PETA Demands Investigation After Gruesome Horse Fatality at Turfway Park

For Immediate Release:
February 1, 2021

David Perle 202-483-7382

Lexington, Ky. – This morning, PETA sent an urgent letter to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission calling on it to investigate the recent catastrophic breakdown of a horse, Miss Eau de Vie, during a race at Turfway Park, particularly in light of a report that pavement chunks were found on the track and attributed to an operator error. The group is also calling for the release of a complete necropsy report, medication records, and any other factors that may have contributed to the horse’s death. A video of Miss Eau de Vie’s fatal injury can be seen here. (Warning: graphic footage.)

“Whether it was a chunk of concrete or a preexisting injury, the commission must find out why this horse died and take action to prevent fatalities in the future,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Saying, ‘Too bad,’ and closing the case is not acceptable.”

PETA holds stock in Churchill Downs, Inc., the owner of Turfway Park, and recently submitted a shareholder resolution that would compel the company to release a feasibility study on replacing Churchill Downs’ dirt track with a synthetic surface. PETA’s letter to the commission points out that this surface—which is proven to be safer—must be only one part of a comprehensive safety plan.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is also calling for the racing, training, and veterinary records of Miss Eau de Vie to be examined to determine whether she suffered from any preexisting conditions that could have contributed to her sudden catastrophic injury.

PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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