uneducated.
    I have a 21 year old horse who has now retired with me-sound-after a lengthy career as an eventer. When he competed he had barometric oxygen treatments, a chiropractor, acupuncture, an internist vet and a sports medicine vet. He never took a lame step in his life and never colicked. He was made to have as enjoyable life as any horse could. I can honestly say he loved his job, and when he retired became depressed. His new “job” is going for long walks under saddle 6 days a week and enjoying his life. He will die in my care, and he will die sound and happy. I know many race trainers who give their horses turn out, time off when sore and who go to great lengths to ensure that if they don’t make it to the track or aren’t successful, they end up in good show homes, or simply as a family pet for a young girl. Here in Lexington Ky we have several rescues that work with trainers and owners to ensure that these horses have a soft place to land when they don’t make it. Sheik Mohammed himself, who owns several farms here and abroad, will spend money on his “throw aways” to get them sound and happy and then donate them to a rescue or finds them homes as show horses. These are multi million dollar horses that become priceless to a young rider.
    Please do not condemn everyone who races or shows horses. We, like every other section of society- have our good and responsible members, as well as our bad apples. I know out of my friends who I grew up with, I am the only one who rode. I am also the only one who graduated, went to law school and made something of themselves. I attribute that to horses and what they have taught me. The 11 deaths at Saratoga and the 2000 equine deaths world wide are tragic, and maybe even unnecessary – but they are not the whole story.

    • No, they most certainly are NOT the “whole story”, Bridget Hofler – the whole story includes the countless low-level claimers who run with nagging injuries, who stand in urine-soaked stalls for hours and hours, who are passed from barn to barn and trainer to trainer as they drop down the claiming system, who endure intra-articular corticosteroid injections into failing joints, who WILL – as nearly 100% of all racehorses will – find themselves no longer wanted by their racing connections before they even reach an equine’s prime age…and if they could, PRAYING their racing owner can find a loving, forever home or a rescue that isn’t over-loaded and under-funded…because it IS inevitable that nearly every single racehorse (and I’m being generous to racing by saying “nearly”) WLL find themselves without a home. And the majority? – with some soundness issue.

      I don’t care what horses have brought to your life or to my own, for that matter – not if they endured what was cruel or unnecessary in the process. And horse racing IS unnecessary – it holds an incredibly increased risk of injury and death for the horses that never gave consent for their bodies and very lives to be used for entertainment purposes…nor for those who make their living off their labors.

      They are amazing, amazing beings…even after nearly three decades of sharing my heart and home with my own equine family members – including ex-racehorses – I never tire of just observing them and being in their presence. To acknowledge what an unnecessary gambling industry does to so many who are damaged, crippled, killed and slaughtered – all in the name of sport – literally brings me to my knees on too many days.

      It. Is. Animal. Abuse.

    • Bill – what are you talking about?? Pass pre- race soundness inspections and drug tests??? I’ve raced at 4 tracks in 3 states and NONE had prerace inspections and drug tests ! And horse racing is legal today and yet thousands of the race horses are STILL sent to slaughter!

      • They are not done, “Mel” – we are very aware of what’s “going on” as both SD and I (and others commenting in support of the horses here) have spent hours, days, weeks, months and years on the backside.

  18. Stop supporting these horrible events. Stop going! Eventually., they’ll be shut down if people stop paying. Think of what the animal endures and the pain it goes through.

  19. Many race horses are already suffering from former injuries that makes their legs weak and prone to further and worse injury, and these cases, resulting in non-use. The investors have the horses insured so if the horses are no longer able to “do their job,” they can be put down and they receive their “mortality” insurance payoff. There are not enough regulations because it is a big money-making industry.

  20. For everyone on here who is saying “it’s all about money” or “it’s all trainers” or any all encompassing statements like those, it’s false. Not everyone who has horses treats them poorly. Not all race track trainers start them super young, not all owners care only about money. I have very spoiled horses who live the best life. I don’t start my horses till they are 3 or 4 and then only lightly. I work as an Equine Body Worker and do massage, accupressure and osteopathy on horses. Don’t go telling me that all horse people are bad and don’t care about the welfare of their horses. Sure, some trainers are bad, but at the tracks, people know who they are in the backstretch. I worked for 3 seasons on horses there making sure that they were able to run at their best on a physiological level. Some injuries are unavoidable though and they are always tragic to everyone who knows that horse or who has worked with or on them. Implying that all people in these industries are corrupt is blatantly self-serviing.

    • Not everyone in racing is bad, but all are in it for selfish reasons (money, ego). In other words, they’re not racing horses for horses. So spare us the “not me/not mine” garbage. Horseracing, when all the impassioned rhetoric is stripped away, kills horses. Lots of them. And for nothing more than lousy $2 bets.

    • Regarding the “bad” trainers, “people know who they are” – and THEN what? What happens? Are their stalls taken? – obviously not because you just acknowledged they are there! Are they not allowed to claim your horses? – nope!

      Nothing about putting non-consenting horses at an increased risk of injury and death for betting entertainment is justifiable. Not one thing.

  21. All for the sake of entertainment & financial gain at the expense of these animals. Why can’t they do what is right, have a conscience to make sure the animal is mature & ready to perform. If they must do it, do it right! I am just against any form of animal abuse, and prefer to not participate.

  22. Deanna Jerge
    Our wild horses are being murdered and butchered. Our race horses are killed by drugs and the young ones are run into the ground. We must stop this crazy destruction before our most precious of icons – the horse is no longer on this earth.

  23. I Agree any horses dying is awful, however instead of banning the sport why don’t we try to make it better Don’ t allow them to race until they Are older, breed them strongerlegged not so skinny so they fracture easit! I owned a horse and she was taken care of. better then I was . I lost lots of money but I loved that horse and she was pampered as many of them are! If we get rid of another of horses jobs we are making.them obsolete , then what , extinction or dinner no thanks! They love to run it’s part of their nature.

  24. They race them at too young an age. Bones are not strong enough for the work effort. Leave them till they are 4 before racing.

  25. It is not about how well they are looked after, hell Greyhounds are also until they can’t win, but how those horses are bred.

  26. STUPID SPORT!!! THEY START THE HORSES TOO DAMNED YOUNG!!! THEY SHOULD WAIT TILL THEY’RE FOUR BEFORE EVEN PUTTING A RIDER ON THEM.

    • Charlotte, I have heard, ad nauseum, over the years that the TB is bred to run/race. The vast majority of the time, the TB is PURPOSEFULLY bred to generate revenue for the horse’s owner. To say it succinctly….the TB is bred to produce revenue. The horse is, therefore, a revenue generator (hopefully). If the horse can’t produce enough revenue/money, it is discarded, just like a stock is eliminated from one’s portfolio. I realize this is a very simplistic explanation, but that is racing’s business model.

      Yes, horses need to have time to grow and mature before they are put into a high stress situation where they are required to run at top speeds. However, that will NEVER happen in racing. Remember…the horse exists to produce revenue and a horse standing in a stall, or grazing in a field with the herd, is NOT producing revenue. In fact, that horse is consuming revenue and that does not fit well into racing’s business model. The goal, in most cases, is to get the horse into the starting gate because, unless the horse races, there is no hope of “hitting the board.”

      Racing’s business model is one that is followed by every single company in existence. Remember….racing is a business to most of those immersed in this corrupt, and sinister, industry. Even Ms. Maggi Moss has publicly stated that racing is a business to her and the horses in her racing portfolio need to make money (win) or she unloads them. Companies must make money or they simply go belly up. If a product in the company’s portfolio doesn’t produce the required revenue, the company “sells” or “unloads” the product just as horses are “sold” or “unloaded” in racing via claiming races. Now, I have no trouble selling a stock or mutual fund in my investment portfolio that isn’t performing up to my expectations but horses, or any animal for that matter, are living, breathing sentient beings. They aren’t “products” to be bartered like a bar of soap or tube of toothpaste, at least in my eyes. Horses have been a part of my life for well over 50 years and I would rather stick needles in my eyes than to let one end up in a bad situation. Mine aren’t revenue generators. They are revenue consumers and I will do everything in my power to provide them with a good home. Unfortunately, most people don’t feel that way.

      • Very good analogy Mary.
        There are so many horses that we could list here that were DUMPED by their connections, but it would fill a book.
        That said, out of all the horrific situations I have experienced, and seen there is no other better example to support this comment then DR DRIP – a multiple stakes winner of 62 races!!
        Ran his ass-off for his owners, and when he could no longer bring in the bucks for them, when his feed/operating expenses began to exceed his revenue – DUMPED into the claiming ranks, up for sale.
        Heartless bastards like they all are.
        If this is isn’t worse enough, when he didn’t “sell” on the track they brought him back home in their paddock.
        In less than 3 months he was DUMPED like most.
        NOBODY not ONE PERSON who made money off of Dr Drip checked up on his well being for almost 3 years.
        He ended up with a monster, and the pics are such egregious acts of inhumane treatment on a racehorse I can’t bear to look at the pics – I do, but I just can’t stand it.
        However, it’s important to note that the connections of Dr Drip, Anthony AREY, was the sole person responsible for Dr Drip’s decline, then the jockey, then the others, but the owners, and even the breeder never looked back, never checked-up on his well-being.
        This is COMMON and TYPICAL racetrack operating procedure.
        They had no trouble finding their way into the winners circle to collect their big fat check, but Dr Drip was anything, but fat when they found him.
        Covered in maggots eating him alive, battery acid poured on him, entire gaps of unhealed saddle sores, and as recent as 2 days before the seizure this skeleton of a horse was ridden!!
        Like a commodity that no longer makes money – DUMPED.
        In closing, the rescue that took care of Dr Drip in his final hours supposedly never received ONE DIME or very little from the people who “care” and “love” racehorses.
        Like most racehorse rescues it was people who had NOTHING to do with the exploitation that stepped up with $20 or more to provide feed for this fallen hero – another victim of this despicable business.

      • Very good point, Gina. I feel like I’m the one who is usually checking in on the horses I’ve helped rehome. I very rarely hear (in fact – iirc, twice out of approximately 25 horses I’ve helped rehome ) from former owners/trainers to see how their horses are doing nowadays. They washed their hands of the ones that aren’t productive anymore and they walked away from them. So much love for their horses?

  27. Youre protesting the wrong people. Breeders who use surgury to straighten legs caused tgese injuries. But TRAINERS dont want injuries. I think you need to direct the protests to people who breed tge horses incorrectly and surgically alter them

    • Coursesforhorses, perhaps you could focus your efforts and protests towards the breeders. I agree with you that breeders are in this industry with the hope of reaping financial rewards down the road. However, with that being said, the bettors keep this industry limping along. It is imperative that we “target” that group with the intention of educating them about the horrors of this industry….an industry that maims, and kills, daily.

  28. 8/11/17 race #1. Horse #3 Sweetneida throws rider – live video stops – instant replay is not available. Seems to be the case as cited here in another race. NYRA – no video replay as of 1:20. Post time was 1pm

  29. Ban horse racing. It is for gamblers anyway. Let them find something else to waist money on. Horses are beautiful creatures to graze in fields, not to race to their death. People suck.

  30. horse racing has been going on for years. so now why all of a sudden. is there this big deal about it. in other countrys they eat horse meat. and life goes on. these are the same people that say oh that farmer is no good he raises his own beef and pork to eat and that is not right . people wake up God put these animals on earth for a reason. and some of the reason is so we can live. I know many of race horse owners and they are very upset when something like this happens to one of their horses so. please before you start running your mouths about people get your facts straight. because I bet most of you are city people that no nothing about country living.

    • What has “….country living” got to do with recognizing the cruelty that is racing ?
      Just because something that is fundamentally wrong has being going on for years is in no way an excuse for it to continue.
      Think about what you are saying.

      P.S. I live in the country with my horses now. But when I lived in the city I still knew racing was very wrong.

    • Religion should NEVER justify pain, suffering, and cruelty to any living being – period.
      Furthermore, we don’t need to eat animals to live.
      In fact, we need animals in order to survive.
      For example, bees are the pollinators and without them we would not have any food.
      2000 racehorses DYING IN THE DIRT per year – FACT.
      So you need to get your facts straight Loretta, and in the meantime stick your head in some manure maybe that will help generate some rational thought.

  31. American horse racing is a sham, but the footing at this track has to be the culprit as well. Shame on them,
    it is fixable but expensive.

    I will not watch horse racing ever.

    • Abby, if fixing the track surface was the magic solution then racehorses would have stopped dying years ago.
      Fixing the track is a “go to” excuse for this industry, and it has never nor will it ever stop the dying.
      Dying is inherent in horse racing, and the increase of deaths are mainly attributable to the liberal use of doping cocktails which are necessary to keep sore/painful horses with chronic conditions running in order to increase wagering profits.
      When the drugs are starting to wear off in the stretch then the whipping/beating ensues to keep them going.
      It’s a despicable display of animal cruelty that must go, and it will go.

  32. Why don’t we start racing the owners, trainers, and jockeys in the same way horses are raced. Bet there’d be some complaining then.

  33. I hope some major changes will be made for the safety of these horses. There is something wrong going on here. It is quite obvious. It’s all about money and these poor horses are suffering the consequences!

      • Patrick,
        Shutting down racing is not realistic. It won’t happen, due the millions at stake and the powerful interests aligned against. Sure, one can las out in anger at horse deaths now and again, but to what end? Let’s be realistic. Direct people’s energy and fury towards tougher regulation of the industry and changing the breeding standards and rules! Legislation can be drafted to save horses lives. You know that’s true. People will get behind you. I understand your anger and angst, I’m there with you but, we have to be real. Channel it productively my friend!

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