Hogan To Racing Industry: If We Don’t Change, It’s Going To Be Changed For Us

by | 02.08.2018 | 5:30pm

New Jersey-based veterinarian Dr. Patty Hogan gave a 75-minute presentation titled “Injuries in Racehorses” to 60-70 members of the MidAtlantic horseracing industry this week.

Hogan explained to the audience that she sees nearly 3,000 horses at her clinic annually, with the majority of them being either Thoroughbred or Standardbred racehorses. She also explained that her involvement with horses, both professionally and personally, allows her a unique perspective in both racing and non-racing sectors of the horse business.

She explained that in this day and age animal welfare issues are a hot-button topic and that it is the responsibility of the racing industry to be not only proactive in protecting their equine athletes, but also mindful of how they present the sport of horseracing to non-savvy audiences.

“We all love horse racing, but we all live in the little horse racing bubble, not realizing we need the rest of the world to like racing too,” she told the audience. “If we don't change [how we deal with injuries and end-of-career questions] ourselves, it is going to be changed for us.”

She also urged horsemen to avoid the “one last race” mentality, which she says often is a precursor to more significant injuries, fatal breakdowns and limitations due to soundness in their post-racing lives.

Read more at TheRacingBiz.com

  • Lonestar95

    Dr. Hogan is Right !

  • Al McBean

    They can start by getting rid of the damn whip or banning it’s use just use it as a guide…also need to clean up the rampant use of drugs.

    • gus stewart

      Correct, medication issue is not a visual problem its hidden. The whip is right in your face and the general public has no more bandwith for it. Here’s an example of where horse racing is in its veiws today remember celebrity roast dean Martin etc. Don rickles was funny in many ways. But watch how he used to speak to the black celebrities during those roasts. You think that would fly today. That’s how simple it is to know the whip is not acceptable anymore.

    • Lehane

      The whip is no guide as most jockeys allege. Quite simply it’s used to inflict pain causing fear in the horse resulting in the horse going into flight mode, being a prey animal.

  • Richard C

    For the few who talk sense — there are so many more who wear blinkers……while parading around the backstretch and slurping down their cut of the pie. Crisis? What Crisis?

  • Tinky

    “Staff” – there are at least a couple of errors in the post – please proof read it again.

    • Lehane

      I’m intrigued, Tinky – what are the errors?

      • Tinky

        They were grammatical, and have been corrected.

        • Lehane


  • Scoot

    Get rid of the drugs. Its a no brainer. You’re right, horse people in every discipline live in a bubble. When you give horses drugs so powerful they cant feel pain, of course youre going to have break downs.


      There in sits the problem. The truth is Americans LOVE drugs in it’s racing . If they didn’t they wouldn’t bet it. First time lasix is a betting angle built upon administering a drug in hopes the horse would perform better with it despite not having bled. If that’s not an endorsement for drugs then I don’t know what is. I have questioned the legitimatcy of every American horse of the past 50 because nearly all have ran on painkillers or performance enhancement drugs not legal in THE REST OF THE WORLD. I can’t help but to shake my head and laugh when a horse wins a triple crown on drugs or when the racing public proclaims a horse to be great even when it’s made every start on drugs. Now I’m sure someone will mention the American horses who have won races in Dubai without drugs or Royal Ascot without drugs. my question to those people is this….If the horse can win without drugs then why use them in the first place ?

      • Ben van den Brink

        The owners and the the trainers are addicted to the use of drugs and or medications not the horses as they do not have a vote.

  • Dave Stevenson

    the stress & pressure on low priced “beaten” claiming races to provide an incessant supply of “fillers” for programs to accomplish high payouts and carryovers has permeated national programs even on weekends & holidays. even “A”meets have opened their doors to mediocrity that creates a grave danger for increased breakdowns and injuries. originally gimmicks were basically added to necessary small field allowance races to offer bettors options. all this downward pressure to force fodder into “throw away” races has created a major dilemma for horse-health in our opinion. handles are off approximately 3-4 billion annually over the past several years due to this “grist mill” effect. Sadly, the misuse of the claiming categories plays into the “one last race” mentality that Dr. Hogan is referring to.

    • Lehane

      An Australian racehorse named One More Grand is perhaps indicative of the “one last race” mentality that Dr Patty Hogan refers to. This gelding began racing at 2, raced for 5 years and won $356,000 for 60 starts. He had some hard racing (trainer was the owner) and i was concerned for him after one particular race but they kept him going – just one more grand. Don’t know what happened to him.

  • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

    Dr. Hogan is right. She is a wonderful veterinarian/surgeon and gives back to the horses every chance she gets. However, the issue of long term care and funding for sanctuary horses must also be addressed because there is always going to be those type of horses coming off of the racetrack as well and they deserve as much attention, care, funding and support as horses that go in to another discipline. They did their part, they did their job and contributed to the industry and in some instances maybe even more. They must be a part of the equation as well.

  • Always Curious

    Which words generate the worst public response: horse slaughter, drugging horses, or using a whip? I think if the sport can get control of slaughter and drug problems, it would change the sport’s image completely. Those are huge issues ruining the sport’s reputation. Reasonable use of the whip should be given. It is just not safe to have none. If that alone turns someone off the sport, they probably wouldn’t be a fan for long anyway. Thank you Dr. Hogan!

  • Dave Stevenson

    the “no whip group” comments are a dead giveaway and an embarrassment to their knowledge of horse racing. it is indicative of a real lack of knowledge of the sport and the dire implications of brutality or abuse in any form. it is obvious that they have never trained a dog to sit up or placed a cat litter box in an appropriate location. it is an attack on the sport with a limited knowledge of what the sport is all about. without competition, without urging in competition one limits the ability of pedigree. they limit the ability and skill of the “race rider” in his effort to satisfy the end goal of the breeder, the owner, the trainer and the punter while moving pedigree forward. the audacity to think that “winning” is left to the intellectual and physical ability of the animal without urging is ludicrous and lacks common sense of the highly refined history of the sport. remove the gerbal wheel from the cage, put your thumb in your mouth, take a deep breath and enjoy what is way above your intellect!

  • Richard Retamoza

    Im glad that the public is proactive in responding to what Dr.Hogan has profoundly stated.First and foremost illicit drugs have been the ruination of racing for decades.What people sometimes misunderstand is that not all people involved in the industry have the win at all costs mentality.The people who are in it for the passion of the sport and the love of the animal are to be commended because they work long hours and financially eke out a living.The real problem is when the cheaters and abusers are exposed the powers that be dont rule them off for life.There has to be severe consequences for the actions of these individuals.The public’s perception is well founded.I have been in racing for over 50 yrs.and see the industry suffering from the years of apathy.Its time for a change is long overdue.

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