PETA Statement: Meager Fine for Dead Horse’s Trainer

For Immediate Release:
October 16, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Arcadia, Calif. – Please see the statement below from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding the $1,500 fine levied against the trainer of Emtech, the 32nd horse to die at Santa Anita this year:

Trainer Steve Knapp should be banned from racing and investigated by law enforcement for Emtech’s phenylbutazone violation on August 25—just one month before the 3-year-old horse broke both front ankles and was euthanized at Santa Anita. A $1,500 fine is no more than the cost of doing business for trainers today and is a fraction of the $47,502 that Emtech earned in his short life. This is Knapp’s second medication violation in the last year. The California Horse Racing Board should immediately notify all California tracks of drug violations as soon as the results are returned from the laboratory. It’s despicable that the seven-member veterinary review panel may have had no idea that this horse had been racing with an illegal amount of a powerful anti-inflammatory drug in his system just a few weeks before so that he could have been flagged for further examination, since medications mask injury. Missing such glaring violations and meting out a slap on the wrist to those complicit in horse deaths just ensure more carnage.

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