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PETA Billboard Shut Out of Derby Town

Written by PETA | April 26, 2010

Can Kentucky Derby fans handle the truth? Outdoor advertisers in Louisville don’t seem to think so. We sent the ad below to every billboard and bus ad company in town with the intention of running it during next week’s Derby, but they all turned us down flat.


Kentucky Derby


We wanted racegoers—and everyone—to know that the horrific on-track breakdown of Eight Belles at the end of the 2008 Kentucky Derby was no fluke. On average, three horses break down on racetracks in America every single day. That adds up to at least 2,000 racehorses dead on tracks since Eight Belles collapsed two years ago after both her front ankles snapped.

After being prodded by PETA, the racing industry has made some improvements, including banning steroids from the states where Triple Crown races are run, but the misuse of legal drugs is still the biggest cause of breakdowns and deaths, and the industry has yet to address that issue in any meaningful way.

Many trainers use injections of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs to mask fatigue and injury and make horses feel well enough to run when they should be resting and recovering. Racing subjects horses’ bodies to punishing stresses that can lead to breakdowns. Racing insiders tell us that some horses are injected with various drugs 25 to 30 times in the week before a race, and it’s all legal.

PETA advocates a ban on all drugs during the week leading up to a race, among other reforms. Please take a moment to send an e-mail to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to let its officials know that Eight Belles has not been forgotten and to demand that the authority take steps to ensure that no more horses die in pursuit of the roses. As for the Derby: Don’t go, don’t watch, and don’t bet.

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • piorcearo says:

    I do not agree with all of you!

  • Rosemary says:

    I was in the dark about the slaughter of champion racehorses. I hate the idea of ANY horse, burro or mustang being slaughtered. This is so disgusting to me. Please join me in protesting this carnage. Please help by emailing the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority with your protest.

  • J, J says:

    I don’t believe horse racing should be illegal; it’s been around for hundreds of years. However, some serious adjustments need to be made to protect both horses and jockeys on the track. I think the most critical thing that needs to change is the age at which horses are raced. Considering that a horse’s muscular and skeletal systems are not fully developed until at least age five, two is WAY too young to have horses run at such high speeds for racing distance.

  • Christina says:

    i come from a family who love horse racing i never liked it the last race i watched was when Eight Belles died i had a horse who looked like her named bells and it was to close to my heart and i will never watch races ever again animals die for human entertainment i am ashamed to be human

  • KJ says:

    Can you provide the names and circumstances of the alleged 2000 horses that have died on racetracks as you claim in the last 2 years? I find this hard to believe and would like to know where your numbers come from.

  • S. Kennedy says:

    This is unacceptable that 2000 horses have died on racetracks across America since Eight Belles….it’s time to close the gates on horse racing. Too much cruelty too much tragedythe murder of Alydar the sending of Ferdinand to the slaughterhouse…enough is enough. Shut em down.

  • Rachel says:

    Horse racing is sad and cruel. It needs to be stopped.

  • Elizabeth Csicsery-Ronay says:

    I am not against horse racing. If there was no racing you wouldn’t have thoroughbreds. But everything must be done for the animals’ welfare. Tighten antidoping laws probably raise the age they race two year old is very young the bones are not solid. Try to getthem adopted after their career is over set up horse sanctuaries for their retirement outlaw horses being sent to other countries for slaughter keep the ban on slaughtering horses. I’m afraid though that thepush for an outright ban on racing is a sign of PETA’s often irrational and extreme position which I don’t think helps animals. Most people who are into racing love horses that’s why they’re into it. Auto racing is incredibly boring. Must everything become a machine. One of the reasons horse racing is attractive is that it’s about horses animals nature. We’re supposed to like that.

  • Yasmine says:

    It’s sad. But guys it’s not just in horse racing doping is literally in all equestrian sports including dressage. And for those of you who think that most of all racehorses end up on the dinner table after their career it’s ironically very different. 10 of exracehorses end up in the slaughterhouse. Over 70 don’t. Though of course I do believe we should speak out for those who DO end up in the slaughterhouse. But I also believe that more Mustangs and Burros regularly rounded up by the stupid BLM are being sent to slaughter than Thoroughbred racehorses. Show jumping horses could end up slaughtered too. Horses of all breeds of all backgrounds yes not just exracehorses could end up meeting their end in a slaughterhouse. There’s no denying that. Anyway I’ve recently learned that Missouri legislators are planning to legalize horse slaughter! PETA should better help out in fighting this!

  • Val says:

    Not to mention the huge number of these beautiful horses being sent to the slaughterhouse because there are simply too many of them. Even the Kentucky Derby winner ‘Ferdinand’ was sold to Japan where he was subsequently slaughtered there and eaten!

  • No Comment says:

    I just don’t get the fascination with watching horse racing. And the fact that it is marketed as a piece of good old fashion American fun makes me sick to my stomach.

  • Michelle says:

    It’s hard to believe that in this day and age there are still people STUPID enough to enjoy things like horse racing and dogfighting. It’s absurd. GO WATCH A MOVIE The Cove preferably

  • Jay says:

    Disgusting poor horses!! The savety of the people around is also a question nobody cares for. Greedy moneysuckers and the audience honors it with going there make them all watch behind the scenes reveal!!!

  • Sam says:

    I am a lifelong Louisvillian who has never supported the Derby. I think that educating the public is the best way for the horseracing industry to see how important it is to make improvements in animal safety.

  • Nadine Zimmer says:

    These horses deserve better treatment!!!

  • lala89 says:

    I don’t agree with horse racing at all. I had a horse when I was very young among other animals and I know that is where my love for animals started. What is wrong with the world using animals like just a piece of trash. I also am really upset about Petsmart. I cant believe this. But the more people committing animal cruelty the more I feel I need to work harder to stop this We animal lovers need to stick together!!

  • Kathy says:

    This is so sad anyone in their right mind can see that horse racing is nothing more than animal cruelty. I sent an email and I am posting this on my facebook page as well. PETA your ad is wonderful as usual. It’s a shame it won’t be displayed. People are just afraid of the truth.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    The horse racing tracks in Southern California must be really desperate for customers because they advertise that in between and after the races there will be rock bands performing activities for the kids whose parents choose to bring them to the track rather than leave them with a baby sitter watch mom and dad advocate cruelty to animals while gambling away the mortgage moneywhat a great example! and free wifi. I remember going to the track with my parents a couple of times as a small child and I remember being bored to death as this was an adult activity with no other entertainment involved.

  • amy says:

    Horse racing sucks. Watch NASCAR instead it pollutes the air but the cars don’t feel pain and misery.