Once again, jockey Ramon Vazquez has beaten a horse to point of causing open welts. Enough is enough.
This morning, PETA sent a letter calling on Polk County, Iowa, Sheriff Kevin J. Schneider to launch an investigation into two recent acts of apparent abuse by Vazquez at Prairie Meadows racetrack in Altoona, Iowa.
On May 18, Vazquez was riding Special Trip—and even though there was no expectation that the Thoroughbred filly could win, he whipped her dozens of times, to the point of leaving an open welt on her right flank. As PETA notes in our letter, Iowa law prohibits intentionally injuring an animal owned by another person, as well as causing pain or suffering in a manner inconsistent with customary animal husbandry practices.
Following the May 18 event, racing stewards fined Vazquez $500 and noted that he has repeatedly faced penalties for “excessive/indiscriminate whipping.” On August 3, 2018, stewards fined him $1,000 for whipping mare Underpressure 48 times in the final 3.5 furlongs of a race. PETA is asking the sheriff’s office to investigate both incidents.
“Any whipping of a racehorse is obscene, but Ramon Vazquez whipped this filly until her skin broke in an act of abuse that PETA believes is illegal,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Because repeated fines haven’t stopped Vazquez from whipping horses, PETA is calling on the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to step in and take action to end his pattern of violence.”
Use PETA’s rapid-action form to take six new actions in under 30 seconds to spare horses abuse: