PETA Ponies Up $5,000 Reward in Suspicious Horse Race Deaths

Group Suspects Foul Play in Sudden Deaths of Thoroughbreds at California Tracks

For Immediate Release:
April 11, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382 

Los Angeles County, Calif. – Since July 2011, at least 26 apparently healthy thoroughbreds have suddenly and unexpectedly dropped dead at California racetracks. Seven of the horses who died in recent months were trained by Bob Baffert. State racing officials are concerned and investigating incidents, but PETA would like to add an incentive for any whistleblowers to come forward with information. Necropsies of some of the horses show cardiac failure or  internal bleeding, and in one of Baffert’s horses massive internal bleeding , but the necropsy results are reportedly inconclusive. PETA is betting that if foul play was involved, a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these animals’ deaths will do some real good.

Would you please consider sharing this information with your audience? It might be the only way to get to the bottom of the unexplained deaths.

This spate of sudden, unexplained deaths comes as the horseracing industry is under fire for widespread drug use. As reported in last year’s New York Times exposé, trainers pump horses full of drugs to keep them running when they should be resting, contributing to the number of deadly breakdowns that claim the lives of more than three horses every day on U.S. racetracks.

“Horses die every day in racing, but a sudden spike in the number of unexplained deaths is a red flag that can signal foul play,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA urges anyone with information about these horses’ deaths to come forward before any more animals die.”

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact PETA at 757-962-8383.

For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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