Horse racing in the U.S. is deadly to thoroughbreds because racing's owners, trainers and tracks deliberately continue to kill horses at a rate of 2 to 5 times the worldwide average.
23 thoroughbred race horses died in a single 3-month period recently at Santa Anita Park in California.
An average of 10 horses a week die on American tracks that don't die on tracks in France, England or anywhere else because those countries ban drugs masking injuries and pain, forcing horses to run, which contributes to broken ankles that bring them down in the middle of a race.
They used to put a screen around a fallen horse on the track, then the audience heard a shotgun go off as the horse was shot in the head. Now vets administer poison, killing the horse before it ever leaves the track.
Bills protecting horses are frequently brought up in the House of Representatives, but the powerful Senator Mitch McConnell (from Kentucky, of course, who counts Churchill Downs as a major contributor), routinely kills the bills in the Senate.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1894, has supported a far-reaching bill, the Horseracing Integrity Act, introduced in Congress in March 2019, that would implement numerous reforms in the U.S. industry to bring it in line with international standards that are much safer for the horses.
Though backed by the New York Racing Association, many owners and breeders and hundreds of animal welfare groups (like us), Churchill Downs is against it. Churchill Down, home to the Kentucky Derby, has also been called “one of the deadliest race tracks” by its own hometown newspaper, the Louisville Courier Journal. The track saw 43 horses die since 2016, a rate 50% higher than the national average over the 3-year period. 50% higher!
Help send a message that the American people will not continue to allow the mistreatment of these glorious animals. The Wildlife Water & Land Conservancy is making a major push this year to reform the industry – and if the industry refuses to reform, push to ban horseracing in this country completely.
Ban Drugs in Horse Racing!
Senator Majority Leader McConnell:
I urge you to bring the Horseracing Integrity Act up for a vote in the Senate.
Though Americans understand Churchill Downs is against this act, and that Churchill Downs is an important contributor to your political campaigns, the least you can do is lobby Churchill Downs to endorse and accept the reforms necessary to insure horseracing continues as a valued and respected sport in this country.
The increased use of painkilling drugs (banned elsewhere in the world, but not in the U.S.) that allow sick horses to run has changed the "Sport of Kings" to the "Sport of Butchers."
Help us stop this terrible trend before greed brings an end to horseracing as we know it.
The Save Racehorses - Force Churchill Downs to Ban Drugs petition to U.S. Senate was written by Andrew Delaplaine and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.