Heat Prompts Call to Suspend Races at Grants Pass Downs

PETA Warns That High Temperatures Put Horses at Risk of Brain Damage, Heatstroke, and Death

David Perle 202-483-7382

Grants Pass, Ore. – With temperatures expected to reach almost 100 degrees tomorrow, PETA sent an urgent letter this morning calling on Grants Pass Downs stewards to suspend all races on June 23—and during every subsequent heat advisory this summer and beyond.

“Horses are pushed to the limit every time they race, and the additional stress of skyrocketing temperatures can cause brain damage, heatstroke, and death,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on Grants Pass Downs officials to prevent tragedy by suspending racing tomorrow and whenever Oregon faces extreme heat.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to the Grants Pass Downs stewards follows.

June 22, 2020

Re: Heat Advisory for Grants Pass Downs

Dear Stewards,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide to urge you to protect horses by suspending racing at Grants Pass Downs during the current heat advisory and any future advisories.

On June 23, temperatures are expected to reach almost 100 degrees in Grants Pass, and high temperatures put horses at risk of heatstroke, brain damage, and death. An average of three horses die in racing every day, and extreme heat can easily add to this death toll. By suspending racing until temperatures cool, racetracks can help forestall further heat-related deaths. Please take immediate action to protect horses in Oregon.

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.


Kathy Guillermo

Senior Vice President

Equine Matters Department

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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