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‘American Horror Story’ Star Appalled by Belmont’s Body Count

Written by Alisa Mullins | June 4, 2013

Star Lillie. Lady Legion. Baltimore Jack. Those are just three of the 35 horses who have died at the Belmont Park racetrack since the running of last year’s Belmont Stakes—the last leg of the Triple Crown

Academy Award nominee James Cromwell wants attendees of this year’s Belmont Stakes to know those horses’ names and to know that their lives were taken for a few moments’ entertainment and a few dollars at the betting window. He has written a letter on PETA’s behalf to Belmont Park officials asking them to list all 35 horses who died at the track during the past year on a special commemorative page in the Belmont Stakes program.

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“Horseracing is the only sport in America with a regular, predictable death toll, and New York has been heavily criticized recently for the staggering number of breakdowns and deaths on its tracks,” James wrote in his letter to Belmont Park. “[H]undreds of horses have suffered catastrophic breakdowns at Belmont in recent years—and dozens in the last year alone. When their bodies are hauled away, they seem to be considered no more than collateral damage, discarded and forgotten by the racing industry.”

This isn’t the first time that James has advocated for horses. In 2011, he asked the racing industry to implement PETA’s Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Retirement Fund in an effort to prevent “retired” horses from being sent to slaughter. Less than a year later, the industry did adopt a plan based on our proposal.

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Hopefully, officials will listen this time, too. An average of more than three horses break down on tracks across the country every single day—enough horses die every year to wipe out an entire Major League Baseball roster. PETA is calling on the industry to implement basic improvements to make tracks safer for horses, including banning horses younger than 3 from races (younger horses’ bones haven’t fully developed yet), limiting the number of races each horse can run, and banning whipping and injury-masking drugs. In the meantime, you can help by not watching races and not betting.

Karma Shield. Whistleblower. Join Forces. It’s almost as if the horses who died at Belmont are begging for justice from beyond the grave.

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  • Nan Newall says:

    Animals are living, intelligent, beings with feelings and emotions just like us. Using them for human entertainment is a form of slavery. The abuse of animals, including horses, needs to stop and we need to enter the 21st century.

  • Mike Deleppo says:

    These horse owners make thousands and often millions on these magnificent animals. Have they ever thought of putting money aside so they they may retire in dignity and grace, instead of being crated, abused and killed. It seems as though the actions of many of the owners border on animal cruelty….. I take that back it IS animal cruelty. You should all be stripped of your ability to “own” these beautiful animals.

  • lisa says:

    People get their kicks out of going to these races and hoping they going to win loads of money ut not once do they have a thought aout the horse and if it falls and dies they move on to the next just the same as dog racing. Britain is just as bad as America few months ago an owner was prosecuted for having about 10 horses drugged in Newmarket his reaaction was he didnt know anything about it. If the pulic continue to bet animals will keep suffering.

  • maria ruello says:

    I FEEL THAT THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS ARE USED FOR GREED AND PROFIT ONLY. THE PEOPLE THAT MISTREAT THESE HORSES SHOULD REALLY THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING. THEY SHOULD STOP ABUSING THESE HORSES AND HAVE A HEART.

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