Group Urges Patriots Star to Donate to Fund for Horses Retired From Racing
For Immediate Release:
May 31, 2018
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Boston – Earlier this year, New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski invested in a Thoroughbred named Gronkowski after the two-time Super Bowl champion, and now, PETA is calling on #87 to help all horses in racing by donating at least $8,700 to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), which provides homes for thousands of horses each year who might otherwise be sent to the slaughterhouse after their retirement.
In a letter to the NFL tight end, PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo explains that in the U.S., “as many as 10,000 Thoroughbreds end up being sold at auction and transported to slaughterhouses in Canada or Mexico when they no longer make money. … The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) is changing this situation by providing cast-off horses with homes, and with adequate funds, the organization can ensure that no American Thoroughbred ends up on a truck to a slaughterhouse.”
Audiobook company Audible—which has a namesake horse who ran in last month’s Kentucky Derby—recently donated $40,000 to the TAA in the horse’s name. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski follows.
May 31, 2018
Dear Mr. Gronkowski,
There’s been a good deal of news about your part-ownership of the Thoroughbred named after you and his anticipated run in the Belmont Stakes. I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide to ask you to follow the example of the audiobook company Audible, whose namesake ran in the Kentucky Derby, by contributing at least $8,700 toward the retirement of Thoroughbreds, who are sometimes cast off and slaughtered once their racing days are over. You may want to give more—Audible donated $40,000—but we urge you to make a gift of at least $8,700, in honor of your jersey number, 87.
You’re a tremendous athlete, but you could walk away from football tomorrow. Horses used in racing have no such choice. They’re forced to race at speeds beyond their natural capacity—so much so that their lungs may bleed. They’re often forced to keep running despite soreness and injury through a combination of medications, including painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers, sedatives, and more. Studies funded by the racing industry show that this leads to broken bones and death. More than three Thoroughbreds die on U.S. tracks every single day.
Horses who survive racing deserve to have a decent home for the remainder of their years. Yet as many as 10,000 Thoroughbreds end up being sold at auction and transported to slaughterhouses in Canada or Mexico when they no longer make money. This can be the fate of famous as well as little-known horses—1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand was killed in a slaughterhouse in Japan.
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) is changing this situation by providing cast-off horses with homes, and with adequate funds, the organization can ensure that no American Thoroughbred ends up on a truck to a slaughterhouse. Will you follow Audible’s example and make as large a donation as possible to the TAA so that horses like Gronkowski can enjoy a life after racing? Thank you.
Senior Vice President