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Racing Association Covers Up Horses’ Deaths

Written by PETA | March 10, 2009

If you aim a wind-up toy at a brick wall, logic would tell you that the toy is going to continue slamming into the wall unless the wall is removed, right?

Well, as long as the horse-racing industry exists, tragedy is going to follow. Case in point: Two more horses at the Aqueduct Race Track had to be euthanized last week after suffering broken legs on the track. One of the breakdowns was so catastrophic that five horses slammed to the ground. You can watch footage of the race below.


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One would think that the horse-racing industry would at least make some changes to protect these horses better, such as mandating turf track, which is softer than either dirt or synthetic tracks. Instead, as The New York Daily News reports, the industry simply tries to cover up fatal falls. When questioned about its decision not to show footage of the fall that brought down five horses, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) claimed that it didn’t want the footage to get into the wrong hands, meaning animal rights groups. Oops! Looks like that didn’t work out so well, did it?

My favorite quote about the decision not to air the footage comes from a NYRA spokesperson, who said: “It was a judgment call on a particularly scary-looking spill.”

Exactly. Don’t want to scare off those railbirds and their lucrative bets, do we? As if the tragic deaths of Eight Belles last year and Barbaro in 2006 haven’t already given race fans enough to think about.

Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky

Commenting is closed.
  • ashleigh says:

    “like the fact that race horses are some of the most pampered creatures on Earth” yeah they are pampered alllll the way to the slaughter house too. eye roll

  • dori says:

    Do you really think that these horses would run if they didn’t want to? This whole thing is just bull. Horses have been racing for centuries. I’ve supported PETA for so many things but I’m not going to for this. Oh and by the way Barbaro didn’t get put down until 8 months after his accident. His original injury was almost completely healed. He sstarted suffering from laminitis in his front hooves and an abcess in his other back hoof. Eight Belles didn’t even collapse until after the race. I was there. She misstepped her jockey tried to pull her up and she misstepped again. So learn the true facts like the fact that race horses are some of the most pampered creatures on Earth before you start trashing a sport.

  • Angel says:

    Actually the Jockey Club is compiling a database of injuries and researching why these may have been caused. It is hoped that this list will help to bring reform to track conditions and find a form of prevention to these injuries. The list has not yet been published.

  • Chelsea Patterson says:

    To the comment of the minister after thinking about your comment for a minute.. It’s great you think of all involved and are concerned. Without generating automatic hateful outrageous words towards the jockeys as some may result to I too care for humans and animals equally. The fortunate thing for the jockeys in the sport though is that they are WILLING participants who have the choice and a voice that can be heard. The horses do not.. They don’t have the choice to be put into these situations often resulting in injuries or even death. They don’t have the choice of being struck by a whip at the hands of a money hungry FAUX athlete. Let’s give the horses the only satisfaction of our thoughts here. And even considering the means of the sport they are the only athletes.

  • Ginger says:

    I’ve seen the video I was quite shocked by it. I had never seen anything like that before in my life I pray that I never do again.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    As a minister I am concerned about all of the creatures God puts on the planet so I am concerned about both the horses and the jockeys…that is not a popular opinion but I am not concerned with popularity but the well being of both humans and animals. Since I know how the horses ended up how are their jockeys?

  • Alicia says:

    I am sure this wont get posted but I can tell you that racing IS taking steps in the right direction. They are placing new rules and are enforcing them as well. Yes it is a business and yes some dont care about the horses but alot do. I race Homing Pigeons and I am all business with them but that does not mean that they are not cared for loved and treated with respect Alicia

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Horse Racing must be banned. It’s not a sport. It’s fullblown exploitation of animals.

  • Lisa S. says:

    This all about gambling. It amazes me how glamorized the Kentucky Durby is?? It is horses being tortured for money. While unfeeling ultra wealthy people show off that they can be there.

  • meagan says:

    i cant believe they do not do anything about this. i ride a horse but i treat him right and do not push him beyond his limits. people always have to bring things to the llimit until something hapens.

  • Kelley says:

    What about all those people in the stands? How can they take part in this abuse? They are every bit as guilty as the jockeys and owners.

  • Pepsi One is Fun says:

    One can’t even win alot of money on horse racing so whats the point? Mega Millions is where the big bucks are at and no horses get fudged up in the process.

  • Anya says:

    Hi Peta I am appalled by the horse racing industry in general and most recently with Animal Planet for its despicable series “Jockeys”. What if anything is PETA doing on that front? How can I joinhelp any ongoing efforts? Anya

  • Jenn says:

    Changing all tracks to turf might help but ultimately not eliminate breakdowns. I have my doubts whether it would even reduce breakdowns significantly. I place more blame on breeding practices that have encouraged speed and early precocity. Also the business mindset that sees the animals as speculative investments to generate profit seems to dominate a good many breeder’s decisions…breed to who’s popular rather than who is sound. No doubt there are other ways the industry has changed that also contribute. And I am very tired of the industry calling these incidents “tragic accidents” and going on as if they are unavoidable. Put money into research and find out why!! It’s just not a sport to me anymore.

  • kelly says:

    And Animal Planet tries to glorify organized crime with its stupid “Jockeys” show They’ll never show the drugs the beatings the cast offs getting shipped to slaughter

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    I don’t even want to watch the video knowing what happens sickens me enough. Truth is the first casualty of greed and greed is what horseracing is all about.