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Hundreds of Horses Electro-Shocked in Racing Industry

Written by PETA | March 28, 2014

Hall-of-Fame jockey Gary Stevens and Hall-of-Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas added to the mountain of shame already surrounding the abuses in thoroughbred racing when our investigator taped them joking about the tiny devices called “buzzers” or “batteries” that deliver a strong electric shock to horses to get them to run faster.

Now, The New York Times reports just how widespread this despicable practice is: “[S]ince 1974 there have been nearly 300 instances in which racing commissions have investigated and taken action against jockeys, trainers, grooms or escort riders for infractions involving the devices, according to documents obtained from the Association of Racing Commissioners International.”

That means hundreds of horses were abused by jockeys—and these are just the violations that were caught by officials. It’s likely that many more horses have been shocked but no one found out or cared enough to report it. PETA has video of Lukas, Stevens, and trainer Scott Blasi laughing about the fact that buzzers were hidden in horses’ blinkers, in the jockey’s underwear, and even in the jockey’s mouth, showing how far some in racing have gone to cheat and conceal it.

Beating a horse with a whip 10 or 12 times during a race isn’t enough? Lasix, sedatives, painkillers, thyroid medication, and ulcer drugs aren’t enough? Apparently not for some people in racing.

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  • Karen Lenn says:

    I worked at Aqueduct back in the 70′s. The way they get around the buzzer is to slather the horse (while still in the barn before the race) with witch hazel and use an electric prod while making a certain noise. The horse associated the noise with the prod and all the jockey has to do is make the noise. Probably not as effective as the buzzer, but put fear in those poor babies.

  • Ashie says:

    The only solution to this problem is to stop this horse abuse for entertainment by banning horse racing and animal circus………

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