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‘Secretariat’ Star Wants Racehorses Retired

Written by PETA | May 6, 2011

On the eve of the Kentucky Derby, Secretariat star James Cromwell has written to The Jockey Club urging it to adopt PETA’s proposed Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Retirement Fund. The plan would require owners and breeders to pay a $360 retirement fee for each new foal they register. The money generated from the fees would be put into a fund to provide care for the 10,000 former racehorses currently sent to slaughter each year.


“These magnificent animals should not end up on a meat hook after a terrifying journey to a terrifying death,” writes Cromwell in his letter. “I urge the Jockey Club, as the only official body that deals with every thoroughbred owner in every racing state, to implement PETA’s Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Retirement Fund without delay.”

Join James Cromwell in asking The Jockey Club to give racehorses the dignified retirement that they deserve.  

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Brynn says:

    I just ran across this blog – and while I totally agree with Thoroughbred owners and breeders placing funds in a retirement fund, I also think it should apply to ALL registries. I believe it needs to include additional funds along the way for example: • Funds can be invested as in a 401K or IRA • Percentage of stud fee to sire, dam and foal • Percentage of sales price to horse – starting with a higher percentage, and will increase if price increases, and will decrease if purchase price decreases • Percentage of registration fee to all three • Percentage each time horse is transferred • Race ran a percentage of entry fee • Percentage of bets placed on a particular horse • Money won (earned) percentage • Percentage of horses registered per year into general fund… • Money follows horse • Money can be used after a determined age for care, funds can be used to geld • Up to certain age owner can use/borrow against funds, for hardship, funds must be repaid before horse can be sold. • Lien on registration papers • Funds can be used to euthanize and disposing of body • When the horse is deceased – it can be put into a general fund • Owner notifying registry of horses death will receive compensation • Regulations and licensing for breeding, no license not able to register or sell horses… • Fees associated with keeping a stallion… • If a horse dies while in the care of a rescue, they will receive the remaining funds… • Grade horses, need a system to track them, what about fund for non registered horses.

  • Rey says:

    As a past Racehorse owner I am appalled. All of my horses were sold to cowboys for riding. To treat any animal who has served like this is despicable.

  • Valerie says:

    Thank you James Cromwell for helping with this campaign. Such a shame that these brilliant horses are treated well (so claim the owners and trainers) when they can win the owner some money. It is amazing how many former racehorses have been traced to being sold for horsemeat. Where are the gloating owners and concerned trainers then? How does one care for an animal that they know is going to end up retiring to a chain of sales that end in a cruel slaughter (being tethered up by their slim ankle). The Jockey Club and all owners/trainers/horseracing fans should be concerned about the end of the life of a horse and this program implemented.

  • BMarie says:

    I agree. Thank you James Cromwell, you ARE a hero! Bless you!

  • BreLovesAnimals says:


  • Maja Dutrieux says:

    Thank you James Cromwell for your help and effort!!!! Kind regards, Maja Dutrieux

  • lynn says:

    enough is enough….

  • Marsha F. says:

    You know this is the LEAST that should be done seriously. A very small amount of money and hope this actually happens. Such a shame for horses in this industry to end up this way. James Cromwell is a true animal hero.

  • Chaina says:

    I believe this proposal or something similar is very, very long overdue. The way people use, abuse, and manipulate other ‘earthlings’ is a shame. Horses are such beautiful, graceful creatures that the way they are treated – like something that is disposable – should be stopped NOW.

  • Doreen Stewart says:

    I am with James Cromwell in asking The Jockey Club to give racehorses the dignified retirement that they deserve.