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See the Alarming Ad PETA Is Showing Kentucky Derby Visitors

Written by PETA | May 2, 2013

There is a certain kind of person, it seems, who enjoys dressing up like a deranged escapee from some historical theme park and swilling mint juleps just to watch horses run around a dirt track for a couple of minutes. But as a new PETA mobile billboard will remind visitors arriving at Churchill Downs to attend the 2013 Kentucky Derby, for the thoroughbreds who will be running on Saturday, horse racing is a matter of life and death

‘Drugs. Breakdowns. Death.’

PETA’s ad will be driven up and down the streets outside the racetrack in the days leading up to and on the day of the derby. Designed by Dana Mulranen, a gifted graphic and interactive design major at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, the billboard draws attention to the misuse of both “therapeutic” and illegal drugs that the racing industry uses to keep injured and tired horses running, leading to the deadly breakdown of more than three horses every day on U.S. racetracks.

Even if they survive being pumped full of drugs and forced to run at breakneck speed on hard tracks, thoroughbreds face another threat when they can no longer compete: They are often transported to slaughterhouses. There, they are shot in the head, are hoisted into the air by one leg, and have their throats slit so that their flesh can be sold for human consumption.

How You Can Help

Please urge your U.S. legislators to support the SAFE Act—the bill that stops the export of American horses for their meat as well as bans their slaughter within our borders.

And when it comes to the derby and all other horse races, don’t attend ’em, don’t watch ’em, and don’t bet on ’em!

Commenting is closed.
  • R. Washurn says:

    I haven’t thought about what really goes on behind the scenes in horse racing. I will never again bet on a race or attend one knowing the abuse that is going on and the innocent horses have no recourse or anyone who cares. I hope more people will take notice and not attend races etc. anymore.

  • S.J. Kennedy says:

    Anyone who is familiar with horse racing can tell that the ‘sport’ is on borrowed time. The only three or 4 of the field even really belonged in the Derby the rest were so strung out that it was if there was really three races going on…the horses in front represented derby caliber, the horses in behind were so far out of contention that it was embarrassing and profoundly sad to witness.

  • Cecile Baudelaire says:


  • Jill MORTIMER says:

    I have ALWAYS Hated horse racing and any other “sport” with horses, or for that matter, ANY animal. Great while things are going well, then they are just chucked on the rubbish heap when they don’t win, or don’t perform as they are expected to. It is shocking.

  • Jean says:

    I would love to own and be around horses again (on the farm) but not to have as a racer. I would enjoy them to the fullest without drugs, being forced to run till their hearts break, or some other deadly tragedy. I would love to save them all and was terrified when I watched a race for fear of injuries. I remember one years ago and still can see the horses that had to be destroyed. 1 jockey. Sad, sad business.

  • Kathleen Entwistle says:

    Poor horses. I know my one Grandmother loved them so and said if there was reincarnation she would love to be a racehorse. The reality of it is awful. You would think they would treat these expensive horses better than they do but they don’t. I always wanted a horse. It’s not too late.

  • Yanula says:

    Fun for humans matter of life and death for horses indeed.All for profit and nothing else but greed…!

  • Heck says:

    Stop this cruel attitude, this horses endure a hard life, they deseve more than being killed !! And all this again for profit !!

  • 4mula1 says:

    tell em PETA!…. please also visit, please friend me!).

  • Joy G says:

    Horrible..such emotional and sensitive souls! The racing industry should be slaughtered!!!

  • Kim Lausman Diedrich says:

    eartless Morans is correct assessment of the situation and where is the HUMANE SOCIETY??? Horses are such beautiful giving animals and people…well they need constant “entertainment” and stimulation of a most thoughtless kind rather than go out and do something to make the world better. Stop this senseless act.

  • kelly says:

    We run a horse rescue outside of Phx AZ and we see a lot of horses releasd to the desert to try to live in 115 of more degree weather with no food or water. Thoughbreds are the biggest percentage of “discarded” horses we see. They are over-bred and abused. Most have serious leg inguries that will always be there. Thank you PETA for getting the injustice out there!

  • Susan Elerrina says:

    The owners and riders say they love their horses; but they don’t know what love is. Horses are so intelligent. There is a strong bond that develops with them. To show love them while they are young and in top form and then just toss them to the side to be mutilated for food the next, when they have been such devoted and loyal companions, and on such a mass level, wreaks to me of concentration camp-like behavior. So many people would love to take these horses home with them. They are not unwanted. This is a huge open wound on the horse racing industry that must be closed!

  • nic miller says:

    Stop using animals 4 ur pleasure/entertainment this is sick

  • Eva Pendy says:

    What the hell is wrong with people in this world! So cruel! How can we change things?

  • Summer says:

    JUST PLAIN OUT SICK! Y would you do this to one of the worlds beautiful creatures?


    Is not fair that after they giving their life in racing also been cruelly slaughtered

  • Arlene Sweeney says:

    No bad deed goes unpunished. Acts such as these are an invitation for Karma to pay a little visit.

  • Bradley Moser says:

    I live in Louisville , KY and this is my least favorite time of the year. The Derby is a bloated week of celebrating alcoholism and betting on horses who have no say in this race. Thanks PETA for showing up. I will not be attending or watching this race on TV..sadly 95% of this city will

  • D. Sanders says:

    Please stop this senseless act!!

  • DEBERA says:

    what a bunch of LOSERS, anyone who thinks this is enjoyable is a heartless moron. no fun for HORSES. all for profit…..

  • claudia says:

    in romania they are slaughter in open field and then sold .some man they want to kill for money the only wild horses who lives in europe.when the horses were almost killed they were saved by an organization which protect animals and with the help of many people from romania and press and facebook(we all new because of facebook).the situation here is very bad,the police doesn’t make anything for animals.i’m sorry for what it’s happenig whith all animals.please come in romania to see what is hapenning. please let know to the world what hapens in romania!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • etienne saint vregord says:

    It is absolutely terrible, the greedy folks who have earned themselves rich on horses, should let the horses have good retirement for all they have done for their owner, selfish folks:(

  • Amy Kafkaloff says:

    I have no need to waste money at the races..Beautiful horses used and then tossed aside,disgusting! What a reality check on a truely Selfish and cruel business

  • Natasha says:

    This NEEDS to stop!

  • marie obrien says:

    horse racing ought to be against the law. it is inhumane to race horses. How would you like to be whipped in 100 degress to race. insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ANA GABRIELA says:

    No es justo que maten a los animales cuando ya no”sirven”. Nadie los defiende y ellos no pueden hacerlo .Que patetico que abusen de seresindefensos. Ponganse en su lugar a ver si les gustaria que los mataran por que seles dala gana .Estoy en contra del maltrato animal

  • Elise Margulis says:

    Disgusting!! Racing is cruel. They are overwork, kept in cages, pumped full of drugs, & get injured! Then the slaughter house?! Unconscionable!!

  • Gunnel Söderback says:

    Unbelievable that this can continue.

  • sylvia says:

    stop making food of the horse that don’t win, find somebody that is willing to take care of it, and let graze in the field, where he/she can run, and enjoy the rest of the life he/she has left. how would you like it, if you can’t perform your work anymore, would you like to be killed too? i sure don’t, i want to be around people that love me and take of me, because there’s no different between a horse and a retired worker, at least we get social security, racing horses don’t, think about kids that would love to have a horse to take care of and ride around for a while. give it a really hard thought, the next time you kill a horse.

  • RUTH SMITH says:

    Having read what happens to race horses my opinion is that this is indeed a cruel sport and i feel very sad for the horses who suffer and angry at the people who exploit them!

  • Jenny brady says:

    This is poor cruelty the least they could do is put some of that I’ll gotten money into a retirement sanctuary for these poor horses

  • BrainerdRealtor says:

    How sad that greedy people only use these beautiful horses for money then slaughter them. They are beautful creatures with a soul and this needs to stop! People would love to have them for a pet.

  • Asal says:

    please stop!

  • Bogdan Alexandra says:

    This is so selfish !

  • jbmaron says:

    Powerful piece of communication.

  • Emily says:

    Go watch a roller derby game instead! 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Think this billboard should be shown here in the UK aswell just last week a well known race course and where they train race horses several did not pass a drugs test and was proven they were drugged the guy who owned them apologised and said he didnt know they had een drugged all because someone it was on the news, this has to be a lesson to any trainer if you drug you will get csught out.