PETA Statement re Outrider Hitting Kentucky Derby Winner

For Immediate Release:
May 8, 2022

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Louisville, Ky. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding Greg Blasi, who hit Rich Strike while the horse was agitated after his Kentucky Derby win:

“Whipping horses in a race is abuse and should be eliminated, but punishing a horse who was in a frenzy as the crowd roared is inexcusably cruel. PETA will be filing a complaint about the outrider Greg Blasi, who appeared to hit Rich Strike. Blasi should have let go of the horse until he calmed down, and the lead pony should have had protective gear. Stewards must also question whether Blasi was angry that Derby favorite Epicenter didn’t win, as his brother Scott Blasi works for Epicenter’s trainer, Steve Asmussen. PETA’s 2013 investigation of Asmussen revealed Scott’s frequent outbursts, and last year, Scott was fined and suspended for a “physical altercation.” The Blasi family apparently needs better self-control.”

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 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

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