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For Immediate Release:February 18, 2010
Contact:Kathy Guillermo 757-622-7382
Beverly Hills, Calif. -- This morning, PETA fired off letters to Jerry Moss and Jess Jackson imploring them not to enter their fillies--Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra, respectively--in what is essentially a grueling "match race" scheduled for April 9 during the Apple Blossom Invitational at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. In the letters, PETA points out that in an industry that causes the deaths of more than 1,000 thoroughbreds on the tracks every year, match races and other extreme duels have proved to be particularly deadly for famous fillies, including Ruffian and Go For Wand, who were both fatally injured on the track.
"Forcing horses to race to the point at which their bodies can't handle the stress is cruel enough, but pitting Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra against each other in a race that could easily claim one--or even both--of their lives takes that cruelty to new heights," says PETA Vice President Kathy Guillermo. "These two fillies have bestowed enough fame and prestige on their owners to last a lifetime, and their 'reward' shouldn't be to have to run the toughest race of their lives."
For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.
PETA's letter to Jerry Moss follows. PETA's similar letter to Jess Jackson is available upon request.
Jerome Moss1 page via fax
Dear Mr. Moss,
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our 2 million members and supporters to urge you not to enter Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom Invitational. This race is being touted as a duel between Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra. History shows that these types of match races are dangerous to fillies. As I’m sure you remember, Ruffian suffered a catastrophic breakdown in her match race with Foolish Pleasure and was euthanized. Go For Wand, in a race that was essentially a match race with Hall of Fame filly Bayakoa, fractured her leg at the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The tragic deaths of these great fillies in front of national audiences sent shockwaves throughout the industry and the country.
Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra have already secured their places in racing history as champion fillies. They have nothing to prove. Pitting these competitive fillies against each other would be risking their lives just for spectacle. Why jeopardize their safety by forcing them into the toughest race of their careers, pushing them to their limits and beyond? And the risks are compounded by the fact that the race is scheduled in April--too early in the season to subject these fillies to such intense physical demands.
More than 1,000 thoroughbred horses break down and are subsequently euthanized on tracks in the U.S. every year. May I have your assurance that you won’t risk adding Zenyatta to this statistic?
Kathy GuillermoVice President
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