Skip to Main Content
Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

“They Love to Run”

Written by PETA | May 8, 2008

Well, about 500 or so comments later, the thread on this post about the recent Kentucky Derby horror is still going strong. It’s clear that this issue has deeply affected a lot of people—and hopefully, all this emotion about Eight Belles’ tragedy will result in some actual reforms that will give at least some degree of protection to the horses who are abused by this industry.

I don’t usually make a point of singling out certain comments on this blog, but there were enough people who made statements along the lines of “But horses are born to race. That’s what they love,” or, like, “They’re treated better than most humans,” that I figured it was worth pointing out a few more things about the horseracing industry, which, like any industry which depends on animal domination and exploitation, will try to get away with any abusive or neglectful practice that might make them an extra dime. And the real victims—Eight Belles and the thousands of less famous horses who died under similar circumstances or else were shipped off to Europe for human consumption—live miserable lives and die painful deaths.

Here are a few key points about how this works, and there’s lots more info on this horseracing factsheet:

  1. Nobody “loves to run” when they’re suffering from bleeding lungs or painful leg injuries, but that doesn’t stop trainers from pumping these animals full of drugs to mask the pain, enhance their performance and just plain keep them going. We are getting calls and faxes about all kinds of cocktail mixes that “are common knowledge in the back stretch.” Sometimes people are caught and suspended when they’re careless—as was the case with this veterinarian who got busted for injecting cobra venom into a horse as a nerve blocking agent. For real.
  2. Why was Eight Belles so fragile? Well, horses begin training when their skeletal systems are still growing, and they’re completely unable to deal with pounding their limbs into jelly on a hard track at high speeds. Don’t tell me that all those people who “really know about horses” didn’t have an inkling that this filly – a filly, no less – was a high risk for serious injuries like the ones she sustained. But she was raced anyway. Any gue$$es as to why?
  3. As I mentioned before, horses that don’t make the cut get shipped off to slaughterhouses. The fact that anybody who knows this would still have the gall to comment on this blog saying that these animals are “treated better than most humans” is just too depressing to even think about.

For better or for worse, Eight Belles is now a very public representative of an industry that’s rotten to its rotten core. My only hope is that people will keep looking deeper into the way these horses are treated. And don’t dare try and tell me that they like it.

Related Posts

Respond

Comments

Post a Comment

If your comment doesn't appear right away, please be patient as it may take some time to publish or may require moderation.

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

  • Just sayin' says:

    Before I make anyone angry race horses are run too young which results in many career ending injuries. But if you honestly say that race horses don’t love to run then you don’t know race horses. I work and ride at a hunterjumoer barn where we have many off the track horses. While my own paint mare will will throw bucks that give me crazy whiplash all these exrace horses are interested in is running. For them being naughty is taking off at a full gallop and not stoping. No bucking. No stopping. No swerving rearing or backing up. They only want to run. After it’s out of their system they’re fine.

  • RBM says:

    As I read through the many posts on Eight Bells death it appeared to me that many people are just looking for an excuse to criticize the horse industry. I do agree that what happened to her was horrific and there should be steps to improve the conditions under which these horses race. I have been involved in the horse industry most of my life and for some people to accuse everyone in the industry to be cruel and ignorant is insane. Yes some pleasure horse are started at 18 months some are started at 2 years have you ever seen the care and concern that goes into preparing these horses for the show pen? I can speak for myself and others that no expense is spared the best possible feed and medical attention is given to them. My horse are seen by a chiropractor one a month if any lameness is detected they are sent off for a full body scan do you have any idea what that costs? As for happiness come to my barn and you tell me whos happier my horse standing in a stall with a fan on them and a fly system in the barn or a horse left out in a pasture or better yet a mustang having to scrounge for food! Please completely educate yourself before criticizing us!

  • Kate says:

    As someone who is entering the industry I will concede on your first point. Medication is overused in the industry. Phenylbutazone a NSAID commonly used for pain relief the equivalent of aspirin for those who aren’t familiar with it was once banned. When Dancer’s Image won the Kentucky Derby and was found to have it in his system he was disqualified. We need to stop relying on medications. As for the fragile part yes early training contributes to some racehorse breakdowns. But the reality is most of those breakdowns are directly linked to the bloodlines. Softboned horses are being overbred. Storm Cat is a wellknown sire who is also well known for giving his foals bad feet. Training in moderate amounts such as most young horses receive actually works to strengthen and develop the bones. As for slaughter…there are great rescue groups such as CANTER who work to rehome exracehorses. However as distasteful as it is it’s a necessary evil. I am opposed to slaughter but the reality is since the slaughter ban took place there has been a gigantic glut on the market. Breeders aren’t being responsible and too many horses are being produced. Horses are being neglected because their owners can’t afford to care for them. I’ve seen horses selling at auction for ridiculously low prices and a local auction sold a perfectly sound rideable horse for $50. People are practically giving them away. Honestly the exracehorses are being treated the best of them all because they are getting rehomed through organizations that make sure they’ll be in good homes. Most horses aren’t so lucky. Maybe instead of complaining about the racing industry you should go check out the rest of the horse industry and see all the horses who are dying of neglect because there’s nowhere for them to go.

  • Kris says:

    Where are you getting this info? Maybe some horses are sent to slaughter houses but the ones that don’t make the cut get sold as pets! You guys are unreal and VERY uneducated in this sport I can see. I was born and raised in the heart of horse country and have been around horse racing ALL my life and used to even work for a trainer and NONE of what you say goes on at many places…people make things up and draw stuff out…wake up and go bug people for things that are actually wrong…

  • kara says:

    I have worked on the backside the race track and i have several points FIRST THE HORSES ARE TREATED BETTER THAN THE JOCKEYS AND EXCERCISE RIDERS GROOMS TRAINERS ETC ETC ETC PETA when your right you right. Money is a factor in how we race and train our horses. But it’s to the opposite affect to what you believewe must take care of our charges to make money at all. If we abuse our mounts they won’t love what they do. And therefore they won’t run and make us money. SECOND EIGHT BELLES WAS NOT FRAGILE BECAUSE SHE WAS RACED YOUNG SHE WAS FRAGILE BECAUSE OF IMPROPER BREEDING. PETA you have me here. Eight Belles was pushed past her abilities. Period. You win that argument no question. However you can not claim she was pushed past her capabilities by her jockey her owner her trainer or any human caretaker. Her heart was simply stronger than her body. Which brings me to my third and last point… THIRD THEY LOVE TO RUN!! When I first got my gallop license I was given to the care of a seasoned jockey to teach me the ropes. Besides the usual banter on rules regulations all ENFORCED to ensure the safety of our equines… he also mentioned one last jewel of advice “never hold it against yourself if a horse breaks away and decides to run. Your not near as strong as that horse and you won’t ever be able to hold them back if they really want to they feel good when they run and sometimes they just need their freedom.” As a last note we do! turn horses out. Go to any backside and while they won’t be mile long pastures and they won’t be at every barn every RESPECTABLE trainer uses them

  • shelby says:

    I agree about them racing Eight Bells to early but clearly the horses who run in the big time races do not get sent to slaughter. For example Barbaro his owners did every thing possible to save him. If thats not love i dont know what is.

  • Dave says:

    Nancy… The horses name is Big Brown not Big Red.. Big Red was the nick name for Secretariat. When you said the horse was drugged the drug was WINSTROL a steroid used in training… Many horseman still question whether or nor it is effective. And please there is no coalition between EIGHTBELLES AND BARBARO and Big Brown. I’ve witnessed horses breaking ankles running in their own fields… not on any drugs. And No he will not be sent to a SLAUGHTER HOUSE.. He was sold for over 50 million dollars….. Please take the time to ask questions and learn the truth… Again knowledge is power. Dave

  • Paint-Mare says:

    The need for speed in amazing. As a cross country runner myself I push myself past injury bleeding wounds pain and exhaustion in order to be faster stronger and to win that race. For some including Thoroughbreds they DO love to run.

  • Nancy Junalaska says:

    I RECENTLY GOT MY SATURDAYS PAPER…SAID THAT BIG RED WAS DRUGGED BY RICK DUTROW..THE DRUG IS WINSTROL..BIG RED LOST..CAME IN LAST PLACE…I AM PRAYING THAT HE ISN’T SENT TO THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE..AS WELL AS OTHERS HAVE…EIGHTBELLES AND BARBARO WERE ALSO GIVEN THE DRUG…THIS PERSON ALSO DRUGS HIS OWN HORSES..EVEN COLTS…I WISH I WAS WITH YOU…TO STOP ALL ABUSE…THIS IS ON MY BLOG AS WELL AS HORSES..RACE..ALL..BEING SLAUGHTERED…A CHEROKEE…NANCY….

  • Ana Cardoso says:

    Sure SOME horses are treated like gold. BUT MOST OF THEM ARE NOT! It’s like saying “oh sure runway models are too skinny but they’re healthy” xx

  • steve moreno says:

    We all love you Barbaro and Eight Belles .Rest in peace the both of you are fee

  • Julie says:

    jack. this is wonderful. im so sad that your going to stop writing for PETA ‘ i’ll miss you! you always have the best imput on these situations it gives me something good to say when people ask me about it! also on your other blogs about vegetarianism you give great ideas! your a wonderful person i really apreciate you

  • Emily says:

    Well said Jack. I agree completely!

  • Karly says:

    FYI There was actually a study or studies done that proved that TBs that are trained for racing at an earlier age actually develop bone that is LESS prone to injury. Because they tend to mature at a faster rate than most other breeds they are trained earlier. I’m not saying all training practices are good bad or indifferent just want you to know the facts. We actually discussed this in my Equine Anatomy and Physiology class and it surprised most of the class as well.

  • Helene Caplice says:

    I feel very passionately about this subject as I have adopted 2 horses from the racetrack and have taken years to try and rehabilitate from the cruelty and abuse both physical and mental that they had to endure. Horses do love to run for fun for a short playful distance BUT they DO NOT choose to run at intense speed for an extended period unless they thought it was a life threatening situation. So on the track the horses are most likely terrified. The Standardbred Racing is often forgotten when discussing the cruelty on the racetrack but it happens just as frequently there. My 1st horse was raced even after the owner knew he had a broken bone and my second horse was being shipped at 3yrs old to the meat factory as he didn’t cut it on the track!! It is shameful abuse of highly sensitive and emotional creatures. I couldn’t believe it when my 2nd horse was agoraphobic yes imagine a horse afraid to be outside. The only time he got out of the stall was when a cart was tied to him and he was forced to pull it around the track at uncomfortable speeds he had a breathing problem that almost caused him to drop dead on the track but he was forced to run anyway. The vet on the track insisted on ending his career when he came in from training one day and his tongue was blue he was so starved of oxygen!! It was then decided the meat factory would be his next destination. He had been taken from his mother at the very young age of 11 months and kept in that stall for 3 years with NO pasture or turn out. Honestly it is a CONSENTRATION camp for horses. Both my horses turned out to be the most wonderful loving pets. Sadly my 1st horse had to be euthanized after his leg broke severely in several different places but he had been raced for 9 years and his bones were so weakened. Anyone who says stupid statements like “They were born to run” or “They love it” is just ignorant and maybe should study the behaviour of the animal before they make such uneducated statements. Horses were BORN TO RUN AWAY FROM PREDETORS and it is unnatural for them to have us on their backs that is why they buck in the beginning to get what feels like a predator off their backs!! Horses have helped make our history they have bravely carried men through battle even when it went against every fiber of their being!! They are a flight animal not a fight animal! Horse Racing is meant to be the sport of Kings so PLEASE let us treat the animal athlete’s that make it possible with civilized compassion.

  • Scarlo-hara says:

    I Admire you admins at PETA for caring but as always you have holes in your facts and you logic which I’m starting to think you put there on purpose. 1.Any horses found with ‘enhancing drugs’ in their bodies will be disqualified. 2.Incidences like this where a premature horse is used would require somehow getting past the rules there are already rules that state only cetainaged animals can be used though there may have been a loophole perhaps the rule said that ‘foals’ were not allowed but Eight Belles whas a Filly to old to be foal and to young to be mare. and therefore they had no way of not allowing her to be raced. 3. Sending a horse to be killed is the VERY last resortonly if absolutly noone will take them. 4.I agree with kelly what if the jockey had no choice but to make Eight Belles run? There may have been no space for them to pull over becuase of other racers behind. I suggest if you want to make everyone take you seriously you look at all the facts and not just look at some and make up others I mean to say that all horses not excepted get killed is absolutly perposterous! I will continue to sign you petitions and send your letters but I will take you seriously no more.

  • Mia says:

    I understand that horses have died in this horse racing sport. But think about it! People get injured in every sport. They do love to run! Horses would not run if they did not want to. People do whip the horses but in horse racing are they used a lot? I have not seen very many used. I do agree with you on the fact that they are bred up to every little detail but horse racing has been going on for more than 140 years and it still continues and is very popular. I think the incident with Eight Belles was an unfortanute event and I do not think the jockey or owner should not be blamed for what happened to her. Accidents do happen and Eight Belles was a case of what happened. Good luck with your case but I do hope you take this subject a little easier on everyone in the future. Thank you for listening.

  • Epona says:

    In response to Megans comments I have also been a racehorse groom and exercise rider for 7 years. It amazes me that people who have worked with racehorses honestly believe they enjoy it. Of course they want to run! They are locked in tiny stalls 23.75 hours a day fed high energy diets and made really fit cardiovascularly. But they get really nervous on race day too because they know whats going to happen They are pushed pulled and smacked into a tiny gate many feel clausterphobic in there The men are yelling at each other and the horses sometimes grabbing their ears and tails to ‘calm’ them. Often a horse will lose it in this situation and flip over backwards and even roll under the gates causing injuries to itself and the handlersriders. This loud crashing noise and more yelling further panics the other horses who are all prey animals and pick up on fear very easily. Once everything settles for a split second the gates are sprung open with a very loud bell and more screaming from the men. At first the horses probably do enjoy themselves because they are finally free of that starting gate and are burning away all the pent up energy. But still the riders are screaming and swearing at each other in a stressful way. Then as the race goes on the horses begin to tire it is now that any injuries they may have start to become more painful and they no longer want to run as fast. It is also now that they begin to get whipped. Trust me those whips hurt alot!!! Horses are thin skinned animals who can feel the lightest touch of a fly! If the horse has no more left to give it must simply endure the pain and more screaming and yelling. It is usually at this stage when the muscles are weakening that the bones and tendons take on more of the weight. During a gallop the horse only has one leg on the ground at any given time and they weigh 1000 lbs! I am currently just grooming horses but for a while I was exercising them and it was the most amazing feeling in the world to give them a quarter mile workout because all you had to do is balance over them and let them run!plus there’s no starting gate. The farther workouts were not nearly as enjoyable because at the end you have to push them to keep going. Anyways just wanted to share my experiences and views on the situation. Many of the people who work in racing are not bad people but are just doing their jobs. I’m not saying they don’t have a choice but the industry itself needs to change before the individuals will. P.S. I love that PETA finally has a hold of this topic but the one request I hated was the ban of Eight Belles jockey. He was just doing his job jockeys can actually get punished by the race stewards for not whipping a horse because it looks like they’re trying to rig a race. And trust me he didn’t know her legs were going to break while he was whipping her. If a horse goes down at that speed the rider can be seriously injured or killed. I don’t know any rider who wouldn’t pull up a horse if they thought its legs were going to break!!! Not that you can really tell until its too late. Watching the video I saw her tire of course!! but she didn’t appear to have any obvious injury. I’m just mentioning this because it makes PETA look uneducated when they say something like this. ANY jockey would have ridden her the same way. It’s the rules that need to change. Keep up the good work PETA!

  • Liz says:

    Thank you PETA for standing up for Eight Belles and all horses. I am sick of the lies the pro horse racing crowd is saying about PETA and other organizations who care. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

  • Jaler44 says:

    Go Big Brown!

  • sarah says:

    ok horse racing is a cruel and unfair sport.i dont care what anybody says but yes ALL horses love to run but there is no need to make them run full speed for 1 mile or so. i have a 13 yr old AQH that was forced to run barrels with her colt tied around her neck.when i ride her if i let her sh ewould RUN from dusk till dawn.you dont let any animal run for a long perioind of time exspecially if it weighs 1000+ lbs.it can die of heat stroke or as any large animalbe euthenized for being lame.if a dog was used for police work or any thing that it needs it legs for if it broke its leg or its ankle bone snapped would it be fair to put it down??if a horse goes lame from racing it should be retired an go to therepy instead ok being killed.then it should be givin to a home that it wold be doing Light work or where small children will be riding it.HORSE RACING SHOULD BE BANNED!!!!

  • brenda chafin says:

    Thank you Fred an Lisa for the only good comments here. Race horse love to run.. and are treated very well they are worth millions an most live in barns I could only dream of having a house so good. Yes mistakes are made an yes there are accidents.. but these horses do what they love … Run … thats what they are bred for… if you don’t believe that just watch the look on Big Browns face ears up looking to see who saw him when he crosses a finish line.. they love the applause an action just like any other athlete. If you want to critize talk to people who force their kids into hours of gymnastics and sports like wrestling.. every watched a 5 or 6 yr old cry and their partents ship them off to live with trainers. Every sport has a bad egg and loosing Eight Belles was a tragedy but she was safely an humanly put to sleep and did not suffer.

  • Rebecca (VN) says:

    Horses some horses do love to run I agree. BUT horses do NOT love to run on injured legs. THAT is ridiculous plain and simple. I think it comes down to a bit of behavioural science. Horses are flight creatures. If they feel pain they are far more likely to try and run from it as part of a simple survival instinct rather than lie down and accept their fate. They certainly do not take pleasure from using injured limbs. And do any of you ‘pro horse racing’ types know anything about shock? Because it’s very likely these poor creatures are suffering from it. Its very similar to when a dog or cat is hit by a car they dont know whats happend but they will usually try and get the hell out of there. Its our jobs as humans who are able to make sense out of these situations to look after our horses and take the lead every pack needs a leader and damn well stop! Dont LET the horse run when its injured! Dont keep whipping the poor thing ! If we as humans are so smart why are we not doing the intelligent thing by our horses. Regardless of whether or not you love horse racing something must change so that these animals are not being hurt! And just because you love horse racing does NOT mean that you love the horse.’ And running a horse whos skeletal system is not yet fully developed is nothing short of intorelable cruelty.

  • S.Q. says:

    I have to say that a lot if these comments are onesided. I know for a fact that horses in this sport are treated very well and owners and trainers work very hard to make sure the horses are comfortable and happy. I understand and acknowledge that there are quite a few “bad apples” in this sport and firmly believe that they should be punished and taken out of the sport. We need to work out a balance between keeping the sport alive and keeping the sport safefor all players. I support and applaud PETA for taking steps toward making this a reality although I think it is wrong to say that horse racing is awful and tortures horses all the time and deserves to burn in hell. Honestly bad things will happen in this world…to humans and animals and we are put on this planet to make sure that none of these things are intentional.

  • THOROUGHBREDRACINGLOVER says:

    HORSE RACING IS THE BEST SPORT EVER!!!!

  • Sheri says:

    It causes me to wonder…. if these horses “love to run” as they say then why the need to whip them with a crop?

  • Shannon says:

    I feel I must make a comment here because I worked on the backside of the racetrack as a groom for 7 yrs and I have seen quite a bit in that time. What I don’t agree with is people who are condemning the racing industry and all those involved as cruel and viscious people. That is not the case. Yes just like any sports industry whether it be dog racing horse racing or even human sports there are going to be shady people and illegal activities to enhance a performance. I’m in agreement 100 when it is stated that shouldn’t be allowed. When you have to ice a horses legs for an hour before a race or give a horse enhancement drugs such as what we called a “milkshake” or pain killers then that is abuse. Pain should not be masked for those few furloughs of glory. But being a groom and having some wonderful horses under my care whom I adored as if they were my own I can say that the majority do love to race. You haven’t seen the look on a horse’s face as he looks towards the racetrack on race day. Or the when they know that they have a race that day and they just watch the horses head to the track awaiting their turn to go. It is something you will never know unless you are actually there to experience it. I have had a hard time just holding my horse back as he dances his way along the long walk to the saddling ring. This is what they were bred for and most do love what they do. But that doesn’t hold true for all and if you have to force a horse to race then it isn’t worth racing that horse because his heart isn’t in it. Again that is falling along the lines of cruelty. I agree that this industry needs to be regulated more and horses should not run as young as they do but to condemn the industry is wrong. Many people in the racing industry do care very deeply about their horses but change needs to be done to regulated those that are in it to win it.

  • Megan says:

    I love horse racing. Plain and simple. When horses break down on teh track they are nothign but accidents. Many many horses race every year and how many since Eight Belle’s death have died? 1516. That still doesn’t compete with the fact that a lot of horses race each year. Yes Thoroughbreds are born to run and they do love to run that would explain why Barbaro tried to keep running when his leg had already snapped same with Ruffian. You can’t put words into horse’s mouths whether or not they like to run or not. Horse racing is an exciting sport for horse trainer owner and rider. Just because every once in a while a horse breaks down and has to be euthanized doesn’t mean all Thoroughbreds hate to run or are being “raced to death” or “tortured under the whip.”

  • Josie says:

    “As I mentioned before horses that dont make the cut get shipped off to slaughterhouses. The fact that anybody who knows this would still have the gall to comment on this blog saying that these animals are treated better than most humans is just too depressing to even think about.” Do your research. In another popular horse sport threeday eventing two thirds of the horses competing are race horses who “didn’t make the cut.” More horses are bought and used for competition in other horse sports than shipped off to slaughter. I understand what your protesting the racing of horses which in my opinion is a ridiculous thing to protest but what are you suggesting happens instead? The horses just chill out in fields? As stated before these horses are born to work. They want to race and enjoy doing so. Based on what you have written I’m going to assume that you have never ridden a horse or at least a TB. They are competitors by nature. The minute you get on one you can feel how much they enjoy it and setting them out to just live in a field all day is more abuse than any trainer can give them. I advise you to ride and understand horses before you try to put labels on what they are doing.

  • Tom says:

    The factsheet is in itself deceptive. It lumps steriods with lasix and bute. One is illegal while the other two are legal. Cross country runners bleed from the lungs. Do you know why? A churchill downs former PR guy is ful lof it. If trainers filled the horses with illegal drugs they WOULD get caught. Eight Belle’s injury is simple she had more heart than training. The problem should lie at the feet of the trainer. sactioning him may be difficult but probably could be if he hasn’t destroyed his training records. If the training records have been destroyed that should say something. It is a difficult situation. The PETA attorney was incorrect when he said bute masked pain for Eight Belle’s. PETA needs to do some research also.

  • Kmom says:

    It’s amazing how one sided the local Louisville KY newspaper is being about this horrible incident. Lisa Pinkston one of the Courier Journal’s employees even cracked several jokes about the fate of Eight Belles on her forums through the CJ. When several posters replied that they were offended they were told to “lighten up”. Sadly there’s a lot of people who share the same view as her and its going to take a lot to change their attitudes.

  • Jack says:

    PETA continues to ignore the fact that more horses break down every day working on farms than on race tracks. I assume they are working at providing your socalled “vegetarian” diet. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years so don’t point your stick at me. On another note our government has already banned the slaughter of horses for food. The problem lies in “meatmen” shipping horses to Mexico and Canada therefore circumventing laws set up to protect the horses. If PETA really wants to make a difference they should focus their energy on supporting a new bill in Congress that bans the export of thoroughbreds from the U.S. Why don’t you go to Italy and Japan and give them a hard time? They eat our horses not us. Do you get it? FOCUS PEOPLE! And by the way horse do love to run!

  • Ali says:

    It really can go either way…..my friend breeds and trains racehorses and she loves them like they are her children…on the other hand one of my four horses was a racehorse I purchased for 50 bucks at an autcion..he has scars all over him and wouldn’t let me touch him for almost 6 months….

  • Lucas Marquardt says:

    It’s surprising to me how selfrighteous so many of these responses are and how little knowledge of racing they contain. Are there problems in racing? Absolutely and there are a lot of good people working to resolve them. Tracks have spent millions to switch to synthetic surfaces states are banning steroids organizations like the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation are finding exrace horses new homes. And these were begun or initiated years before Eight Belles’s tragic breakdown. And for those of you who think she was injured prior to the Derby and was entered anyway are truly clueless her value as a broodmare was in the realm of $2.5 million before the Derby much more than the winner’s share of $1.2 million. Before commenting on this situation or any situation and mindlessly typing in several $$$$ step back and ask yourself How much do I really know about this? From what I’ve read on here the answer seems to be not much.

  • Gina says:

    Leslie you agree with Peta’s accusations and yet you still remain a horse trainer breeder in Lexinton KY. May I ask why? Oh let me guess you love to watch the horses run because they love it so much! Nothing to do with the almighty $$$. Couldn’t do it especially being one of the few that will admit to the various abuses behind the scenes are you that desperate for money that your whole career is built on exploitation abuse?

  • Gabriella Nagy says:

    Thank you Jack its very important to hear your voice on the other side of the world as well in Hungary! So heartbreaking… and I have a sad memory of my own… Some years ago behind the iron curtain when I was in high school I used to go to the National Race Course in Budapest as an amateur helping in the morning care and riding to get the horses ready for the next races. In our stable we had a 3 years old stallion called Hermits Lamp a championtobe. Only a professional jockey was allowed to ride him we amateurs admired Lampion the Champion from afar. Previous to races the surface of the course had to be smoothened by harrow but many times the soil was just so hard like concrete. Poor soul was so nervous that Sunday we had to wash him three times before the start thinking back his instincts might have whispered to him couldnt finish the race he broke his left front ankle on a hard clot. But the horror just got worse when the vet said that because at dawn the horse goes anyway to the slaughter house hes not going to waste morphine on a dead animal!!! All of us stayed vigil that night with Lampion his groom from desperation was boiling spirit under his nose to dope him a bit put ice on his ankle. I hope I never going to see an animal in such agony but Lampions tears were running down his face and we cried with him then dawn came and he was taken away to the slaughter house After this surreal night I could not go to that place anymore realising that how money is abusing the great heart of these trusty beasts. Seeing the tragedy of Eight Belles unfortunately I had to realise that now after long years only death comes quicker for a race horse no honour no prevention no care Please keep on protesting for animals they need us more than ever or money will stoke all of us up!

  • Isabell--->animal luver :) says:

    personally i dont like horse racing. but if ppl treat their horses right which many of them dothen its ok with me. but im sure the horse racing industry could make things a little better i mean horses have helped us for so long.

  • maritza says:

    i am not very clued up as to how things work but i do not agree with how they treat animals for the sake of our entertainment. train clowns or acrobats for gods sake because at least they have a say about what they do!

  • Jodi Bird says:

    Look at what’s happening in Puerto Rico now in the Thoroughbred racetrack. The absolute ethenisation of horses when they ” dont run “. …and this is in the U.S. ! My father is a racehorse trainer in which he has been involved all his life he is one of the most successful humans and a hall of fame ” horse whisperer “. Yes horseracing is not what it used to be and white trash people who get into the industry will do all kinds of inhumane practices to run a horse or keep it running. Horseracing is a very ancient sport but modern times have changed it a bit for some participants involved in exploitation of the animals.. these racehorses are better taken care of than some human beings on this planet.