8 Things They Don't Tell You About Horse Racing Animal Writes: PETA Foundation’s Blog
  • 02
  • Apr

The Grand National: 8 Things They Don’t Tell You About Horse Racing

Whatever the results of this year’s Grand National, there’s one thing that you can bet on with confidence – horses will suffer as a result of the unethical spectacle at Aintree.

PETA US has just made headlines with its searing undercover investigation into cruel and illegal industry practices among horse trainers in the US. But here in the UK, horses hardly face better odds. The following are a few home truths about horse racing, which make it clear that the Grand National and races like it are a national disgrace:

  • Horses die on the racetrack all the time. Eight horses have died at Aintree in the past two years. Four died at Cheltenham this year. Their deaths were traumatic and frightening, a stomach-churning mess of tangled limbs, fractured bones and broken spines.
  • Jockeys see horses as “replaceable”. Jockey Ruby Walsh caused a scandal with his comment on the death of Our Conor at Cheltenham: “You can replace a horse“. But his callous remark served only to highlight the widespread attitude within an industry that treats horses as commodities, not as sensitive, sentient animals.HORSE EYE
  • Horses are often on drugs. Drugs, both legal and illegal, are as ubiquitous at the racetrack as silly-looking hats are at Ascot. Horses are often drugged to mask their pain and keep them running when they should be resting or receiving treatment. Last year, trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni was banned from racing for eight years after he doped horses with prohibited steroids at one of the world’s leading racing operations. Billboard
  • Former race horses are “retired” to the slaughterhouse. According to Animal Aid, around 1,000 horses from the racing industry are killed in slaughterhouses in Britain every year, to be turned into dog food or horsemeat. Other horses may face horrific live export to Europe.Horsemeat

  • Aintree is one of the most deadly courses in the world. The infamous Becher’s Brook is known as the world’s most dangerous jump and has racked up many fatalities, yet authorities refuse to remove it. Racing 40 skittish horses at a time makes accidents still more likely, while the minor so-called “improvements” to the course are simply token gestures. It’s the very dangerousness of the race that draws in crowds and lines bookies’ pockets – while horses pay with their lives.Aintreenational
  • Horses are made to race when they’re too young. Making horses risk their lives on the racecourse is wrong at any age. But it’s especially heartbreaking to learn that these animals may begin to race when they’re barely more than babies and their bones are not up to the pounding and stress of the track. It’s hardly surprising, then, that injuries, lameness and exhaustion are common afflictions.HORSE
  • Horses are whipped to the finish line. To hurt an animal deliberately is illegal in most other circumstances, but riders at the Grand National are actually required  to carry whips – despite the RSPCA’s verdict that “[u]sing whips can cause pain and suffering to the horses” and often makes them run beyond their usual capability, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Frequently, jockeys violate  the already watered-down whipping regulations, which dictate how often and where they hit horses.Muybridge_horse_gallop_animated_2

*****

People who care about horses are turning their backs on the Grand National and every other race in which horses are being run to death.

This cruelty will end only when the public realises that there is no such thing as a “harmless flutter” when it comes to funding the cruel and exploitative horse-racing industry.

Please help spread the word about the cruelty of horse racing:

 
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Comments

  1. avatar Janette King says:

    TBs are bred to run, otherwise they would not exist. These horses are actually much loved by their hardworking grooms. Yes some die, but horses can die anywhere any time! There are thousands of people that work with Tbs, and thousands more that work in or around racing. Whilst horses are in racing they are much cared for. So please, before we start throwing sentences around, please lets look a little closer at what is involved.

    • avatar Chemim says:

      If so called grooms and breeders love these beautiful creatures, and by your account are much cared for, then why are drugged, allowed to race when in pain, whipped so badly just to win, is that what you call caring? Your world is a very sick world. If I was to see a horse in an accident I would go to the aid of the horse and let the human suffer.

      I know this horrible sport keeps many people in work, but what a price this poor animal has to pay.

  2. avatar Jonathan Spon says:

    Ok so how may of the people commenting on this are vegan? Have you ever sat on the back of the horse and known the feeling that it is to have communication between man and animal… The joy that a horse feels to be connected with you and I have had the honour to have had a few horses in my life. I have show jumped, I have done dressage I have done cross country and I have done steeplechase – and my first and foremost thought has always been for my horse. You cannot possibly comment if you do not know horses!

  3. avatar A Burns says:

    Not to take anything away from what you are saying here but this picture isn’t the Aintree racecourse track for the Grand National. It’s the old Aintree motor racing track.
    Having a mistake like this just helps the supporters of these things as they can claim you are incorrect.

  4. […] Today, 09:27 PM 8 Things They Don't Tell You About Horse Racing […]

  5. avatar Leyther AJ says:

    I get that some horses die but have PETA looked at the overall statistics of the race or have they chosen to single out years that have had higher rates of death. I don’t agree that horses should die for a sport but as with things it’s about money I for one would like to see the number of horses run over the races entirety against the number of deaths. Does this compare to other sports that have animals involved. I am an animal lover and agree no animals should be harmed but as a percentage against other animals in other sports how does it stand?

  6. avatar anna says:

    hi I love horses born and bred from heavy horses to eventers and I had a x racer she had been racest sev wins then hurt her knees in a fall she was then sent to kill and I got her for £250 pounds she was a long back black mare very beautiful girl. she loved to run . I miss my horses very much I don’t have one at min but I would love one if someone is in leek or near let me know I would love to ride again good race today no horses was hurt I never bet any more .

  7. avatar anna says:

    what people must think if having a horse 1 buying or rent of field can I afford it .2 the food supply . 3 the tack .4 looking after it every day all year around .5 time to ride 6 not selling it cause having a baby if farmers did that every time they had a family member there would be no farms im born and bred on farm never did me any arm over the years

  8. avatar Rachel Bideau says:

    There is so many horses cruelly treated because they cost too much I went to a horse auction and they couldn’t give them away not many people have the funds to look after such a large animal so horse racing is the only way to make any type of money back therefore most race horses are treat better than normal horses , and before anybody says how can you be so cruel im not necessary saying horse racing is a good thing. It just annoys me how people can be disgusted about horses being sent to slaughter when theres millions of sheep, cows and pigs going to slaughter to feed everyone! And being a farmers daughter I know these animals are as sensitive and intelligent as horses so why do we make exceptions to horses???? Btw I love horses too just saying whats the difference?

    • avatar LINDA says:

      I CAN TELL YOU WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS COWS, PIG, SHEEPS, ARE RASIE TO FEED THE PUBLIC THESE HORSE ARE RAISE TO RACE AND WHEN THEY CAN’T RUN ANY MORE THEY GIVE THEM SOME KIND OF SHOT AND THEY DIE A HORABLE WAY I WILL NEVER GO TO THE HORSE RACES AGAIN UNTIL SOME KIND OF DRUG TESTING OF THESE WONDERFUL ANIMEAL WHAT THEY DO NOW IS JUST NOT RIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • avatar Erika Carter says:

      Horses are livestock look up some huge crippled halter horses and tell me they aren’t good for anything else… the horse world is greedy but so is the entire world it’s a messed up place. If you have horses or want them then yes love them care for them do good by them. we will never be able to save them all when we can’t even save ourselves.

  9. avatar Julie Black says:

    it is sad yet sgain that a noble loyal animsl is suffering at the hands of humankind, masked behind the word Sport! Just to line people’s pockets!

  10. avatar Liz macphee says:

    Enough …please start to respect the horse that has fraught wars…brought beer and milk to your door…reaped harvests and been inspirational in the war…arrggg

  11. avatar sky says:

    How many of you people actually know about horse racing may I ask, outside of what you see on TV and in newspaper articles? Have many of you been on a racing yard?

    Yes some people do treat their horses badly but for every one badly treated horse you have a handful of horses that ARE treated like kings. Its not the Sport that is evil its a small proportion of people after money that are the problem. Many owners buy racehorses when they don’t know what they are doing, don’t have a clue about a thoroughbred in general and just want the money they expect to be linked to a racehorse.
    I have known jockeys that have cried after a horse they where riding had to be put down on the course. The majority of these horses are bred to race and love it. For those of you saying it is unnatural to put a horse in a filed of however many horses and let them run, WAKE UP, horses are HERD animals. they have evolved to run in herds, it is not unnatural but is instead playing on their own natural instincts.

    And as for all these ‘do good’ charities, they may have the best of intentions but how many know anything about horses let alone racing. Anyone that has ever ridden a horse at any jump should know that if you shorten a distance and lower a jump then the horse is encouraged to go faster, which causes more accidents because there is nothing there to make them slow down and sit up an think before barreling over the jump.

    So how about instead off all bawling on about banning racing how about banning the owners that don’t know what there doing and making sure that all these trainers have the right to stand up to owners and say no to a horse racing instead of being left with no choice.

  12. avatar Katherine says:

    Yep. Let’s ban horse racing and every single one of them will be put down as you will have rendered them utterly useless. Let’s stop eating meat too and all the cows, pigs, sheep and chickens will also be useless and will be slaughtered. Anyone want a cow on their sofa as a pet just because they’re cute? Didn’t think so. Anyone think they can give a thoroughbred a good life in a field as a “pet”? These animals are born to run and they bloody love it.

    • avatar Diana says:

      Totally agree with you. This article is a load of absolute rubbish. Yes some race horses probably are treated badly, just like some humans and other animals are, most however live the life of kings and are loved by the owners and jockeys. Horses are pack animals who love to run.

    • avatar natalie p says:

      horses aren’t meant to be beaten to death are they? well thats what the grand national is, its not grand at all, its disgraceful of this country to still be holding it, its out dated. People mistake their love of money for a love of equines but its not the animal they care about, its lining their own pockets. How can people place money down for a bet to support animal cruelty, beating, abuse and death?

    • avatar Phaedra says:

      Natalie p, the people who argue your point only have a few points, most of which are irrelevant or just plain wrong. When you use a ‘whip’ on a horse, it is only to reinforce the leg aids. Anyone who does not ride horses does not understand the use of artificial aids. They are used in all equine sports – to no worse affect.

  13. avatar Tony says:

    Absolutely disgusting. Horse racing should be banned. This cruelty must not be allowed to continue.

  14. avatar Phil Chilvers says:

    It has been a tradition in my family to put a bet on horses running in The Grand National for as long as I can remember. My first name Philip which is a Greek name meaning “fond of” or “lover of” horses. I had bet on three individual horses in The Grand National today. Two crossed the line safely but one fell, I did not know that it was a horse that I had gambled money on to win, but it was the first time that I was truly upset, winced and thought “this is WRONG!”. The other thing that I noticed was the stable hands throwing buckets of water over the winning horse to bring its body temperature down. I don’t own a horse but if I did I would not put it through that type of experience which will be utterly distressing for the animal. Next year I will keep the money in my bank account or even better give it to some sort of horse charity. There has to be one somewhere in England. My country is supposed to be a nation of “animal lovers”! Is it really worth risking the health and lives of these horses and jockeys for a few minutes of “entertainment”?!!!

    • avatar Julia says:

      Commendable x

    • avatar Bob says:

      What you don’t realise is that cold buckets of water has been proven to help cool the horse down and prevent injuries, it is the same principle as a footballer and rugby player having and ice bath!!

  15. avatar Rachel says:

    Racing unfortunately wont be stopped until a jocky is killed, seems to be that their life is more important than a horses!! Which is a load of rubbish. Every animal deserves the right to a nice life not being wipped.

  16. avatar Chez says:

    To be honest most race horses are looked after well a fine diet and lots of excercises and well groomed..but yes I agree the grand national is the harshest race with high fences and lots of horses falling ..:(

  17. avatar Richard says:

    Most of this is not true. We have had Mandy retired race horses on our stable yard That do not get killed for meat! & they do not whip the horse, they hit their riding boot & it’s the sound that makes the horse go faster.
    & maybe some of it is about money. But why do u go to work everyday. Coz you like your job!, or u like your boss?. NO. you go for the money.!!
    Why doesn’t everyone get all the facts before commenting.

    • avatar Julia says:

      We go to work to earn money to struggle to pay the bills – we don’t go there to win money!! & we don’t all love our jobs!! (My job is making me ill so I’m off)
      However, it’s good you rehome retired race horses. But not all owners treat their ‘property’ with care, & horse racing is a sport, horses love running but they shouldn’t be pushed so hard in a dangerous course that it is detrimental to them, & in some cases kill them, just so people can make money – after all, that is the main goal; making money, not making horses happy!

  18. avatar Tulin says:

    This is a rich man game mainly.its cruel and horrible,am lost for words how these horse get treated just for money.it should be stopped.hiw will that happen?its always the horses that suffer.and slaughter and god no what else.someone or some how ths horse racing should be stopped.!!!

  19. avatar Ivetogen says:

    This article is bull shit.
    The horses aren’t on drugs to mask their pain- because they’re tested for corticosteroids.
    They aren’t whipped to the end- do you see their bleeding flanks? Look at the winner of the grand national, his whip did not touch his horse!

    Horses do die, which makes it a risky sport like eventing. But in order to do well you need a horse who loves to race and wants to win. When people fall off usually their horses keep going, these horses love it.

    And to say they do it for the money is an ignorant, poorly researched comment.
    Did you know that when the owner has a horse in training they will the majority of the time lose money. That is why it is classed as a hobby and non-taxable. These owners might be rich, but they certainly aren’t racing these horses just for the money.

    All sports involving animals will come across criticism and I think it is good for the public to know the true facts. But this article is rubbish.

  20. avatar CH says:

    But what about the horses who clearly enjoy racing? They love it just like an Olympic athlete loves what they do. Sure, there are dangers. But there are dangers in every sport. Just remember that these animals are treated extremely well in their stables because, as we know, a happy sportsman is a successful sportsman.

    Of course this Peta piece is biased, though.

    Just remember, horses that don’t want to race; don’t race. They refuse to even start. And that is perfectly fine because everyone involved understands the psychology of these animals.

  21. avatar WESH says:

    You all act like horses are people, yes the treatment is bad but of course animals will be abused, they always have been. Humans abuse humans and as long as that exists, you’re not going to change a thing. Why? because there’s always new ways and schemes to cover up and torture the precious animals you love so much. That’s life, get used to it.

  22. avatar ilove horse racing says:

    its articles like this that make me mad I wonder how many of you actually know one end of a horse from another the fact is that national hunt horses race at a much older age and not as two and three year olds being a stable hand my self I can only say that yes I do love horses and I also love to see them run they are born athletes I take pride in making sure that they are comfortable and well looked after if horse racing got banned which it wont I would not only loose my job but my lively hood its only in America that they are aloud to use drugs on the horses over here the horses are blood tested we are the only country as well as Ireland to not use drugs on horses I would also like to point out that retired racehorses don’t all get sent to the slaughter house a good percentage of them become either brood mares or will go to a re training center and get rehomed please don’t be so closed minded and only listen to one side of the story take my point of view and then consider both sides also bear in mind that peta are against horse racing but none actually know the whole truth and publish silly articles like this its ridiculous thanks

  23. avatar V says:

    What absurd comments. Everyone involved in the production of these animals – jockeys, trainers, grooms – loves these animals. You simply could not do the job unless you did. Most of these yards treat the horses like absolute royalty. They want for nothing and get the very best of everything. I am speaking as a vet who spends time at these yards and actually works within the industry, as opposed to someone who’s been brainwashed by whatever radical nonsense they’ve read online. Saying that horses are only “made to be kept as pets” is simply ridiculous. Do you disagree with all sports that may cause injury to horses? What about eventing, dressage, show jumping? These horses have been bred for generations for these purposes and absolutely love their jobs. Speaking as someone who rides, you cannot force a 500Kg horse full of adrenaline to do anything it does not want to!

    More over, the amount of funding that bodies such as the HBLB put into equine medicine is huge. So much research into improving the health and welfare of ALL horses, not just racehorses, is funded by the industry. The positive impact this has on all equids is simply enormous.

    If you really cared about equine welfare, then you would work WITH the industry, rather than trying to work against it.

  24. avatar Val says:

    Been saying all my life the grand national is wrong! Jumps are too high. Beautiful horses are killed every year. Should be made safe or not at all.

  25. avatar SaintPeta says:

    If racing didn’t exist, then these horses would never have been bred. If you ban racing horses, there is no reason to breed those horses, and so those animals wouldn’t exist at all. Therefore Peta is suggesting that it is better to have never existed than to have a risky life (albeit a mostly fairly pampered and well fed risky life).

    It seems pretty distasteful to rob any creature of a chance at existence simply because you disagree with it doing things in which it ‘could’ get injured, hurt or die. This isn’t like bullfighting where they are intended to die. Those creatures in the wild would be risking life and limb every day too, and they wouldn’t being fed or kept warm.

  26. avatar J says:

    This organisation is very one sided (PETA)
    The so called USA drugs scandal only portrayed what PETA wanted people to see and has been widely scrutinised as not giving all the facts. Horses here in the uk are well treated and loved by those that have anything to do with them. Here are some facts for all you that say its barbaric but with no evidence to prove it of which PETA is the worst culprit Bourne out of a personal vendetta that plays on people’s emotions without giving them the REAL truth.

    Horses get the best of care, diet and safe place to exercise
    Grooms spend the majority of their day with these horses
    Horses get their own personal groom to care for them and create a close loving bond
    Anyone that says the whip is cruel go and buy a race whip and hit yourself
    It’s specifically designed not to hurt unless used incorrectly
    Horses in general love what they do. Believe me if a horse did not want to race or jump it damn well won’t ( as most equestrians posting on here will know)
    Anyone that says the owners are only in it for the money does make me laugh, it’s costs on average £250 p/w to have a horse in training, £400 to transport it to the races, £350 for jockey and race entry and admin fees, £100 for grooms overtime.
    Most races have a average prize of £2000 to the winner.

    Horses have been purposely bred for racing over hundreds of years.
    If racing was to be banned over 2,000,000 people in the uk alone would be made unemployed and that’s without mentioning the high st bookmakers staff
    Then there’s the big one, what do you think would happen to all the 100,000+ thoroughbreds in the uk if racing was banned

    Yes horses end up in dog food but not all. Racehorses are not for novice riders. Whilst most horses will be rehomed when their racing days are over some are inevitably put to sleep as they are too dangerous to be rehomed as riding horses, but only after every effort has been made to find it a home.

    One thing I would like to say is this, I urge PETA to get all their facts correct instead of publishing what they THINK to be true
    And to all you out there with a misguided opinion of racing, go spend a day at a race yard to see the love and care these horses get everyday

    PETA is a disgruntled and misinforming organisation who love publicity and do so for their own gain

    The racing industry gives more to charitable foundations than most industries, but PETA don’t like to give the real truth about racing do you don’t hear that either

    Rant over

  27. avatar ricardo cattani says:

    Animal is not a toy!

  28. avatar Rose says:

    I am very much against horse racing but could I just say, regarding whips; racing whips are made from foam like material covered in thin leather. Its the noise the leather makes that makes them run faster. Just as the sound from the lather on a crop is the sign for a horse to go forward in everyday riding. It’s more likely for a Cross Country, Dressage or Show Jumping rider to hurt their horse than a jockey. When used properly by the rider, a whip will not cause any pain to a horse.

  29. avatar Pam says:

    Used and abused…we frown upon the barbaric practices of the Spanish and their cruel disrespect of animals i.e. Bull Fights and throwing live goats from high buildings as an Attraktion. Horse racing causes the same kind of suffering and that in a country of supposedly civilised animal lovers.
    We should all take responsibility and not support these sports in any way.

  30. Bitte hilft den armen Tieren!!!

  31. avatar b says:

    There are horses DYING in people’s back yards! Emaciated mares popping out foal after foal, with no concern for welfare or what might happen to them, horses that you see all around that are being neglected daily. the racehorses you see running today have the best care going, the highest quality veterinary care, the best farriery, nutritionists and the top quality food, the best tack specialy fitted to each of them, physio therapists, personal grooms, they have the most amazing facilities and the best trainers and riders around, they are up there with the eventers, the dressage horses, the elite show jumpers ( no moaning with them…) Whilst you all scream blood sport at your tvs turn your thoughts to the thousands and thousands of ponies that have no shelter, no vet care, no farrier has ever been so they are crippled lame, no dentist has seen their teeth so they couldn’t eat even if there was hay there for them ( which there hardly ever is) get on your soap box where it might actually make a difference and where the real cruelty and neglect lives. These animals live like kings for their profession, there are many many much less lucky animals that deserve your pity and outrage far more.

  32. avatar Frances Spencer says:

    To PETA
    You makes some disturbing points. I, and many others I expect,would like to know more detail. So please can you quote your sources for each of the 8 issues you have outlined above.
    It’s important to be as fully informed as is possible of all views before making a decision about how to go forward and who to give support to.

  33. avatar Hayley says:

    Yes a lot of horses die at this ground but they are bred to do it and love it!! They have improved the track to prevent deaths and alot of these statements above are now untrue!! I love horses and had an ex racehorse as do a lot of people! ! I think this is unfair!!

  34. avatar Roy Stockdill says:

    So the Grand National is over for another year and, despite a chaotic start, it turned out to be a very exciting race with a fairy tale winner, a horse trained and part-owned by a retired GP who only trains for a hobby. Though I didn’t even have a bet I watched the whole of Channel 4’s coverage fronted by Clare Balding and it was apparent that many thousands of people (probably the equal of a Cup Final Crowd) were having a great day out, the vast majority not wealthy owners and toffs but working class and middle class lads and girls. This, of course, is what the ban-the-National brigade cannot bear, i.e. vast numbers of people actually enjoying themselves! Anyone who wasn’t moved by the shots of the winning horse, Pineau De Re, being led in by that stable lass with a positive explosion of joy, exhilaration and sheer delight on her face must have had a heart of flint. Actually, I didn’t even notice that one, more’s the pity, because any nag named after a wine would have had my vote! No horses were killed during the Aintree meeting, so hopefully, the po-faced, politically correct, sanctimonious, self-righteous little zealots and fanatics who want to ban horse racing will shut up and go away for another year. Sorry to sound off, but I really do get fed up of these pompous little nobodies puffed up with their own self importance and moralising zeal, whose sole purpose in life appears to be to stop people from enjoying themselves! The racing industry is a major employer, providing many, many thousands of jobs in stables, on the racecourses and in hundreds of betting shops around the country. The vast majority again are ordinary people like stable lads and girls who get up at some unearthly hour of the morning to feed the horses, swill them down and muck out the stables, usually for meagre wages, because they love the animals far more than the banning brigade. What right do these arrogant puritans have to try and ban thousands of people from earning their livelihoods, moreover what right do they have to try and stop many thousands more from enjoying a day at the races with their moralising, self righteous claptrap? Rant over!

    • avatar Scott says:

      Having no deaths this year seems to make a lot of people proud. It is only a matter of time until more horses die.
      Forget about tour personal enjoyment, forget about your money, just imagine what it is like to have absolutely no choice and being whipped constantly.
      Anyone with half a heart will feel sorry for the poor things. If the whips don’t hurt them then how come they react to the pain!
      STOP THIS CRUELTY!

    • avatar Eilidh says:

      Tbh they dot whip them just make a sound with there whip they dont actually whip them ok PETA. Horse racing is not cruel at all the they get state of the ark equipment, facilities, veterinary services, feed, they get their own stable rugs, they get exercised everyday and they get a spell every few months.

  35. avatar John Fraser says:

    Why ruin your case with what appears to be a doctored map of aintree. HHalf those tight bends dont even exist .. youve even got the direction clockwise instead of anti clockwise . Where did you get that map from ?

    • avatar John Fraser says:

      Shouldn’t really reply to my own posts but welll done at least for listening and replacing the course map with a proper Aintree one .

  36. avatar katie says:

    Some of the comnents on this post are absolutly ridiculous and made by people who obviously have no clue about racing what so ever!! If the horse didnt want to run it wouldnt as proved yesterday… yes horses fall and yes they do die but its only because of the high profile nature of the sport and that particular race that people kick up such a fuss!! Horses die as a result of xc and hunting falls yet we never hear about any of that because it isnt splashed all over the media as they arent high profile!! If racing is cruel then we need to ban all equestrian sports!! Horses naturally run they dont jump ridiculous heights and perform movements that put all their structures under extreme pressure!! This sport is part of our history and so it will remain!!
    Horses die everyday and people are injured as well its all part of the risk of taking part in the sport

  37. avatar victoria says:

    OR; you stop horse racing and horse breeding is reduced due to lack of demand (in that particular area) I.e supply and demand. Are you aware that not every other creature is put on this planet to either entertain or feed humans? Or more precisely, that we can live very well without using them for either of these things? Animals exist outside of farms/breeding grounds very well without human interference so the idea you have that animals are either pets or food is ill informed one.

  38. avatar Shalena mccarron says:

    I will still continue to back horse racing and always will. I have an ex race horse and knowing his past I still would support horse racing. Horses are drug tested so moany of the drugged ones get caught! All the horses in the grand national survived this year! And I have watched many races where the jockeys do not use a whip. Also that statement about ruby Walsh he didn’t mean it in that way! He was comparing it to a death of a human! Read the telegraphs article! The only thing that needs to change about horse racing is the way bad race horses are kept! Some are kept in luxury and some aren’t! Giants causeway his home is amazing! A place where only horses could dream! Yeah he won his owners lots of money but they pay for an amazing home for him!

  39. avatar Kathryn Erskine says:

    It is HIGH time this human ignorance was stopped once and for all. Close down the betting shops and outlaw horse and dog racing for ever!!!

  40. avatar J says:

    What a load of sensationalist, anthropomorpholistic bollocks.

  41. avatar Rachel says:

    I feel so sorry for all these horses and I can’t even watch horseracing without crying.I have written to horseracing companies but they just say the animals love it which is a lie.PETA I love horses and it is unbearable for this to happen to them.

  42. avatar Kendra says:

    I would like to say; being an owner of 4 beautiful race horses that unfortunately many are sacrificed to slaughterhouses. But I strongly disagree that horses are trained too early in their lives. It’s easier too teach a horse when they’re young and it’s surprisingly not that hard of a process. Of course a horse is not going to like the taste of a bit first time but they’re still strong enough to drag 2 full grown men on a cart behind them. Just because they are race horse doesn’t mean they’re unhappy. They were bred to run & jump, they love it. I do agree that there should be some boundaries to pushing your horse but they still get to live normal, happy lives just like any other horse.

  43. avatar Samantha says:

    I noticed that a number of remarks on this board are unintelligible but clearly very defensive. I am pleased to report as a result of supply and demand that the popularity of horse racing is waning. If breeders would get out of the way, fewer horses would not go to slaughter. There are responsible breeders but too many use slaughter for the horses they cannot sell or are no longer useful to them.

  44. avatar Alli says:

    I think you guys need to look at the bright side of things more often. Yes, make your statement, but PETA is very stereotypical to those who aren’t vegan, vegetarian, horse racing haters, etc. We really aren’t bad people. Give some good examples of good care and real love instead of the ugly side of things. Make your statement, give a counterclaim, be done.

  45. avatar Jim Reid says:

    I do not like nor appreciate any treatment of animals in the name of gambling nor destructive activities. I certainly do not accept the motion that those who own and groom their beasts for events don’t care or love them…I have been around both for a long time.
    I also do not accept the claims of organisations that condemn others when theyakecfactual mistakes to push their case…in fact I only condemn the human element on both sides of this sensitive subject for their inability to take the effort to sit and discuss and reach a conclusion acceptable for all three participants…….but the biggest gamble,hurdle and obstruction is our silly human instinct.

  46. avatar Dave says:

    This article is too unbalanced. Have you ever seen a horse winning strutting their stuff. They know what is going on. Trust me, if a horse doesn’t want to race, it wont, they will flat out refuse. as an example it happened this year at the Grand National, Battle Group wouldn’t budge, not an inch. There are bad horse owners, yes, but there are bad dog owners, bad parents etc. No deaths 2 years in a row, fences have been lowered, safety is priority, so no it isn’t outdated, it very much in date. In regards to someone saying it wont be stopped till a jockey is killed, its pretty easy to search online the many deaths (recently as well) that have happened. Peace, Love Horse Racing for the sport, its a great sport.

  47. avatar Kate says:

    As a horse and racing lover I would like to leave my feedback!

    From an early age my family have always enjoyed the races after 25yrs I decided to purchase an ex racehorse to retrain for another career, I had a 5 stage vet check and back x rays completed (not naive as most have issues).

    After purchasing the horse I find out that the top trainer I bought him from had illegally drugged my horse with ACP before getting me to ride him to mask a previous fractured pelvis they did not inform me about… The horse rode ok seemed stiff however it was only until 2 weeks later I find out the extent of his problems.

    This trainer and family I have admired since a child and absolutely horrified they were so irresponsible, he could have killed me by now and am left trying to fix what I can. So many back handlers going on with owners and vets…

    Yes horses will not race if they don’t want to but at such a young age they have no idea but to try and please man, frightened (fight or flight are horses natural instinct when scared) or drugged. Young, easily manipulated and bones are not formed to cope with the extent of such high performance pressure.
    These horses are merely money robots and once they stop bringing in the cash they are discarded of shot or sold on broken.

    Two sides to the racing industry and boy is the other side dark. No I’m not vegan or vegetarian I have even thought about eating him! (Joke).

  48. avatar Insider says:

    Whilst I do not agree with PETA much of the time, I have to agree here. Those who say racehorses are treated like royalty and all the other well used cliches are I am afraid to say are liars. ALL horses that are whipped in racing are whipped much more than alliwed. There is no automatic ban, that is a myth to sweeten the punters. Many are hit 50 times or more in a single race with no ban. Most are whipped a minimum 30 times. If there was indeed an automatic ban, there would be no race horses where the whip is used at all. Ruby Walsh once got banned and then complained on his blog that he didn’t overuse the whip. He did but a ban means less money.

    A permitted drug, Lasik, is used to mask the illegal drugs forced into the horses. If you see a horse playing up at the stalls, that’s the one that has been illegally drugged, hence why these ines usually win despite the bizzarre behaviour.

    Horses don’t run if they don’t want to? A well trotted out cliche that is incorrect. A horse unwilling to run is forced into the stalls, often kicked into them in fact – the handlers are very lucky the horse rarely retaliates. Often the handlers will use a gesture to let the cameramen know to turn the camera away from the horses so they can kick the horse and hit it till it obeys. This is why you often get shots where the camera is turned cimpletely away from the hoeses in the opposite direction. However, they are not always fast enough and sometimes the camera moves too late and the public get to see the handlers very common behaviour.

    There was a famous horse that was drugged by approval of it’s owner which got second place. However, it would be unwise to say who owned it except a coin or stamp has the clues…

  49. avatar Horse Gal says:

    Horse Racing is wrong no matter what the circumstances. I just don’t see haw anyone could harm such a gentle and beautiful creature. Horse are part of my herd and to see them die for entertainment sickens me. Stop the horse racing so the slaughter and suffering can end.

  50. avatar Janine Iveson says:

    The point a lot of people are making is that the horses ARE well treated by the trainers, jockeys etc. when they are racing. It is when they can no longer race that this treatment ceases. I am not saying it is always the case as plenty of yards make sure that their horses go to good homes. However, my beautiful 8 year old boy was given away to a dealer and after only 3 or 4 weeks out of racing, when I bought him, he was already riddled with worms and so skinny he looked like he had a saddle on under a rug, when it was actually his withers. I have spent at least two thousand pounds bringing him into good health which has included: worming twice and treatment for diarrhoea several times by the vet (I had to build up his food intake very slowly and he may even have ulcers) , having to keep him in his stable for 3 weeks then his guttural pouches had to be cleaned (he had been in contact at some point with a horse that had had strangles), syringing of his tear duct as it was blocked, washing of his private parts as he couldn’t ‘drop ‘properly as he was so sore, teeth done (he was supposed to have had them done but the dentist said they hadn’t been done for 18 months) etc. etc. I did contact the trainer, however, who said he would no longer supply his horses to that dealer and I hope he sticks by it. My horse is lucky and very well loved but many are not so lucky. Also it is not just ex race horses – I have seen many horses on livery yards that are not well cared for to say the least and are often sold when they get too old to do their ‘job’ properly or loaned out with the owner not really having a clue who they are ending up with. Humankind needs educating and we really are a despicable race. In the meantime I am enjoying seeing my boy running around the field with his best friend (another gelding) enjoying being a horse.

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