The True Stakes at Belmont: 24 Horse Deaths and Counting

Published by Danny Prater.

Is Belmont Park the new Santa Anita? At these two notorious racetracks, horses continue to experience catastrophic breakdowns and die. Even though the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has delayed and shortened the racing season at Belmont this year, 24 horses have already died at the New York track in 2020, including three who died on the same day.

That’s why PETA is urging the New York State Gaming Commission and the New York Racing Association to take the following actions immediately:

  1. Install cutting-edge CT scanning equipment to screen horses for otherwise undetectable pre-existing conditions that are known to lead to broken bones.
  2. Increase the withdrawal time for allowable anti-inflammatory medication before a race from 48 hours to seven days before a race.
  3. Enact regulations to suspend trainers, pending investigation, when horses experience catastrophic breakdowns.
  4. Cancel the licenses of trainers who violate medication rules more than three times.

Research shows that more than 90% of broken bones in horses occur at the site of a pre-existing injury. Often, these injuries go undetected because the animals can’t feel them. That’s because trainers use “legal” medications to mask the pain that the horses feel while doing little to treat their injuries. In addition, trainers who are cited for violations involving allowable medications are fined minimal amounts and then simply return to work. The penalties these trainers face are merely the cost of doing business, not meaningful deterrents.

New York racing officials must not allow this bloodbath to continue.

How to Help Horses in New York

A coalition of human service and education organizations are calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to eliminate the enormous casino subsidies given to the horse racing industry. In that state, horse racing received more than $2 billion in handouts over the past decade. Even though millions of dollars are being poured into promoting horse races yearly, tracks can’t keep animals from dying.

If you live in New York, please call or write to your state legislators and ask them to cut horse racing subsidies. These funds would be much better spent on critical human and animal services that are facing deep cuts because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone Can Take Action for Horses

Horses can learn symbols and use them to communicate desires, and they’re visibly excited by their newfound skills. They feel joy, pain, fear, and all the other emotions that we do. In no world would these complex individuals choose to run themselves to death for human entertainment.

more than 20 horses have died at belmont park in 2020© iStock.com/Maxileon

These majestic animals are pushed to their physical limits and made to run at breakneck speed in races. They’re forced to pull heavy carriages full of passengers through busy traffic in extreme weather conditions, and thousands are even shipped to foreign countries to be slaughtered for food every year. They need your help today.

Quick Ways to Help Horses Using Your Phone or Computer

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind