A Plea To Bettors

To those who wager on horseracing, we implore you to reconsider. And ultimately, you hold all the cards – no more bets, no more races; no more races, no more kills. And – no more abusing unformed bodies; no more extreme, relentless confinement; no more whipping; no more drugging and doping; no more buying and selling and trading and dumping. No more auctions, no more kill-buyers, no more transport trucks, no more abattoirs. No more maiming, destroying; pain, suffering. No more.


In a landscape that abounds with other gambling options – casinos, lotteries, real sports involving autonomous human beings – hasn’t the time at long last arrived to let the racing horse be? You, the bettor, have within the capacity for mercy. We ask only that you exercise it. Please. For the horses.

– Patrick Battuello


Leave a Comment

  1. Copied and pasted for your consideration, from a vegetarian for 30+ years: “Among mammals 41,700,000 cows and calves were killed for food in 2000, as well as 115,200,000 pigs and 4,300,000 sheep, for a total of 161,200,000. These stats are also expected to continue to rise. Thus, the total number of all animals killed for food in 2000 was 9.7 billion.”

    Unless you think a horse is far superior to a cow, I would suggest that the 18,000 cows slaughtered in the US each day are a far more serious problem than a sport that celebrates Nature (which includes ‘Death’, by the way) in every aspect imaginable. Is it perfect? No. Nothing is. I love horses, and animals, at the level of horse whisperers, and am as devastated by a breakdown as anyone, but I also wish that people like yourself would get off their high horse where it concerns this sport, and pick a more worthy fight. Horse racing is an ancient sport, that is not going to go anywhere. As for myself, I’d much rather invest in horses than in something as thoroughly corrupt as the stock market.

    • What if I told you people can care about horses AND cows at the same time. Your argument is so stupid. It’s like saying stop advocating for AIDS charities because people have cancer. Both are important. You know 100,000 American Horses are slaughtered every year and 19% of those are thoroughbreds. Your post is all about you, you, you. Not one mention about the welfare of the horses. You sound pretty selfish and uneducated. And you support the exploitation of horses for profit. I think you’re the one who needs to get off your “high horse.”

    • So, we keep horse racing around because it’s an old sport. I thought we were a forward moving country. Should I shoot my neighbor for stealing vegetables from my garden? Should we save expenses and hang people instead of lethal injection.
      My question to you, and only question is, do you own a horse?

      • As long as there will be horses, there will be horse racing. Not in the least because thoroughbreds love to race. As to you shooting your neighbor or your opinion on the death penalty, do whatever you want as long as you’re willing to reap what you sow.
        But don’t worry. If your imaginary forward looking world has its way there may not be much horse racing after all. Nor much life to speak of. In the unlikely case you wish to stand up against something truly evil: http://www.4thmedia.org/2015/07/fukushima-daiichi-updates-marine-environmental-ecosystem-collapse/

        Go rattle some of those cages, if you have the stomach for it; in the name of horses, sea life, and all of mankind. Meanwhile, if you don’t mind, I’ll enjoy one of the few remaining microcosms on this planet that still has an old world purity to it. The sport of kings that produced a Triple Crown winner for the first time in 37 years. The crowd roared for minutes on end, many cried tears of joy, and countless others around the country who never visited a race track were inspired.

        Does that mean that horse racing is without problems? Of course not. But those problems can be solved. And they are being solved, but gradually, because change takes time. I assure you that the solution is not, as the blog owner would have it, to ban horse racing.

    • Getting killed or injured by accident in a RTA is not the same as the abuse that goes on in sports involving animals! Racehorses aren’t ‘accidentally’ slaughtered once they reach the end of their useful lives. And by the way, humans have CHOICE – animals don’t!

      • Choose your battles wisely, or your energy will be wasted. I mentioned the 18,000 cows slaughtered each day in the US, but by all means focus on a sport where animals are treated like royalty. If you want to broaden the scope a little, look at Fukushima, where a nuclear disaster is threatening all animal life in the Pacific Ocean, or look at fracking where whole towns our poisoned by corporate fascists, and babies are born dead. Fight battles of that importance and magnitude and I’ll cheer you on all the way. But no. Let’s focus on a few horses per year. Never mind that the sport may be among the very best cooperations between man and animal the world has seen. How old are you folks? If you’re under five I’ll take it all back, and give you a pat on the back instead.

    • And racing is not corrupt !!!

      Further, these horses lead lives of unforgivable abuse BEFORE they enter the slaughter pipeline culminating in horrific and terrifying deaths.

      As an small example of what goes on for these horses: Jill’s Reflection is a 5yr. old mare now running at Charlestown in $4,000 claiming races. She will have her 63rd start on 15th of this month at 10:15 PM ! This mare had 13 starts as a 2yr. old in the space of 8
      months and logged 26 starts as a 3yr. old. She is now racing for her life at that awful track and at night to boot. How do you guess this “career” of overwork will pan out for this track warrior that will reach maturity in the next 6 months, or so if she survives How sporting is that ? And, as you well know, her story is far, far from unique in this gambling business. It is not a sport.

      • You have no idea what you’re talking about. Many of these horses are treated like royalty; better than most human beings. Is there abuse? There is abuse wherever humans show up. Should people not get married anymore for that reason? Horse racing is the sport of kings. If you don’t like it, I get it. Not a problem. Just stop the high horse nonsense. Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Bz5VVrd90o

      • Check this out: http://www.answers.com/Q/How_many_cows_are_slaughtered_per_day_in_the_US

        90,000 – 100,000 cows are slaughtered in the US each and every day.

        Weigh 365 x 100,000 cows per year against a few hundred horses per year. More than 30 million cows per year on behalf of the meat eaters, versus a few hundred horses on behalf of those who love horse racing. I hope you’re vegetarian, friend. I’ve been for more than thirty years, and a horse is as much of a friend to me as a cow. I have absolutely no problem asking a thorougbred to race, because they love to.

        If you want to get sick to your stomach of animal cruelty, solve that problem for cows or chickens first. Or for elephants in Africa. That’s why I can tell you that race horses are treated like royalty.

      • When it comes to animal exploitation/cruelty, there is no shortage of battles to be waged. Pick one and have at it (as I do here). Just don’t try to tell me this is an unworthy cause or that my time could be better spent elsewhere. And yes, “friend,” I am vegan, have been for 14 years. As to your vegetarianism, it’s a joke, for no ethical vegetarian/vegan could possibly utter the words “I have absolutely no problem asking a thorougbred to race, because they love to.” Time for you to troll somewhere else.

      • I’ve been vegetarian for over three decades. And I have absolutely no problem asking a thoroughbred to race. It’s not surprising to me that you think someone who disagrees with your pontificating soapbox stance is trolling. I’m simply disagreeing. That’s the problem with folks like you. It’s all black-and-white.

      • Just to add a picture to the numbers. That’s a big soccer stadium, filled to the brim with cows in every seat, killed every day for human consumption, and one lonely race horse among them. And you good folks focus on the one horse….

        To each their own, but it’s never a bad idea to pick one’s battles wisely.

  2. And you fail to see all that is beautiful and good about eating steak. You also fail to see the injustices presented by horseracing. If the people didn’t abuse these animals on a daily basis: whipping, stud chains, doping, drugging, and setting them up to fail from the beginning with bad genetics, then yes; horseracing has the potential to be an honest sport. However, people are not honest and are seeking the dollar, not the welfare of the animals.

    So you stand against raising cattle for food, but you stand for the manipulation and degradation of the horses’ bodies and spirits, being ruthlessly whipped across a finish line just to be euthanized on the other side.

    Tell me, where did you buy your rose colored glasses? They’re not as rosy as you think.

  3. Excellent up to date info on your site. If all wagering in the U.S. stopped tomorrow, would not that effectively put all the current racing horses as well as the yearlings of 2014 and the weanlings of 2015 at risk? Not to mention the breeding stock; stallions and brood mares as well. If there is no economic potential there would be no incentive to keep the bloodlines ongoing. The value of all U.S. thouroghbreds would plummet and as you detail on your site, horses with limited value are at risk if you eliminate horse racing you would effectively end the breed. I do not think that there would be enough resources to care for the
    estimated 250,000 to 300,000 former racing and breeding stock horses. I am not saying that this is right or wrong, I am stating what would be the most likely result of your no wagering plea. Thanks for your work it is a valuable source of info.

  4. Do you think that Secretariat and American Pharoah were miserable when racing. It was their job. They had a purpose. As far as racing goes the jockey who rode Secretariat reported that at the Belmont Secretariat was in charge of running his race, he the jockey was there for the ride. I just think that there are other animal cruelty causes you could focus on besides horse racing. I could care less about the betting anyway.

  5. Patrick, I’m praying that God gives you a thousand blessings for all the work you do to expose the crimes done to horses. Kudos along with gratitude to you, Sir!

  6. So if by some wave of a magic wand horse racing came to a complete stop overnight, what becomes of all the racehorses in America? You do realize that the majority of them would immediately be put down because of financial considerations. Same for all broodmares, weanlings, and yearlings. How that for animal cruelty?

  7. The sport of kings? Tell that to Fusiachi Pegasus. Oh, right, we can’t. His owners ate him. Tell that to my TB, Treasure’s Cameo, who raced three times as Blue Wiz, before he was retired — I rescued him with a stomach full of ulcers. He never raced for kings, and he never asked to be raced. And who would those kings be, hmmm? It took a king to afford to race horses reliably; it was never not a cruel “sport”.

    All life matters, bovine, porcine, equine, et al. But we each have the ability and right and duty as human beings to advocate for those we wish. For me, it’s horses and pigs and companion animals. That doesn’t make cattle less important, and it doesn’t make horseracing royal.

  8. Ok, the problem with the Samurai’s argument is that he’s making 2 separate ones at once. Both “horse racing isn’t cruel” and “there are better causes for your time.”

    I propose; let’s leave the first one aside. To be honest, I don’t particularly have any strong feelings about horse racing. I actually only considered most of these issues for the first time today, thought about it for the first time from seeing your site. So good on you!

    However, that leads to the second issue he mentions, and a very valid point to which I’m curious to your response. Let’s say your message reaches and convinces, or at least starts consideration in, 10 new readers per day. If you devoted your time to convincing people of the evils of eating meat, you’d save thousands and thousands of times over more animal lives, not to mention quite a few human lives. What would be your response to that?

    No dog in this fight, if you’ll pardon the expression. In all honesty I am merely a persuade writer by trade and wish he would have made his argument more wisely and left out the point that was never going to do any good.

  9. Today was the last day that I will ever step foot on a race track again. Dutchessa, a 7 year old mare, went down in the 2nd race. Why would they race a 7 year old in a claiming race? To squeeze every last little bit of money they can get out of her? Try to sell her off while they can? Her body twisted and fell to the ground. It was devastating to watch that beautiful animal die right before my very eyes. I’m so sick over it. What is happening? Why are so many horses dying? Why is there nothing in the news when this happens? This MUST stop.

  10. I don’t know how anyone could watch a horse die on a race track, needlessly, and not be changed by it. It is a horrendously sad sight.

  11. I am not sure who started the vegetarian thing and the 18,000 cows a day dying in the US. However, 18,000 cows a day is WAYYYYY!!!!! OFF. In 2015 roughly 80,000 cows and calves were killed a day. Rounding out the year to approximately 29.6 million murdered for meat. Not to mention 316,164 pigs are brutally murdered every day for a total of 115.5 million for 2015. Then there are the baby lambs and sheep at 6027 per day for a total of 2.2 million in 2015. To knock that out of the water almost 9 billion chickens were murdered in 2015 for a total of 2,465,7534 a day. That does not include non-commercial murders.
    Horses sent to slaughter in Canada and Mexico totaled 125,608 for 2015. That doesn’t include track deaths.

    However, the point here is that EVERY LIFE MATTERS. I am a vegan, because of this. The dairy industry and egg industry is disgusting. The cruelty that takes place in any of the murder houses and prior to arriving at the murder houses are worse than any nightmare you could ever dream up. Even Stephen King couldn’t touch that.
    Billions of animals are dying every year just in the US alone. That is unacceptable, one horse dying on the track is unacceptable, one animal being brutally murdered for meat is unacceptable.

    I love horses more than anything. They are my life. But you cannot love one animal and say it is okay to eat another. That is not a true animal lover. That is an obvious fact. I have seen horses die on the track. I have seen animals slaughtered. I have seen horses slaughtered. It is barbaric, no animal should ever have to go through anything like that. Not ever, not for any reason. Especially not for someone’s appetite. Saying it is okay to kill animals to eat is saying it is okay to torture, beat, butcher alive by having their limbs cut off while they scream, workers take broom sticks and stab them into pigs vaginas for fun, kicked in the face,chickens and turkeys are kicked like footballs, cows are picked up with tractors that stab into their sides when they cannot get up. They all suffer, the horses, cows, chickens, sheep, lambs, veal calves, fish, all of them suffer at a rate that I cannot even comprehend.I can still hear the screaming, the screaming will never cease in my head. We must all stand up and speak for them.

    Being a vegetarian is not enough, stopping the consumption of animal products is the only way to end the suffering. Stopping the betting at the tracks, stopping the support of any type of cruelty. Including buying a dog from a puppy mill breeder, or buying one at all. Instead of adopting. Rodeos, dog racing….bull fighting.

    I am grateful to have come across this site tonight. I just signed a petition to end horse racing in the USA. I work everyday educating people about what happens to our animals. What meat eating is doing to our planet, global warming is caused by meat production. Horses are a part of that largely because of the unnecessary over breeding. Especially from the Quarter horse industry. It is disturbing. People breed because they think they will make a buck. HA! The stud fee is just a down payment. It makes me sick, that people cannot open their eyes to see what is happening. How can they not see? Why turn a blind eye?


    Watch Cowspiracy, Earthlings, Forks over Knives, Peaceful Kingdom and Seeds of Death to name a few. Your world will change for the better. You will see it clearer than you have ever seen it before.
    To start here is a short NON GRAPHIC video clip that will startle you. It sure as heck did me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayGJ1YSfDXs

    Thanks again for this website!

    By Mary Carol McGlone

    They run like the wind with beauty uncompared
    The glory of rolling thunder beneath the hooves of despair
    They mesmerize with every movement of pure grace
    The heights of heaven flows through the ground they embrace
    They prance and they frolic through the plains with delight
    Inspiring our hearts at the awesome sight
    How great the creator of such wonder we behold
    How great is this gift of splendor He gave us to hold
    Why then are we unthankful and cold without care
    Of the wonder of God’s spirit that flows through the mare
    For how can we so unmercifully abuse and destroy
    These magnificent creatures, God’s awesome vessels of joy
    Their speed we trade for money we gamble their glory away for a dime
    And when the hooves begin to slow and the strength begin to pine
    Without mercy we end the life of the friend that God gave into our care
    Cruelly silencing the rolling thunder beneath the hooves of despair
    The pure spirit of God’s creation will in all eternity be with the giver of all life
    But I wonder the unrepentant heart who has sown for profit
    so much pain, misery, and strife
    So for money we abuse God’s precious beast
    And we are free to do so now as we please
    Truly there is a time when we shall all be made to repay
    Ponder carefully your actions and your heart before that day

  13. First, what a beautiful poem!! I am in awe. Secondly, there are so many incredibly insightful, compassionate, and fiercely intelligent comments here that I couldn’t even begin to comment on all of them. So, I think I will just say “THANK YOU” instead, from the bottom of my animal-loving heart. You all gave me so much hope, and believe me, that is no small feat most days. The one thing that keeps sticking out to me the most, especially when I read the naysayers, is this… if there is one thing I have learned in this life, it’s that when you have the TRUTH on your side, you really CAN move mountains… and I, for one, will never shut up speaking the truth for voiceless animals! Never. So, I hope they all get used to many of us being around for a long time. As for “Samurai’, rarely do I waste my breath trying to speak words anymore to deaf ears, but a thought did occur to me & I really wondered- why do we have to choose & limit what we fight for anyway?? Whether it’s 1 horse or a billion pigs. Isn’t your heart big enough to fight for ALL of them? Mine is! Maybe try reading the poem “The Starfish” sometime. (The original essay was called “The Starfish Thrower” by Loren Eiseley.) All I can possibly say to you is this: IT SURE MADE A DIFFERENCE TO THAT ONE!!!!!!!!

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