The Shareholder Question Churchill Downs Refused to Answer

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Louisville, Ky.

PETA, which owns shares in Churchill Downs Inc., submitted a question in advance of this morning’s annual shareholder meeting. Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo about the board’s failure to acknowledge or respond to the question:

Churchill Downs Inc.’s board and CEO, William Carstanjen, failed to address PETA’s shareholder question regarding the mutilation of horses and the company’s tacit support for it. Churchill Downs doesn’t permit the severing of Thoroughbreds’ tailbones, so the company should not allow the appearance on its properties of Budweiser Clydesdales, whose tails have been severed at the lower spine.

PETA’s Shareholder Question to Churchill Downs Inc.

Increasing public attention on horse injury and death in the last decade has put racing’s social license to operate in jeopardy and, as a result, some in the racing industry have taken significant steps to protect horses. Our company is now in a position to extend that consideration to horses beyond our own stalls and to send a clear message to those who abuse these magnificent animals. Anheuser-Busch cruelly amputates the tailbones of the Budweiser Clydesdales, who have filmed a commercial at Churchill Downs and have appeared at Turfway Park, just for cosmetic reasons. Severing horses’ tailbones for cosmetic reasons is painful and is condemned by both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. It affects the horses’ ability to defend themselves against insects and impairs their balance. Thoroughbreds would never be subjected to this atrocity. Will Churchill Downs Inc. stand against this abuse of horses by prohibiting appearances by the Budweiser Clydesdales at Churchill Downs Incorporated properties until Anheuser-Busch ends this practice? Thank you.

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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