Industry commitment on Thoroughbred aftercare cannot wait

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How much more evidence do horse industry leaders need that time is running out for them to put together a mandatory, broad-based funding mechanism to support Thoroughbred aftercare programs?

Two weeks ago came the shocking details of the alleged horse adoption for slaughter scheme of Kelsey Lefever, a 24-year-old Pennsylvania woman operating out of Penn National racecourse. Yesterday, we learned of the sickening discovering of four emaciated ex-racehorses – three Thoroughbreds and a Quarter horse – in the northwest section of Miami-Dade County in South Florida. They were found in an area known for illegal butchering of horses for human consumption.


Thankfully, those four horses might be saved due to the efforts of several groups dedicated to transitioning horses from the racetrack to a new career and keeping them out of the slaughter pipeline. The four horses named in the criminal complaint against Kelsey Lefever are gone, their lives ended unnecessarily.

Because Frank and Frieda Stronach recently created the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-Care program, groups like Florida TRAC (Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care) have additional funds to attempt to nurse these horses back to good health. The Miami-Dade County horses were found by Richard Couto of the Animal Recovery Mission, which is working in conjunction with Florida TRAC and Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-Care, from which it has received funding.

Stacie Clark, who has worked with the Stronachs’ Adena Retirement Program and is now a director of the Gulfstream Park initiative, said the cooperation among the different South Florida groups is essential, calling it a “marriage made in heaven.” She credited Couto and Celia Fawkes, intake director of Florida TRAC for their work in attempting to save the horses and help identify those responsible. Investigators are tracking the Thoroughbreds through their lip tattoos.

“The industry should know what is happening,” said Clark. “This was on at least three different newscasts on Miami television, but the entire industry gets hurt from stories like this. Horseracing is getting a black eye on Facebook and Internet forums. The industry needs to get behind programs like Florida TRAC, TRF, New Vocations and others. They need to be funded by the industry.

“People are not taking care of stray dogs and stray kids. They’re sure not going to be taking care of stray horses.”

The Thoroughbred industry is only as strong as its weakest link, and incidents like the one in Miami, the Kelsey Lefever criminal investigation, or the recent discovery of malnourished and dead horses on a Louisiana farm gives horse racing everywhere a bad name.

It’s been more than seven months since Thoroughbred owner Jack Wolf of Starlight Stables tried to singlehandedly kick-start industry funding. He organized a meeting in New York the week of the Belmont Stakes, inviting a broad base of representatives from across the racing, breeding, organizational and aftercare spectrum. That group, which eventually was formed as a 501(c)3 organization named the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, has had a series of meetings and an agreement in principle that something needs to be done. But the stumbling block, of course, is money.

Clark has been a participant at the alliance discussions. “My takeaway from the meetings,” she said, “is that too many of these groups are just protecting what they have. They are just sitting there, and instead of making a commitment are wondering what the guy next to him is going to do. We need to look at these recent events as an opportunity to finally make the necessary commitment.

“We are still waiting for the industry to say this is important enough to do something.”

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  • Ajuell

    Say Ray…what about this, preferably on top of something else.  In Germany, every car sold has to include it its price — a disposal fee. How many TB’s are sold, transferred… what not every year?  Buy or sell a TB, pay a nominal fee of some kind.  Perhaps get other registries to follow suit.  This whole mess is about money — as usual.  Find the money and turn it into an administration problem instead.  Hell, it IS everybody’s problem.   

  • Ajuell

    Say Ray…what about this, preferably on top of something else.  In Germany, every car sold has to include it its price — a disposal fee. How many TB’s are sold, transferred… what not every year?  Buy or sell a TB, pay a nominal fee of some kind.  Perhaps get other registries to follow suit.  This whole mess is about money — as usual.  Find the money and turn it into an administration problem instead.  Hell, it IS everybody’s problem.

  • Caroline

    I am really tired of finding this industry’s horses in horrible situations, really tired of reading about other industry horses in horrible situations, and really tired of waiting for  this industry collectively to step up the the plate – forgive the horrible pun. 1% of national parimutuel handle, taken from every revenue recipient in every jurisdiction in proportion to the parimutuel revenue that each recipient enjoys, would go a very long way towards a comprehensive mandatory retirement and transitioning program. It looks awfully like a federal law would be needed to achieve it.    

  • Caroline

    I am really tired of finding this industry’s horses in horrible situations, really tired of reading about other industry horses in horrible situations, and really tired of waiting for  this industry collectively to step up the the plate – forgive the horrible pun. 1% of national parimutuel handle, taken from every revenue recipient in every jurisdiction in proportion to the parimutuel revenue that each recipient enjoys, would go a very long way towards a comprehensive mandatory retirement and transitioning program. It looks awfully like a federal law would be needed to achieve it.

  • Keywestnorth

    Ok here I go… my idea is to add $500 to every purchase price of a horse tb or NOT. That money goes into a national fund (invested). It is called a Euthanasia fund. When it is time to put your horse down humanely you go to website and enter the code you got when you purchased your horse. You print out a coupon and that voucher is to be honored by EVERY horse vet. Should your horse die from another cause the money stays in there to help provide low cost Euthanasia for emergency situations. Can’t afford the extra $500 up front- then you can’t afford a horse….

    • Mistyoaksarabs

      Or they could have it where you show proof of a bill of euthanizing and they reimburse it? I agree with you 100% don’t get a horse, if you can’t afford all the expenses that come with it, included ending its life in the kindest way.

  • Keywestnorth

    Ok here I go… my idea is to add $500 to every purchase price of a horse tb or NOT. That money goes into a national fund (invested). It is called a Euthanasia fund. When it is time to put your horse down humanely you go to website and enter the code you got when you purchased your horse. You print out a coupon and that voucher is to be honored by EVERY horse vet. Should your horse die from another cause the money stays in there to help provide low cost Euthanasia for emergency situations. Can’t afford the extra $500 up front- then you can’t afford a horse….

  • amy

    Something has change at the track.Its all about big egos and money !!!I galloped horses at the top tracks Belmont,saratoga,Santa Antia,Del Mar ect…. How many horses are broken by the age of 4yrs from over training!!!Its nothing about whats best for the horse  people just dump them one way or the other!!I wont step on another track.I have saved a few.:( 

    • Elktonstable

      Obviously you fell into the wrong hands at the track. The nature of racing is subject to a strong biological darwinian influence. Not all horses are created equal and neither are people. There are some horses over trained, many are not. This boils down to horsemanship which is slowly becoming a forgotten art as our “human influence” disrupts and crowds out everything in its path. Good horsemen take good cae of their horses and there are an abundance of such people in racing. I would venture to add, there are probably more such people in racing than any other horse related endeavor.

      • CC

        Wishful thinking.  Anybody with a vet, a stopwatch and a good sales pitch can be a trainer.  Many of them have never thrown a leg over a horse.  We need more Matz and Mott.  Less of the previously mentioned.

      • Ruthlenahan

        I agree with a lot of this….but no matter what you do, TB’s are very fragile. They can get hurt PERIOD. I’ve seen wonderful trainers & I honestly believe that probably some of the BEST horsemen/horsewomen are TB racehorse trainers.  But, I’ve seen some trainers that are really skanky! That includes a whole lot of AQHA race trainers, cutters, reiners, etc. Some of the worst I’ve seen! 

        • CC

          I’d qualify very few of the TB trainers as horsemen, especially in current times.  I’m very familiar with the stock horse industry as well as the racing industry.  Plenty to dislike in all disciplines.  Unfortunately many unscrupulous methods are also successful, regardless of the detriment to the horse.  Wins = more clients.  So while a good horseman is out there, many are overlooked because they do not use some of the current methods… and end up out of business.  I’d only call 4 of the current leading group in racing really good horse, the mentioned previously as well as Larry Jones and John Shirreffs.  I’m sure there are a few others.  Sadly in all aspects of the equine industry, there are not many great horsemen left.

          • Petey Green

            You don’t have to be a ‘great horsemen’ to show compassion for the horses in your care. Just a decent human being. And, sadly, it’s very difficult to measure and legislate that trait in all the people who participate in this game.

            (As an aside, don’t single out trainers. I would surmise that more horses find themselves in these unfortunate situations because owners quit paying their bills, not that trainers have stopped caring.)

  • amy

    Something has change at the track.Its all about big egos and money !!!I galloped horses at the top tracks Belmont,saratoga,Santa Antia,Del Mar ect…. How many horses are broken by the age of 4yrs from over training!!!Its nothing about whats best for the horse  people just dump them one way or the other!!I wont step on another track.I have saved a few.:(

  • equine

    Incredibly, it is all the little people donating $5 to $50 which are the backbone of support for our OTTBS.  Many of these people hate horseracing and a sane person wouldn’t have to ask why.  Please check out Animal Recovery Mission’s FB page and website for video and media updates. The dumping of South Florida racehorses for illegal slaughter in the Miami Dade area has been ongoing for years but the racing industry basically turns a blind eye.  Racetrack antislaughter policies are circumvented so easily it’s basically a joke. 
    If they really want to know who these cretins are, they should start offering financial rewards for information.  Money always speaks loudly to horsemen.

    • EANSKIP

      ARM fights disgusting illegal slaughter farms in the Miami area, some of which have moved to the Everglades area.  Cudo puts his life on the line every time he goes to one of these hellholes populated by killers who are so cruel and bloodthirsty that they are threats to anyone else coming near them.  Florida doesn’t seem to give a damn about what horrors are happening on these farms–the outright vicious murder of all kinds of animals including horses.  Because state governments don’t give a damn about horses, and the Fed encourages violence toward all animals (read BLM and Fish and Game into that statement), how the heck can horse slaughter be solved if there are no laws to protect horses AND if “the law” in every state turns its back on horses?  What the race tracks do to unwanted horses is a totally monstrous act of inhumanity and cruelty.  They keep the kill buyers and the meat men fat and rich by getting rid of the losers cheaply.  The economy isn’t helping with this either, but horse breeders continually make matters much worse.  They breed for speed, horses break down earlier in their careers, they go to stud early, and owners breed one stallion 50-125 times a year–for the money, of course, and also for the pursuit of a Derby win.  And how many stallions stand at stud in the USA?   And what happens to all the TBs that cannot make it on the track?  Guess.  Whether Republican or Democrat, no administration has helped our horses.  Instead, they hire a rancher like Ken Salazar to run the Dept of Interior and give all his fellow ranchers and cow men all they ask for, the hell with the mustangs and burros that have been there for 1000 years.  Solution?  BREED LESS, START SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNTS FOR HORSES, MAKE AFTERCARE MANDATORY, and not in some hellhole, either…they work horses to death on the track and make money off their backs…the least the owners can do is provide for retirement for these innocent animals.  If they cannot afford aftercare for each horse they bring into the world, they should not breed any.  All of you familiar with this mess know all too well that we can sit down and write thousands of words on this subject–just to keep our horses safe from neglect, abuse, abandonment and sale to the kill buyers.

  • equine

    Incredibly, it is all the little people donating $5 to $50 which are the backbone of support for our OTTBS.  Many of these people hate horseracing and a sane person wouldn’t have to ask why.  Please check out Animal Recovery Mission’s FB page and website for video and media updates. The dumping of South Florida racehorses for illegal slaughter in the Miami Dade area has been ongoing for years but the racing industry basically turns a blind eye.  Racetrack antislaughter policies are circumvented so easily it’s basically a joke. 
    If they really want to know who these cretins are, they should start offering financial rewards for information.  Money always speaks loudly to horsemen.

  • Elktonstable

    This constant whining is ridiculous. Well meaning but totally misguided people that think retirement is the answer for every horse are sadly detached from reality. There are approximately one hundred and thirty thousand horses presented for slaughter every year (if what I read from a source here claiming USDA statistics was factual). Approximately 10% of that total are throughbreds ( again a possibly inaccurate figure but close enough for argument’s sake) . If you are remotely proficient at math, you will realize that within a few short years, there will be a glut of retired horses. In fact there already is a glut of retired horses which is why we are all witnessing renewed pressure for US regulated slaughter. We will soon be hearing of reitrement homes, secretly sending their surplus off for slaughter or wholesale euthanasia. Doesn’t the SPCA euthanize thousands of unwanted animals every month? Or more than likely, some retirement foundations will become the source of corruption and inflated monetary claims for the care of retirees. I can visualize such farms with fifty horse turned out in a five acre grassless paddock with cheap round bales of goat hay with a fraudulent cost of $2,000/month/horse.  This is probably already going on.

     Farm land is vanishing at an alarming rate and suburbanites don’t have the foggiest notion about what is required to take care of a horse and truthfully they could care less. Especially if they are asked to pay for it ( how about putting a dollar donation option of everybody’s 1040W form and see what kind of response you get. Then see what the government does with it!)  Consider also that many horses are not suitable for other jobs in “up/down” stables, due to temperment, poor soundness or ingrained habits that are not conducive to safe exposure to neophytes. Retirement farms only address a fraction of this problem and it is unrealistic to embark on grand programs that take money from people involuntarily for programs they will never utilize. Also, the retirement situation may not make all candidates happy. Many horses loathe inactivity and they fret in a pasture, especially if they are accustomed to the pampered active life of a racehorse. In my stable, we take care of our own horses when they retire and either retrain them for other jobs ourselves and place them, if that is appropriate or euthanize them when we have no other viable alternative. I don’t need to assume the expense for taking care of someone else’s horses and it irks me when I am charged for such things without conscent. My financial resources go to my horses. 

    What needs to be addressed head on, is the mechanism of slaughter itself and the transport of animals headed for slaughter. Economical methods that are humane need to be developed. Nobody appears to be stepping up to the plate here. Yet, the inhumane version of this practice continues outside our borders.  All animals, chickens, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, etc. need to have more humane handling and respect when they are rendered, not just horses.  Watching a truckload of chickens when you own some at home makes you cringe. Then imagine if that was you in one of those crates, headed to the meat house to feed some dominating space alien.

    It is hypocritcal to bemoan the shortcomings of the thoroughbred industry, then sit down and cry over it. while stuffing a steak down your throat or sucking the succulent flesh off a chicken leg as the gravy dribbles down your well meaning but hungry, pulsating chin. There is and always will be a demand for horsemeat, beef, lamb, chicken and pork. Just because most of us in this country do not eat horsemeat, doesn’t mean it is not a valuable resource elsewhere as pet food or for human consumption.  Only in America can the waste of a resource be condoned as acceptable and proper while other segments of the world population have a real need. Even ancient primitive tribes knew better. Making impossible knee-jerk legislation or setting unrealistic anti-slaughter goals do nothing more than pass the buck to someone else or embellish the resume of some assinine politician. These superficial humane remedies are based on pure sentiment and not pragmatism. These efforts will do nothing more than make the burdon of ownership so complex that it will ensure that horses eventually vanish from our lives altogether. 

    • RayPaulick

      I have never advocated that every ex-racehorse can be adopted or kept alive until the end of its natural life. Euthanasia should be an option for those horses that will not have an acceptable quality of life because of injury but it isn’t the only the reason it is a preferred alternative to slaughter.

      If you do not believe these horror stories of bait and switch adoption tactics, neglect or starvation of former racehorses is not doing significant damage to the industry’s reputation, then you are not being realistic.

      As for people like me who do not like the slaughter of horses but do eat either kinds of meat, I am not aware of anyone who breeds or raises horses for the purpose of eating them. Having grown up on a farm in the Midwest, I am very familiar with other types of animals raised for the sole purpose of being used as food.

      • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

        Ray, having grown up with horses we were always giddy during foaling season, thinking of names for all our new “family friends” was a highlight. I remember distinctly at a very young age visiting one of my uncle’s livestock farms right after a calving. I said to my uncle, can I name him? He said, “son, we don’t name our food“. It took me a few years to understand what he meant.

      • Elktonstable

        As I had mentioned in my original complaint, using statistics provided by one of your readers who claims to have obtianed them from the USDA; there are 130,000 horses presented for slaughter each year in the US. The racing industy may be responsible for approximately 10% of that total. The racing industry also has in place more funding and more programs that accommodate equine retirement and re-trainining than any other horse sport or industry in the world. The constant villianization and association of racing with acts of negligence and cruelty leads people to believe we are soley responsible for supporting animal cruelty and the slaughter industry and are genrally negligent and exploitative of our horses. This is pure bunk and deeply insults the thousands of horsemen and women that dedicate their lives and livelyhoods to thorughbred racehorses.  

        Who says breeding animals for meat exempts them from humane treatment? Who says that horses, although bred for other ultility are exempt from fulfilling that need when they have finished their original career?  The horror stories you mention happen outside the racing industry all the time. It is when thoroughbreds become involved that it is sensationalized by negaitve press, making a determined effort to find a connection of cruelty to our sport or if that doesn’t work, contriving one.  Bear in mind a claim was made that the recently indicted  Kelsey L “was working out of Penn National”. Maybe she was conning people with horses that were originally from Penn National, but that doesn’t mean the track or anybody working there or involved in the case, knowingly conspired to send horses to slaughter. She most certainly was not “working out of Penn National”. Anotther stupid statement and a damaging false association bordering on slander. Those that read these nauseating articles superficially or who are biased by faulty information, now perpetuate an augmented negative image of thoroughbred racing that is most certainly, not justified.

        Some of the most heinous acts of cruelty and barbarism against horses have been committed by people outside the racing industry. I think you do a great disservice to everyone involved in racing by making constant frequent negative soul-destroying associations. You are doing more harm than good in my opninion.  I think I will go back to reading the Blood Horse, DRF and the Thoroughbred Times.  

        • JM

          So your argument basically boils down to ‘no other equine sport or registry is doing anything to provide aftercare assistance or to stop horses from going to slaughter so the racing industry shouldn’t either’. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

          • Elktonstable

            Never said that. I said that the racing industry is doing more to protect horses than any other organized horse sport or industry.

          • CC

            And what is that?  A few tracks here and there, a few rehab facilities here and there?  Please. 

          • cripticcrusade

            I would say your attitude speaks of someone who has never been on the working end of a horse, as Elktonstable obviously has.  People who breed, raise, train and race these horses dedicate their lives to the care of them. To throw stones at this industry has become a common practice of so many journalists.  I would prefer to read more articles praising the good that is done and the love that those who care for these animals show with their daily dedication to the hard work and so often dangerous job they have.

          • CC

            I’ll assume you are replying to RP since I am not a journalist.  While it would be fabulous to give credit to those that deserve it, you have to call a spade a spade when it’s ugly too. 

          • CC

            P.S. and if your reply is intended for me, you could not be further off base.  Otherwise, I’ll be happy to loan ya my cleaning fork at 5 in the morning so you can clean my stalls before I go to work, then again at 6pm and 11pm.

        • Newsy4444

          Your post has some good points, though there are enough stories out of Penn National before last week’s “Slaughtergate” to keep us busy for a long while.

          If you are suggesting horses should be sold for human consumption after their racing careers, you are in a tiny minority.

          Horse slaughter is not euthanasia. The grim investigations of Canadian law violations at a “state of the art” Temple Grandin design horse slaughter plant in Quebec last July – where one horse was videotaped suffering a protracted of 11 failed stuns  – show it’s still unconscionably brutal. The drug affidavits were laughably phony; banned drugs are absolutely getting into the human food supply via US horses. 

          Being an apologist for slaughter just may give the legislators a reason to redirect VLT money. I can’t believe anybody who cares about the sport would want to do that. 

          We can do better.. we must. Breeding a Thoroughbred is a responsibility … they’re more than a tax write-off, though heaven knows Congress has been generous with breeding incentives. Let’s be generous back to the horses, eh?

          Many good ideas here… grateful to Ray and for all for their opinions and ideas.

          • Elktonstable

            Bear in mind that other meat sources are not raised in a drug free environment. The drug contamination problem, particularly for persistant substances is being resolved with bans and testing procedures used by most US racing jurisdictions. Detectable limits fall well below food grade acceptable limits. There is no such thing as a drug free meat source with the exception of some orgainically produced sources.

          • CC

            Seriously?!  The stuff used in other species raised for meat don’t hold a candle to the crap pumped into horses of any breed.  Stop being so rose-colored glasses about this.  Horse meat does not belong in the human food chain. 

          • JC

            But, come on, the chicken, pork, fish, and beef industries are WAY more regulated. 

          • Nina

            I don’t know about you but I would not eat a steak full of steroids,bute ,Salixand G-d knows what else.Blood levels are very different from tissue levels.USDA would not accept the levels of horse meat from racing thoroughbreds. I don’t know where you get your info.

      • JC

        “Farm land is vanishing at an alarming rate and suburbanites don’t have
        the foggiest notion about what is required to take care of a horse and
        truthfully they could care less”.

        This is also partially in reply to Elktonstable.  I am a suburbanite but I do not “care less”, else I would not be reading here and giving as much of my money as possible to OTTB rescues. 

        Thanks to Mr. Paulick for also bringing up, basically, the “meat-eating” issue.  You took this particular discussion in the direction I was thinking of taking it, too.  Personally, I am not a huge meat-eater and prefer, when possible, to be more of an egg/dairy vegetarian.  But I do eat occasional meat–chicken, pork, and beef; as far as I can tell, properly raised. 

        I don’t understand why people in Europe or otherwise even eat horse meat that is not being raised(ie, originally) for consumption.  There is no telling what you are eating–was it sick beforehand or shot up with drugs?  Once in a while I hear of horses being quarantined for ~ six months prior to slaughter for the alleged metabolism of drugs, but that is not a guarantee.  It’s my understanding that Japan raises the horses for consumption that it(ie, humans) eats; the slaughtered horses(sickening) are allegedly for pet food.  For me, that begs the question of, “Ok, when he’s done with breeding, will horses like Orfevre end up in the dog food like Ferdinand?!!” One wishes there was a way to do better than that. 

        In sum, I don’t know why anyone, anyway, would want to eat horse meat from some overseas, illegal, or unregulated slaughterhouse.  Don’t they even care that they really don’t know what they are eating?!! 

        And also, I would love to see the industry commit to a panoramic retirement/aftercare setup.  And kudos to all the breeders and trainers who do track, find homes for, take care of, or humanely euthanize their horses if needed. 

        There’s a reason why I’ve never bred my dogs.  Because I could never deal with letting the puppies go.  I have great respect for those who find good homes and follow the racers and “friends” they have bred and trained.  Prayers for all…

        • Bellwether

          VANISHING???…YOUR WAY OF LIFE RITE BEE FORE YOUR VERY EYE$!!!…ty…

    • N.Laurel

      Mr. Elton Stable. You neglected to address the problem of medications that are banned in any animal used for human or pet food. . Can tell me of any of your own retired horses that have not been given penicillin, ivermectin, bute, or steroids? (much longer list!) Would you want your family eating such tainted meat? I don’t want the USA sport-horse industries to be causing cancer, leukemia and birth defects all over Europe. Do you? Did you read all of the drugs that were in just one of the horses that Kelsey sold to slaughter?

      • Elktonstable

        Medications are in all types of meat produced for consumption. This is one reason that slaughter advocates wish to bring the industry back into the US, so that amounts of these drugs can be tested. The presence of anitbiotics or other substances does not mean that they will have a toxic or deleterious effect, it is the amount present. Highly contaminated horses or other animals are a rarity.

        • Newsy4444

          If the laws say the drugs are banned, they are. Unless somebody wants to pay for studies to petition the FDA, and the EU, and change drug labeling for dozens of common horse drugs – which will take years – the regulations stand.

          Bute, banamine, ivermectin wormers, fly spray … common drugs in every stable – banned from the food supply.

          Also banned – the uncommon ones.. androgenic hormones, snake venom, EPOs, nerve blocks, progesterone fertility regulators that cause miscarriage in women in minute amounts. Who would feed that to their daughter?

          No amount of bargaining will change the fact that racing TBs get medications banned from the food supply.

          No amount of bargaining will change the fact that the American people are dead-set against horse slaughter. Woe betide those who ignore that and assume the VLT subsidies will keep flowing with 10,000 TBs a year going to slaughter.

          I’d like to believe we’re at a point to protect the horses that are the reason we’re all reading Ray’s blog; and by protecting the horses, save the sport we all love. 

          There are a ton of great ideas; all we need is the will, the leadership, and  damn good accountants after the fact to keep hands out of the cookie jar.

          Thanks, Ray, thanks Elkonstable.

        • N.Laurel

          Elkton..Where did you get the data that said that drug contaminated horse meat is a rarity? I have seen the European test resullts, and the tests show otherwise. Out of 100 USA carcasses tested, 17 of them had high amounts of dangerous drugs. (didn’t you claim that OTTBs accounted for 10% of the horses?)Our USDA does not test for those drugs. They read a paper that the broker signs (under oath), that states that the horse has not recieved any of of the banned substances. I’ve seen videos of the brokers signing dozens of blank sheets to be filled out by the sales yard staff and the trucker.

          • Elktonstable

            Wrong. The USDA can and does test for drugs considered to be detrimental at particular doses. I question your European study. High amounts of a substance does not necessarily mean unacceptable for human or animal consumption. The same testing entity in Europe no doubt finds similare results in other meat sources from the US as well. You neglected to mention this.

        • CC

          Wow… you really believe that someone wouldn’t lie about time since receiving a med/drug/dewormer, etc. to make a buck. You’ve apparently not met the people doing this.  I don’t know if you’re incredibly naive or an active participant in the slaughter industry or what.  Reality is not what you are presenting.  Highly contaminated horses are a regular occurance. 
          *For the record we raise cattle as well.  Most cattle producers couldn’t warm up the level of drugs in horses on their worst day.

        • equine

          There is only a small amount of testing done in Canada.  However an accurate test needs to be done within 48 hours and the testing is a bit complex.  This is why so many tests are coming back clean. 

        • Jradosev

          The label on most all medications states “Not to be used in horses that are intended for food”.According to a researcher for the FDA this statement is put on every medication despite there has never been any testing of any, maybe one or two, of medications used in horses because of the cost, time and lack of personnel to do the testing, thus it is easier just to label the medications. The use of phenylbutazone has fallen off considerably because there are better medications to use with out causing any of the frenzy that has percolated among the anti slaughter group.According to a Canadian researcher the detection of “bute” in horses going to slaughter is extremely rare. Detection of medicines can be detected in such a small amount it has been compared to a one gram tablet of bute in an olympic size swimming pool.The real problem in the excess horses and who is going to pay to keep them. At the very least it costs one hundred dollars a month for each and every horse and they may live ten or fifteen years with a new group needing to be rescued every year.Millions of baby are dying of starvation every day and four ounces of horse meat could very well save their lives.

          • Nina

            Please post your Canadian source. Bute is still used widely in the industry. The babies in poor countries would benefit more from their parents learning to farm and raise animals than 4 ounces of horse meat. Get real with trying to bring babies into this.

        • Nina

          Boy you live in lala land. This industry is highly dependent on pharmaceutical grade steroids and many other drugs that the USDA won’t allow. You are lying and you know it.

          • Elktonstable

            Nina-
            I tried to find “lala land” in an atlas and was unsuccessful. Your statement that “this industry is highly dependant on pharmaceutical grade steroids and many other drugs that the USDA won’t allow” is dubious. Although these drugs are used, your statement is very misleading. The extent of use is limited to respiratory and inflammatory conditions that arise from time to time. They are used propitiously and not wrecklessly. These drugs are not used, as you seem to indicate, on a routine basis. Even if they were, they metabolize very quickly and would not be present in any appreciable amount in any horse presented for slaughter. Most drugs, if and when they are used, are metabolized out of a horse’s system within hours. The only way one of these drugs might show up is if so much of it was given that there was organ failure that impeded or prevented the clearing of the substance.  A situation like this would be extremely rare in that any drug, given in an amount that would produce this type of effect, would probably kill the horse before it could even be considered for rendering. As you read the labels on pharmaceutical products that you perceive are used in a “highly dependant” nature, try reading more than the big print. Look at metabolization times and half life. Then calculate how long it may take before a horse is actually presented for rendering. Add it all up…….then reconsider you ignorant claim about drugs being present in unacceptable amounts in the food chain. Your statement leads me to believe that your bias has overrun your objectivity about this subject. So now…..who is conveying false information?

      • JC

        “I don’t want the USA sport-horse industries to be causing cancer, leukemia and birth defects all over Europe”.

        Point taken, but THEY’RE choosing to put horse meat in their mouths or their kids’ mouths.  In my view, YUCK; I wouldn’t eat it.  What you’re saying is like saying that, if we shipped tons of donuts over there, we’d be responsible for the French, e.g., being fat.  No. 

        • Caroline

          This is nonsense. Under Article 20 of the GATT (monitored now by WTO) exporters are expected to conform with food safety standards of importing countries, and importers of course to monitor this (subject to the constraint that importers don’t use safety standards as a means to protect domestic industry). The welfare of the consumer is golden in the global economy, just as it should be in the domestic economy. Being an integral part of the world economy requires that trading countries exhibit a measure of actual social/global responsibility, if you can believe that…  

          • JC

            Better hope the “conforming” and the “monitoring” are good.  I’d personally take a pass… 

          • Caroline

            Believe me, I don’t hold a hope in hell of either being the case. The point is that the attitude that food safety is the final (foreign) consumer’s responsibility is nonsense. It is globally a producer/exporter and importing government’s responsibility. How would you feel if you knew you and yours were consuming toxic meat products, carelessly manufactured by a foreign supplier, from a country whose own consumers neither consumed that product nor raised it for human consumption but rather for recreational purposes?    

    • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

      Elkstone, I respect the vast majority of your comments and a lot of what you say here. Especially because you are long winded like myself. But NO horse should ever be sent to slaughter! I don’t care if they were raised and raced “organically” or not. There are ONLY 2 animals in God’s kingdom that totally capitulate to the will the will of man, dogs and horses. Anyone that has ever traveled in the back of a rickety old trailer with a horse would know I mean and gets back on the next day. Unfortunately God got it wrong, dogs live too short and horses too long.

      • Elktonstable

        That is your personal choice and I instantly like you for it. However, other owners may feel differently.  Due to the huge volume of horses that retire each year in racing and in consideration of the vastly larger numbers that come from outside sources, slaughter is still a commercially viable option. If one considers the hypothetical income of three hundred dollars per rendered horse, that money can buy a lot of hay, straw or grain for other productive members of a stable. Distasteful to some of us, economically sensible to others and the sensible use of a resource.

    • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

      PLAIN & SIMPLE…ty…

    • CC

      While I agree the kill mechanism and transport must be improved for all animals, the real problem is personal responsibility.  It’s your’s to take care of, period.  This aren’t creations of a yearling jumping the fence.  Furthermore, I have a huge problem with putting these animals in the human food chain.  And please spare me the they hold the for 90 days to get the bute out mantra.  They hold them until the line is clear for the next group to be brought.  Proof of that in Canada at a facility affiliated with Temple Grandin.  And this applies to all breeds…. as simple as look at that big warning on your Furacin jar:  * CAUTION: FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS THE USE OF THIS PRODUCT IN FOOD-PRODUCING ANIMALS.  FOR USE IN HORSES ONLY.”  It’s a known carcinogen.  Really?!  You want to put that in the food chain?  While a solution is not fast nor easy, something positive has to be done that doesn’t involve a plate.

      • equine

        Yes, good old Furacin sweats used on almost every racehorse at one time or another.  It is banned in cows because it produces mammary tumors.  I don’t know if it is used on bulls, but an increased risk of breast/testicular tumors in horsemeat consumers is probable.

    • Jradosev

      I urge you to  check out my web site http://www.horsemeantforlionsandtigers.com to see an alternate way to properly dispose of horses and use their meat and other edibles to do some good. In short we have to many horses and not enough feed and it is about money, but mostly there isn’t enough of that either. johnr

    • crypticcrusade

      Thank you for voicing the truth about a situation that is blamed on those of us who have spent our entire lives dedicated to raising and racing thoroughbred race horses. We love our animals and take pride in the care of these magnificent animals, but also understand the need for slaughter, or humane euthanasia.
      I see horses poorly cared for everyday, but most are the ones I see in peoples back yards who have no idea how to properly care for a horse, yet are the first to throw stones at anyone in the thoroughbred industry. 

    • Mary Overman

      “Just because most of us in this country do not eat horsemeat, doesn’t
      mean it is not a valuable resource elsewhere as pet food or for human
      consumption.  Only in America can the waste of a resource be condoned as
      acceptable and proper while other segments of the world population have
      a real need.”  Elkonstable – nowhere – and I mean NOWHERE – was horsemeat from American slaughterhouses EVER used to help “segments of the world population” that have a “real need” – i.e., the starving people of this country and this planet.  Same with horsemeat from Canadian slaughterhouses then and now.  There is NO MONEY in slaughtering horses to send their meat to the needy.

      If you want to make arguments in favor of horseslaughter, at least use the truth.

      I am so tired of reading and hearing these insane arguments in favor of re-opening American slaughterhouses.  I am so tired of reading about humane it all can be – when the state of the art Canadian slaughterhouse of Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation, Inc., in St. Andre-Avellin, Quebec, was just featured in undercover video showing clearly that people who actually KNOW what they are doing STILL don’t bother to make sure it’s all done humanely.  And I’m also sick of hearing people in the industry whine that they are being singled out since they do oh so much for TB aftercare.  The horseracing industry is every bit as guilty as the Arabian breeders, the Quarterhorse breeders, the backyard breeders.  Just because horseracing has these minimal programs does not mean it has done enough.  Plus – horseracing owners and trainers and breeders (and farriers and vets and the list goes on and on) make BIG BUCKS from their thoroughbreds.  LOTS more bucks than virtually any other horse breed  And a thoroughbred that makes BIG BUCKS is every bit as likely to show up starved, mistreated or on its way to the slaughterhouse.  Because of money in the horseracing industry, it has a greater responsibility to step up as to aftercare of its moneymakers.I can’t even believe I am still having this conversation with anyone.  You MUST have looked in to the REALITY of horseslaughter (save me the discussion of all the great regulations – none of which are enforced (because there is no money to do so) – and how it can be made oh so humane.  We can’t even make the slaughter of our pigs, sheep, or cattle humane!  Just ask the GAO and the USDA!)Horses with nowhere to go, no future, no hope, should be entitled to humane euthanasia and not a trip to our miserable failure of slaughterhouses.

  • Elktonstable

    This constant whining is ridiculous. Well meaning but totally misguided people that think retirement is the answer for every horse are sadly detached from reality. There are approximately one hundred and thirty thousand horses presented for slaughter every year (if what I read from a source here claiming USDA statistics was factual). Approximately 10% of that total are throughbreds ( again a possibly inaccurate figure but close enough for argument’s sake) . If you are remotely proficient at math, you will realize that within a few short years, there will be a glut of retired horses. In fact there already is a glut of retired horses which is why we are all witnessing renewed pressure for US regulated slaughter. We will soon be hearing of reitrement homes, secretly sending their surplus off for slaughter or wholesale euthanasia. Doesn’t the SPCA euthanize thousands of unwanted animals every month? Or more than likely, some retirement foundations will become the source of corruption and inflated monetary claims for the care of retirees. I can visualize such farms with fifty horse turned out in a five acre grassless paddock with cheap round bales of goat hay with a fraudulent cost of $2,000/month/horse.  This is probably already going on.

     Farm land is vanishing at an alarming rate and suburbanites don’t have the foggiest notion about what is required to take care of a horse and truthfully they could care less. Especially if they are asked to pay for it ( how about putting a dollar donation option of everybody’s 1040W form and see what kind of response you get. Then see what the government does with it!)  Consider also that many horses are not suitable for other jobs in “up/down” stables, due to temperment, poor soundness or ingrained habits that are not conducive to safe exposure to neophytes. Retirement farms only address a fraction of this problem and it is unrealistic to embark on grand programs that take money from people involuntarily for programs they will never utilize. Also, the retirement situation may not make all candidates happy. Many horses loathe inactivity and they fret in a pasture, especially if they are accustomed to the pampered active life of a racehorse. In my stable, we take care of our own horses when they retire and either retrain them for other jobs ourselves and place them, if that is appropriate or euthanize them when we have no other viable alternative. I don’t need to assume the expense for taking care of someone else’s horses and it irks me when I am charged for such things without conscent. My financial resources go to my horses. 

    What needs to be addressed head on, is the mechanism of slaughter itself and the transport of animals headed for slaughter. Economical methods that are humane need to be developed. Nobody appears to be stepping up to the plate here. Yet, the inhumane version of this practice continues outside our borders.  All animals, chickens, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, etc. need to have more humane handling and respect when they are rendered, not just horses.  Watching a truckload of chickens when you own some at home makes you cringe. Then imagine if that was you in one of those crates, headed to the meat house to feed some dominating space alien.

    It is hypocritcal to bemoan the shortcomings of the thoroughbred industry, then sit down and cry over it. while stuffing a steak down your throat or sucking the succulent flesh off a chicken leg as the gravy dribbles down your well meaning but hungry, pulsating chin. There is and always will be a demand for horsemeat, beef, lamb, chicken and pork. Just because most of us in this country do not eat horsemeat, doesn’t mean it is not a valuable resource elsewhere as pet food or for human consumption.  Only in America can the waste of a resource be condoned as acceptable and proper while other segments of the world population have a real need. Even ancient primitive tribes knew better. Making impossible knee-jerk legislation or setting unrealistic anti-slaughter goals do nothing more than pass the buck to someone else or embellish the resume of some assinine politician. These superficial humane remedies are based on pure sentiment and not pragmatism. These efforts will do nothing more than make the burdon of ownership so complex that it will ensure that horses eventually vanish from our lives altogether.

  • Black Ruby

    The tracks and the states having parimutual betting are getting money off horses in horse racing.  Since each of them is making money off the horses, then each of them needs to pay up.  A certain percentage of the takeout  should go to retirement and rehabilitation facilities.  A certain  percentage of the admission should go to retirement or rehabilitation facilities.  If they need to tack this on to the existing takeout or the existing admission, then so be it.  The horses are providing entertainment for the attendees to the track.  The horses are providing money to the state via gambling. The horses need to get something back.  And, since they can’t speak for themselves, then we need to beat the door down for their welfare.

  • Black Ruby

    The tracks and the states having parimutual betting are getting money off horses in horse racing.  Since each of them is making money off the horses, then each of them needs to pay up.  A certain percentage of the takeout  should go to retirement and rehabilitation facilities.  A certain  percentage of the admission should go to retirement or rehabilitation facilities.  If they need to tack this on to the existing takeout or the existing admission, then so be it.  The horses are providing entertainment for the attendees to the track.  The horses are providing money to the state via gambling. The horses need to get something back.  And, since they can’t speak for themselves, then we need to beat the door down for their welfare.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000060014659 JoJo Zumwalt

    Sounds like a good  reason to adopt a NATIONAL RACING COMMISSION. Racetracks and State Comissioners are doing a poor job of overseeing the multitude of problems that plagues this industry. From Drugs to Equine rights. Abusive trainers can move across the street and still race, there is never any price to pay. Except for Paragallo, who was the poster childs for abuse. It is time to pull everything together under one roof and start consolidating these problems and punishing the transgressors, and promoting this industry in a positive way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000060014659 JoJo Zumwalt

    Sounds like a good  reason to adopt a NATIONAL RACING COMMISSION. Racetracks and State Comissioners are doing a poor job of overseeing the multitude of problems that plagues this industry. From Drugs to Equine rights. Abusive trainers can move across the street and still race, there is never any price to pay. Except for Paragallo, who was the poster childs for abuse. It is time to pull everything together under one roof and start consolidating these problems and punishing the transgressors, and promoting this industry in a positive way.

  • FourCats

    While I don’t agree fully with everything Elktonstable says, I do believe that the financial costs of taking care of a horse belongs to his owner; not to other owners, not to the “industry”, not to retirement farms, not to well-meaning outsiders.  I have 1 retired Thoroughbred.  I pay all his bills (which last year came to just under $8,000.)  He will not be sold for slaughter nor will he be euthanized (unless he becomes so sick that it is humane to do so).

    Why is it considered an acceptable solution to impose some sort of fee on everyone in the industry to bail out deadbeat owners from their financial responsibility to take care of the horses that they own?  That doesn’t fix the problem.  It just allows the deadbeats to continue to operate without responsibility.

    In my opinion, a much better option would be to require, as part of licensing, all owners to pledge to completely support their horses throughout their lives as long as they own them.  While there will still be some who don’t do that, those people should subsequently lose their owner’s license and cannot ever be given another one.

    • former OTTB owner

      Someone who’s life drastically changes…who from no fault of their own, becomes unable to feed and care for their horse, is NOT a dead beat. You can have someone pledge what ever you want, but that is not going to stop life from happening. Point to ponder….

      • FourCats

        I’ve heard this argument before.  While it may legitimately apply to a few people (such as sudden death or major illness), in the vast majority of cases it’s just an excuse for not living up to the responsibility that he or she took on when they acquired the horse.  Responsible people plan for worst case scenarios.  Irresponsible people don’t.

        Either way, if someone else has to take care of your race horse because you can’t or won’t, you should not be licensed to own another one.

  • FourCats

    While I don’t agree fully with everything Elktonstable says, I do believe that the financial costs of taking care of a horse belongs to his owner; not to other owners, not to the “industry”, not to retirement farms, not to well-meaning outsiders.  I have 1 retired Thoroughbred.  I pay all his bills (which last year came to just under $8,000.)  He will not be sold for slaughter nor will he be euthanized (unless he becomes so sick that it is humane to do so).

    Why is it considered an acceptable solution to impose some sort of fee on everyone in the industry to bail out deadbeat owners from their financial responsibility to take care of the horses that they own?  That doesn’t fix the problem.  It just allows the deadbeats to continue to operate without responsibility.

    In my opinion, a much better option would be to require, as part of licensing, all owners to pledge to completely support their horses throughout their lives as long as they own them.  While there will still be some who don’t do that, those people should subsequently lose their owner’s license and cannot ever be given another one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nancy-Tague/1520611815 Nancy Tague

    In a Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News editorial, state Rep. Todd Stephens says he is working on legislation that would add state funds to aftercare programs: “Because the Legislature has created an environment that promotes breeding horses for racing, he says the state has a responsibility to figure out how to take care of them when they finish their career.” 
    http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/index.ssf/2012/01/in_their_homestretch_cant_we_g.html

    • Elktonstable

      More money being transferred to government that can be mis-spent or rolled into a ponzi fund that pays for other things government shouldn’t be involved with in the first place. More government is most certainly not the answer.  Todd Stephens needs to figure out how to reduce the State deficit without devising another assinine way of getting into everybody’s pockets using the guise of equine protector. Politicians like this are emotional and psychological parasites.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nancy-Tague/1520611815 Nancy Tague

    In a Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News editorial, state Rep. Todd Stephens says he is working on legislation that would add state funds to aftercare programs: “Because the Legislature has created an environment that promotes breeding horses for racing, he says the state has a responsibility to figure out how to take care of them when they finish their career.” 
    http://www.pennlive.com/editor

  • RayPaulick

    I have never advocated that every ex-racehorse can be adopted or kept alive until the end of its natural life. Euthanasia should be an option for those horses that will not have an acceptable quality of life because of injury but it isn’t the only the reason it is a preferred alternative to slaughter.

    If you do not believe these horror stories of bait and switch adoption tactics, neglect or starvation of former racehorses is not doing significant damage to the industry’s reputation, then you are not being realistic.

    As for people like me who do not like the slaughter of horses but do eat either kinds of meat, I am not aware of anyone who breeds or raises horses for the purpose of eating them. Having grown up on a farm in the Midwest, I am very familiar with other types of animals raised for the sole purpose of being used as food.

  • Gfpowell

    Mandatory 1% from wagering to TB rescue groups – period! Wagering makes it money off the backs and bones of TB’s. The TB’s generate this income and get little or NOTHING from wagering revenue. Although I’m grateful for people that rescue our TB’s it is imperative that our industry takes responsibility now. We must embrace horse rescue groups. I would also like to see some credence to trainers applying for stalls who are responsible about the TB after its career is over. I still take care of my retired TB Get Down Wolfie and I struggle sometimes to pay his board so there is no excuse for these owners who have the financial means and do nothing for the horse. Another issue contributing to this problem is “indiscriminate breeding,” and I don’t know how the heck this can be stopped! People like Stronach and other big owners breed responsibly, but many don’t.

  • Gfpowell

    Mandatory 1% from wagering to TB rescue groups – period! Wagering makes it money off the backs and bones of TB’s. The TB’s generate this income and get little or NOTHING from wagering revenue. Although I’m grateful for people that rescue our TB’s it is imperative that our industry takes responsibility now. We must embrace horse rescue groups. I would also like to see some credence to trainers applying for stalls who are responsible about the TB after its career is over. I still take care of my retired TB Get Down Wolfie and I struggle sometimes to pay his board so there is no excuse for these owners who have the financial means and do nothing for the horse. Another issue contributing to this problem is “indiscriminate breeding,” and I don’t know how the heck this can be stopped! People like Stronach and other big owners breed responsibly, but many don’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SaveStallions Mary Adkins-Matthews

    There is not enough money out there to care for each and every horse that leaves a racing career behind. Many of the discarded horses are raced in lower levels with injuries and are not cared for or fed properly during their careers. Even if there was a place for each and every horse to go after racing.. there is not enough money for the kind of rehabilitation that it would take.  

    For many that can’t go into second careers, they are total liabilities to anyone who takes them into a sanctuary situation. Many young horses leave lower end tracks at the age of 10 or younger that are never able to be 100% sound. Where do they all go? Horses needing sanctuary that can NOT go into second careers are the hardest (almost impossible) to find homes for.  The cost to care for just one of them for the rest of their lives is tremendous!!! 

     The industry does need to step up and be accountable but the program MUST include euthanizing horses that can and can NOT move into second careers because there are just too many of them. It is estimated that over 10,000 thoroughbreds go to slaughter every year. Sadly.. bad rescues and bad people involved in rescue take advantage of this situation every day. Kelsey Lefevre certainly wasn’t the first and won’t be the last. Horses are found at auctions and fans try to save them everyday only to find out later that the horses is in a bad situation, not being cared for properly, starved, or went back into the slaughter pipeline. Many bad people take advantage of these situations by threatening bad publicity to those involved in the racing industry if they don’t fork over money fast and “save the horses” 

    While the lower end levels of racing are more commonly seen as the ones that “dump” the horses at bad places, never fail to realize that there are owners and trainers that do the same and will dump a horse into a claiming race knowing the horse should be done. It is then that the horse is on a downward spiral of hell and some still have the nerve to still call this horse racing, The Sport of Kings!  

  • http://www.facebook.com/SaveStallions Mary Adkins-Matthews

    There is not enough money out there to care for each and every horse that leaves a racing career behind. Many of the discarded horses are raced in lower levels with injuries and are not cared for or fed properly during their careers. Even if there was a place for each and every horse to go after racing.. there is not enough money for the kind of rehabilitation that it would take.  

    For many that can’t go into second careers, they are total liabilities to anyone who takes them into a sanctuary situation. Many young horses leave lower end tracks at the age of 10 or younger that are never able to be 100% sound. Where do they all go? Horses needing sanctuary that can NOT go into second careers are the hardest (almost impossible) to find homes for.  The cost to care for just one of them for the rest of their lives is tremendous!!! 

     The industry does need to step up and be accountable but the program MUST include euthanizing horses that can and can NOT move into second careers because there are just too many of them. It is estimated that over 10,000 thoroughbreds go to slaughter every year. Sadly.. bad rescues and bad people involved in rescue take advantage of this situation every day. Kelsey Lefevre certainly wasn’t the first and won’t be the last. Horses are found at auctions and fans try to save them everyday only to find out later that the horses is in a bad situation, not being cared for properly, starved, or went back into the slaughter pipeline. Many bad people take advantage of these situations by threatening bad publicity to those involved in the racing industry if they don’t fork over money fast and “save the horses” 

    While the lower end levels of racing are more commonly seen as the ones that “dump” the horses at bad places, never fail to realize that there are owners and trainers that do the same and will dump a horse into a claiming race knowing the horse should be done. It is then that the horse is on a downward spiral of hell and some still have the nerve to still call this horse racing, The Sport of Kings!

  • Cynthia_longo2112

    Ray, thank you for your continued attention & commitment to this matter! Those of us that love horses first & racing second are sick of the industry apathy & irresponsibility. We should only raise the amount of horses we can take of & limit race days if we have to. Serious oversight & management is needed as well as a ruling body that can say If you don’t adhere to specific safety, health, and welfare rules, you don’t race. Period. What can us fans do to keep the pressure on & make these things happen?

  • Cynthia_longo2112

    Ray, thank you for your continued attention & commitment to this matter! Those of us that love horses first & racing second are sick of the industry apathy & irresponsibility. We should only raise the amount of horses we can take of & limit race days if we have to. Serious oversight & management is needed as well as a ruling body that can say If you don’t adhere to specific safety, health, and welfare rules, you don’t race. Period. What can us fans do to keep the pressure on & make these things happen?

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    ANY owner that can not afford the cost of re-schooling and placemen t let alone of humane euthanasia has NO business owning a racehorse in the first place. Every owner should be required to put up a “retirement bond” of X amount of dollars every time they are licensed for each horse they have in training. And I am not talking about the cost of killing them but the cost of re-schooling and placement. Every trainer a fee for each horse they have in training, jockey, exercise rider, VET, Farriers, Feed company, Med Companies, shipping company, etc. that works for or supplies the race tracks should be required to pay a yearly fee perhaps based on net income. Every breeder, breeding farm owner, Stallion owner, Sales Company and all the various suppliers to breeding farms and training centers. Especially every “suit” who draws the big bucks. The details and minutia could easily be worked out.
    I can say for fact it does not cost a lot to re-school and place a horse that is of reasonably sound mine and body. Nor does it take a “horse whisper” or “pro trainer” and some ridiculously detailed program. We charge a one time fee of $5,000 the equivalent of roughly $25 per day for 6 months. Considering it cost well over $30,000 a year to keep a horse in training we are talking pocket change in the grand scheme of things. Sorry to those who have read my repeated post on this subject.
    This call to “arms” has and continues to ring false. Because not one industry “NAME” has the vegetables to stand up and say enough is enough we must do something and we must do something NOW. What don’t you guys get? This is the NUMBER ONE issue facing the industry that the moral majority will not tolerate anymore. I used to enjoy the foaling season, spending time in the fields and paddocks with the foals in early evenings twilight, magical. I just can’t look at them as a commodity…..
    It is not the responsibility of states, government, tax payers, fans to pick up the tab. The responsibility to do the right thing is from those who draw a paycheck in what ever capacity from the industry and sport!

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    ANY owner that can not afford the cost of re-schooling and placemen t let alone of humane euthanasia has NO business owning a racehorse in the first place. Every owner should be required to put up a “retirement bond” of X amount of dollars every time they are licensed for each horse they have in training. And I am not talking about the cost of killing them but the cost of re-schooling and placement. Every trainer a fee for each horse they have in training, jockey, exercise rider, VET, Farriers, Feed company, Med Companies, shipping company, etc. that works for or supplies the race tracks should be required to pay a yearly fee perhaps based on net income. Every breeder, breeding farm owner, Stallion owner, Sales Company and all the various suppliers to breeding farms and training centers. Especially every “suit” who draws the big bucks. The details and minutia could easily be worked out.
    I can say for fact it does not cost a lot to re-school and place a horse that is of reasonably sound mine and body. Nor does it take a “horse whisper” or “pro trainer” and some ridiculously detailed program. We charge a one time fee of $5,000 the equivalent of roughly $25 per day for 6 months. Considering it cost well over $30,000 a year to keep a horse in training we are talking pocket change in the grand scheme of things. Sorry to those who have read my repeated post on this subject.
    This call to “arms” has and continues to ring false. Because not one industry “NAME” has the vegetables to stand up and say enough is enough we must do something and we must do something NOW. What don’t you guys get? This is the NUMBER ONE issue facing the industry that the moral majority will not tolerate anymore. I used to enjoy the foaling season, spending time in the fields and paddocks with the foals in early evenings twilight, magical. I just can’t look at them as a commodity…..
    It is not the responsibility of states, government, tax payers, fans to pick up the tab. The responsibility to do the right thing is from those who draw a paycheck in what ever capacity from the industry and sport!

  • Michenka

    I am attempting to start a registry where at birth the breeder pays a fee. Older horses can enter also. The fee covers the cost of a injection and removal fee for the animal so no matter who owns the horse or where the horse travels to it can have a humane death whose costs are already covered. The constant tracking and ownership details are a hurdle I thought I might be able to control by microchips and using facebook. Assigning every horse a facebook friend that follows  its career and travels and lets me know when one is falling through the cracks. Ok folks shoot holes in it because it will be helpful in attempting to fix the problems before they start. Nothing will be perfect but if it stems the flow of horses coming to a bad end it will be worth it. I will have a follow up on each member independent of anyone else but I think if more folks who own horses know people are watching they might be more willing to do the right thing. Of course its just an idea right now.

  • Michenka

    I am attempting to start a registry where at birth the breeder pays a fee. Older horses can enter also. The fee covers the cost of a injection and removal fee for the animal so no matter who owns the horse or where the horse travels to it can have a humane death whose costs are already covered. The constant tracking and ownership details are a hurdle I thought I might be able to control by microchips and using facebook. Assigning every horse a facebook friend that follows  its career and travels and lets me know when one is falling through the cracks. Ok folks shoot holes in it because it will be helpful in attempting to fix the problems before they start. Nothing will be perfect but if it stems the flow of horses coming to a bad end it will be worth it. I will have a follow up on each member independent of anyone else but I think if more folks who own horses know people are watching they might be more willing to do the right thing. Of course its just an idea right now.

  • N.Laurel

    Mr. Elton Stable. You neglected to address the problem of medications that are banned in any animal used for human or pet food. . Can tell me of any of your own retired horses that have not been given penicillin, ivermectin, bute, or steroids? (much longer list!) Would you want your family eating such tainted meat? I don’t want the USA sport-horse industries to be causing cancer, leukemia and birth defects all over Europe. Do you? Did you read all of the drugs that were in just one of the horses that Kelsey sold to slaughter?

  • Mistyoaksarabs

    Or they could have it where you show proof of a bill of euthanizing and they reimburse it? I agree with you 100% don’t get a horse, if you can’t afford all the expenses that come with it, included ending its life in the kindest way.

  • Andalvin1962

    How can money be an issue as so many in the Thoroughbred business are multi-millionaires???

    • http://www.facebook.com/SaveStallions Mary Adkins-Matthews

      because the people that get rich in this business are not the ones that dump the horses at the end of their careers. It is the lower end levels of racing that this happens. Trainers and owners on these levels are not rich. This level of racing should not be allowed at all 

      • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

        Please, don’t be so naive

      • Bellwether

        I PUT ONE ON u BUT RAY MOAN E RACED IT(LIKE A COMMIE!!!)…u NOE THREW IT ON THE FLOOR???…

      • 66puppies

        Hate to burst your bubble, Honey, but somebody’s got to – it happens in ALL LEVELS of racing.

  • Andalvin1962

    How can money be an issue as so many in the Thoroughbred business are multi-millionaires???

  • Dr. Patty Hogan

    Thanks Ray, for continuing to discuss this topic and for giving concerned people a forum to discuss and dissect possible ideas/options.  This is a very emotional topic for all -whether you are for or against slaughter, or care at all about aftercare of our racehorses.  But in any case, at the very least, if you make your living in this racing business, consider this – you need to realize that this issue is fast-becoming a terrible sticking point for the public and our inability to address it as an industry in any organized fashion is going to increasingly hurt this sport and contribute to its decline in popularity (i.e decline in YOUR income).  This is a very complicated issue but if you just look at at the very basics, even if you are staunchly pro-slaughter, it absolutely makes no business sense whatsoever for racing to continue down that path of ambivilence.  The world has become too small and the flow of information so “in your face” (i.e. YouTube, Facebook) that there is just no good defense that makes sense to the public for racehorses to be treated poorly, abused, or slaughtered.  It is currently a scattered, tired, and overly burdened group of charities, backyard folks, FOB’s, and little old ladies trying to form some semblance of a safety net for an industry that most of them have little to do with in the first place – it is OUR responsibility to clean up this mess – we made it, we profit from it, and most of us want to see horse racing survive in some form or fashion.

    • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

      Dr. Hogan, I totally agree with everything you say. May I ask you the following and no disrespect intended, how much of your income did you contribute to the cause? Considering your expertise how much of your time? How many horses do you own and look after? How many retirees?
      I ask the same of the top 5 consignors of the 2011 Keenland auctions, netting 5%

      Lanes End, $94,500,000
      Taylor Made, $45,700,000
      Eaton Sales, $21,000,000
      Three Chimneys $18,000,000
      Paramount Sales $15,000,000

      • Dr. Patty Hogan

        Ok you asked…in 2010, my practice donated $94,000 in free surgeries and medical care for many groups such as Turning For Home (Parx), New Vocations, Rerun, Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue, TRF, SRF, etc. In 2011 that figure was $87,000. Unfortunately, that is not tax-deductible because of the way the tax laws are written for donation of goods and services. there are many other practices and farms, feed stores, and other small businesses that give to this cause – it is just much tougher for all because of the lack of organization industry-wide. And in answer to your other question, I personally support 4 retired racehorses at my own farm and sponsor one at Rerun of NJ.

        • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

          Dr. Hogan, I hope my post didn’t come off as a “slight” because I know that you donate your time and resources. I think that too many people that do are too modest. The more that step up and make public this sort of information maybe others that don’t will get the hint. It is also great PR for any business and they should be proud to advertise the fact. I for one will use a business that does over one that doesn’t.
          We had a reproductive vet who worked for us for a couple of years. She never had to travel to the farm to look at just one horse. She made around $40-50,000 a year just for her services on this one account. One June I was cutting hay and to my horror I hit a fawn and cut up its back leg. I carried it back to the barn completely torn up. I called her and asked to come out and see if there was anything that could be done to save it. She was sitting by her pool and did not live far away. Sadly there was nothing we could do but put it to sleep. This took several hours out of my day and anyone who has made hay knows how crucial timing is. It took maybe an hour out of her pool time and she billed me $250! Needless to say she lost our account. And she has been able to replaced it. Talk about penny wise pound foolish.

          • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

            Last line should read NOT been able to replace it.

        • JC

          Thank you, Dr. Hogan, that is commendable!!  I give as much money as I can.  I wish I could keep or adopt a couple of horses of my own; I would if I could.  But, in the meantime, I’m happy to give, sponsor, or donate specifically to pull horses out of those sickening kill pens. 

          Looks like the farms in Larry Ensor’s post aren’t hurting–care to donate to OTTB rescue?!!  People here are fast making the industry-wide point.  THANKS TO ALL…

      • nomoralcompass

        How about taking a portion of the nearly useless breeding fund in Kentucky and using it to fund TB rescue and retirement? Or take all of it. Do we really need to “bribe” people to breed their horses in Kentucky? Why not lead us away from state sponsored bribery and do something truly worthwhile instead of giving out subsidies to pay the jet fuel bill of some wealthy farm owners. 

         By funding retirement programs with the stud fee tax, Kentucky could demonstrate that we not only are the horse production capital of the world, but have accepted the moral consequences of breeding race horses in the 21st century. It would be refreshing to see the Commonwealth take the lead nationally in something other than basketball rankings and the incidence of lung cancer. 

        • CC

          The incentive fund – while not fabulous, is not limited to TBs.  There are several other breeds who participate and it does lure horses to the state for breeding purposes for them.  The other states are doing their own incentives.  This is what we have for now.

    • CC

      I could not agree more.  For racing to thrive, the industry must change it’s perception.  As you inferred, like it or not the general public does not see horses as livestock.  They view them as pets… and as such want nothing to do with an industry (be it TB, QH, Standardbred, whatever) that treats it’s athletes in this manner.  The only current major sport that is doing well is the NFL.  Time’s ripe to reap the rewards, and that will include changing how the horses are cared for before, on and after the track. 

  • Dr. Patty Hogan

    Thanks Ray, for continuing to discuss this topic and for giving concerned people a forum to discuss and dissect possible ideas/options.  This is a very emotional topic for all -whether you are for or against slaughter, or care at all about aftercare of our racehorses.  But in any case, at the very least, if you make your living in this racing business, consider this – you need to realize that this issue is fast-becoming a terrible sticking point for the public and our inability to address it as an industry in any organized fashion is going to increasingly hurt this sport and contribute to its decline in popularity (i.e decline in YOUR income).  This is a very complicated issue but if you just look at at the very basics, even if you are staunchly pro-slaughter, it absolutely makes no business sense whatsoever for racing to continue down that path of ambivilence.  The world has become too small and the flow of information so “in your face” (i.e. YouTube, Facebook) that there is just no good defense that makes sense to the public for racehorses to be treated poorly, abused, or slaughtered.  It is currently a scattered, tired, and overly burdened group of charities, backyard folks, FOB’s, and little old ladies trying to form some semblance of a safety net for an industry that most of them have little to do with in the first place – it is OUR responsibility to clean up this mess – we made it, we profit from it, and most of us want to see horse racing survive in some form or fashion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SaveStallions Mary Adkins-Matthews

    because the people that get rich in this business are not the ones that dump the horses at the end of their careers. It is the lower end levels of racing that this happens. Trainers and owners on these levels are not rich. This level of racing should not be allowed at all

  • equine

    Ray, complicating this matter further are racetracks like PARX themselves.  For example, Paul E. Labe, Sr. was banned by PARX for taking his horse Sweet Daydreams to the New Holland slaughter auction.  Subsequently on 1-8-12, he ran his horse Surprise Storm  and collected $28K in purse plus PA breeders awards.  After public outcry on PARX’s FB page, a story came out that it was too late to scratch Surprise Storm. 

    Fans and equine welfare advocates have been watching this scenario play out and now see that Paul E. Labe, Sr.’s horse Rockin With Marvy is entered at PARX January 28, 2012, 4th race with his son Paul E. Labe, Jr. listed as owner.  This screams to the lack of integrity in racing! 

    • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

      In all fairness to New Holland auction house it is NOT a “slaughter auction” per say. Plenty of horses over the years have found new homes and plenty have ended up on hell’s trailer. They also auction hay, tack, livestock, vegetables, flowers, etc. I just wished they would establish a “no sale price” above slaughter price as Thoroughbred auction houses did years ago.

      • equine

        Interesting word fairness should apply to NH but not to buyers who may have come looking for specific TB horses where the circumstances make it extremely difficult to even id  horses, let alone purchase them at the speed they are run through the ring.  Is it fair when a well loved family horse  all braided up with ribbons, new shoes, showsheen and a note about what a good horse this is goes through and ends up on the KB/dealer trucks?  Is it fair when NH and the other KB auctions are fully aware that many horses run through their auctions are being sold in violation of deceptive practices laws?  Is it fair there is no accountability for accurately representing a horse even on such a basic issue as the horse’s sex, suitabiity as a kids or lesson horse?

        Is it fair that those who identify cruelty/abuse/neglect by KBs&dealers at places like NH, Mel Hoovers, Sugarcreek, Shipshewanna and hundreds of other auctions all over the U.S. are banned from attending the auctions?  How about the auctions with vets on site making money by providing health certificates&coggins tests yet turn a blind eye when asked to look at an injured or ill horse; they are made of the same moral character as the USDA inspectors when U.S. slaughterhouses were open. 

        Is it fair that horses are deliberately starved for 6-8 months to provide lean muscle meat for big cats?  Think it’s now so, google Bravo Packing House in NJ.  It’s a sickening place for already neglected or lean bodied racehorses.  Here’s a link to a You Tube video:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9vbN2SMszw 

        All the issues regarding TB welfare and slaughter have been going on for decades.  Self interest of all the alphabet soup organizations and the absolutely unfathomable concept that an outside organization or animal welfare group/horse rescues should provide a solution is why we are in the spotlight now.  The TB racing and breeding industry needs to wake up.  It’s not just the horses who are being killed.  It’s the entire billion dollar industry.  Every stakeholder/participant is in danger of losing their livelihood.  John Q Public is no longer believing in presidential campaign promises, nor the promises of safety and welfare alliances.  It is time to take a stand.

    • Elktonstable

      PARX, PENN and PID all promulgate a stipulation that any owner that knowingly or unwittingly, through lack of due diligence subsequent to a sale, has a horse wind up in the slaughter cycle, will be banned from stabling at the track. That does not mean banned from racing.  This deterrent is forceful enough. This stipulation can come back to bite anyone at any time as the Kelsy L case points out. Now as an owner, one might face the expensive task of trying to extricate themselves from false accusation.  What if this stipulation were attached to other products like cars, or plastic bags? Most people would be fined or banned out of exisitance.  

      • nomoralcompass

        They may promulgate, but they are about as diligent in policing their promulgations as a monkey is about hygiene.  

      • equine

        Sorry, I don’t see it as a deterrent.  See my earlier post re Paul E. Labe, Sr., who took his TB horse to NH.  PARX gave a lot of lip service to the public about enforcing their antislaughter policy.  Yet, check the entries for 1-28, 4th race at PARX and you will see O/T Labe, Sr.’s horse transferred into the name of his son to circumvent the antislaughter policy. 

        As private property owners, racetracks already have the authority to restrict who can and cannot receive stalls, enter horses, and transfer horses on their grounds.  Again and again we see tracks not honoring suspensions between racetracks.  Condition books always contain information as to the eligibility of horses to race and this is a perfect place to include language regarding exclusion of entries relating to participants under investigation or violating welfare policies.  Horse welfare needs to start at the racetracks and with the state racing commission to give it needed reinforcement.  Many on the backside know which horses are running with injuries and shouldn’t be, just ask the bigger claiming trainers. 

      • Caroline

        Truly heart warming to see horses compared to cars and plastic bags.

  • equine

    Ray, complicating this matter further are racetracks like PARX themselves.  For example, Paul E. Labe, Sr. was banned by PARX for taking his horse Sweet Daydreams to the New Holland slaughter auction.  Subsequently on 1-8-12, he ran his horse Surprise Storm  and collected $28K in purse plus PA breeders awards.  After public outcry on PARX’s FB page, a story came out that it was too late to scratch Surprise Storm. 

    Fans and equine welfare advocates have been watching this scenario play out and now see that Paul E. Labe, Sr.’s horse Rockin With Marvy is entered at PARX January 28, 2012, 4th race with his son Paul E. Labe, Jr. listed as owner.  This screams to the lack of integrity in racing!

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    Elkstone, I respect the vast majority of your comments and a lot of what you say here. Especially because you are long winded like myself. But NO horse should ever be sent to slaughter! I don’t care if they were raised and raced “organically” or not. There are ONLY 2 animals in God’s kingdom that totally capitulate to the will the will of man, dogs and horses. Anyone that has ever traveled in the back of a rickety old trailer with a horse would know I mean and gets back on the next day. Unfortunately God got it wrong, dogs live too short and horses too long.

  • Elktonstable

    Medications are in all types of meat produced for consumption. This is one reason that slaughter advocates wish to bring the industry back into the US, so that amounts of these drugs can be tested. The presence of anitbiotics or other substances does not mean that they will have a toxic or deleterious effect, it is the amount present. Highly contaminated horses or other animals are a rarity.

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    Ray, having grown up with horses we were always giddy during foaling season, thinking of names for all our new “family friends” was a highlight. I remember distinctly at a very young age visiting one of my uncle’s livestock farms right after a calving. I said to my uncle, can I name him? He said, “son, we don’t name our food“. It took me a few years to understand what he meant.

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    In all fairness to New Holland auction house it is NOT a “slaughter auction” per say. Plenty of horses over the years have found new homes and plenty have ended up on hell’s trailer. They also auction hay, tack, livestock, vegetables, flowers, etc. I just wished they would establish a “no sale price” above slaughter price as Thoroughbred auction houses did years ago.

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    Please, don’t be so naive

  • Elktonstable

    As I had mentioned in my original complaint, using statistics provided by one of your readers who claims to have obtianed them from the USDA; there are 130,000 horses presented for slaughter each year in the US. The racing industy may be responsible for approximately 10% of that total. The racing industry also has in place more funding and more programs that accommodate equine retirement and re-trainining than any other horse sport or industry in the world. The constant villianization and association of racing with acts of negligence and cruelty leads people to believe we are soley responsible for supporting animal cruelty and the slaughter industry and are genrally negligent and exploitative of our horses. This is pure bunk and deeply insults the thousands of horsemen and women that dedicate their lives and livelyhoods to thorughbred racehorses.  

    Who says breeding animals for meat exempts them from humane treatment? Who says that horses, although bred for other ultility are exempt from fulfilling that need when they have finished their original career?  The horror stories you mention happen outside the racing industry all the time. It is when thoroughbreds become involved that it is sensationalized by negaitve press, making a determined effort to find a connection of cruelty to our sport or if that doesn’t work, contriving one.  Bear in mind a claim was made that the recently indicted  Kelsey L “was working out of Penn National”. Maybe she was conning people with horses that were originally from Penn National, but that doesn’t mean the track or anybody working there or involved in the case, knowingly conspired to send horses to slaughter. She most certainly was not “working out of Penn National”. Anotther stupid statement and a damaging false association bordering on slander. Those that read these nauseating articles superficially or who are biased by faulty information, now perpetuate an augmented negative image of thoroughbred racing that is most certainly, not justified.

    Some of the most heinous acts of cruelty and barbarism against horses have been committed by people outside the racing industry. I think you do a great disservice to everyone involved in racing by making constant frequent negative soul-destroying associations. You are doing more harm than good in my opninion.  I think I will go back to reading the Blood Horse, DRF and the Thoroughbred Times.

  • JM

    So your argument basically boils down to ‘no other equine sport or registry is doing anything to provide aftercare assistance or to stop horses from going to slaughter so the racing industry shouldn’t either’. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • Sylvia Schmidt

    Yes, take care of these babies. They took care of you!

  • Sylvia Schmidt

    Yes, take care of these babies. They took care of you!

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    Dr. Hogan, I totally agree with everything you say. May I ask you the following and no disrespect intended, how much of your income did you contribute to the cause? Considering your expertise how much of your time? How many horses do you own and look after? How many retirees?
    I ask the same of the top 5 consignors of the 2011 Keenland auctions, netting 5%

    Lanes End, $94,500,000
    Taylor Made, $45,700,000
    Eaton Sales, $21,000,000
    Three Chimneys $18,000,000
    Paramount Sales $15,000,000

  • Dr. Patty Hogan

    Ok you asked…in 2010, my practice donated $94,000 in free surgeries and medical care for many groups such as Turning For Home (Parx), New Vocations, Rerun, Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue, TRF, SRF, etc. In 2011 that figure was $87,000. Unfortunately, that is not tax-deductible because of the way the tax laws are written for donation of goods and services. there are many other practices and farms, feed stores, and other small businesses that give to this cause – it is just much tougher for all because of the lack of organization industry-wide. And in answer to your other question, I personally support 4 retired racehorses at my own farm and sponsor one at Rerun of NJ.

  • Bonnie Mizrahi

    There are a lot of all-volunteer groups that have dedicated themselves to the cause of keeping Thoroughbreds out of the horse slaughter pipeline.  There were only a few groups in existence before 1997 when the sickening news of the slaughterhouse death of  Racing Hall of Fame champion Exceller was brought to light by Mike Mullaney of the Daily Racing Form  
    http://www.excellerfund.org/story-of-exceller.html

    I have been involved since 1998, and the one overwhelming reality that has slapped me in the face time after time is the absolute apathy from most levels of racing.  Sure, there are owners, breeders and trainers who do care and make great efforts to ensure their horses do not meet a grisly fate.  But the overwhelming “tone from the top” if you will is one of polite indifference (at best) to outright contempt.

    I have absolutely NO TIES to racing except for being a life long fan, and perhaps the “Thoroughbreds Club” card from Santa Anita, yet I have spent close to $80,000 over the years to try and save these magnificent equine athletes who brought me such joy until I learned of the heartbreaking end many of them meet.

    I wish I could believe that industry leaders were serious, but until organizations such as CANTER, Exceller Fund, Friends of Ferdinand, New Vocations, Oklahoma TRP, Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, GEVA and other all-volunteer organizations get some serious ATTENTION and funding from the industry, I will remain forever disgusted.

    • JC

      “I wish I could believe that industry leaders were serious, but until
      organizations such as CANTER, Exceller Fund, Friends of Ferdinand, New
      Vocations, Oklahoma TRP, Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, GEVA
      and other all-volunteer organizations get some serious ATTENTION and
      funding from the industry, I will remain forever disgusted”.

      DITTO!!!!! 

  • Bonnie Mizrahi

    There are a lot of all-volunteer groups that have dedicated themselves to the cause of keeping Thoroughbreds out of the horse slaughter pipeline.  There were only a few groups in existence before 1997 when the sickening news of the slaughterhouse death of  Racing Hall of Fame champion Exceller was brought to light by Mike Mullaney of the Daily Racing Form  
    http://www.excellerfund.org/st

    I have been involved since 1998, and the one overwhelming reality that has slapped me in the face time after time is the absolute apathy from most levels of racing.  Sure, there are owners, breeders and trainers who do care and make great efforts to ensure their horses do not meet a grisly fate.  But the overwhelming “tone from the top” if you will is one of polite indifference (at best) to outright contempt.

    I have absolutely NO TIES to racing except for being a life long fan, and perhaps the “Thoroughbreds Club” card from Santa Anita, yet I have spent close to $80,000 over the years to try and save these magnificent equine athletes who brought me such joy until I learned of the heartbreaking end many of them meet.

    I wish I could believe that industry leaders were serious, but until organizations such as CANTER, Exceller Fund, Friends of Ferdinand, New Vocations, Oklahoma TRP, Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, GEVA and other all-volunteer organizations get some serious ATTENTION and funding from the industry, I will remain forever disgusted.

  • nomoralcompass

    How about taking a portion of the nearly useless breeding fund in Kentucky and using it to fund TB rescue and retirement? Or take all of it. Do we really need to “bribe” people to breed their horses in Kentucky? Why not lead us away from state sponsored bribery and do something truly worthwhile instead of giving out subsidies to pay the jet fuel bill of some wealthy farm owners. 

     By funding retirement programs with the stud fee tax, Kentucky could demonstrate that we not only are the horse production capital of the world, but have accepted the moral consequences of breeding race horses in the 21st century. It would be refreshing to see the Commonwealth take the lead nationally in something other than basketball rankings and the incidence of lung cancer.

  • Newsy4444

    If the laws say the drugs are banned, they are. Unless somebody wants to pay for studies to petition the FDA, and the EU, and change drug labeling for dozens of common horse drugs – which will take years – the regulations stand.

    Bute, banamine, ivermectin wormers, fly spray … common drugs in every stable – banned from the food supply.

    Also banned – the uncommon ones.. androgenic hormones, snake venom, EPOs, nerve blocks, progesterone fertility regulators that cause miscarriage in women in minute amounts. Who would feed that to their daughter?

    No amount of bargaining will change the fact that racing TBs get medications banned from the food supply.

    No amount of bargaining will change the fact that the American people are dead-set against horse slaughter. Woe betide those who ignore that and assume the VLT subsidies will keep flowing with 10,000 TBs a year going to slaughter.

    I’d like to believe we’re at a point to protect the horses that are the reason we’re all reading Ray’s blog; and by protecting the horses, save the sport we all love. 

    There are a ton of great ideas; all we need is the will, the leadership, and  damn good accountants after the fact to keep hands out of the cookie jar.

    Thanks, Ray, thanks Elkonstable.

  • Newsy4444

    Your post has some good points, though there are enough stories out of Penn National before last week’s “Slaughtergate” to keep us busy for a long while.

    If you are suggesting horses should be sold for human consumption after their racing careers, you are in a tiny minority.

    Horse slaughter is not euthanasia. The grim investigations of Canadian law violations at a “state of the art” Temple Grandin design horse slaughter plant in Quebec last July – where one horse was videotaped suffering a protracted of 11 failed stuns  – show it’s still unconscionably brutal. The drug affidavits were laughably phony; banned drugs are absolutely getting into the human food supply via US horses. 

    Being an apologist for slaughter just may give the legislators a reason to redirect VLT money. I can’t believe anybody who cares about the sport would want to do that. 

    We can do better.. we must. Breeding a Thoroughbred is a responsibility … they’re more than a tax write-off, though heaven knows Congress has been generous with breeding incentives. Let’s be generous back to the horses, eh?

    Many good ideas here… grateful to Ray and for all for their opinions and ideas.

  • former OTTB owner

    Someone who’s life drastically changes…who from no fault of their own, becomes unable to feed and care for their horse, is NOT a dead beat. You can have someone pledge what ever you want, but that is not going to stop life from happening. Point to ponder….

  • N.Laurel

    Elkton..Where did you get the data that said that drug contaminated horse meat is a rarity? I have seen the European test resullts, and the tests show otherwise. Out of 100 USA carcasses tested, 17 of them had high amounts of dangerous drugs. (didn’t you claim that OTTBs accounted for 10% of the horses?)Our USDA does not test for those drugs. They read a paper that the broker signs (under oath), that states that the horse has not recieved any of of the banned substances. I’ve seen videos of the brokers signing dozens of blank sheets to be filled out by the sales yard staff and the trucker.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    HORSES NEED THEIR OWN HUMANE SOCIETY…YESTERDAY…JUST TAKE$ MOO LA…ty…

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    HORSES NEED THEIR OWN HUMANE SOCIETY…YESTERDAY…JUST TAKE$ MOO LA…ty…

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    PLAIN & SIMPLE…ty…

  • FourCats

    I’ve heard this argument before.  While it may legitimately apply to a few people (such as sudden death or major illness), in the vast majority of cases it’s just an excuse for not living up to the responsibility that he or she took on when they acquired the horse.  Responsible people plan for worst case scenarios.  Irresponsible people don’t.

    Either way, if someone else has to take care of your race horse because you can’t or won’t, you should not be licensed to own another one.

  • Elktonstable

    Never said that. I said that the racing industry is doing more to protect horses than any other organized horse sport or industry.

  • Elktonstable

    Bear in mind that other meat sources are not raised in a drug free environment. The drug contamination problem, particularly for persistant substances is being resolved with bans and testing procedures used by most US racing jurisdictions. Detectable limits fall well below food grade acceptable limits. There is no such thing as a drug free meat source with the exception of some orgainically produced sources.

  • Elktonstable

    Obviously you fell into the wrong hands at the track. The nature of racing is subject to a strong biological darwinian influence. Not all horses are created equal and neither are people. There are some horses over trained, many are not. This boils down to horsemanship which is slowly becoming a forgotten art as our “human influence” disrupts and crowds out everything in its path. Good horsemen take good cae of their horses and there are an abundance of such people in racing. I would venture to add, there are probably more such people in racing than any other horse related endeavor.

  • Elktonstable

    PARX, PENN and PID all promulgate a stipulation that any owner that knowingly or unwittingly, through lack of due diligence subsequent to a sale, has a horse wind up in the slaughter cycle, will be banned from stabling at the track. That does not mean banned from racing.  This deterrent is forceful enough. This stipulation can come back to bite anyone at any time as the Kelsy L case points out. Now as an owner, one might face the expensive task of trying to extricate themselves from false accusation.  What if this stipulation were attached to other products like cars, or plastic bags? Most people would be fined or banned out of exisitance.

  • Elktonstable

    Wrong. The USDA can and does test for drugs considered to be detrimental at particular doses. I question your European study. High amounts of a substance does not necessarily mean unacceptable for human or animal consumption. The same testing entity in Europe no doubt finds similare results in other meat sources from the US as well. You neglected to mention this.

  • Elktonstable

    That is your personal choice and I instantly like you for it. However, other owners may feel differently.  Due to the huge volume of horses that retire each year in racing and in consideration of the vastly larger numbers that come from outside sources, slaughter is still a commercially viable option. If one considers the hypothetical income of three hundred dollars per rendered horse, that money can buy a lot of hay, straw or grain for other productive members of a stable. Distasteful to some of us, economically sensible to others and the sensible use of a resource.

  • Elktonstable

    More money being transferred to government that can be mis-spent or rolled into a ponzi fund that pays for other things government shouldn’t be involved with in the first place. More government is most certainly not the answer.  Todd Stephens needs to figure out how to reduce the State deficit without devising another assinine way of getting into everybody’s pockets using the guise of equine protector. Politicians like this are emotional and psychological parasites.

  • SteveG

    A fundamental flaw in the business model of racing is the absence of a bullet-proof, industry funded program for the after-care of racehorses.  That such a flaw has been folded into the fabric of the business rather than corrected is, in the strictest economic terms, alarmingly bad business practice.

    For the industry to intone, “it’s the owner’s responsibility” without recognizing how that abdication of responsibility effects their own BOTTOM LINE (in impossible to quantify lost customers) is frightfully bad business practice.

    That the decision-makers in the various racing jursidictions pretend to dilute this very real business flaw into what is, for all intents & purposes, the vertical file labeled “Image Problems” along with drugs in racing & lackluster customer service, is an active illustration of their general incompetence & a perfect illustration of fiddling while Rome burns.

    Other than that, everything is cool.

     

    • JC

      “For the industry to intone, “it’s the owner’s responsibility”…

      Yes, and is it?  A commenter complained earlier re:  any dirtbag with a stopwatch able to be licensed as a trainer.  Is that just an “owner” issue?!!!!! 

    • JC

      “For the industry to intone, “it’s the owner’s responsibility”…

      Yes, and is it?  A commenter complained earlier re:  any dirtbag with a stopwatch able to be licensed as a trainer.  Is that just an “owner” issue?!!!!! 

  • Lisa

    Owners are responsible for ensuring their ex racehorse goes to a good home after racing. Why not add a fee to the purchase price of horses bought a sales, add a fee to the owners license at racetracks. Add a fee when registering a foal with the Jockey Club, etc. At least make it optional.

  • SteveG

    A fundamental flaw in the business model of racing is the absence of a bullet-proof, industry funded program for the after-care of racehorses.  That such a flaw has been folded into the fabric of the business rather than corrected is, in the strictest economic terms, alarmingly bad business practice.

    For the industry to intone, “it’s the owner’s responsibility” without recognizing how that abdication of responsibility effects their own BOTTOM LINE (in impossible to quantify lost customers) is frightfully bad business practice.

    That the decision-makers in the various racing jursidictions pretend to dilute this very real business flaw into what is, for all intents & purposes, the vertical file labeled “Image Problems” along with drugs in racing & lackluster customer service, is an active illustration of their general incompetence & a perfect illustration of fiddling while Rome burns.

    Other than that, everything is cool.

  • Lisa

    Owners are responsible for ensuring their ex racehorse goes to a good home after racing. Why not add a fee to the purchase price of horses bought a sales, add a fee to the owners license at racetracks. Add a fee when registering a foal with the Jockey Club, etc. At least make it optional.

  • Lisa

    As a person who has worked in the racing industry for over 25 years as owner, trainer and exercise rider…there are many horses, who after they can no longer race, will not be any use as a riding horse, they are simply to crippled. What do we do with the lame horses that won’t recover to be comfortable? How about asking the vets to lay these horses to rest, at their cost? I think the industry could pay for the disposal of these animals. Is this a terrible thing to say or is it just being realistic?

    • JC

      “…they are simply too crippled”. 

      I’d agree with humane euthanasia being better for these horses than slaughter.  But, you are begging the question re:  the ethics of running the horse into the ground in the first place. 

  • Lisa

    As a person who has worked in the racing industry for over 25 years as owner, trainer and exercise rider…there are many horses, who after they can no longer race, will not be any use as a riding horse, they are simply to crippled. What do we do with the lame horses that won’t recover to be comfortable? How about asking the vets to lay these horses to rest, at their cost? I think the industry could pay for the disposal of these animals. Is this a terrible thing to say or is it just being realistic?

  • CC

    Wishful thinking.  Anybody with a vet, a stopwatch and a good sales pitch can be a trainer.  Many of them have never thrown a leg over a horse.  We need more Matz and Mott.  Less of the previously mentioned.

  • CC

    While I agree the kill mechanism and transport must be improved for all animals, the real problem is personal responsibility.  It’s your’s to take care of, period.  This aren’t creations of a yearling jumping the fence.  Furthermore, I have a huge problem with putting these animals in the human food chain.  And please spare me the they hold the for 90 days to get the bute out mantra.  They hold them until the line is clear for the next group to be brought.  Proof of that in Canada at a facility affiliated with Temple Grandin.  And this applies to all breeds…. as simple as look at that big warning on your Furacin jar:  * CAUTION: FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS THE USE OF THIS PRODUCT IN FOOD-PRODUCING ANIMALS.  FOR USE IN HORSES ONLY.”  It’s a known carcinogen.  Really?!  You want to put that in the food chain?  While a solution is not fast nor easy, something positive has to be done that doesn’t involve a plate.

  • CC

    And what is that?  A few tracks here and there, a few rehab facilities here and there?  Please.

  • Gfpowell

    Mandatory 1% from wagering to funding TB rescue groups. Wagering is made off the bones and backs of TB’s and little or nothing is contributed to TB’s. Although im grateful for individual rescue if TB’s the racing industry MUST take responsibility for the TB’s aftercare. Actually taking away stalls from trainers/owners who knowingly sell horses thru kill buyer auctions like New Holland. Eliminate “indiscriminate breeding,” somehow. In the last 2 days I visited 2 farms that each have 100 goals they can’t sell and can no longer afford to feed – stupidity.

    • JC

      I too, with my little peon voice, have spoken against the irresponsibility of overbreeding. 

  • Gfpowell

    Mandatory 1% from wagering to funding TB rescue groups. Wagering is made off the bones and backs of TB’s and little or nothing is contributed to TB’s. Although im grateful for individual rescue if TB’s the racing industry MUST take responsibility for the TB’s aftercare. Actually taking away stalls from trainers/owners who knowingly sell horses thru kill buyer auctions like New Holland. Eliminate “indiscriminate breeding,” somehow. In the last 2 days I visited 2 farms that each have 100 goals they can’t sell and can no longer afford to feed – stupidity.

  • Gfpowell

    The farms I visited had 100 FOALS they could not sell and no longer feed – when will this stupidity stop?

    • nomoralcompass

      When enough people run out of money. And what is supposed to be entertainment turns into romanesque spectacle. We are almost there. 

  • Gfpowell

    The farms I visited had 100 FOALS they could not sell and no longer feed – when will this stupidity stop?

  • CC

    Seriously?!  The stuff used in other species raised for meat don’t hold a candle to the crap pumped into horses of any breed.  Stop being so rose-colored glasses about this.  Horse meat does not belong in the human food chain.

  • CC

    Wow… you really believe that someone wouldn’t lie about time since receiving a med/drug/dewormer, etc. to make a buck. You’ve apparently not met the people doing this.  I don’t know if you’re incredibly naive or an active participant in the slaughter industry or what.  Reality is not what you are presenting.  Highly contaminated horses are a regular occurance. 
    *For the record we raise cattle as well.  Most cattle producers couldn’t warm up the level of drugs in horses on their worst day.

  • nomoralcompass

    They may promulgate, but they are about as diligent in policing their promulgations as a monkey is about hygiene.

  • nomoralcompass

    When enough people run out of money. And what is supposed to be entertainment turns into romanesque spectacle. We are almost there.

  • equine

    Interesting word fairness should apply to NH but not to buyers who may have come looking for specific TB horses where the circumstances make it extremely difficult to even id  horses, let alone purchase them at the speed they are run through the ring.  Is it fair when a well loved family horse  all braided up with ribbons, new shoes, showsheen and a note about what a good horse this is goes through and ends up on the KB/dealer trucks?  Is it fair when NH and the other KB auctions are fully aware that many horses run through their auctions are being sold in violation of deceptive practices laws?  Is it fair there is no accountability for accurately representing a horse even on such a basic issue as the horse’s sex, suitabiity as a kids or lesson horse?

    Is it fair that those who identify cruelty/abuse/neglect by KBs&dealers at places like NH, Mel Hoovers, Sugarcreek, Shipshewanna and hundreds of other auctions all over the U.S. are banned from attending the auctions?  How about the auctions with vets on site making money by providing health certificates&coggins tests yet turn a blind eye when asked to look at an injured or ill horse; they are made of the same moral character as the USDA inspectors when U.S. slaughterhouses were open. 

    Is it fair that horses are deliberately starved for 6-8 months to provide lean muscle meat for big cats?  Think it’s now so, google Bravo Packing House in NJ.  It’s a sickening place for already neglected or lean bodied racehorses.  Here’s a link to a You Tube video:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… 

    All the issues regarding TB welfare and slaughter have been going on for decades.  Self interest of all the alphabet soup organizations and the absolutely unfathomable concept that an outside organization or animal welfare group/horse rescues should provide a solution is why we are in the spotlight now.  The TB racing and breeding industry needs to wake up.  It’s not just the horses who are being killed.  It’s the entire billion dollar industry.  Every stakeholder/participant is in danger of losing their livelihood.  John Q Public is no longer believing in presidential campaign promises, nor the promises of safety and welfare alliances.  It is time to take a stand.

  • equine

    There is only a small amount of testing done in Canada.  However an accurate test needs to be done within 48 hours and the testing is a bit complex.  This is why so many tests are coming back clean.

  • equine

    Yes, good old Furacin sweats used on almost every racehorse at one time or another.  It is banned in cows because it produces mammary tumors.  I don’t know if it is used on bulls, but an increased risk of breast/testicular tumors in horsemeat consumers is probable.

  • Jradosev

    I urge you to  check out my web site http://www.horsemeantforlionsandtiger... to see an alternate way to properly dispose of horses and use their meat and other edibles to do some good. In short we have to many horses and not enough feed and it is about money, but mostly there isn’t enough of that either. johnr

  • bob w

    with a well recognized horseman ( trainer,rider ect. ) as spokesman i would bet alot of fans especially longtime fans across the country would help out with a donation.great way to do a little pay-back for all the years of enjoyment. the fans do care.

  • bob weidlich

    with a well recognized horseman ( trainer,rider ect. ) as spokesman i would bet alot of fans especially longtime fans across the country would help out with a donation.great way to do a little pay-back for all the years of enjoyment. the fans do care.

  • Steven Tyre C.P.A.

    The big question is, “Where is the money going to come from to support all these horses.” In my opinion this is an impossible venture form an economic standpoint.

    • Caroline

      1% of national parimutuel handle (and it could be more, and other sources e.g. sales company revenues can supplement it) represents roughly $110 million dollars a year. That’s sufficient to place 30K horses a year into a vetted tax exempt non profit with a little under 4K – and by no stretch of the imagination do all 30K registered foals survive to retire in any case. Some of those horses will move into homes within a year, some won’t. Some will require euthanasia. It’s a start, no? If the TCA granted more than one hundred times what they currently do to every approved charity that they currently grant to it would make a vast difference to the capacity of those charities. This industry makes TENS OF BILLIONS – and is usually proud of that type of number – from horses. Let’s see some of it come back to them. Tired of the whining and the convenient absence of math ability when it comes to retiring horses. California raised takeout last year to increase purses by an estimated $25-$80 million a year. $5 million a year might well assure the humane retirement and transitioning of every thoroughbred race horse in the state. The industry can do it when it wants more for its humans – can’t it?    

      • Gail Vacca

        In addition to 1% taken from the parimutuel handle, EVERY racetrack should  make available a kiosk dedicated to educating fans about racehorse retirement and that allows for fans to make a donation and/or learn about horses available for adoption in their area. 

        Jockeys, farriers, vets, feed vendors, etc should also be required to make some sort of annual contribution.   

        • RiderWriter

          Caroline and Gail-
          THANK YOU both! Caroline, I had been wondering what kind of dollar amount we were talking about if the 1% parimutuel handle fund could be created. Good heavens, yes, that would be enough money to ensure retraining/retirement/euth for 30K of them a year. That is FAR more money than the current rescue groups are working with. In fact, they would have hysterics over 0.5%, if that was more palatable!

          And Gail, your idea for the voluntary donation kiosks for race goers is freaking BRILLIANT. I can just so easily visualize that! I KNOW people would contribute, even if it was only a buck or two. “Hey, look a that. Huh, I never thought about where the horses go when they can’t run anymore. That’s cool that someone is helping them. I’ll give ‘em a little help.”

          I personally am glad to see the wheels turning, ever…so….slowly, but they ARE turning. We need a nationwide program installed, period. Base it in KY and I will work there! We can’t throw it on the owners as there are too many small-time ones. It needs to come from the handle, for sure, because EVERYONE in racing is dependent on that.

  • Steven Tyre C.P.A.

    The big question is, “Where is the money going to come from to support all these horses.” In my opinion this is an impossible venture form an economic standpoint.

  • Kimberly King

    Do we all not love Thoroughbreds for their speed, elegance, and beauty? They step and parade and shine at the Keeneland Sales and so many others. But of all you wealthy owners, spending millions, where are you on the back end?  A Friday 12k claiming race at Gulfstream Friday, brings Ray’s challenge into focus. How many rich owners once had some of those 12k claimers they disposed of? Could those that once went for millions end up going for $400 to the meat man. Those of us who’ve run Tbred rescues know the answer. It’s time ALL owners who take so much pleasure in gambling their millions on horseflesh put their money where their mouth is. Time to step up and bring some class to the throwaways who did their best but came in last. After all, who bred and bought them in the first place. 

  • Kimberly King

    Do we all not love Thoroughbreds for their speed, elegance, and beauty? They step and parade and shine at the Keeneland Sales and so many others. But of all you wealthy owners, spending millions, where are you on the back end?  A Friday 12k claiming race at Gulfstream Friday, brings Ray’s challenge into focus. How many rich owners once had some of those 12k claimers they disposed of? Could those that once went for millions end up going for $400 to the meat man. Those of us who’ve run Tbred rescues know the answer. It’s time ALL owners who take so much pleasure in gambling their millions on horseflesh put their money where their mouth is. Time to step up and bring some class to the throwaways who did their best but came in last. After all, who bred and bought them in the first place.

  • equine

    Sorry, I don’t see it as a deterrent.  See my earlier post re Paul E. Labe, Sr., who took his TB horse to NH.  PARX gave a lot of lip service to the public about enforcing their antislaughter policy.  Yet, check the entries for 1-28, 4th race at PARX and you will see O/T Labe, Sr.’s horse transferred into the name of his son to circumvent the antislaughter policy. 

    As private property owners, racetracks already have the authority to restrict who can and cannot receive stalls, enter horses, and transfer horses on their grounds.  Again and again we see tracks not honoring suspensions between racetracks.  Condition books always contain information as to the eligibility of horses to race and this is a perfect place to include language regarding exclusion of entries relating to participants under investigation or violating welfare policies.  Horse welfare needs to start at the racetracks and with the state racing commission to give it needed reinforcement.  Many on the backside know which horses are running with injuries and shouldn’t be, just ask the bigger claiming trainers.

  • voiceofreason

    It’s obvious that we need to pile even more costs onto these rich owners. As an industry, we’ve done such a good job attracting and retaining new owners… it’s time to make THEM pay for all the improvements. Hey, it’s not free guaranteeing a level playing field so that every owner, every trainer, has an equal and fair shot of success.

    hahahahaha.

  • Caroline

    1% of national parimutuel handle (and it could be more, and other sources e.g. sales company revenues can supplement it) represents roughly $110 million dollars a year. That’s sufficient to place 30K horses a year into a vetted tax exempt non profit with a little under 4K – and by no stretch of the imagination do all 30K registered foals survive to retire in any case. Some of those horses will move into homes within a year, some won’t. Some will require euthanasia. It’s a start, no? If the TCA granted more than one hundred times what they currently do to every approved charity that they currently grant to it would make a vast difference to the capacity of those charities. This industry makes TENS OF BILLIONS – and is usually proud of that type of number – from horses. Let’s see some of it come back to them. Tired of the whining and the convenient absence of math ability when it comes to retiring horses. California raised takeout last year to increase purses by an estimated $25-$80 million a year. $5 million a year might well assure the humane retirement and transitioning of every thoroughbred race horse in the state. The industry can do it when it wants more for its humans – can’t it?

  • voiceofreason

    It’s obvious that we need to pile even more costs onto these rich owners. As an industry, we’ve done such a good job attracting and retaining new owners… it’s time to make THEM pay for all the improvements. Hey, it’s not free guaranteeing a level playing field so that every owner, every trainer, has an equal and fair shot of success.

    hahahahaha.

  • Gfpowell

    Okay everybody seems to be focusing on owners/trainers/fans which are all great suggestions. Isn’t it time to focus on the segments of our industry who make millions directly from TB’s and contribute little or nothing to TB aftercare? I’m referring to wagering because 1% is so little to ask but would translate to aprox. 6 million per year from just 1 racetrack! We have many registered TB rescue groups willing to take TB’s, but don’t have the funding in place to maintain them. This finding would be a long term solution and would save thousands of TB’s. The main responsibility should lie with our industry and outside help should be an asset or afterthought not the main focus.

  • Gfpowell

    Okay everybody seems to be focusing on owners/trainers/fans which are all great suggestions. Isn’t it time to focus on the segments of our industry who make millions directly from TB’s and contribute little or nothing to TB aftercare? I’m referring to wagering because 1% is so little to ask but would translate to aprox. 6 million per year from just 1 racetrack! We have many registered TB rescue groups willing to take TB’s, but don’t have the funding in place to maintain them. This finding would be a long term solution and would save thousands of TB’s. The main responsibility should lie with our industry and outside help should be an asset or afterthought not the main focus.

  • Jradosev

    The label on most all medications states “Not to be used in horses that are intended for food”.According to a researcher for the FDA this statement is put on every medication despite there has never been any testing of any, maybe one or two, of medications used in horses because of the cost, time and lack of personnel to do the testing, thus it is easier just to label the medications. The use of phenylbutazone has fallen off considerably because there are better medications to use with out causing any of the frenzy that has percolated among the anti slaughter group.According to a Canadian researcher the detection of “bute” in horses going to slaughter is extremely rare. Detection of medicines can be detected in such a small amount it has been compared to a one gram tablet of bute in an olympic size swimming pool.The real problem in the excess horses and who is going to pay to keep them. At the very least it costs one hundred dollars a month for each and every horse and they may live ten or fifteen years with a new group needing to be rescued every year.Millions of baby are dying of starvation every day and four ounces of horse meat could very well save their lives.

  • Tipper

    Thats all well and good, but the bigger issue is basic education to wrap consumers minds around That OTTB can do will compete head to head w/ other breeds..namely WarmBloods in a competition setting. Back when TB’s were the Go To Breed of Choice, trainers on the backside got decent money re-sell horses into Show/Sports Horse Careeersa now they can hardly give them away 1/2 the time.
    One reason is the stigma attached of Steriod use (supposedly banned)and any drug withdrawl issues and the other is of course the time honored practice of tap n run thus rendering a joint forever damaged after prolonged or excessive repeated use.

    Lets all accept and take accountability that more are permanatly broken and another precentage has a less than quality of life expectation from injuries.
    These are the horses in jeopardy, those horses are the ones on one way trips North or South. Those are the sould we need to take responsiblity for. Making a final life solution for them.We do need to adopt an acceptable means of green affordable aethestically acceptable euthanasia and disposal. I privately pay to have mine euthansised when there are no other outlets….

    The second issue is to educate and show the huge potential client base the OTTB can be Sane Sound Trainable Competitive because we all know they are affordable. Why keep spending our USA $$$ overseas when we do have the bloodstock right here. If the tracks would sponser more shows, keep the OTTB available for sale or in new jobs on their Jumbo Trons’ between races and host events, put pictures of successful horses from their tracks now in new careers in the betting publics eye, this thing will stick…We need to teach people, old set bows of certain precentages are not going to limit sports careers, Occelets, pin firing and splints are more cosmetic than injury indicators, shin splints etc. Informed educated people who know the breed and understand the horse to re-train and sell them. Riders who can ride….

    Turning For Home New Vocations and C.A.N.T.E.R. are all good programs w/ some limitation and restrictions.  All those groups do a great job, but the track needs to step it up 2-3 notches and promote these successful athletes who are not just local back yard warriers but winning on a more national level at the better “AA” shows or events….we have hero’s everyday who just don’t get the coverage like Idle Dice or Jet Run…….Neville Bardos is a prime example…while Aussie by birth he is TB by bred….

    Trainers and Owners of quality successful horses who are willing to let them go into new jobs, not just as broodmares. Have you ever wondered where all the top Allowance and Stakes horses go once done racing, they are the smallest precentage who trickle out into the show world??? Where do they all go? We see the lower end claimers as the norm offered for sale.

  • Tipper

    Thats all well and good, but the bigger issue is basic education to wrap consumers minds around That OTTB can do will compete head to head w/ other breeds..namely WarmBloods in a competition setting. Back when TB’s were the Go To Breed of Choice, trainers on the backside got decent money re-sell horses into Show/Sports Horse Careeersa now they can hardly give them away 1/2 the time.
    One reason is the stigma attached of Steriod use (supposedly banned)and any drug withdrawl issues and the other is of course the time honored practice of tap n run thus rendering a joint forever damaged after prolonged or excessive repeated use.

    Lets all accept and take accountability that more are permanatly broken and another precentage has a less than quality of life expectation from injuries.
    These are the horses in jeopardy, those horses are the ones on one way trips North or South. Those are the sould we need to take responsiblity for. Making a final life solution for them.We do need to adopt an acceptable means of green affordable aethestically acceptable euthanasia and disposal. I privately pay to have mine euthansised when there are no other outlets….

    The second issue is to educate and show the huge potential client base the OTTB can be Sane Sound Trainable Competitive because we all know they are affordable. Why keep spending our USA $$$ overseas when we do have the bloodstock right here. If the tracks would sponser more shows, keep the OTTB available for sale or in new jobs on their Jumbo Trons’ between races and host events, put pictures of successful horses from their tracks now in new careers in the betting publics eye, this thing will stick…We need to teach people, old set bows of certain precentages are not going to limit sports careers, Occelets, pin firing and splints are more cosmetic than injury indicators, shin splints etc. Informed educated people who know the breed and understand the horse to re-train and sell them. Riders who can ride….

    Turning For Home New Vocations and C.A.N.T.E.R. are all good programs w/ some limitation and restrictions.  All those groups do a great job, but the track needs to step it up 2-3 notches and promote these successful athletes who are not just local back yard warriers but winning on a more national level at the better “AA” shows or events….we have hero’s everyday who just don’t get the coverage like Idle Dice or Jet Run…….Neville Bardos is a prime example…while Aussie by birth he is TB by bred….

    Trainers and Owners of quality successful horses who are willing to let them go into new jobs, not just as broodmares. Have you ever wondered where all the top Allowance and Stakes horses go once done racing, they are the smallest precentage who trickle out into the show world??? Where do they all go? We see the lower end claimers as the norm offered for sale.

  • JC

    “Farm land is vanishing at an alarming rate and suburbanites don’t have
    the foggiest notion about what is required to take care of a horse and
    truthfully they could care less”.

    This is also partially in reply to Elktonstable.  I am a suburbanite but I do not “care less”, else I would not be reading here and giving as much of my money as possible to OTTB rescues. 

    Thanks to Mr. Paulick for also bringing up, basically, the “meat-eating” issue.  You took this particular discussion in the direction I was thinking of taking it, too.  Personally, I am not a huge meat-eater and prefer, when possible, to be more of an egg/dairy vegetarian.  But I do eat occasional meat–chicken, pork, and beef; as far as I can tell, properly raised. 

    I don’t understand why people in Europe or otherwise even eat horse meat that is not being raised(ie, originally) for consumption.  There is no telling what you are eating–was it sick beforehand or shot up with drugs?  Once in a while I hear of horses being quarantined for ~ six months prior to slaughter for the alleged metabolism of drugs, but that is not a guarantee.  It’s my understanding that Japan raises the horses for consumption that it(ie, humans) eats; the slaughtered horses(sickening) are allegedly for pet food.  For me, that begs the question of, “Ok, when he’s done with breeding, will horses like Orfevre end up in the dog food like Ferdinand?!!” One wishes there was a way to do better than that. 

    In sum, I don’t know why anyone, anyway, would want to eat horse meat from some overseas, illegal, or unregulated slaughterhouse.  Don’t they even care that they really don’t know what they are eating?!! 

    And also, I would love to see the industry commit to a panoramic retirement/aftercare setup.  And kudos to all the breeders and trainers who do track, find homes for, take care of, or humanely euthanize their horses if needed. 

    There’s a reason why I’ve never bred my dogs.  Because I could never deal with letting the puppies go.  I have great respect for those who find good homes and follow the racers and “friends” they have bred and trained.  Prayers for all…

  • JC

    But, come on, the chicken, pork, fish, and beef industries are WAY more regulated.

  • JC

    “I don’t want the USA sport-horse industries to be causing cancer, leukemia and birth defects all over Europe”.

    Point taken, but THEY’RE choosing to put horse meat in their mouths or their kids’ mouths.  In my view, YUCK; I wouldn’t eat it.  What you’re saying is like saying that, if we shipped tons of donuts over there, we’d be responsible for the French, e.g., being fat.  No.

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    Dr. Hogan, I hope my post didn’t come off as a “slight” because I know that you donate your time and resources. I think that too many people that do are too modest. The more that step up and make public this sort of information maybe others that don’t will get the hint. It is also great PR for any business and they should be proud to advertise the fact. I for one will use a business that does over one that doesn’t.
    We had a reproductive vet who worked for us for a couple of years. She never had to travel to the farm to look at just one horse. She made around $40-50,000 a year just for her services on this one account. One June I was cutting hay and to my horror I hit a fawn and cut up its back leg. I carried it back to the barn completely torn up. I called her and asked to come out and see if there was anything that could be done to save it. She was sitting by her pool and did not live far away. Sadly there was nothing we could do but put it to sleep. This took several hours out of my day and anyone who has made hay knows how crucial timing is. It took maybe an hour out of her pool time and she billed me $250! Needless to say she lost our account. And she has been able to replaced it. Talk about penny wise pound foolish.

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    Last line should read NOT been able to replace it.

  • JC

    Thank you, Dr. Hogan, that is commendable!!  I give as much money as I can.  I wish I could keep or adopt a couple of horses of my own; I would if I could.  But, in the meantime, I’m happy to give, sponsor, or donate specifically to pull horses out of those sickening kill pens. 

    Looks like the farms in Larry Ensor’s post aren’t hurting–care to donate to OTTB rescue?!!  People here are fast making the industry-wide point.  THANKS TO ALL…

  • JC

    “I wish I could believe that industry leaders were serious, but until
    organizations such as CANTER, Exceller Fund, Friends of Ferdinand, New
    Vocations, Oklahoma TRP, Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, GEVA
    and other all-volunteer organizations get some serious ATTENTION and
    funding from the industry, I will remain forever disgusted”.

    DITTO!!!!!

  • JC

    “For the industry to intone, “it’s the owner’s responsibility”…

    Yes, and is it?  A commenter complained earlier re:  any dirtbag with a stopwatch able to be licensed as a trainer.  Is that just an “owner” issue?!!!!!

  • JC

    “For the industry to intone, “it’s the owner’s responsibility”…

    Yes, and is it?  A commenter complained earlier re:  any dirtbag with a stopwatch able to be licensed as a trainer.  Is that just an “owner” issue?!!!!!

  • Caroline

    This is nonsense. Under Article 20 of the GATT (monitored now by WTO) exporters are expected to conform with food safety standards of importing countries, and importers of course to monitor this (subject to the constraint that importers don’t use safety standards as a means to protect domestic industry). The welfare of the consumer is golden in the global economy, just as it should be in the domestic economy. Being an integral part of the world economy requires that trading countries exhibit a measure of actual social/global responsibility, if you can believe that…  

  • JC

    “…they are simply too crippled”. 

    I’d agree with humane euthanasia being better for these horses than slaughter.  But, you are begging the question re:  the ethics of running the horse into the ground in the first place.

  • JC

    I too, with my little peon voice, have spoken against the irresponsibility of overbreeding.

  • deadmoney

    The guys at HorsePlayerNow have a good idea, ask Jeremy Plonk.

  • deadmoney

    The guys at HorsePlayerNow have a good idea, ask Jeremy Plonk.

  • Gail Vacca

    In addition to 1% taken from the parimutuel handle, EVERY racetrack should  make available a kiosk dedicated to educating fans about racehorse retirement and that allows for fans to make a donation and/or learn about horses available for adoption in their area. 

    Jockeys, farriers, vets, feed vendors, etc should also be required to make some sort of annual contribution.

  • crypticcrusade

    Thank you for voicing the truth about a situation that is blamed on those of us who have spent our entire lives dedicated to raising and racing thoroughbred race horses. We love our animals and take pride in the care of these magnificent animals, but also understand the need for slaughter, or humane euthanasia.
    I see horses poorly cared for everyday, but most are the ones I see in peoples back yards who have no idea how to properly care for a horse, yet are the first to throw stones at anyone in the thoroughbred industry.

  • cripticcrusade

    I would say your attitude speaks of someone who has never been on the working end of a horse, as Elktonstable obviously has.  People who breed, raise, train and race these horses dedicate their lives to the care of them. To throw stones at this industry has become a common practice of so many journalists.  I would prefer to read more articles praising the good that is done and the love that those who care for these animals show with their daily dedication to the hard work and so often dangerous job they have.

  • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

     Where has everybody been? Are people finally starting to pay attention that mandatory funding is the only and right answer? Our organization has been advocating for this since 2004.    The horses deserve a portion of the revenue for their well being and safety when they can no longer run. This is not rocket science stuff here folks. The money is within the industry itself to support racehorse retirement. The truth is the industry does not want to financially support the horses like they need to be supported. The industry wants quick turnover programs, which many are listed on this thread and you know who you are that  run horses in and out quickly, very little follow up or long term protection for the horses. That is not a retirement and rehabilitation program and also does not address the long term horses that need long term care. As we have previously stated many times before, there are three types of horses when their racing careers have ended, those that are sound enough to go into another career such as hunter/jumper, dressage, trail riding, therapeutic riding, etc. those that are not sound enough to be riding horses but are pasture sound and can live comfortable lives but need long term funding and care and those that have catastrophic injuries and are in chronic pain and need to be humanely euthanized.    How can an  industry encourage and reward people for breeding horses but does not provide any safety net for that baby foal that is being brought into this world and does not hold the very person that is bringing that baby foal into the world accountable? Do not ever think that the big name breeder’s horses do not end up in kill pens because they do? There must be mandatory funding expected from thoroughbred breeders in every state and at every level. Millions and millions of dollars are distributed to breeders across this country for breeders awards and incentives every year but no funds for the horses and no accountability. This mindset must change and breeders must be held accountable and mandatory contributions incentives put in place. It would not be too hard to implement a mandatory breeder’s fee and also take a percentage out of any breeder’s awards or incentives they receive each year.  Mandatory funding must also come from the horsemen from a percentage of the gross purse money and there are several ways to accomplish this. It can be done by a percentage being taken out of every horse that starts or a mandatory per start that is taken out by the horsemen’s bookkeeper and placed in a specific fund for the horses and only used for racehorse retirement and rehabilitation, long term care and euthanasia. For long term horses, a portion can be set aside to start an endowment to pay for long term care horses. Our business plan covers this. The R.A.C.E. Fund has been fighting for and advocating for mandatory funding for thoroughbred retirement/rehabilitation for over 8 years. How did any racing industry funding for racehorse retirement and program initially get started in Pennsylvania? The R.A.C.E. Fund. We have fought tooth and nail since 2004 in Pennsylvania and nationally for the horses and will continue to do so until the proper mandatory funding and retirement programs are put in place at every racetrack in the country.   In addition, racetrack management should provide mandatory funding as well as the jockeys. Racetrack management also needs to enforce no slaughter policies and take action against those that do not adhere to it.  Thoroughbred racehorses need to go directly from the racetrack to safe participating facilities and most importantly horses need to be monitored for life. Turning over ownership within 6 months to a year to an adopter is taking the safeguards away and putting that horse at potential risk to end up at an auction or in the slaughter pipeline down the road. Adopting mares out to be bred is wrong and should not be allowed in any program. There are good facilities that could provide the space and care that is needed if funded properly by the industry and new ones can be created in the future. This is doable. A united effort by the industry and organizations like ours and others can make this come to fruition. Full participation and commitment from the industry is needed to provide the necessary funding and a solid program mentioned above that addresses all of the horses implemented instead of these quick turnover programs that do not address all of the horses or offer safety measures for the horses.  Voluntary fundraising efforts will never raise enough money to support racehorse retirement and rehabilitation and why should the racing industry be let off of the hook. It is their responsibility to provide the funding and do what is right for the very fiber of the industry, the horses. Let’s keep holding their feet to the fire until mandatory funding is implemented on a national level and the horses receive their fair share. Anything less is unacceptable.   
    Where has everybody been? Are people finally starting to pay attention that mandatory funding is the only and right answer? Our organization has been advocating for this since 2004.  
     
     
    The horses deserve a portion of the revenue for their well being and safety when they can no longer run. This is not rocket science stuff here folks. The money is within the industry itself to support racehorse retirement. The truth is the industry does not want to financially support the horses like they need to be supported. The industry wants quick turnover programs, which many are listed on this thread and you know who you are that  run horses in and out quickly, very little follow up or long term protection for the horses. That is not a retirement and rehabilitation program and also does not address the long term horses that need long term care. As we have previously stated many times before, there are three types of horses when their racing careers have ended, those that are sound enough to go into another career such as hunter/jumper, dressage, trail riding, therapeutic riding, etc. those that are not sound enough to be riding horses but are pasture sound and can live comfortable lives but need long term funding and care and those that have catastrophic injuries and are in chronic pain and need to be humanely euthanized.
     
     
     
    How can an  industry encourage and reward people for breeding horses but does not provide any safety net for that baby foal that is being brought into this world and does not hold the very person that is bringing that baby foal into the world accountable? Do not ever think that the big name breeder’s horses do not end up in kill pens because they do? There must be mandatory funding expected from thoroughbred breeders in every state and at every level. Millions and millions of dollars are distributed to breeders across this country for breeders awards and incentives every year but no funds for the horses and no accountability. This mindset must change and breeders must be held accountable and mandatory contributions incentives put in place. It would not be too hard to implement a mandatory breeder’s fee and also take a percentage out of any breeder’s awards or incentives they receive each year.
     
    Mandatory funding must also come from the horsemen from a percentage of the gross purse money and there are several ways to accomplish this. It can be done by a percentage being taken out of every horse that starts or a mandatory per start that is taken out by the horsemen’s bookkeeper and placed in a specific fund for the horses and only used for racehorse retirement and rehabilitation, long term care and euthanasia. For long term horses, a portion can be set aside to start an endowment to pay for long term care horses. Our business plan covers this. The R.A.C.E. Fund has been fighting for and advocating for mandatory funding for thoroughbred retirement/rehabilitation for over 8 years. How did any racing industry funding for racehorse retirement and program initially get started in Pennsylvania? The R.A.C.E. Fund. We have fought tooth and nail since 2004 in Pennsylvania and nationally for the horses and will continue to do so until the proper mandatory funding and retirement programs are put in place at every racetrack in the country.  
     
    In addition, racetrack management should provide mandatory funding as well as the jockeys. Racetrack management also needs to enforce no slaughter policies and take action against those that do not adhere to it.
     
    Thoroughbred racehorses need to go directly from the racetrack to safe participating facilities and most importantly horses need to be monitored for life. Turning over ownership within 6 months to a year to an adopter is taking the safeguards away and putting that horse at potential risk to end up at an auction or in the slaughter pipeline down the road. Adopting mares out to be bred is wrong and should not be allowed in any program. There are good facilities that could provide the space and care that is needed if funded properly by the industry and new ones can be created in the future. This is doable. A united effort by the industry and organizations like ours and others can make t
    his come to fruition. Full participation and commitment from the industry is needed to provide the necessary funding and a solid program mentioned above that addresses all of the horses implemented instead of these quick turnover programs that do not address all of the horses or offer safety measures for the horses.  Voluntary fundraising efforts will never raise enough money to support racehorse retirement and rehabilitation and why should the racing industry be let off of the hook. It is their responsibility to provide the funding and do what is right for the very fiber of the industry, the horses. Let’s keep holding their feet to the fire until mandatory funding is implemented on a national level and the horses receive their fair share. Anything less is unacceptable.
     
     

    • Gfpowell

      I totally agree with you on all suggestions. It is very clear that mandating is essential or nothing will get done. Education into second careers. One segment if the industry you failed to mention is the sake consignment houses like Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton or OBS. The amount if money they make is STAGGERING! they have an optional box that a buyer can check off to automatically donate to TB charities. What amazes me is owners who spend hundreds of thousands even millions 4 their purchase DO NOT check the box! Again, the auction houses donate little or nothing to the TB that makes them millions. When you really analyze just how much Keeneland & others donate from their profits it is a drop in the bucket since most of their charitable donations go to human charities. Perhaps mandating a 1% sales tax on the auction houses is in order. This tax will go directly to TB rescue groups which would translate to millions and many lives saved.

    • Elktonstable

      Well……..what about the other 90% (120,000 per year) of horses that are not coming from the thoroughbred industry that represent the bulk of the rendering industry?  Is the thoroughbred industry supposed to assume liability for them as well?  As an owner, breeder and trainerI choose to have my financial resources go to my horses. I do not agree with any mandatory program that forces me to take responsibility for somebody esle’s horses or to promote programs over which I have no control. Endeavors  like the ones you suggest are easily corrupted, especially where contributors have no choice in the matter of suport or abstention.  I think it should be mandatory that people that try to force their beliefs on others should mind their own business and run their own affairs.

  • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

    Where has everybody been? Are people finally starting to pay attention that mandatory funding is the only and right answer? Our organization has been advocating for this since 2004.    The horses deserve a portion of the revenue for their well being and safety when they can no longer run. This is not rocket science stuff here folks. The money is within the industry itself to support racehorse retirement. The truth is the industry does not want to financially support the horses like they need to be supported. The industry wants quick turnover programs, which many are listed on this thread and you know who you are that  run horses in and out quickly, very little follow up or long term protection for the horses. That is not a retirement and rehabilitation program and also does not address the long term horses that need long term care. As we have previously stated many times before, there are three types of horses when their racing careers have ended, those that are sound enough to go into another career such as hunter/jumper, dressage, trail riding, therapeutic riding, etc. those that are not sound enough to be riding horses but are pasture sound and can live comfortable lives but need long term funding and care and those that have catastrophic injuries and are in chronic pain and need to be humanely euthanized.    How can an  industry encourage and reward people for breeding horses but does not provide any safety net for that baby foal that is being brought into this world and does not hold the very person that is bringing that baby foal into the world accountable? Do not ever think that the big name breeder’s horses do not end up in kill pens because they do? There must be mandatory funding expected from thoroughbred breeders in every state and at every level. Millions and millions of dollars are distributed to breeders across this country for breeders awards and incentives every year but no funds for the horses and no accountability. This mindset must change and breeders must be held accountable and mandatory contributions incentives put in place. It would not be too hard to implement a mandatory breeder’s fee and also take a percentage out of any breeder’s awards or incentives they receive each year.  Mandatory funding must also come from the horsemen from a percentage of the gross purse money and there are several ways to accomplish this. It can be done by a percentage being taken out of every horse that starts or a mandatory per start that is taken out by the horsemen’s bookkeeper and placed in a specific fund for the horses and only used for racehorse retirement and rehabilitation, long term care and euthanasia. For long term horses, a portion can be set aside to start an endowment to pay for long term care horses. Our business plan covers this. The R.A.C.E. Fund has been fighting for and advocating for mandatory funding for thoroughbred retirement/rehabilitation for over 8 years. How did any racing industry funding for racehorse retirement and program initially get started in Pennsylvania? The R.A.C.E. Fund. We have fought tooth and nail since 2004 in Pennsylvania and nationally for the horses and will continue to do so until the proper mandatory funding and retirement programs are put in place at every racetrack in the country.   In addition, racetrack management should provide mandatory funding as well as the jockeys. Racetrack management also needs to enforce no slaughter policies and take action against those that do not adhere to it.  Thoroughbred racehorses need to go directly from the racetrack to safe participating facilities and most importantly horses need to be monitored for life. Turning over ownership within 6 months to a year to an adopter is taking the safeguards away and putting that horse at potential risk to end up at an auction or in the slaughter pipeline down the road. Adopting mares out to be bred is wrong and should not be allowed in any program. There are good facilities that could provide the space and care that is needed if funded properly by the industry and new ones can be created in the future. This is doable. A united effort by the industry and organizations like ours and others can make this come to fruition. Full participation and commitment from the industry is needed to provide the necessary funding and a solid program mentioned above that addresses all of the horses implemented instead of these quick turnover programs that do not address all of the horses or offer safety measures for the horses.  Voluntary fundraising efforts will never raise enough money to support racehorse retirement and rehabilitation and why should the racing industry be let off of the hook. It is their responsibility to provide the funding and do what is right for the very fiber of the industry, the horses. Let’s keep holding their feet to the fire until mandatory funding is implemented on a national level and the horses receive their fair share. Anything less is unacceptable.   
    Where has everybody been? Are people finally starting to pay attention that mandatory funding is the only and right answer? Our organization has been advocating for this since 2004.  
     
     
    The horses deserve a portion of the revenue for their well being and safety when they can no longer run. This is not rocket science stuff here folks. The money is within the industry itself to support racehorse retirement. The truth is the industry does not want to financially support the horses like they need to be supported. The industry wants quick turnover programs, which many are listed on this thread and you know who you are that  run horses in and out quickly, very little follow up or long term protection for the horses. That is not a retirement and rehabilitation program and also does not address the long term horses that need long term care. As we have previously stated many times before, there are three types of horses when their racing careers have ended, those that are sound enough to go into another career such as hunter/jumper, dressage, trail riding, therapeutic riding, etc. those that are not sound enough to be riding horses but are pasture sound and can live comfortable lives but need long term funding and care and those that have catastrophic injuries and are in chronic pain and need to be humanely euthanized.
     
     
     
    How can an  industry encourage and reward people for breeding horses but does not provide any safety net for that baby foal that is being brought into this world and does not hold the very person that is bringing that baby foal into the world accountable? Do not ever think that the big name breeder’s horses do not end up in kill pens because they do? There must be mandatory funding expected from thoroughbred breeders in every state and at every level. Millions and millions of dollars are distributed to breeders across this country for breeders awards and incentives every year but no funds for the horses and no accountability. This mindset must change and breeders must be held accountable and mandatory contributions incentives put in place. It would not be too hard to implement a mandatory breeder’s fee and also take a percentage out of any breeder’s awards or incentives they receive each year.
     
    Mandatory funding must also come from the horsemen from a percentage of the gross purse money and there are several ways to accomplish this. It can be done by a percentage being taken out of every horse that starts or a mandatory per start that is taken out by the horsemen’s bookkeeper and placed in a specific fund for the horses and only used for racehorse retirement and rehabilitation, long term care and euthanasia. For long term horses, a portion can be set aside to start an endowment to pay for long term care horses. Our business plan covers this. The R.A.C.E. Fund has been fighting for and advocating for mandatory funding for thoroughbred retirement/rehabilitation for over 8 years. How did any racing industry funding for racehorse retirement and program initially get started in Pennsylvania? The R.A.C.E. Fund. We have fought tooth and nail since 2004 in Pennsylvania and nationally for the horses and will continue to do so until the proper mandatory funding and retirement programs are put in place at every racetrack in the country.  
     
    In addition, racetrack management should provide mandatory funding as well as the jockeys. Racetrack management also needs to enforce no slaughter policies and take action against those that do not adhere to it.
     
    Thoroughbred racehorses need to go directly from the racetrack to safe participating facilities and most importantly horses need to be monitored for life. Turning over ownership within 6 months to a year to an adopter is taking the safeguards away and putting that horse at potential risk to end up at an auction or in the slaughter pipeline down the road. Adopting mares out to be bred is wrong and should not be allowed in any program. There are good facilities that could provide the space and care that is needed if funded properly by the industry and new ones can be created in the future. This is doable. A united effort by the industry and organizations like ours and others can make t
    his come to fruition. Full participation and commitment from the industry is needed to provide the necessary funding and a solid program mentioned above that addresses all of the horses implemented instead of these quick turnover programs that do not address all of the horses or offer safety measures for the horses.  Voluntary fundraising efforts will never raise enough money to support racehorse retirement and rehabilitation and why should the racing industry be let off of the hook. It is their responsibility to provide the funding and do what is right for the very fiber of the industry, the horses. Let’s keep holding their feet to the fire until mandatory funding is implemented on a national level and the horses receive their fair share. Anything less is unacceptable.
     
     

  • EANSKIP

    ARM fights disgusting illegal slaughter farms in the Miami area, some of which have moved to the Everglades area.  Cudo puts his life on the line every time he goes to one of these hellholes populated by killers who are so cruel and bloodthirsty that they are threats to anyone else coming near them.  Florida doesn’t seem to give a damn about what horrors are happening on these farms–the outright vicious murder of all kinds of animals including horses.  Because state governments don’t give a damn about horses, and the Fed encourages violence toward all animals (read BLM and Fish and Game into that statement), how the heck can horse slaughter be solved if there are no laws to protect horses AND if “the law” in every state turns its back on horses?  What the race tracks do to unwanted horses is a totally monstrous act of inhumanity and cruelty.  They keep the kill buyers and the meat men fat and rich by getting rid of the losers cheaply.  The economy isn’t helping with this either, but horse breeders continually make matters much worse.  They breed for speed, horses break down earlier in their careers, they go to stud early, and owners breed one stallion 50-125 times a year–for the money, of course, and also for the pursuit of a Derby win.  And how many stallions stand at stud in the USA?   And what happens to all the TBs that cannot make it on the track?  Guess.  Whether Republican or Democrat, no administration has helped our horses.  Instead, they hire a rancher like Ken Salazar to run the Dept of Interior and give all his fellow ranchers and cow men all they ask for, the hell with the mustangs and burros that have been there for 1000 years.  Solution?  BREED LESS, START SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNTS FOR HORSES, MAKE AFTERCARE MANDATORY, and not in some hellhole, either…they work horses to death on the track and make money off their backs…the least the owners can do is provide for retirement for these innocent animals.  If they cannot afford aftercare for each horse they bring into the world, they should not breed any.  All of you familiar with this mess know all too well that we can sit down and write thousands of words on this subject–just to keep our horses safe from neglect, abuse, abandonment and sale to the kill buyers.

  • Ruthlenahan

    I agree with a lot of this….but no matter what you do, TB’s are very fragile. They can get hurt PERIOD. I’ve seen wonderful trainers & I honestly believe that probably some of the BEST horsemen/horsewomen are TB racehorse trainers.  But, I’ve seen some trainers that are really skanky! That includes a whole lot of AQHA race trainers, cutters, reiners, etc. Some of the worst I’ve seen!

  • voiceofreason

    “Industry commitment on Thoroughbred aftercare cannot wait”

    Thus, it shall wait.

    This is horse racing, remember? They allowed legal steroid abuses (unrestricted) for decades. Unless forced, those with power could give a single rats tushy about what we think should be done. Sorry y’all. Truth.

  • voiceofreason

    “Industry commitment on Thoroughbred aftercare cannot wait”

    Thus, it shall wait.

    This is horse racing, remember? They allowed legal steroid abuses (unrestricted) for decades. Unless forced, those with power could give a single rats tushy about what we think should be done. Sorry y’all. Truth.

  • Nina

    I don’t know about you but I would not eat a steak full of steroids,bute ,Salixand G-d knows what else.Blood levels are very different from tissue levels.USDA would not accept the levels of horse meat from racing thoroughbreds. I don’t know where you get your info.

  • Nina

    Boy you live in lala land. This industry is highly dependent on pharmaceutical grade steroids and many other drugs that the USDA won’t allow. You are lying and you know it.

  • Nina

    Please post your Canadian source. Bute is still used widely in the industry. The babies in poor countries would benefit more from their parents learning to farm and raise animals than 4 ounces of horse meat. Get real with trying to bring babies into this.

  • JC

    Better hope the “conforming” and the “monitoring” are good.  I’d personally take a pass…

  • Caroline

    Believe me, I don’t hold a hope in hell of either being the case. The point is that the attitude that food safety is the final (foreign) consumer’s responsibility is nonsense. It is globally a producer/exporter and importing government’s responsibility. How would you feel if you knew you and yours were consuming toxic meat products, carelessly manufactured by a foreign supplier, from a country whose own consumers neither consumed that product nor raised it for human consumption but rather for recreational purposes?

  • Satchel3

    What moronic homers this industry has! Nuances are constantly parsed by the “insiders”, to the comfort of their fellow homers. Meanwhile, Rome burns.

  • Satchel3

    What moronic homers this industry has! Nuances are constantly parsed by the “insiders”, to the comfort of their fellow homers. Meanwhile, Rome burns.

  • Mtnhikerjm

    It’s a very simple fix. Each time a horse is entered there is a mandatory charge of $10 per horse that goes to proven safe retirement/rehab facilities. Doesn’t sound like much? At most tracks there is about 65 to 100 competing horses on any given day. That’s $650-$1000 a day generated by one track times how many across the country? This can generate considerable funding for retirement centers.

    • Caroline

      Sorry the math just doesn’t work. On a national level, it would take approx $287 per start to match the funding that a 1% deduction from everyone’s takeout from wagering would, based on 2011 starts and handle. So I don’t know – everyone want to pay that? And who pays it? It is pretty clear you don’t know what it costs for retirement centers to take in, rehab, retrain/transition a horse if you think $10 per start makes the grade…

  • Mtnhikerjm

    It’s a very simple fix. Each time a horse is entered there is a mandatory charge of $10 per horse that goes to proven safe retirement/rehab facilities. Doesn’t sound like much? At most tracks there is about 65 to 100 competing horses on any given day. That’s $650-$1000 a day generated by one track times how many across the country? This can generate considerable funding for retirement centers.

  • calicheflat

    This issue is utter nonsence.  Thoroughbreds are animals; livestock, like goats, sheep, cattle and pigs.  We love them, and they are breautiful in thier prime, but the idea that mankind can,or should, worship these creature over all others and prostate itself for their salvation is absurd on it’s face.  Get real Ray.  You sound like a fool.

    Forcing those who own and care for these creatures by demanding fees and payment for their livilihood well past their productive lives can have only two results.  Either they will not be created, i.e., bred and raised since to do so has a mandated cost over and above the normal costs, or those who do own them will circumvent the rules and dispose of them in the traditional fashion.

    • JC

      With respect, I think this is ridiculous.  Just because I take care of my dogs, it doesn’t mean I “worship them and prostrate myself for their salvation”.  I do love them; and, hey, they didn’t even make me thousands or millions of dollars. 

      I also have the experience of having adopted a retired racing greyhound. It’s the same experience, just with a smaller animal.  My prayer is that people don’t overbreed, and they care for what they breed whilst the progeny are racing and then finished racing.  Just because the animals can’t race or are done racing doesn’t mean they’re disposable trash.  And, if some feel the need for them to be “disposable”, at least pay for a humane, euthanized end rather than the sickening slaughterhouses. 

    • Gfpowell

      You reek of biblical religious basis and it is horrible. I sure hope you are not in a position of power over TB’s, but your voice has been heard from your mountain of Moses. The bottom line is: making profits from something makes the world go round, but not balancing those profits against the common good is unacceptable. For example, oil companies drilling in the Gulf for profit whom are unanswerable to our environment is unacceptable, mortgage companies making millions off the backs of American people who are not regulated is unacceptable and so is a racing industry making millions off the back of TB’s who are not contributing to their aftercare is deplorable! Mandatory regulation is the only answer because they have shown that left to their own devices they do nothing while they sing to the tune if thousands if TB’s marching to the slaughterhouse hoofbeat.

  • calicheflat

    This issue is utter nonsence.  Thoroughbreds are animals; livestock, like goats, sheep, cattle and pigs.  We love them, and they are breautiful in thier prime, but the idea that mankind can,or should, worship these creature over all others and prostate itself for their salvation is absurd on it’s face.  Get real Ray.  You sound like a fool.

    Forcing those who own and care for these creatures by demanding fees and payment for their livilihood well past their productive lives can have only two results.  Either they will not be created, i.e., bred and raised since to do so has a mandated cost over and above the normal costs, or those who do own them will circumvent the rules and dispose of them in the traditional fashion.

  • JC

    With respect, I think this is ridiculous.  Just because I take care of my dogs, it doesn’t mean I “worship them and prostrate myself for their salvation”.  I do love them; and, hey, they didn’t even make me thousands or millions of dollars. 

    I also have the experience of having adopted a retired racing greyhound. It’s the same experience, just with a smaller animal.  My prayer is that people don’t overbreed, and they care for what they breed whilst the progeny are racing and then finished racing.  Just because the animals can’t race or are done racing doesn’t mean they’re disposable trash.  And, if some feel the need for them to be “disposable”, at least pay for a humane, euthanized end rather than the sickening slaughterhouses.

  • JC
  • JC

    There’s also this to consider.

    http://www.tinyhoovesrescue.or

  • Caroline

    Sorry the math just doesn’t work. On a national level, it would take approx $287 per start to match the funding that a 1% deduction from everyone’s takeout from wagering would, based on 2011 starts and handle. So I don’t know – everyone want to pay that? And who pays it? It is pretty clear you don’t know what it costs for retirement centers to take in, rehab, retrain/transition a horse if you think $10 per start makes the grade…

  • Anon

    Amazing, the resistance, and lack of industry response. Are we supposed to believe that the latest TRF “phenomenon” press release is going to save the thoroughbred’s world? Give me a break. Really. Any real accounting yet for the TRF “lost” horses? Presumed dead? What Ray? 

    • RayPaulick

      You’ll have to ask someone who is currently affiliated with TRF. I am no longer on the association’s board.

  • Anon

    Amazing, the resistance, and lack of industry response. Are we supposed to believe that the latest TRF “phenomenon” press release is going to save the thoroughbred’s world? Give me a break. Really. Any real accounting yet for the TRF “lost” horses? Presumed dead? What Ray?

  • Bellwether

    VANISHING???…YOUR WAY OF LIFE RITE BEE FORE YOUR VERY EYE$!!!…ty…

  • Bellwether

    I PUT ONE ON u BUT RAY MOAN E RACED IT(LIKE A COMMIE!!!)…u NOE THREW IT ON THE FLOOR???…

  • Gfpowell

    I totally agree with you on all suggestions. It is very clear that mandating is essential or nothing will get done. Education into second careers. One segment if the industry you failed to mention is the sake consignment houses like Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton or OBS. The amount if money they make is STAGGERING! they have an optional box that a buyer can check off to automatically donate to TB charities. What amazes me is owners who spend hundreds of thousands even millions 4 their purchase DO NOT check the box! Again, the auction houses donate little or nothing to the TB that makes them millions. When you really analyze just how much Keeneland & others donate from their profits it is a drop in the bucket since most of their charitable donations go to human charities. Perhaps mandating a 1% sales tax on the auction houses is in order. This tax will go directly to TB rescue groups which would translate to millions and many lives saved.

  • Gfpowell

    You reek of biblical religious basis and it is horrible. I sure hope you are not in a position of power over TB’s, but your voice has been heard from your mountain of Moses. The bottom line is: making profits from something makes the world go round, but not balancing those profits against the common good is unacceptable. For example, oil companies drilling in the Gulf for profit whom are unanswerable to our environment is unacceptable, mortgage companies making millions off the backs of American people who are not regulated is unacceptable and so is a racing industry making millions off the back of TB’s who are not contributing to their aftercare is deplorable! Mandatory regulation is the only answer because they have shown that left to their own devices they do nothing while they sing to the tune if thousands if TB’s marching to the slaughterhouse hoofbeat.

  • CC

    I’d qualify very few of the TB trainers as horsemen, especially in current times.  I’m very familiar with the stock horse industry as well as the racing industry.  Plenty to dislike in all disciplines.  Unfortunately many unscrupulous methods are also successful, regardless of the detriment to the horse.  Wins = more clients.  So while a good horseman is out there, many are overlooked because they do not use some of the current methods… and end up out of business.  I’d only call 4 of the current leading group in racing really good horse, the mentioned previously as well as Larry Jones and John Shirreffs.  I’m sure there are a few others.  Sadly in all aspects of the equine industry, there are not many great horsemen left.

  • CC

    I’ll assume you are replying to RP since I am not a journalist.  While it would be fabulous to give credit to those that deserve it, you have to call a spade a spade when it’s ugly too.

  • CC

    P.S. and if your reply is intended for me, you could not be further off base.  Otherwise, I’ll be happy to loan ya my cleaning fork at 5 in the morning so you can clean my stalls before I go to work, then again at 6pm and 11pm.

  • Elktonstable

    Nina-
    I tried to find “lala land” in an atlas and was unsuccessful. Your statement that “this industry is highly dependant on pharmaceutical grade steroids and many other drugs that the USDA won’t allow” is dubious. Although these drugs are used, your statement is very misleading. The extent of use is limited to respiratory and inflammatory conditions that arise from time to time. They are used propitiously and not wrecklessly. These drugs are not used, as you seem to indicate, on a routine basis. Even if they were, they metabolize very quickly and would not be present in any appreciable amount in any horse presented for slaughter. Most drugs, if and when they are used, are metabolized out of a horse’s system within hours. The only way one of these drugs might show up is if so much of it was given that there was organ failure that impeded or prevented the clearing of the substance.  A situation like this would be extremely rare in that any drug, given in an amount that would produce this type of effect, would probably kill the horse before it could even be considered for rendering. As you read the labels on pharmaceutical products that you perceive are used in a “highly dependant” nature, try reading more than the big print. Look at metabolization times and half life. Then calculate how long it may take before a horse is actually presented for rendering. Add it all up…….then reconsider you ignorant claim about drugs being present in unacceptable amounts in the food chain. Your statement leads me to believe that your bias has overrun your objectivity about this subject. So now…..who is conveying false information?

  • CC

    The incentive fund – while not fabulous, is not limited to TBs.  There are several other breeds who participate and it does lure horses to the state for breeding purposes for them.  The other states are doing their own incentives.  This is what we have for now.

  • CC

    I could not agree more.  For racing to thrive, the industry must change it’s perception.  As you inferred, like it or not the general public does not see horses as livestock.  They view them as pets… and as such want nothing to do with an industry (be it TB, QH, Standardbred, whatever) that treats it’s athletes in this manner.  The only current major sport that is doing well is the NFL.  Time’s ripe to reap the rewards, and that will include changing how the horses are cared for before, on and after the track.

  • Petey Green

    You don’t have to be a ‘great horsemen’ to show compassion for the horses in your care. Just a decent human being. And, sadly, it’s very difficult to measure and legislate that trait in all the people who participate in this game.

    (As an aside, don’t single out trainers. I would surmise that more horses find themselves in these unfortunate situations because owners quit paying their bills, not that trainers have stopped caring.)

  • RiderWriter

    Caroline and Gail-
    THANK YOU both! Caroline, I had been wondering what kind of dollar amount we were talking about if the 1% parimutuel handle fund could be created. Good heavens, yes, that would be enough money to ensure retraining/retirement/euth for 30K of them a year. That is FAR more money than the current rescue groups are working with. In fact, they would have hysterics over 0.5%, if that was more palatable!

    And Gail, your idea for the voluntary donation kiosks for race goers is freaking BRILLIANT. I can just so easily visualize that! I KNOW people would contribute, even if it was only a buck or two. “Hey, look a that. Huh, I never thought about where the horses go when they can’t run anymore. That’s cool that someone is helping them. I’ll give ‘em a little help.”

    I personally am glad to see the wheels turning, ever…so….slowly, but they ARE turning. We need a nationwide program installed, period. Base it in KY and I will work there! We can’t throw it on the owners as there are too many small-time ones. It needs to come from the handle, for sure, because EVERYONE in racing is dependent on that.

  • Caroline

    Truly heart warming to see horses compared to cars and plastic bags.

  • RayPaulick

    You’ll have to ask someone who is currently affiliated with TRF. I am no longer on the association’s board.

  • Bowmanmill

    If Steeplechase racing got parimutual wagering that business would expand big time.Thus creating another life for many of these horses.

  • Bowmanmill

    If Steeplechase racing got parimutual wagering that business would expand big time.Thus creating another life for many of these horses.

  • Elktonstable

    Well……..what about the other 90% (120,000 per year) of horses that are not coming from the thoroughbred industry that represent the bulk of the rendering industry?  Is the thoroughbred industry supposed to assume liability for them as well?  As an owner, breeder and trainerI choose to have my financial resources go to my horses. I do not agree with any mandatory program that forces me to take responsibility for somebody esle’s horses or to promote programs over which I have no control. Endeavors  like the ones you suggest are easily corrupted, especially where contributors have no choice in the matter of suport or abstention.  I think it should be mandatory that people that try to force their beliefs on others should mind their own business and run their own affairs.

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    To those who feel that horses are just another livestock “commodity” and should be treated as such I offer the following in rebuttal. A quote from Spielberg working with horses in the making of ’War Horse’;
    “Bobby and his team literally performed miracles with the horses on this film. I wanted it to feel like the horses were performing their parts as much as the actors and that is what happened. There were times during the production when the horses reacted in ways I had never imagined a horse could react. You just sit back and thank your lucky starts that these horses are so COGNIZANT that they are able to give everything to a moment”

    It is said that there are only 2 animals that capitulate to mans will, horses and dogs.

    Again, slaughter is not the answer. Maybe if it were done in the same way as portrayed in the movie Soylent Green. And that dealt with humans and they did not know the ultimate reason.

  • http://www.GumTreeStables.com/ Larry Ensor

    To those who feel that horses are just another livestock “commodity” and should be treated as such I offer the following in rebuttal. A quote from Spielberg working with horses in the making of ’War Horse’;
    “Bobby and his team literally performed miracles with the horses on this film. I wanted it to feel like the horses were performing their parts as much as the actors and that is what happened. There were times during the production when the horses reacted in ways I had never imagined a horse could react. You just sit back and thank your lucky starts that these horses are so COGNIZANT that they are able to give everything to a moment”

    It is said that there are only 2 animals that capitulate to mans will, horses and dogs.

    Again, slaughter is not the answer. Maybe if it were done in the same way as portrayed in the movie Soylent Green. And that dealt with humans and they did not know the ultimate reason.

  • 66puppies

    Hate to burst your bubble, Honey, but somebody’s got to – it happens in ALL LEVELS of racing.

  • Gfpowell

    The industry can’t ignore this any longer. Our business only exists because of the racehorse. One if the most viable solutions is a 1% mandatory takeout from wagering directly to TB registered horse rescue groups. This could be easily accomplished and it is a long term solution. Obviously, the approach is multi- faceted, but this is the main solution. To the guy who submitted the comment that excused horses to a low level I have this to say: our planet is a symphony with every instrument playing its part in harmony. Our animals are the instruments and to make them any less significant is somebody out of touch with humanity. Our animals breathe our air, drink our water, and share our planet. When they are sick so our we. When we are sending them to slaughter we are out if sync with the universe.

  • Gfpowell

    The industry can’t ignore this any longer. Our business only exists because of the racehorse. One if the most viable solutions is a 1% mandatory takeout from wagering directly to TB registered horse rescue groups. This could be easily accomplished and it is a long term solution. Obviously, the approach is multi- faceted, but this is the main solution. To the guy who submitted the comment that excused horses to a low level I have this to say: our planet is a symphony with every instrument playing its part in harmony. Our animals are the instruments and to make them any less significant is somebody out of touch with humanity. Our animals breathe our air, drink our water, and share our planet. When they are sick so our we. When we are sending them to slaughter we are out if sync with the universe.

  • Mary Overman

    “Just because most of us in this country do not eat horsemeat, doesn’t
    mean it is not a valuable resource elsewhere as pet food or for human
    consumption.  Only in America can the waste of a resource be condoned as
    acceptable and proper while other segments of the world population have
    a real need.”  Elkonstable – nowhere – and I mean NOWHERE – was horsemeat from American slaughterhouses EVER used to help “segments of the world population” that have a “real need” – i.e., the starving people of this country and this planet.  Same with horsemeat from Canadian slaughterhouses then and now.  There is NO MONEY in slaughtering horses to send their meat to the needy.

    If you want to make arguments in favor of horseslaughter, at least use the truth.

    I am so tired of reading and hearing these insane arguments in favor of re-opening American slaughterhouses.  I am so tired of reading about humane it all can be – when the state of the art Canadian slaughterhouse of Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation, Inc., in St. Andre-Avellin, Quebec, was just featured in undercover video showing clearly that people who actually KNOW what they are doing STILL don’t bother to make sure it’s all done humanely.  And I’m also sick of hearing people in the industry whine that they are being singled out since they do oh so much for TB aftercare.  The horseracing industry is every bit as guilty as the Arabian breeders, the Quarterhorse breeders, the backyard breeders.  Just because horseracing has these minimal programs does not mean it has done enough.  Plus – horseracing owners and trainers and breeders (and farriers and vets and the list goes on and on) make BIG BUCKS from their thoroughbreds.  LOTS more bucks than virtually any other horse breed  And a thoroughbred that makes BIG BUCKS is every bit as likely to show up starved, mistreated or on its way to the slaughterhouse.  Because of money in the horseracing industry, it has a greater responsibility to step up as to aftercare of its moneymakers.I can’t even believe I am still having this conversation with anyone.  You MUST have looked in to the REALITY of horseslaughter (save me the discussion of all the great regulations – none of which are enforced (because there is no money to do so) – and how it can be made oh so humane.  We can’t even make the slaughter of our pigs, sheep, or cattle humane!  Just ask the GAO and the USDA!)Horses with nowhere to go, no future, no hope, should be entitled to humane euthanasia and not a trip to our miserable failure of slaughterhouses.

  • Cindy

    I agree that the racehorse industry needs to track these horses and make sure they are cared for.  They are dependent on us. There is no excuse for malnourished horses that may have been cast aside because they are no longer producing in races. It is inexcuseable that a stud can produce hundreds of foals and if they don’t turn out to be winners, they are sent to slaughter. There are millions of dollars made and each owner should cough up money to have a retirement fund for each horse or NOT BE IN THE BUSINESS!!

  • Cindy

    I agree that the racehorse industry needs to track these horses and make sure they are cared for.  They are dependent on us. There is no excuse for malnourished horses that may have been cast aside because they are no longer producing in races. It is inexcuseable that a stud can produce hundreds of foals and if they don’t turn out to be winners, they are sent to slaughter. There are millions of dollars made and each owner should cough up money to have a retirement fund for each horse or NOT BE IN THE BUSINESS!!

  • Thutchins6

    Stop waiting for the industry – they are the ones who created this monster. Help is needed in SPITE of what the industry thinks.

  • Thutchins6

    Stop waiting for the industry – they are the ones who created this monster. Help is needed in SPITE of what the industry thinks.

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