New Report Reveals Nearly 1,000 On-Track Horse Deaths in 2014 Alone

PETA and Horseracing Wrongs Urge, ‘Don’t Bet on the Belmont’

For Immediate Release:
June 3, 2015

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Elmont, N.Y.

As this year’s Belmont Stakes approaches, racing watchdog group Horseracing Wrongs has compiled the first-ever yearlong report of horses who’ve died—including names, dates, and locations of deaths—on racetracks in the U.S. PETA is releasing the report, which reveals that at least 942 horses died on U.S. racetracks in 2014. Many of the horses died at Belmont Park—including Flashy in Pink, Ego Friendly, and Roses for Romney. And many others were just 1 year old, including Ruby Jo, Manchas Mojave, and Jazz And Corona. Countless more died later, off the track, from injuries sustained during races and other, often preventable, causes.

Horseracing Wrongs’ Patrick Battuello examined stewards’ notes and race records and filed open-records requests in all racing states to find the name of each horse who died—but because Kentucky and California rejected the group’s requests, other states omitted training deaths from their documents, and these statistics do not include deaths of young horses in training or fatalities at under tack shows, the list of deaths is likely much longer. As the report also points out, “[W]hat the industry refers to as ‘non-racing’ fatalities—colic, laminitis, ‘found dead in stall’—have not been included. And, of course, this list says nothing of the thousands of recent ‘athletes’ who were bled-out and butchered in slaughterhouses.”

As James Cromwell reveals in PETA’s horse-racing exposé, these deaths occur in part because fragile Thoroughbreds are drugged to enhance their performances and keep them running through pain, leaving them vulnerable to catastrophic injuries. And the deaths continue: At Belmont Park in the last week alone, Gabbole died on May 28 and Soul House died on May 30.

“Every single one of the many hundreds of horses who died on U.S. racetracks last year was a living, feeling individual who had a name and felt every moment of an agonizing death,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA’s message to people who care about animals is simple: Don’t bet on the Belmont.”

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