The Big Lie

If horseracing is a sport, then that word must be redefined, for the competitive racing of horses resembles no other accepted sport on the planet:

In what other sport are the bodies of adolescent athletes pounded into the ground?

In what other sport are the athletes typically kept confined/isolated 23 hours a day?

In what other sport are the athletes condemned to a life as (literal) chattel?

In what other sport are the athletes drugged and doped without consent?

In what other sport are the athletes whipped for motivation?

In what other sport are the athletes regularly dying on the playing field?

In what other sport are most of the retired brutally slaughtered for their meat?

Horseracing a sport? If not for the gravity involved, it would be absurd. No, horseracing is but exploitation of a weaker species for the most shameful of reasons – $2 bets. To those who sustain this sordid business, we say: Slake those gambling urges with decidedly inanimate slots and scratch-offs; leave the horses out of it. To those who trade in equines in the pursuit of cash and fleeting glory, we say: Find a commodity that doesn’t bleed; take up a hobby that can’t cry out in pain. Enough.

– Patrick Battuello

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  1. This is agenda-driven rhetoric from a likely card-carrying member of PETA. Why not focus your attention on the treatment of beef cattle, chickens, etc? Many, many racehorses are well-cared for – even in retirement. Focus groups and legislative acts have taken root in recent years to prevent, or at least make it far more difficult for horse slaughter to continue.

    • Yeah, their agenda is to help animals that cannot speak for themselves. Animals that are regularly injured, killed, exploited and disposed of for profit. The focus is on racehorses because they care about horses. It has nothing to do with other farm animals. Check out horse auction listings and see how many thoroughbreds go to slaughter every single day. Horse slaughter is very legal in Mexico and Canada and that’s where American horses are shipped to be killed. They have minimum, if any regulations about the way horses are killed. 19% of horses that go to slaughter are thoroughbreds. According to the USDA, 70% of the annual thoroughbred foal crop died at slaughter in the U.S. Source: This is a very serious issue.

    • We thought it would end slaughter of horses for meat to outlaw packing plants in the US – but it just enriched the Mexican and Canadian economies, at the expense of the horses, as they are trucked thousands of miles nonstop for days in crowded cattle trucks to Mexico for inhumane slaughter under conditions I can’t even imagine. I do not know how things are in Canada.
      At least here in the US the USDA oversaw the packing plants. I would rather euthanize them than send them to slaughter or watch them starve. How can man be so cruel ?

      • I don’t agree with many of the other comments in this website, but I think this one is spot on. With the best of intentions of stopping horse slaughter, the outcome has become much, much worse. The transportation and treatment of horses (and other animals) going to slaughter is abhorrent. I am not a fan, but at least in the US it can be managed to be more humane. It is a tough era for horses, and it has been for quite a while as we continue to develop grazing land for commercial purposes leaving the cost of the care of horses ever increasing. I see this every single day in Lexington, KY.

        I am not a bettor, but I am a fan of racing and of horses in general. I believe we are best served by assuring that these animals – like all others – are treated fairly and humanely. One has to accept the fact that horses will break down – whether racing or running around in the pasture scuffling with each other…it is an inescapable part of horse ownership. A fellow horseman once said “put a horse in a styrofoam room, and it will find a way to get a cut”. That is so true. Every day I care and worry about the safety of my horses. Are there trainers and owners who need to be kicked out of horse racing? Absolutely! Then let’s work on this, and continue to work on safe surfaces and guidelines and continue to improve regulation of pharmaceuticals administered to horses. But by the standards of this website, if we eliminate racing, then we should eliminate eventing, then we should eliminate riding all together because it is cruel or training is cruel…leaving horsse only to serve as pasture ornaments – and quite expensive ones – and we will soon see a lot more horses going to slaughter.

    • Brandon Quick : Your ignorant comment is like hearing “Blah. Blah. Blah.” You have no clue what these horses go through, physically or emotionally.

    • You most likely have an interest in this industry to conflate chickens and beef cattle in with the “sport” of abusing horses. Obviously, all animals’ lives should be free of confinement, pain and abuse. You may include humans in this scenario. But it doesn’t mean nothing should be done for horses whose short lives are filled with cruelty. Even the very best racehorses’ lives have ended horrifically or are neglected, because they no longer bring in $$$. It’s because of greed, and you know it.

  2. Hardly rhetoric Brandon Quick. Over 30,000 TBs go to slaughter in Mexico and Canada every year. Would you be surprised to know that Leonard Blach, owner of Mine That Bird, KEntucky Derby winner, was, and probably still is, involved in trying to open a horse slaughter plant, in Roswell NM in 2013? It is located about a five minute walk down a dead end road behind Blachs barns.

  3. Is it possible to make the human race respect animals? Watch these 2 year olds before their career even begins. I wonder if the people survived. There should be a law against this for sure! It’s something we all have to answer to ask ourselves, “Did we say anything to oppose mistreatment?”. Even a facebook post?
    I want to have a horse someday. It will be loved. Thumbs up to those who love or have a race horse that is cared for properly, and lives a happy full life. To hell with the rest of these thuggy people who have no heart.

  4. You are one of my greatest heroes for your advocacy of our fine four-footed friends who are victims of the racing industry. I frequently see my own horses racing each other for the fun of it so we know that racing is one of the horse’s natural instincts. The major point that we’re all missing is the REASON so many race horses break down, while the mustangs survive while running over rugged terrain. Science has proven that horse shoes are destructive to horses’ hooves! Within an hour of nailing shoes to the bottom of their living organs, horses lose up to 50% of the circulation in their feet! Combine that with the concussion of their weight hitting the metal (even on fluffy racetracks), along with the lack of elasticity and shock absorption and it’s no wonder that they suffer spiral fractures, ligament, tendon and muscular damage. Please help focus the attention to the devastating handicap we enforce upon these creatures = shoes.

  5. I feel bad on betting on harness racing ive only betted once :/ Do you have statistics on harness racing?

      • Hey patrick, since you seem to be the father of all knowledge and you seem to know everything there is about horses, and you want to abolish horseracing, what would you like to do with the 100,000 plus thoroughbreds and standard breds in the U.S? Do you want to just kill them all or turn them all loose? Do you want to tell Kentucky to stop breeding thoroughbreds? Good luck with that! Let me know how that works for you!! What would you like to do with the thousands and thousands of workers and jobs and farms in the U,S alone? This is a billion dollar a year industry…your opinion isn’t going to change that!!

      • So to your point Mr Morton. The slave trade also employed a great number of people, not just the slaves. Just keeping the lines of trade open involved lots of people in port cities and stations along the way – Kinda rude that Lincoln put all of those people out of work, wasn’t it ? As for all the money horse racing makes, PLEASE! New York state tax payers were subsidizing OTB.

  6. Greyhound racing can be just as bad. As a dedicated Greyhound advocate, I take every opportunity to speak up for horses as well. Running doesn’t hurt these animals. The industry does. My hope is that every person who cares about Greyhounds will spare a thought, a word, and a donation to the cause of racing horses, and vice versa.

  7. I was a race tracker, trainer, exercise rider, groom, stable owner. The industry is hard on horses and hard on those who choose to work with horses. I saw terrible things, I saw death of horses and people, injuries, drugs, cruelty, abuse, screaming, yelling, swearing. I never bet on the horses, just did my job, got paid and moved on to better employment. I still own horses, I think of the terrible horsemanship I witnessed, and I try to always be a kind and caring owner.

    • Dear Bev, They must have chewed you up and spit you out, because good people don’t survive in this game.I do hope you still love the horses but not in the capacity where you had to see all the bad stuff.Hope you doing something you love that you can live with.My dad always told since I was ten years old horseracing is a dirty game.At ten years old growing up in East New York,Brooklyn,I had no idea what he was talking about.All these years later I learned the hard way,he was right,horse racing is a dirty game. DEDICATED

  8. Horse and dog racing must be illegal. Humans can race and do whatever they wish to call it a sport. The animals are not give a choice the list of accidents, atrocities are endless. Tons of foals bred for racing go to slaughter, tons of horses once raced go to slaughter. Its all beyond animal abuse, its revolting and barbaric. There is so much evidence, the people just want to do this for greed and their own egos, it is never about what the animal wants or is best for the animal NEVER

    • Jenny – not all all.
      The majority of rules are passed NOT to protect the racehorse, but to protect the BILLIONS in wagering profit.
      In fact, the main motivation for “jail time” was to keep the horse in the racing jurisdiction after claimed so that races could be filled.
      They don’t want a bunch of racehorses leaving a racing jurisdiction in the middle of a meet.
      So it has nothing to do with protecting the horses as I mentioned.
      Another example are the whipping rules.
      Many people don’t know that a jockey is actually FINED for not hitting the horse enough.
      In the rules, they refer to it as “urging.”
      If a jockey feels a horse has nothing left to give, and doesn’t continue whipping/beating it in the stretch (s)he is actually fined!!!
      Now if this isn’t a reflection on what this industry is about then I don’t know what is.
      In fact, when they have tried to minimize the number of times a horse can be whipped in the stretch the pro-horse racing people fought this hard, and it wasn’t just the jockeys.
      It’s an entire system of abuse, legitimized animal cruelty, whereby the horses are exploited, maimed, dumped, and/or killed for the most part.

  9. Seems one area that can be dealt with is the attachment of the shoes to the 🐴 hoofs. Why not use adhesive less invasive on the horse. Then work on track conditions. Horse racing is in the history of man . You should seek solutions not just the problems. The insurance companies share a part of the problem here.

    • There is only ONE solution Robert, and that’s to shut this entire cruelty circus down.
      No compromises, horse racing WILL go it’s just a matter of time.

  10. I just moved here from Long Island.I am sickened that millions is spent on the performance of these horses,who are endlessly taken BEYOND what they can take physically and mentally NO matter what the she.
    I have been around horses.I have rode,trained…
    This Carnage must stop.There must be laws for the Owners to be responsible for uncalled for euthanization Money…..
    Where are all these farms?Advocates for taking these young horses like Traveling Soldier.I know we both cried.He and I .
    Please alert me what the hell is going on and on….
    Thank You

  11. Today at Arlington park 9/7/2017 in race #6 Just zip it died 5 feet after the finish line. I took a couple of pictures as he looked to have a heart attack. The jockey Nicholas Meza was carted off on a stretcher.

  12. Horse racing should be banned across America before more horse deaths prove it is not a sport. It is a greedy business and the emphasis is far from the concern for the lives of the horses.

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