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PETA Protests the Preakness

Written by PETA | May 18, 2008

Following the public outrage about the shady practices of the horseracing industry that was triggered by the death of Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby, many PETA members and concerned citizens showed up at the Preakness in Baltimore to remind the industry that they can’t just sweep their problems under the rug (or send them off to the glue factory). Here are some photos from this amazing demonstration:




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  • Angelique says:

    I hate the people who abuse animals especially like this I believe in Live and let live but why should I do it if these people dont even consider the fact that the horses are in pain….. I believe that there are too little people focusing on Animal rights are too many people are focusing on People animals are just as important…..

  • S.Q. says:

    All you people who haven’t participated in racing for a minute think it’s your right to rudely insult people who’ve been in it for years. Maybe if you learned some manners and did some research more people would listen to you.

  • Jessie says:

    First all RIP Eight Bells. My sympathies go out to everyone that was involved in the tragic death of this filly. But thousands of horses are broken down maimed and killed every year in this sport and I wonder why this filly is getting so much hype when hundreds of well know racehorses get maimed slaughered and killed every year? There is another kind of racing that is more cruel and discusting that PETA has not shed any light on. Steeplechasing is far worst then running a horse on the dirt or turf. Horses are forced to run and jump over brushes. They can’t keep their footing and often trip and fall breaking their necks and taking down other horses and riders all around them. Please take steeplechasing into consideration when trying to shed light on cruel sports. Thank you for trying to help these horses and I hope that your efforts successful.

  • Holly says:

    Hey Danica you got it all wrong… People do listen to us and other animal rights groups as well. There are so many people in the world today who are very aware of the great suffering of Humans and Animals who want it stopped. The world is changing and looking for peace for all creatures large and small. Keep up the great work PETA! Go Vegan…

  • billy says:

    it dosent really matter what any of us say its not like there gonna listen any way money is the most powerful thing in the world and just because you dont like the way they treat horses dont mean they gonna stop we dont make them any money so they dont give a horse about us

  • Holly says:

    A TV show investigating the slaughter of thoroughbred horses for profit is airing in the US on Monday. The item named “Hidden Horses” will air on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on May 12. “Few casual horse racing fans are aware that many former racing horses are slaughtered for profit” the show’s promo says. “When a thoroughbred racehorse reaches the end of its career or is simply no longer profitable on the track it is often taken directly to auction and sold for meat. “Because horse slaughter is no longer practiced in this country these thoroughbreds are now being shipped by ‘killer buyers’ to slaughterhouses abroad which are frequently less regulated and less humane than former US slaughterhouses.” Many of the horses depicted in the HBO segment went from the track to a slaughterhouse in Mexico very quickly. “It’s disturbing that anyone would sell a horse to slaughter but to do so the moment a young horse stops earning the owner a big check seems particularly repugnant” said Chris Heyde deputy director of government and legal affairs with the Animal Welfare Institute. “This piece further demonstrates the clear need for passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.” While the last three horse slaughterhouses operating on US soil were closed in 2007 under state laws more than 100000 American horses continue to be killed annually at plants located in Canada and Mexico. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act introduced in the US Congress as H.R. 503 and S. 311 would prohibit the domestic slaughter of horses for human consumption abroad as well as their export for the same purpose. “This is a black eye that the Thoroughbred racing world just can’t afford right now” Heyde said. “We hope the industry will clean up its act.” AWI encourages everyone to step up calls to their legislators and House and Senate leadership demanding a vote on the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act immediatly to stop the slaughterhouses from exporting tens of thousands of American horses to Mexico and Canada. Horse slaughter in the news

  • Unbelievable says:

    Listen Danika i am in the horse industry and i for one can say that i have heard of very very very few horses that have made it to slaughter. DONT! try and tell me facts about the industry that i have been in for my entire life!!! I have never heard of a riding horse ending up in slaughter. NOT ONCE the horse industry is not a bunch of idiots it is of responsible people who take wonderful care of their horses. So before you talk THINK!!!

  • Danica says:

    No one listened to you guys and bye the way not one horse got hurt at pimlico on the 17th. why don’t you stop slaughter because race horses are not the only ones to be sent to the slughter house. Horse slaughter is the bigger problem. Horse racing is the most amazing sport and I only watch racing because i LOVE the horses. not for the money. plus half of the PETA members don’t even know what there talking about

  • Holly says:

    Think About This “we sell them for a dollar to a good owner as riding horses” Your passing the buck because the next owner sends them off to auction after they are used up as riding horses. These great horses do most often end up at the slaughter house…and you know it! You only relieve your guilt by selling them for a buck but the story does not end there…it ends with awful death not in a green field… Judith Freedom Fighter for Animals is right you must be smoking something very powerful to forget you played a part…you sold your guilt for a dollar and it was the horse who paid the great price in the long run… How well do you sleep at night?? you do know the truth of this…

  • Dennis Costello says:

    Dear PetaI am a proud member of Peta and have been for over 22 years. Thank you once again for your timely and diligent action in the Preakness Murder.Please investigate Horse Racing in Puerto RicoAnimal Abuse is Rampant Thank You Dennis Costello

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Hello Think About This Whatever you have been smoking has taken you away from reality and has driven you to the extent of total stupidity! Enjoy! Peace for all animals!

  • Think About This says:

    I must say if you saw the horses at home and if you actually were around them as much as me and people who work with thoroughbreds you would be happy for these horses. They love to run and they get the best treatment at home. When a horse runs you don’t need to ask them to do so. They will run all they want. And if we think there is something wrong with a horse we will stop to address the problem. Eight Bell’s death was tragic. I’m happy I have never had to see that happen to one of my horses in a race. But know you may think you know everything but until you are actually part of the business you will know nothing. The last thing we want is for the horses to suffer thats why they put the filly down so quickly. Also I’d like to say not all horses end up as glue like one of you said. When we retire a horse or have a horse that doesn’t run well we sell them for a dollar to a good owner as riding horses. We don’t just give them the boot we make sure they go to a good owner who will take care of them. Please open your minds. I know what i’m talking about i’ve been around these horses all my life and we connect i know how they think i can see it in them. when a horse wins and he or she is so proud of itself for a week after the race and when a horse loses and is just mad at itself and comes back to win the next one. They are athelets that are good at what they do and love it.

  • Lola says:

    Ditto Alicia! There are some huge problems with the horse racing industry today for god’s sake they are putting jockeys on 15 month old colts! However it is not racing itself that is the evil. It is the unscrupulous behavior of monopolizing moneyhungry businessmen who have no place in the horse world anyway that is causing such tragedy and abuse. There are many breeders and trainers who raise and train their animals responsibly and whose horses enjoy healthy successful careers. As a lifelong horsewoman and barrel racer I would like to demand the racing industry not cease but clean up its act and start imposing more comprehensive safety laws such as safer footing and an older age for racehorses.

  • Alix says:

    I had never considered joining PETA until I realized how hopeless the racing situation was on self regulating. Now I feel that extreme activism is necessary in this issue as well as in the Eventing Cross country venue. Public Awareness is crucial!! May the truth be uncivered!!

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Kelsie Eight Belles was cremated. R.I.P. Sweet Belles We will make sure you have not died in vain. Fantastic protest PETA. Peace for all animals!

  • Janelle from Texas says:

    I wish I could have been there standing sidebyside with you all! Thank you for what you did for Eight Belles! We cannot let her horrible death be swept under the rug like the industry wants!

  • Shauna Saling says:

    PETA Rules!

  • Jenn says:

    Very good I’m glad to see you chose that particular photo of Eight Belles and it looks as though the protest kept things tasteful straightforward and not shrill. Frankly in the past I have been turned off by some of PETA’s tactics regarding nonfarmedcompanion animals but on this tragedy I’ll stand with you. I am amazed by the number of racing fansanimal lovers who are not veginclined or fond of PETA turning to this orginization to express their dismay. Good job for listening providing a forum and keeping this in the eye of the public. Will you do the same protest at Belmont? The look in Eight Belles’s eyes is unmistakeable suffering is universal whether we are human or another kind of animal.

  • SHARIE DELLA says:


  • Holly says:

    Kelly is right..

  • kelsie says:

    can i ask a question what happened to Eight Belles?

  • John Carmody says:

    Well done PETA those pictures look amazing! Love the PETA TShirts!!!! Very nice…………..From your friends at ARAN in Ireland.

  • Vickie says:

    Will someone please tell me why we need horse racing at all? Not only that why not do the humane thing and adoopt out or euthanize your horse instead of sending it off to a slaughter house? If you are a horse owner who has knowingly done this…I hope you rot in hell or suffer the same torture in your death as these poor horses did!!

  • kelly says:

    The horseracing industry has treated horses like disposable garbage for many years. The biggest shame is the horse lovers who ignore it and look the other way. I hope times are changing.

  • Alicia says:

    Hi I have been reading the posts put up on here about horse racing ever since the death of Eight Belles. I appriciate the concern you all have very much about these horses. I myself raise and show American Miniature Horses and have done some with Thoroughbreds as well. You are right to be angry but not all of us are bad. There ARE alot of people in horse racing that do it for the money its their job. Most care for the horses until it comes down to the money or the horse lots will pick the money but some WILL pick the horse. The loss of Eight Belles inspired me to raise and train racehorses in a more natural way. ie. no shoes on proper surfaces and only after they turn 3 years old. And if any of my horses do not have the desire to run they will be trained to be good companion horses and sold or placed into good and loving homes. I was recently given a beautiful Thoroughbred filly by the name of Justice. Her original owner was going to have her put to sleep as she was 4 weeks premature and had a long list of health issues. The filly would never race but would be a good brood mare or a light riding horse or just a sweet loving companion. The lady that gave her to me had saved her and had put I would estimate THOUSANDS of dollars of vet bills into her. She lived and is the most beautiful and strong willed little filly I have ever met. There are good people out there and there are not so good people. Please dont punish the good people with some of your accusations. BUT PLEASE DO PUNISH THE ONES THAT NEED TO BE PUNISHED do reserch and get facts then crack down. Alicia

  • Kitty says:

    Oh to be there right now. I wish I could have been there. I mean I can make a difference in my townbut heythat would have been great. That poor horse was raced to death…and now Eight Belles is glue. All horses deserve WAY better than that.

  • Linda Akin says:

    I am so pleased that people showed up before the Preakness to protest horse racing. I was with you in spirit! Thank you all.

  • Samatha says:

    Go PETA! Go PETA! Go PETA! Go! Horse Racing IS Animal Abuse…

  • Gina says:

    I wish I could have been there. Eight Belles’ death has profoundly affected me. Racehorsing is called a big money ‘sport’ but it’s just another form of animal exploitation abuse. We can’t give up and I hope every single injury death of a racehorse is made public from now on whether it’s a racehorse in an ‘important’ race like Belmont a lesser known horse at a cheap track a horse injured euthanized from excessive training or a losing racehorse sent to Mexico or Canada to slaughter. Peta should keep a running journal record every injury death make public as soon as euthanazia or slaughter occurs with as much background of the horse as possible reason for death all details of after death testing testing for drugs autopsy. From what I’ve read there is an average of 2 deaths a day due to injuries from racing. Hopefully because of Eight Belles major changes will take place for the future of racehorsing. It doesn’t matter if they are Derby type horses or run in graded races they all should be treated humanely. But I don’t believe the industry will ever make significant changes as long as they police themselves. They need to be pushed hard and feel ashamed everytime a horse like Lucky Numbers goes to slaughter. Lucky Numbers is a former losing racehorse that almost entered a NJ rescue farm but missed his chance to stay alive by one day his owner was told there was no room. The very next day the rescue farm had a spot unexpectedly available but by that time he was on his way to a slaughterhouse in Mexico.

  • lynda downie says: