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Six Tracks Suspend Thoroughbred Racing

Written by PETA | July 22, 2011
informatique/cc by 2.0

After receiving whistleblower reports that at least two horses have died from heat stress at Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville, Ill., PETA called on racetracks in the U.S. and Canada to suspend racing until the intense heat wave breaks. Six tracks—including New York’s Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack, Monmouth Park in New Jersey, Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle Downs, Colonial Downs in Virginia, and Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack—all suspended races out of concern for animal welfare. Iowa’s Prairie Meadows Racetrack had suspended races on Tuesday.

As if being goaded to run at breakneck speeds on a “regular” summer day isn’t dangerous enough, horses are still being forced to run despite record-breaking high temperatures and debilitating humidity. Every summer horses suffer heat stroke, heart attacks, and exhaustion during the racing season.

While PETA is working toward the day when no horses will be run to death, raced too young, given performance-enhancing drugs, suffer broken legs, and more … for now, please join us in asking The Jockey Club to at least provide for a safe, comfortable retirement for broken-down and worn-out thoroughbreds.

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Commenting is closed.
  • Sheri Delluva says:

    Finally!!!! We have to stop all horse racing. Great start – how can I help???

  • Beth says:

    Stop racing horses!

  • Kat says:

    I love to watch horses gallop. But when they race them that young and encourage them that much, it becomes cruel. Especially in some of the temperatures. If people waited until their bones were fully developed, didn’t use whips, only raced in certain weather and on turf, it wouldn’t be cruel. Also, if people wouldn’t just send them off to slaughter after their racing career is over. I used to love horse racing, but now it is just too immhumane.

  • Denise NYC says:

    Why don’t the owners themselves race instead of the horses??? Then they would experience the conditions involved and understand what the horses have to endure. I’d love to see these moneybags out there running in the burning heat.

  • Cathy W says:

    A Horse is born to run & hates to have another horse in front, But it is inhumane to ask it of them in extreme heat & the hard going that result’s. Not only is it bad for the horse but You the owner’s pocket when you have to pay the vet or lose any income from them permanently because You have taken advantage of the great spirit of Your horses & expected them to run when they would stand in the shade & doze, What do I know, Only kept horses my whole life & Never lamed or maimed one by either stupidity or greed

  • MP says:

    It a cruel act! please stop!

  • Rick says:

    sydney wrote: “These horses are bred to race, not sit around in the pasture all day.” Using that logic means we should condone dog fighting bullfights, and cockfights!!

  • Zenna says:

    the morons at Canterbury Park here in Minnesota had the horses racing the other day when we had a heat index of 119!

  • El-angry and ready to throw punches says:

    WTF! So many babies born into this inumane lifestyle and around 96% do not survive?!! What horrid and unspeakable conditions are you keeping them in? this is MURDER! and it must stop NOW! These are naturally wild and free creatures that cannot only be limited to one god forsaken racetrack. GIVE THEM THE FREEDOM THEY DESERVE MORONS!

  • amy walker says:


  • Ashley says:

    Please STOP racing horses in this heat!! Give them the proper shelter they deserve!!

  • @STLdustin says:

    Don’t hate the entire horse racing industry for a couple of horses dying during this epic heat wave. Far more humans have died this week than horses! The majority of folks involved with racing are infatuated with the beautiful thoroughbreds and would die for their horses. I know there are some bad apples who give the sport a bad name, but please, don’t paint with such a large brush on this one. I’m glad they canceled racing at those tracks, but I’m sure it had nothing to do with PETAs’ requests.

  • Eileen Young says:

    Please show us that it is not just about the money, and that you really DO care about your beautiful horses, by suspending racing until the weather has cooled down. Please do the right thing, and look after your horses, and don’t discard them when they cannot make you more money. We care about the welfare of your horses, and we hope that you will show us that you do too!

  • Alf Westermark says:

    Think of the animals´best !

  • Gisela Weckbach says:

    Please stop horse racing during that hot time.

  • Danell Tomasella says:

    Please suspend racing until the heat wave ends. Thank you

  • tom lee says:

    No racing when its this hot!!! No racing at all!

  • nacole goodman says:

    Why do people still race horses? How terrible to sit and bet on how fast they will go! It is too hot to have anything racing!

  • Gennifer Niezgoda says:

    Please suspend racing

  • Tine Krogh says:

    PLEASE provide for a safe, comfortable retirement for broken-down and worn-out thoroughbreds.

  • Addie says:

    Please quit making these beautiful creatures run in such extreme weather! Would you like to go running in a heavy fur coat this afternoon!? I think not!!

  • tokyoval says:

    Please send these horses to a good retirement home. I was born in The Year of the Horse and I feel for them.

  • Jan says:

    A running horse is a beautiful thing in the CORRECT setting. Around in a circle on a racetrack is not a normal environment for a running horse. And then when an animal that has an average lifespan of 25-35 years is “retired” at the age of 3 where do they all go. And a famous horse race announcer, announced on TV during the Kentucky Derby, that 35,000, yes 35,000 potential race horses were born JUST in the state of Kentucky in ONE year and only 19 made it to the Derby. That is completely unacceptable. What happens to the other 34,981 babies that are born? It is time to get MAD and stop the insanity of all this inhumane breeding of these animals. And this doesn’t even touch the thousands of horses that make it to the track and are killed or maimed and then destroyed.

  • Mukesh Tanwar says:

    Primarily, racing should be stopped in such season to comfort the horses and relieve their fatigue and injuries. But if it can not eb stopped, then why can not be some sort of arrangements made to ease the condition of horses throughout this hot climate if racing can not be stopped in this period? Being human, they need to show some sort of humanity towards the ones who earn for them so that they can be who they are. Authorities and organisations like PETA need to take a stand on this situation.

  • maggie macvicar says:

    stand back and look at wat your are doing (£££££) noshame! think it will all com back and bite youall on the bum just as you all ar THINK

  • carrie park says:

    stop racing in this heat!

  • PatriciaC says:

    Seriously, let’s take a break for a couple of days & allow these horses some relief. People are barely going out in this weather, can you imagine running at full speed with 110lbs of weight on your back? Please, take a break!

  • Cheryl says:

    Thank you for letting the world know about this. I’m contacting the jockey club now.

  • Carla* says:

    Signed and noted!! Thanks Peta for all your efforts!

  • Sydney says:

    I agree with you that horses should not be raced in extreme heat, giving performance enhancing drugs, or raced too young. I respectfully disagree however that all horse racing should come to an end. These horses are bred to race, not sit around in the pasture all day. The require the strong exercise rather than being raised and treated like a child’s pony.