Seduced by racing, public is in denial of horrors of the track

Seduced by racing, public is in denial of horrors of the track


Before the much anticipated Preakness race, the second leg of the Triple Crown, which was held last Saturday at Baltimore’s Pimlico Track, the day got off to an unbelievably tragic start, with two horses, Homeboykris and Pramedya dying in the first four races. That same day, two other racehorses, who were not under the spotlight of the Preakness, San Onofre and View Tree, also died after competing in separate races at a track in California.

With the Belmont race in New York just weeks away (June 11) and all the hoopla surrounding it, we at Friends of Animals urge the public to boycott the race and stop denying that racing is a dangerous activity that exploits horses. If that wasn’t bad enough, it’s a pipeline for slaughter for horses who don’t win.

We urge you to read Saving Baby: How one Woman’s Love for a Racehorse Led Her to Redemption. It tells the story of Jo Anne Normile, once the owner of a racehorse who suffered a fatal injury due to a track that was in disrepair and the owners refused to fix it, who then went on to raise awareness about the horrors of the industry and create a horse rescue organization. If you are truly a horse lover, you won’t look at racing the same again after reading this book.

In chapter 4, Normile chillingly writes: Early on, when I was standing at the rail with several trainers one day, a man came over and exchanged hellos with everyone. Somebody asked him, “What are you paying?”

I couldn’t hear the man’s response, but the trainer who had asked about payment responded, “Yeah. Stall eight and stall 14.”

Then another trainer piped up and said, “Stall three.”

“Okay, we will take care of it,” the man said.

“Who was that?” I questioned the trainer standing next to me.

“Oh, he’s the meat buyer,” the trainer answered.”