PETA Statement: Asmussen Suspension

For Immediate Release:
December 4, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Lexington, Ky. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding the 30-day suspension of horse trainer Steve Asmussen for drugging violations involving acepromazine in 2018:

It’s hardly surprising to PETA that two horses trained by Steve Asmussen had illegal levels of acepromazine in their systems in 2018. In our 2014 undercover investigation of his operation, we found that nearly all his horses were administered a cocktail of medications, including acepromazine to calm them down and thyroid medication to stimulate them, even though they didn’t have thyroid disease. It’s unbelievable and outrageous that Asmussen has been racing for a year with no consequences for these two violations and was eligible for a Trainer’s Title and even awarded it twice at Churchill Downs during this time. Kentucky and all horseracing states must publicly post drug violations as soon as they occur—as California is now proposing—and suspend trainers’ licenses pending investigation. Horseracing commissions must not be limited by antiquated, slap-on-the-wrist regulations that postpone serious action to protect horses.

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

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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