California Board Claims (With Straight Faces) That California Racehorses Don’t Go to Slaughter

At the April California Horse Racing Board meeting, the vice-chair, Madeline Auerbach, was rude and condescending, suggesting activists take up children’s causes instead. Oh, and she also said this: “Our horses do not go to slaughter.”

As I wrote at the time, she is either unforgivably ignorant or a cynical liar. Well, Ms. Auerbach has doubled down. Yesterday, at the May meeting (audio here, May 23, Segment B, beginning around 35:00 mark), Auerbach said the following in response to an activist’s presentation of slaughter facts:

“Had you paid attention to anything I said, but you weren’t paying attention, maybe you will now. I spoke about California, I spoke about our Thoroughbreds, and I spoke about what we do if we ever find out that anybody has shipped a horse, one of our Thoroughbreds to slaughter, and that is banning them from the sport.

I know you think I’m powerful, but if you think I can control what goes on in the rest of this country and be responsible for it, I can’t. The only thing that I am able to do is to make sure that in California we take not only care of our Thoroughbreds, keep them away from any harm, but ban people who would cause harm to them, that’s why we are the only state that has a program that when these horses retire we have a way to take care of them, make sure they go to good homes. We do not, we will not, allow slaughter for our Thoroughbreds in California…”

Board chair the Honorable Chuck Winner (really, that’s his title) chimed in:

“You can stand up here and talk about all the numbers and do everything that you want with respect to slaughter, but I don’t think you know the facts about California and what we do for aftercare. …We absolutely prohibit it, we don’t want it, we will not allow it to happen, period.”

That’s right, “all [those] numbers” apply everywhere except California. Look, juxtapose the Auerbach statement “we take care of our Thoroughbreds, keep them away from harm, [and] ban people that cause harm to them” with this fact direct from the CHRB itself: over 5,000 dead racehorses at California tracks since 1998. And now, re-read their risible statements on slaughter. They deceive because they have to: Their product kills horses inherently and extensively.

When you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. When you have the truth on your side, pound the truth. When you have moral progress on your side, pound moral progress. When you have none of those, pound the table and distract like hell. Mr. Winner, Ms. Auerbach – your old road is rapidly agin’…the times they are a-changin’.

26 Comments

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  1. I pray for all race horses to get the care they deserve during their racing years and retirement years. I’ve seen articles and pictures of horses being hoisted in the air, in terror, being put on ships going to slaughter. Thank God for all the people who dedicate their lives to rescuing discarded horses, they are magnificent animals, who are part of America’s history, and deserve the best treatment. I know if those rescuers had gotten to Dr. Drip sooner he probably could have been saved, at least he isn’t in pain anymore!

    • Totally agree,they lie! And yes they do have the power to change other states if they are doin qhat thst say then they can be an example and make other follow. Speak up for the animal. And frankly children and animals are the ONLY things I try and help. They are the innocent. This woman has no compassion while leads me to believe she is not telling the truth. Sick individuals. She must be making alot of mony. Greed is what it is all about. No respect for the beautiful animal that the are abusing. Disgusting.

  2. The entire CHRB board condones, supports, and/or participants in the massive pain, suffering, dumping, exploitation and dying of racehorses.
    They are all disgusting liars and their little delusional bubble is pathetic.
    When you have people like this spewing lies than you know damn well that nothing will change.
    Racehorses will continue to die and that’s why they need to shut down this public butcher show.
    In light of what they said they will have more facts coming their way.

  3. They dare to say this after a California Thoroughbred Breeders of the Year Farm had 25 of their YEARLINGS found at a kill pen, that they knowingly dumped there?! The only reason they even took the horses back was because they were outed on social media and shamed. They then said they would “turn them out” on another farm they own, which means they are probably gone by some other means to a bad end. And 1 was gone from the original group they dumped, to a fate unknown. Apologists praised them for “rescuing” their horses back. How delusional is that. Because they weren’t the ones that sent them away to that fate in the first place?!

  4. The horse racing community could not CARE LESS about these horses except for the fame and money they bring . . They are lying if they say they care for them – when they are no longer useful they ARE shipped TO A CRUEL, hideous death probably to Mexico.

  5. Of course they would lie. It racing is a very lucrative business. I am sure it must be totally embarrassing for them to acknowledge something so dark and cruel. But racehorses have identifiable tattoos and markings. And there is always a way thevslaughter and screams of dying horses for a sickness like racing can be justified

  6. How DARE they lie — aren’t they held to a higher standard? — a standard of responsibility and accountability? – aren’t they supposed to CARE! — WHO placed them on the Board? — HOW did they get there! — WHO PROTECTS the HORSES — WHO! — there is NO horse-racing Industry without Horses — HOW could they betray them — and send them on a path of brutality & horror! — I say this : SHUT DOWN THIS HORRIFIC, DEPRAVEDLY INDIFFERENT and UNCONSCIONABLY CRUEL INDUSTRY — ONCE and FOR ALL.

  7. You’re a stupid bitch. Of course the horses that you torture, drug, and beat are murdered, with your knowledge and consent, when you’re done abusing them for entertainment. You should be treated to their fate, immediately.

  8. Hey, Patrick (and fellow HRW loyalists),
    Please pay attention what happens to Kochees, a 9-year old gelding who was vanned off at good old Santa Anita this afternoon. Because the whole industry, and Santa Anita in particular, has been under the microscope for its sickening breakdowns of late, his owners are allegedly trying to save poor Kochees, and have elected to have surgery performed on him tomorrow (Sunday). I suspect that the current, intense media coverage at SA is the only reason this horse has a fighting chance. Track officials probably don’t want to have to acknowledge a THIRD death in NINE days, though this sesamoid fracture is an admitted career-ending injury for Kochees.
    Time will tell whether they follow through on efforts to save him, acknowledge yet another death, or, worse, attempt to deny, deflect, and distract from their latest horror.
    Thank you for all you do to rid us of this carnage-laden “sport.”

    • According to racing mouthpiece Margaret Ransom on Twitter, Kochees is going to undergo surgery and Santa Anita is paying for it.

      Last night a friend and I were discussing this poor gelding and his breakdown – again, Twitter exposed his breakdown as “bad” per the racing fans who saw it – and we actually said that Kochees’ owner will probably be pressed to have the gelding undergo surgery by those in “authority” at SA. But never did we imagine that they would be so desperate to avoid another kill that they would pay for it.

      Think Santa Anita is going to provide surgery funds for every racehorse that suffers injuries on their track? – that would drive another nail in their coffin, wouldn’t it.

      • Thanks, Joy. Interesting, and, dare I say, hopeful?
        They were so self-congratulatory at SA, vocalizing their “gold standard” of safety reforms and how it helped them go six weeks without a single fatality. Then, their luck ran out again, as it always will. Glad you’re keeping on top of this, too, as we all know what REALLY becomes of broken-down, barely-middle-aged claimer geldings in this brutal business.

    • Me, too! But like Joy stated, above: They are desperate at Santa Anita right now. Finally, the world is watching.

  9. I have personally SEEN these horses at auction! Cow Town, Mikes, etc. I have donated money to help save TATTOOED OTTB raced horses from slaughter IN CALIFORNIA. This slag is an ignorant killer of OTTB by proxy due to her stupidity. Does she think we are also stupid? OTTB losers are dumped with KB QUIETLY and STRAIGHT SHIPPED TO SLAUGHTER IN MEXICO. THIS IS A FACT!!!!! Ive been boots on the ground in the shit the snot the sickness and death and the fear and TERROR all these horses experience. Not just TB but all breeds dumped at auction and in kill pens.. This wretched slag needs to get up off her ass and do some research. Its well documented what happens even in California!!!!

    • Thank you, Julie, for all you do – there’s no words to describe the confusion and fear of horses in killpens and in the loose-horse pens at notorious auctions.

      Auerbach knows – she knows – she’s a liar. She knows Caroline Betts and her former SCTR…and that Betts rescued TB racehorses from the CA auctions.

    • I was on the CHRB as an Associate Steward.
      I can tell you that these people on the board are all pro-horse racing entities (as I was when I got the job) in some form of racehorse exploitation such as breeder, owner, trainer and enforcement.
      They will go to no lengths, including lying, to keep the exploitation going – end of story.
      They have been operating under total impunity for years as their delusional statements reflect.
      They have been dictating to our politicians for years including massive tax breaks and financial welfare in some form or another.
      Of course the voiceless racehorses are the biggest losers in this entire fiasco.
      They will be shut down.
      It’s a matter of time.
      When that happens I want an official vigil for all racehorses who have died on California tracks or any track for that matter.

  10. It’s a horrific business and like all horrific business, the lies just keep on coming. With social media and a hot spotlight on racetrack wrongdoing, it is simply incredulous that any official is stupid enough to believe that these lies are not able to be fully discredited.

    On the other hand, there is plenty of stupid to go around: The vapid idiots carousing at the track parties for races like The Preakness and other places are brain-dead and clueless about all the bad stuff that happens to these horses. They couldn’t care less about the horses. I will boycott any entertainer that has the bad taste to perform at racetrack venues. Let’s ALL get behind this, it worked for shaming SeaWorld and what they are doing to the whales and dolphins.

  11. I want to thank all of you who are working to actively protect these beautiful and sentient beings. They feel and sense just as we do. May we start protecting them as we protect ourselves.

  12. You say you don’t allow or tolerate any harm to come to those horses, yet they are allowed to race pumped up with all kinds of drugs to disguise or deaden the pain of their injuries inflicted by the very people you seem to represent. While you can’t control what goes on outside of California, you don’t seem to be able to control what’s going on inside the border either. Pick a track anywhere in California and have the horses xrayed and drug tested unannounced, and you will be singing a totally different song. Racing is a disgrace, and not you or any other individual can convince compassionate people otherwise. No animal races are or will ever be harm free. How about you people donning a saddle and running a mile in the horses shoes? It would surely change your perspective. I cannot believe you are that naive or obtuse to believe your own words. Truly disturbing.

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