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Drugs, Whips … Who Has the Handcuffs?

Written by PETA | June 25, 2008


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The recent scandals surrounding the horseracing industry sound more like a page out of a seedy novel than practices in what is wrongly identified as a national sport. Recent events have drawn mass attention to the practices of drugging horses to mask pain and unnaturally boost performance and whipping them to compel them to run and should result in handcuffs for the morally questionable trainers and jockeys involved. And two of those people, Rick Dutrow and Jeremy Rose, have recently come under fire.

Rick Dutrow is Big Brown’s trainer, who was M.I.A. during the congressional hearings. It seems the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority found one of his horses, Salute the Count, with the highest level of clenbuterol (a bronchial dialator that also functions as a steroid) that the chief steward had seen in four years—more than twice the allowable level.

Dutrow is being suspended for a mere 15 days and will have to return the $20,000 that he made off drugging and racing Salute the Count at the race where he was tested. In his defense, he was quoted as saying that he uses this on many of his horses and has only once had a problem with it.

If that wasn’t enough, jockey Jeremy Rose was recently suspended for “engag[ing] in extreme misuse of the whip” on his horse, Appeal to the City, according to this Blood-Horse article. I was not aware that there were proper and acceptable uses for whips on animals—only on humans.

Rose has been suspended (in Delaware only) for six months and will have to pay veterinary bills for the animal, which include treatment for hemorrhaging around his eye from being whipped in the face. Even though it’s not as good as being permanently banned from contact with horses, Rose’s relatively stiff sentence—virtually unheard of in the history of horseracing—shows that outside pressure is seriously having an effect on state regulatory bodies.

However, in the absence of an overarching federal body to oversee horseracing, the suspensions of Rose and Dutrow will only be effective in Delaware and Kentucky, respectively. They can still train, mount, drug, or whip horses elsewhere.

Posted by Sean Conner

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  • Scarlet says:

    There are more regulations and standards in jumping/dressage/eventing/etc. They all have some crazy people who abuse there horses, but not nearly as many as racing. Also they are not as dangerous to the animal as racing.

  • Yasmine says:

    PETA you give out thousands of protests and complaints on horse racing… fine of course the use of the whip should be crossed out from the racetracks worldwide fine of course they should cut out this practice of putting youngsters far too early on a racetrack. Yes drugging is ABSOLUTELY wrong but you talk like it only happens in horseracing. Dressage horses too get drugged. Showjumping horses too get drugged. The only thing you truly dedicate your actions to horses is complaining and threatening horseracing. WHERE ARE YOU when insane Mustang and burro roundups take place??? WHERE WERE YOU when a Mustang mare was graviously trampled during the process of a roundup while they pushed her and the rest of her herd onto a trailer headed to Godknows where? The poor thing was almost KILLED by her own companions’ hooves that were panicked to the point of being driven wild. I RARELY see you PETA in these issues. Open your eyes to one of the REAL cruelties done to horses and other equines… like the annual roundups that take place every year under the hand of idiots like the Bureau of Land Management. You can send out a thousand protest to the racing industry for sending off an exracehorse to slaughter in Japan and yet you don’t literally say anything when over dozens of oncewild mustangs are sended off to slaughter in Canada. Answear me PETA why don’t you DEDICATE YOURSELVES MORE TO KICK THE ASSES OF THOSE WHO CALL FOR AND PERFORM MASSIVE CRAZY AND EVEN DANGEROUS ROUNDUPS OF WILD MUSTANGS AND BURROS? You can send some idiot for brutally killing a chicken to justice so then why don’t you go kick some idiots’ bots to justice for their rough and badhorsemanship ways of dealing with horses and burros just after an alreadyfrightening experience of being spooked by a flying helicopter and pushed into a claustrophobic chute. Abuse and real SEVERE abuse takes place all the time during roundups. I can tell you sooooooo much more but then YOU must know how the wild burro and Mustang means to most Americans. I RARELY see you in this issue. It’s like the fastdisappearing Mustangs and burros are the least of your problems. So go ahead go talk about horseracing go spread stereotypes that ALL racehorses’ trainers owners and jockeys are cruel moneyloving air heads… THERE ARE exceptions you can’t deny that. What about for example Take A Chance’s story? His owner and trainer could have just happily sended him off to slughter when he experienced a grave leginjury that in order to save Chance would cost thousands of dollars for a surgery. You PETA think like every racehorse’s story ends like Ferdinand’s. Chance’s trainer willfully took the chance to save the thouroughbred. And NOT because of all the money the colt won him during his career. But because he LOVED the horse affectionetly. The surgery saved Chance’s leg and life and now Chance is a happily retired racehorse let out to pasture and soon to be adopted by someone who’ll give him great care and not race him again. And speaking of your mock of the quote “They love to run”… horses are animals of the big plains if you were REAL horsepeople you would really understand why horses are said to “love to run”. You at times talk like you know everything PETA to the point that you say you know how an animal feels about something. Of course I DO think the elephants and tigers with the Ringling Bros. suffer like hell. But in the case of horseracing you can’t tell. Like Equestrian jumper gal said don’t act like you know how EVERY racehorse feels about his “job”. And anyway when rounding up all equestrain sports alltogheter horse racing would stick out as the most natural. Yes the most natural!! You go see a paddock full of mares and foals. And what the foals would generally do? Run RACE each other. Not doing some complex unnatural acrobatic figures like in dressage not jumping fences all the time like in show jumping … but playfully race each other. Adult horses show this too if you just let them loose in a paddock or better in an open field. They run. They instinctevly “compete”. It’s in their hearts even in the heart of a Shetland pony. Their great grandfathers that roamed free in open ancient planes in the past before addomestication had given it to them all. The need to run. The instinct. The love.

  • Equestrian jumper gal says:

    Dudes relax. i show horses in jumping. its basically racing caz u encourage them to go really fast to the jumps. my horse loves it its not cruel. when i turn him loose in the pasture i swear to god he jumps every log in sight. so he obviously enjoys it. I don’t go to say that every horse or animal for that matter likes their ‘job’ but if they hated that much don’t you think they would just attack the person? So racing and all that isnt really cruel unless you know fo sho that the animal doesn’t like it. which you dont so don’t act like you know how they feel. every being has their own feelings and opinions on things.

  • GRANT says:

    HEY S Q PAY ATTENTION IF U CAN to the first paragraph of my statement I”ll type it slow so u can keep up ..we’re talking about horseracing not privately owned farm horses RETARD how’s that for name calling ok..horseracing there is treatment for A.D.D you know .The differences are a million miles apart as previously mentioned! OH and the longevity of your boring misinformed diatribes don’t make you seem any more intelligent. Your views towards animal rights are screwed up as it is.So stop talking shit behind the safety of your computer and be RESPECTFUL!.

  • Steph says:

    This might be off topic here but when people say Eight Belles was injured during the race they go by the way her head was. Why hasn’t anyone watched her legs during the running. I’m pretty sure that you can she her legs moving in the stretch and I didn’t see anything.

  • Tammy says:

    These Animal are being run to death yet thousand watch. We watch them fall to their death on the track yet the standerds that horses are deem sound has not changed. why? Eight Belles death was a crime this little girls ran her self to death for humans who could haveshould have protected her. Ijuries like hers dont just happen.

  • Aileen says:

    Rose’s suspension has now been cut to 3 months allowing him to be back on the track at Delaware Park on Sept. 23. According to an article posted today on delawareonline.com “The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission today cut jockey Jeremy Rose’s suspension from six months to three months in the wake of a horse whipping incident June 23 at Delaware Park.” Not cool. What kind of example does this set???

  • S.Q. says:

    Thank you Dave But that’s horseWOMAN Lynda I can see how you want horses to live a wonderful free life and I can tell you that when I go trail riding with my horse and see wild horses together on the mountains I think it is beautiful and I wouldn’t want any human to interrupt their lives. But the fact is humans have domesticated horses for hundreds of years. It would be a shame to release all horses who have been bred to work alongside humans for so long in fact many of them wouldn’t be able to survive with at least some human care. My friend Mandy lives at a ranch and has 20 or so horses that live outside in a large pasture all year long. However they receive extra hay in the winter water blankets and a shelter. During one winter storm a mare was about to give birth and my friend took her inside the barn. The foal was premature and Mandy was able to get a vet in and give the foal vital shots and care. No doubt the foal and marewould not have survived without these. The foal has now grown into a strapping colt who is excellent with children. So you see humans don’t always have a negative impact on horses. Although some horses are abused sometimes horrifically horsemen and women have the responsibility to make sure these animals are cared for as best as they can. Many who have the resources and skills will take in an abused horse and help it recover. Some of the stories are truly amazing. Please don’t dismiss all horsehuman relationships as evil and wrong.

  • Danica says:

    S.Q Anytime! Ya I’m busy lately and I have to upload and get enough pics but ya I’ll show you the video

  • Dave says:

    S.Q. Thank you for that great response. ” They allow us to care for them because the horse is a willing and generous creature. When given proper care and love a horse will willingly give back to humans by working.” You demonstrated to me the TRUE relationship between horse and Man in a general sense People cannot understand the most incredible relationship between them. Man has relied on horse and horse has relied on man for generations. You are a horseman… Dave

  • lynda downie says:

    S.Q. I think you’re right my view is like a 6 yr old who wants all horses to be free. I guess The Black Stallion still lives wild in me.

  • Mikayla says:

    I help train horses and i have seen some instances of abuse but that doesn’t mean that horses hate to be ridden.My horse is a reiner and she loves to do her job. Even she knows when we’ve pulled off a good slide and we both relish in it. A true trainer knows that to get a horse to give its all it has to want to. You have no horse if it doesn’t truly want to run. in the case of racehorses.You also have to keep in mind that any horse can be dangerous especially stallions. If you give some breeding stallions any gray zone they could seriously hurt somebody but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great horse that can pass along amazing bloodlines and abilities. Some horses need a little bit more of a hand when you ride them. If all horses were the same. We would have 1 type of bit and 1 type of saddle and everybody could ride exactly the same but then everybody could ride. That’s part of the challenge to see what you can do with your horse and how far the teamcan go. So don’t be too quick to judge how other people ride or what they thought was right at that point and time.

  • S.Q. says:

    lynda Fight against domination? So you’re saying that when my horse greets me with a nicker every morning nuzzles me when I go up to her follows me around without a halter and trusts me when we encounter obstacles while riding is fighting against domination? You seem to be saying that all horses hate humans which is untrue. Horses are not “broken” to live life with humans. They allow us to care for them because the horse is a willing and generous creature. When given proper care and love a horse will willingly give back to humans by working. The horse you’re talking about seems to be from the Black Stallion. Not all horses are human haters that want to break free and roam the prairies. In fact I’m sure if racehorses were given the power of speech most would say that they loved their trainers and grooms and would rather stay with them than be released to live a supposed harmonious life. Your view of horses seems equivalent to that of a horse crazy six year old who thinks all horses belong in wild mustang herds. In reality horses are working animals. Those horses who are born in the wild would prefer to stay in the wild and those born into a world with humans would probably like to sleep in a clean barn with human care than in a cold hard meadow. That is just the way they have been raised and no they don’t hate it.

  • lynda downie says:

    S.Q. Horses have to be ‘broken’ to submit to a life of clean stables and good food and regimented racing. Their fight against domination reveals how highly they value their freedom. Those who truly love horses respect their dignity and right to autonomy.

  • S.Q. says:

    Hey Danica…I can’t wait to see the video. I would really like to exchange emails to talk about this in private. qshirlyahoo.ca write when you have time! And Lynda horses don’t have to run free in a sanctuary to be happy. Wake up the world isn’t happy pretty land. A racehorse does not have a thousand acres of lush land to frolick and prance in but they are well looked after they have their basic needs met and they get medical attention when they need it. They have good food and a clean stable to live in. PS Grant jockeys aren’t fat. They weigh a lot less than what you probably do. Name calling how intelligent. Go back home so your mommy can give you a spanking.

  • Jen says:

    This is referring to a horse called Unrequited a 5 year old gelding. This is a horse trained by Rick Dutrow. Unrequited was raced on Friday at Belmont to an unplaced finish. The horse was then shipped to Monmouth to run on Sunday. The horse broke down in the race that he was entered. I am not sure if he was euthanized or not. Horses should be given more rest then one day. Thank you! If anyone can find out anymore about this please post.

  • Valerie says:

    I am so pleased that the horse racing industry loaded with idiots who claim to love horses is now even more fearful of PETA. Stay after them PETA! Thoses of us who own and love our horses know deep in our hearts that the racing thugs exploit these beautiful animals for money. GO PETA! I’m donating more money to you because you have finally taken on causes near and dear to my heart race horses and carriage horses

  • lynda downie says:

    Danica why don’t you take all that enthusiasm and make a video of horses running free in a sanctuary. That would be a video worth watching. And it would back your claim to love horses.

  • danica says:

    Sidenote I plan on making a video on horseracing. To prove to you guys its not cruel.. watch it when im done ill post it

  • Danica says:

    I love you paintmare. Although calling them stupid wont help. But guys come on Jeremy would never purposly whip the horse in the eye. And by the way joanna… you seriously think the horses don’t like there jockeys? because that is a really stupid though. I was watching racing today and before the race started a joxkey kissed the horse on the neck and patted him softly. Oh ya that sounds SOOO cruel. and I saw that about sixteen times… no more like about 30 times today. Blinders… you mean blinkers? to help them run better? oh way because the horses totally hate those. They don’t even bother them! AND WHY ARE YOU TARGETING RACE HORSES FOR SLAUGHTER HOUSE!?! now i am sorry but that is just OUT OF THE LINE! do you seriously think that all the entire horses that race go to the slughter house?!? and ONLY race horses? because that is a straight out LIE. many many MANY horses die not just race horses. just little kids ponies who outgrew them go to the slughter house! got you guys know nothing about facts. LOOK UP SOMETHING BEFORE YOU SAY IT. oh and jennifer niiice. very well said. Sure there are plenty of problems with the industry but like jennifer said you’re grabbing smoke. Why don’t you guys go solve the slughter horse problem… the one where they really ARE killing the horses… And they actually DONT enjoy it.

  • Rachel says:

    This issue has gone on long enough. STOP IT. I bet you all would fall over with the information I’m about to tell you. There’s other equine sports where people abuse horses. Gag bitsnasty bits that when you pull on the rein it’ll put pressure on their head toput their head down. spurs its a TRAINING AIDE if you have a horse that won’t respond good to leg cues then its called get the spurs. My pleasure horse is a spur horse because he was born naturally lazy. Before we decided to ride him in spurs we tried a whip a gental tap to get him to go and he wouldn’t WHIP did you know? in a lot of races the jockey doesn’t hit the horse with the whip? Heshe will wave it in the horses line of vision because a horse knows what a whip is. When the jockey waves it their telling the horse “I have this and my god I’ll use it if you don’t speed up” Its true the drug situation is bad but don’t jump down all RESPONSIBLE horse owners who don’t use drugs unless their horse needs it

  • GRANT says:

    HEY JENNIFER AND PAINTMAREPAINTMARE??Anyways you don’t seem to get the picture do ya?!horse racing for betting and sport is torturous on the animal. that 1200 lb horse not only has to support it’s own weight but someone elses fat ass on those skinny legs. on top of running on that dirt on the track which ain’t soft! add in some cruel whipping action go down to a stable unzip you’re pants and flail yourself just once I dare ya to..nah didn’t think so! So like i say to my coworkers and everybody else i meet if you wouldn’t want to be tortured and sliced open alive don’t eat meat and dont abuse other forms of life.use at least some of the sense ya got

  • Pamela says:

    This jockey should perhaps just get a taste of the whip in his eye and maybe HE will pay better attention. Get rid of the whips and steroids and clean up this nasty business. I am orignally from Louisville Kentucky and have attended many Derbys. I live in California now but I have often spoken with pride about the Derby and horse racing. No more. It is shameful. The “sport of kings” is far from regal anymore.

  • Susan T says:

    Dear Joanna What a refreshingly intelligent post! Thank you!

  • Paint-Mare says:

    Get your facts straight. Rose’ whip slipped in the race and he never hit the filly on purpose to hurt her in any way. Stupid PETA.

  • Jennifer says:

    Please note that if you actually read the BloodHorse article you will see that Rose volunteered to pay the vet bills and that he immediatley notified the officials of the incident once he got off. Read his statement. Get your facts staight PETA!!! It was an accident. He is a good jockey who I have followed for years he cares about his horses. Have you even been on a race horse? Probably not!! If a 1200 lb animal is lugging towards the rail you’re going to flash your whip towards their face to get their attention and keep them form running into it saving the horses life and possibly yours. Accidents happen. End of story. There are plenty of issues with the industry but you need to lay off and focus on the REAL problems. Stop grabbing smoke.

  • R says:

    Horse racing is abusive both for the animal and the horse gambler because eventually he loses everything. Why is it that humans love sports if an animal is abused loves fur if an animal is used loves meat if an animal is butchered to put it on his plate shoes if its made of leather at the cost of a butchered cow medicine if animals have to be tortured mutulated and vivisected for the sake of saving a human life and the list goes on. What would it take to have the human race survive without the use and abuse of animals…My guess it probably would not be able to and only then would mankind find alternative ways to eat develop medicine and find sports that dont require the abuse of animals. We can hope cant we

  • joanna says:

    Horses do love to run! That doesn’t mean they love to run on demand around a track with blinders on from a starting gate and with a person they don’t like on their back! Horses like to run across open fields with their friends even human friends sometimes and with their heads held high and tails flagged behind. They sometimes hurt themselves but nature selects for the nimble and the strong making better horses with each generation. Horses love to run and its good for them. It exercises their huge lungs and hearts and builds coordiantion and feeds their free spirits. I say if you want a race then bring on a track meet for humans and let the horses run free! Nothing is more beautiful than horses running. The racing industry is abusing horses for money…that’s about it. In their own news they wrote about a successful race horse that was found in the kill yard of a sluaghter house. This horse had won prestigious races and the breeder had noted on his papers he could be retired at her farm. Still at 5 YEARS of age he was sent to die. 5 years is a just a young horse barely reaching it’s maturity. How can they say they care one whit about the horses when they send a glorious winning horse that made it’s owners over a $1M to death for no reason. Imagine the odds of surviving over five years of age for an average horse or a loosing horse.

  • Heather Murphy says:

    I would think if a horse wanted to run it would there wouldn’t be a need for whipsdrugging and whatever else the sick bastards use. I can’t believe it’s allowed elsewhere.

  • Ioannis says:

    I work in the National Horce Racing in Greece as an office assistant and I see the daily training. Not only to Horses but also jokeys make use of a lot illegal drugs like cocainecanabis e.t.c very often. When they get caught nobody calls or reports to the police authorities. They just get banned from horse racing for about 2 to 4 weeks. In my 3 years there I have seen more than 10 horse deaths because of drug abuse but I’ve never seen whip abuse on horses although no matter what when you force a horse to run in rain or shine without it’s concent .. it should be the same.. that’s all for now.

  • Holly says:

    Keep the pressure on PETA! Save the horses from this awful unnecessary abuse! And early death in slaughter houses. People who abuse animals should punished under the law and the laws need to be strict enough to be a deterrent. Also court ordered counseling should be imposed to help the offenders so they dont abuse any living creature again. Get them PETA! Keep up the good work! Go Vegan save up to 100 farm animals per person per year and save your health and our earth…

  • Meleightah says:

    i strongly agree with kelly if they love to run why do they have to whipped?

  • rose says:

    lol kelly we finally agree on something!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    PETA has done such a good job on this. Before no one was discussing the issue now everyone is. Keep it up.

  • Judith says:

    I would have loved nothing more than to have taken that whip out of that bastards hand and used it on him. It’s great to boycott the races but to really make a dent we need to boycott “BETTING” that will hit them where it hurts. No betting no races. Peace for all animals!

  • kelly says:

    If a horse really “loved to run” they would not need to be whipped. Let’s see see hypocritical idiots take away the whips. And the spurs.

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