PETA Becomes a Shareholder in 4 Racetrack-Owning Companies

Published by Elena Waldman.

In a move that will rattle anyone who likes the status quo in racing, PETA has become a shareholder yet again. In order to help horses, we bought stock in four companies that own racetracks across the U.S.: VICI Properties, Boyd Gaming Corporation, Penn National Gaming, and Gaming and Leisure Properties. We have been shareholders in Churchill Downs Incorporated for several years.

Some simple changes could make a world of difference to Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds in the horseracing industry, in which horses are beaten to make them go faster and trainers often force them to run while injured and inject them with drugs. Sometimes, the best way to bring about change is in the boardroom. As a shareholder, PETA can share information on animal issues and bring resolutions to a vote to effect change.

BYD, VICI, PENN, and GLPI collectively own 11 racetracks across the U.S., including Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino, Racing & Entertainment (owned by VICI Properties); Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center, Evangeline Downs, and Delta Downs Racetrack (owned by Boyd Gaming); Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Retama Park, Zia Park, and Sam Houston Race Park (owned or managed by Penn National Gaming and others); Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, and Penn National Race Course (owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties).

With partial ownership of these companies, PETA can put even more pressure on racetracks to adopt our 11 rules to help horses, which include banning all medications two weeks before a race, eliminating speed trials at 2-year-old-in-training auctions, requiring full transparency in the industry, and facilitating frequent out-of-competition drug tests, to name a few. Ideally, no horse should be running around a track for our entertainment, because horses are not ours to exploit—but with some necessary changes, we can spare horses fatal breakdowns, nonconsensual drug abuse, and slaughter.

Horses are social beings who use different vocalizations to communicate greetings, departures, mating calls, and danger. While PETA makes crucial choices to help save lives, horses still don’t belong to us for our amusement. Find out how you can help the horses exploited at racetracks here!

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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