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Injuries Prompt Investigation Into Horse Transport

Written by PETA | June 20, 2008

textually / CC

Reason #5,001 to protest the horseracing industry*:

As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to protest the horseracing industry, the Associated Press reports that nearly 20 racehorses crammed inside a double-decker trailer meant for moving cattle sustained numerous injuries following the four-day transport from the U.S. to Puerto Rico. Apparently, it didn’t occur to the people handling these animals that horses are taller than cows. The horses’ bodies were forced into unnatural and painful crouched positions—even causing one horse to remain crouched over for five days following arrival.

The injuries sustained en route have prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to launch a federal investigation.

I guess the handlers missed the memo sent out by the legion of misguided race fanatics that racehorses are better cared for than any other animal used for “entertainment.” Sarcasm aside, the aforementioned statement is the number one excuse we keep hearing from race fans who continue to support a dying industry.

This wasn’t one case of poorly arranged transport, folks—it’s an ever-growing trend in the racing industry to cut costs and increase earnings. Thoroughbreds are transported to Puerto Rico by the hundreds each year, and racehorses on all tracks are made to suffer by this money-hungry industry. Steroids, painkillers, and injuries because of underdeveloped bones—if this is the good life, then I really don’t want to see the bad. Take action to help horses here.

*The other reasons are the more than 5,000 horses that have died on racetracks since 2003.

Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky

Commenting is closed.
  • Dianne Jeannont says:

    i would love to comment on some of the articles and posts written to you I train race horses and would like to be able to offer some insight to what really happens behind the stable gate Its not really what the layperson thinks it is

  • Holly says:

    Hi Ariel As I said there are good people who do care deeply about their horses and you do sound like one of the very good ones. You are the type of person who sets a good example for the ones who are not like you. Keep up the good work Ariel! As for your Vegan friend she does not have to love animals or have a pet and it is ok for her to think they are dirty or full of germs…the great thing about her is that she does not eat them. She is smart enough not to own one since she does not like them….its ok…I am so glad for her that she is vegan and helping to save farm animals and her health and our earth! Hey have a nice evening and keep up your good work with the horses and in the horse world that you move in encourage the people you know to do as well as you do and save the horses! Go Vegan and save up to 100 farm animals per year per person it also saves the environment and your health…

  • Ariel says:

    Holly Like I said before I keep in touch with the new owner. I train horses for things other than horse racing. There are many other horse related sports. This way the horses have a new things to do. My horses go to forever homes so even when they get old they are taken care of and let to graze on grass as Mother Nature’s lawn mower. I know plenty of people who are not “killer buyers.” This debate on horses being killed for meat is close to the one on dogs and I have an aunt that shows dogs. She does have a part in her contracts when she sells dogs that they are not to be resold outside the US and are not to be made into food. My family friends and I love our animals. We make sure they are happy and do not go to bad homes. I feel no guilt when I sell a horse. Guess what I eat meat. I have a friend who is a vegan. She does not pressure me and I dont pressure her. I love animals. She hates them. She does not want a pet because she thinks they are dirty and disease spreaders. Just like there are bad horse owners there are bad vegans. What do you do about that?

  • Holly says:

    Ariel You are right there are good people who have horses and do care deeply and take very good care of their horses. Problem even with these good people is that most often when when you sell them the next owner ends up selling them at auction when they are done with them and the killer buyers are waiting. Horse owners need to figure out how to handle old horses unwanted horses and used up horses so they dont end their lives in the slaughter houses. If you find a good home when you are done with the horse you should have a signed contract that is legal and binding with the new owner that says that the new owner can NOT allow the horse to be sold at auction where killer buyers are in the wings waiting for them. and then follow up to make sure they are safe from ending their lives in the slaughter house. You need to protect the horse after you are done with it and not let the guilt stop at the sale to a new owner you think the horse will be safe with. Don’t let your most loved horses end up in the slaughter house. Go Vegan and save up to 100 farm animals per person per year.

  • Ariel says:

    I have breed and owned horses for many years now. All of my horses get feed 2 times a day and are given many treats. They are loved and are like family. I ride hunters and for those of you who do not know that means I jump fences with my horses. I have taken retired race horses and turned them into hunters. Race horses do not have a shelf life of three years like a person on this site stated. They can go on after they race to breed become equestrian horses stand in a field and eat. When I sell a horse I make sure it goes to a loving home and I keep in touch with the owner. We transport our horses in a trailer meant for 4 horses and we only transport 1 or 2 at a time. Not all horse people are horse killers. I have close friends that race horses and they spend millions on them. These horses live in a cleaner place than I do. It upsets me how many people lump us in with the very few people who mistreat horses.

  • Holly says:

    Get them PETA! Your doing a Great Job keeping this in the minds and hearts of the people. Lets All save the horses! Go Vegan save up to 100 farm animals per year per person…

  • joanna says:

    Several weeks ago in the Thoroughbred Racing News it was reported that a winning and noteworthy race horse was rescued from a kill yard at a slaughter house. This horse had earned in excess of $1M for its human keepers and won several big races. The original breeder had even noted on this horses’ papers that it could be retired to the breeder if it ever wanted a home. Still the horse was sent to slaughter at 5 years old! This was one of the racing industry’s winning horses from a caring breeder. Can you imagine the odds on surviving five years of age if you happened to be an average race horse?

  • Marceles says:

    To Megan That is absolute BS. 29000 thoroughbreds go to slaughter in foreign countries every year. What horse “heaven” are YOU in?

  • Holly says:

    endorses? Maybe not allows this to happen? Most likely… Most race horse owners care deeply about their horses until they stop making money for them. Once they are sold off you close your eyes to what happens to your most loved horses. Your blinders are on to the reality of how they are treated after your done with them. Once they are sold there transport and there fate is out of your hands so you think its not your guilt. Wrong! Horses who have been treated well by good horse owners and then sold at auction are really very frightened. Then Bad transport which causes them great distress and injury. Then if they were sold to the killer buyers death finds them in the worst possible manner. I want to know where you are then and how you can sleep at night knowing you allowed this to happen to your most loved horses? If you are in the racing business and have sold any of your horses at auction some of your horses have ended this way…and I know you know it… Go Vegan save up to 100 farm animals per person per year! Go Vegan!

  • Steve Reitzel says:

    They need to take the wips away from horse raceing.Every body will have the same chance.

  • caren matthews says:

    They do so much to these horses I can’t belive it all. whaut up? I heard a rubber band make you run faster but steroids!!!! aren’t those for fungus and rashes? my exhusband separated a week ago ago and this fixes me that we are really messing things up!! STOP HORSE RACING. IT KILLS HORSES Our kin our kind. WE as humans Have no stake in their destruction. Stop NOW!

  • lynda downie says:

    Yeah better treated than humans alright like some of the racing enthusiasts on this site claimed.

  • jazmine623 says:

    Jun 22 2008 Two More Horses Were Euthanized After Injuries At Churchill Vinstar was euhanized after the fall which occurred as the horses were approaching the finish line. Naughty Fu Peg also was euthanized after being eased in the fourth race. Naughty Fu Peg In the fourth race for $30000 claimers who had never won two races 161 Naughty Fu Peg was eased the last sixteenthmile and later given a lethal injection after fracturing the knee of his right foreleg. Louisville CourierJournal How long will this go on everyday horses die for “sport” to entertain humans we sit back let it happen? It’s odd that the jockey is literally on the horse every second of the race but almost always escapes injury. When was the last time a jockey died or was injured seriously on the racetrack? They found ways to be safe helmet pads speciial equipment yet 3 horses a day die on US racetracks. If it were 3 jockeys a day week month year horse racing would be banned the horse industry people would just have to find other ways to make a living instead of living off the exploitation death of animals.

  • Aleasha says:

    Thanks for reporting Associated Press! Racehorses are abused. Please help them!

  • Belle says:

    Do you think that the horse racing industry endorses things like this? These cases are a from few bad apples in an overall caring industry! “This wasn’t one case of poorly arranged transport folksit’s an evergrowing trend in the racing industry to cut costs and increase earnings. Thoroughbreds are transported to Puerto Rico by the hundreds each year and racehorses on all tracks are made to suffer by this moneyhungry industry.” Racehorses on ALL tracks? That’s a bit general. PETA has absolutely no factual basis for all of these outrageous claims that you have made so far. You have taken a few rare exeptions coupled them with a few “facts” from your imagination and labelled it as truth. That is shameful. I don’t want to hear any more of PETA commenters tearing up and whining about how awful those big meanies at tracks are. YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN TO A RACETRACK FYI. Don’t like what I’m saying? Send all questions and arguments to me at and I’ll be happy to prove you wrong. PS If Secretariat were still around he’d snort and toss his head before turning around to kick dirt in your faces.

  • Holly says:

    OK Horse Owners step up the the plate on this one! Now tell us please how in the world this could possibly happen to your most loved horses! You told us that you love your race horses You told us that you take special care of your much loved race horse. Please tell us how this kind of thing happens to your much loved horses… Come on talk about it you were more than ready to talk about all the great things horse owners do for their horses who you love so very much and how you are not in the business for the money. Come on explain how your horses ended up in this situation. I also want you to explain how you allow your much loved horses to end up with the killer buyers who send them to an awful death in the slaughter houses. Come on explain please… Go Vegan Please and Save up to 100 farm animals per person per year! Go Vegan!

  • megan says:

    ok i understand how you feel about horse racing i do however have one thing to say. my family has been breeding and training throughbreds for 50 plus years. in all that time we have not had a horse die on the track 90 of our horses once done go on to be great show horses. yes today many people breed for light boned horss our however are still the sameway they were when we frist started yes there are things that need to be fixed. about the trailer full of horses? well they were own by people from that area. i dont know anyone who ships there throughbreds like that. 90 of throuhbreds live in huge stalls lots of shavings all the food they can get and get turned out everyday. once they are retired ours go out and live 247 in a huge feild. that ones that we decide to keep. we have anywhere from 2040 foals born a year however they live outside until they are 2 then they go to work none of ours get worked hard if we think a horse cant run or is sore we stop everything get a vet out and retire them to pasture. right now we have 80plus horses that are just hanging out side living life to the fullest. so you see not all throughbred people ae the same.

  • liliana says:

    the crazy humans only care for the money never for animals. I hate animal cruelty!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    The greed of some people is breathtaking. Just when you thought you’d heard it all…

  • Nancy says:


  • Carla says:

    Horseracing industry do us and all the horses a favor RIP!!