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Dear New York Times: Please Don’t Forget the 26,600 Slaughtered Thoroughbreds. Thank you.

March 23, 2012

Vickery Eckhoff

Horse in kill pen at U.S. slaughterhouse (Photo: USDA)

It’s been a busy week in equine America.

The racing community’s been debating the breakdown of horses at Aqueduct, on the set of “Luck” and in general. Separately, the equine welfare community’s been fighting new legislation and proposals to open horse slaughterhouses in Tennessee, Missouri and Oregon, while consumer and humane watchdog groups are fighting “ag-gag” rules, one of which was just signed into law by Utah’s Governor.

I hope those interested in fixing what’s broken in horse racing will focus on the larger humane and agribusiness issues, because they are all related. Unfortunately, ag-gag and horse slaughter aren’t on racing’s radar pretty much because racing’s focus is nearly always inward-facing. This is especially true of people and industries whose fortunes are tightly tied to how they’re publically perceived.

Racing’s image is tarnished right now as is PETA’s, the insular animal rights group that is often mistaken as the only group in America with a voice on issues relating to animal welfare, legislation and advocacy.

This has a lot to do with Ingrid Newkirk’s talent for creating spectacles (like her statement about bringing horse slaughter back to the U.S.) but also the manner in which PETA exposes things that do, in fact, need exposing. As it turns out, PETA provoked the racing industry and race fans to fury, first by asking questions about two horses that died on the set of HBO’s “Luck” series, then by demanding changes and third, by dragging the producer, trainer and a vet associated with “Luck” in front of the Los Angeles DA on what many in the racing community say are false and misleading charges of violating a California humane statute.

Horses breaking down is the public scandal that racing now has to confront, particularly in light of the independent task force put in place to investigate the Aqueduct breakdowns, The New York Times’ upcoming multi-part series on equine fatalities in Thoroughbred racing over the last three years and, of course, PETA’s request for an investigation on behalf of the three “Luck” horses that suffered catastrophic injuries and were quietly euthanized.

But if the racing industry, the new investigative team requested by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and The New York Times fail to bring up the 26,600 Thoroughbreds (TBs) that got thrown away and slaughtered last year for horse meat, they will have failed to expose one of the most important issues dragging racing down in the gutter, and that’s the horses that get bred, shed and bled as part of racing’s business profitability model. These horses constituted 19% of all U.S. horses slaughtered in Canada and Mexico last year (out of a total of 138,000), and was equivalent to killing off 70% of the annual U.S. TB foal crop, according to a new case study using USDA figures.

Equine Mathematics Don’t Always Add Up

Let’s look at the numbers that the media is now focusing on: three horses dead on a TV production set, 18 dead racing at Aqueduct since November 30, and 750 dead of injuries on racetracks across the U.S.

This is a lot fewer fatalities than the 26,600 TBs slaughtered in Canada and Mexico, about the same number that have been slaughtered since before the Dallas Crown, Beltex and Cavel slaughter plants closed down in 2007 in Texas and Illinois.

Go over to the main racing news Web sites, however, and you’ll find no articles and little commentary on the slaughtered horses. Bring it up and people change the topic to something more comfortable: bashing PETA.

Well, that’s easy. PETA euthanized 1,900 shelter animals, rehoming only 24 of them. People also like to call them to task for grandstanding, pit-bull attack methods, and the salaries it pays officers. Well and good. But the racing industry is guilty of doing exactly the same things, as much as it doesn’t like to admit it.

Only in horse racing are the deaths of 1,900 cats and dogs deemed more heinous than the fatal breakdowns of 750 horses a year and the slaughter of 26,600 still in the prime of their lives. And let’s get something straight here. It’s not always the bad apples that spoil the good. That’s a common refrain and it’s just not true.

One Bad Apple Is Not The Point

The millions of American pets that get abandoned each year, and the ones that PETA is accused of killing weren’t discarded by the worst among us—a minority of people, to be sure. The three to four million cats and dogs that get put to sleep annually are discarded by people who claim to “love animals” but don’t make a commitment to their lifetime care.

So it is with Thoroughbred owners and trainers. It is not my wish to criticize unjustly, but the claim that only the bad breeders, owners and trainers are responsible for discarding the 26,600 horses slaughtered in 2011 just doesn’t wash.

Good breeders, owners and trainers do this. They may set aside money for racehorse retirement, they may find loving homes for some of the horses in their stables to make way for younger, faster animals, but all the horses that eventually get slaughtered would be alive today if the people that bred, bought them and trained them made a commitment to their lifetime care. If they won’t do it, why do they expect anyone else to?

I get regular flack from a turf writer over at Forbes.com who won’t discuss the slaughter issue and freely tells me I don’t understand racing (or writing, for that matter). Instead, she’s focused on racehorse retirement. Why? She thinks it important to focus on the good in racing. This to me is like focusing on carbon credits. They’re only needed because everything else is so polluted.

Sure, racehorse retirement (and other forms of rescue) is incredibly important to help save some of the discarded TBs and other breeds from slaughter, but to focus on retirement and treat the other issues with kid gloves just lets the main culprits off the hook.

Slaughter is a safety valve for these individuals, but no one talks about that, either, all of which makes the new ag-gag laws, the newly proposed slaughterhouses in Tennessee, Missouri and Oregon and the new laws legalizing horse slaughter a far more urgent issue to address, with wider, more serious and long-lasting implications.

Better Reporting Needed

The New York Times has done an abysmal job of covering slaughter, offering up one factually compromised 2011 article by NYT Kansas City Bureau Chief A.G. Sulzberger that was full of pro-slaughter disinformation. Last week, the Pulitzer-prize winning paper again published a severely underweight article about a Bureau of Land Management proposed wild horse “ecosanctuary” that failed to educate readers on any aspect of the BLM’s practice of rounding up and warehousing wild horses, not to mention its close relationship with pro-slaughter groups and ranchers.

Both issues are worthy of the same scrutiny, expertise and resources the paper is now committing to peering into the bowels of horse racing—especially since 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter, according to a recent ASPCA survey conducted by Lake Associates.

It will be a mistake if The New York Times only considers the performance side of racing and neglects the larger “horse industry” in its upcoming series. By that, I mean the people who make their living in agriculture (cattle ranchers, breeders of herding stock and Western performance horses) who are also the ones angling for new slaughter plants to be built in the U.S. and the ones who populate the Ag committees in Congress and control most important legislation affecting horses, wild horse and burro protection, food safety issues and the humane treatment of slaughter-bound animals.

I told one Paulick Report reader who was particularly angry at me for writing about “Luck” that he should keep an eye on the ranchers because when it comes to horse influence in America, they’re the ones that pass the laws—not the TB people. He brushed me off. Ranching? What does that have to do with racing? Boy, you really don’t know anything about horses, do you?

I get that a lot from racing fans. No one appreciates an “outsider” questioning the integrity of a sport they love while at the same time suggesting that the horse industry is a big tent, with horses other than TBs in it.

Well the slaughter issue unifies many of the different breed registries looking for an outlet for unwanted horses and retired breeding stock, and the media needs to address that. Lord knows, I’ve tried doing that in all my articles on Forbes.com, but it’s time for other influential news sources to come forward and identify all the various stakeholders and all the interlocking issues for the public—and not just relate it to the upcoming Kentucky Derby, either.

The New York Times has as good a shot at putting that story in proper context as anybody. I hope they take the time to do it from a non-racing centric position, though, because once they’ve spoken, a lot of people are going to go right back to sleep. Sad as that may be, it’s a lot easier than facing what’s really going on out there with the horses.

UPDATE: The New York Times story Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys, appeared March 24 and no mention of the slaughter issue. Hoping this will be part of their coverage of this important topic. Will have to wait and see.

For more on this topic,  follow me on Twitter and on Forbes.com or read these other Forbes.com posts:

Contraceptives For Wild Horses Are Just What The Government Ordered

Rounding Up America’s Wild Horses (photo gallery)

How Many Congressmen Does It Take To Screw A Horse?

Horse Slaughterhouse Investigation Sounds Food Safety and Cruelty Alarms

Who’s Who in Capitol Hill’s Horse Meat Power Posse (photo gallery)

Paula Bacon, Texas Mayor, Kicks Some Tail

Horse Deaths Won’t Stop Production of HBO’s “Luck”

“Luck” Ran Old, Unfit, Drugged Horses, Says Necropsy Report

Saving Princess Madeline—A Racehorse’s Tale

Racing Industry Silent on Slaughtered Thoroughbreds

88 Comments

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  1. peter knoll #
    March 24, 2012

    Just curious if the NY task force appointed can be objective. After all, the individuals are from the racing community. One has a surgical facility that works on racehorses from NY and thus if trainers and or veterinarians are found to be lax in their judgement on racing individual animals, will they really expose them?

    • March 24, 2012

      Hi Peter: Readers over at the Paulick Report are voicing serious doubts. Their comments are quite eye-opening. Worth checking out (I’ve included a link above in the text).

  2. Maggie Frazier #
    March 24, 2012

    Hey Vickery,
    Great article. I have my doubts also regarding people from racing who are making a living from the status quo being too eager to make any changes – there doesnt seem to be much concern for how the horses are treated – perhaps because they were slower (!) or no longer able to produce foals, or whatever excuse is made.
    I do believe people are becoming somewhat more aware of how inhumanely these and other horses are being treated – not only racehorses, but the mustangs (which really ticks me off) and the mares from the premarin farms – etc.
    Somehow this has got to be put “smack dab” in the public’s face!
    Thanks for all your efforts.
    Maggie

  3. March 24, 2012

    Thanks, Maggie. Funny how the worm turns in the racing world. Yesterday, they were all over me at the Paulick Report for my comments on the industry on Forbes.com and today, comments to the two linked stories (on the NYT upcoming series and the NY task force) are repeating exactly what I said two articles ago on Forbes: not to expect anything to come out of an investigation by racing insiders. Funny, they couldn’t stand the heat from me and Forbes.com and were saying I didn’t know anything about racing. Now, they’ll have the NYT breathing all over them. Smiling, here. Don’t expect the NYT to cover the PMU foals and wild horse issue well, though. They ran a story a couple of days ago on an eco sanctuary for wild horses in which all the horses would be geldings. Not a mention by the writer that this is a completely artificial construct. No mares, stallions, foals? This is a sanctuary?

  4. Gayle Pruitt #
    March 24, 2012

    Vickery, I don’t know much about horse asylums, but in my short 16 years of experience with horses, I don’t think a gelding colony would be troublesome to the geldings – rather they would probably be pretty happy. Mares and stallions are disruptive and foals are cute babies (like puppies and kittens) that grow up to be large animals that require a lot of training – if they are to interact appropriately with people. Don’t get me wrong – I love them all – and I do have a mare and she is valued member of our family, fortunately for us (and her), since we acquired her 14 years ago knowing very little about horses, she turned out to have a great temperament for riding and tolerating people – saving her from a thankless life of being a “broodmare”. I like your writing very much -although it is distressing to be reminded of the terrible problem with the TBs, the PMU mares and foals, and the wild horses…..but I read on. And, thank you.

    • March 24, 2012

      Hi Gayle, and thanks for your comment. True, a gelding colony will be quite happy, but will be more like SeaWorld than bear resemblance to how horses really live in the wild (in families, no geldings). Public will think they’re seeing wild horses, people who own sanctuary make $$. Hopefully, some of it will go back to preserve the mustangs on the public rangelands, but I doubt it. Sounds more like another BLM storage facility to me!

  5. Caitlin #
    March 24, 2012

    Thank you, thank you! I echo everything you have said here. Your thoughts and conclusions are so obvious! I can’t understand how people can ignore the true source of the thoroughbred problem. There are so many talentless trainers and breeders that are creating a huge mess that the rest of us who honestly care about these animals have to clean up. Thank you for putting this put there is such a clear, concise, and undeniable argument.

    • March 24, 2012

      You’re welcome. I’m thinking that more people feel this way and will start speaking up about it. They generally haven’t had a voice amidst all the bashing, but some of that is dissipating and that is good for racing fans and horses.

      • Maggie Frazier #
        March 24, 2012

        Vickery,
        Gayle, like myself, has probably only known domestic horses, and most geldings are content to be what they are – its what they’ve known. But even with domestic geldings, some treat a single mare or more as their herd – even when turned out with 30 or 40 other horses. I saw this at the barn where I boarded my horse – he was one of those geldings .
        I think taking wild stallions who have run with their mares all their lives & gelding them – then turning them back out isnt going to make for a bunch of happy campers.
        This is just my opinion.
        On the racehorse subject, which is how you got involved, I think you are starting to get somewhere. (I hope)
        Maggie

  6. March 24, 2012

    Thanks, Maggie. Agree with you: geldings are happy campers in captivity, and stallions gelded and turned back out on rangelands probably not. My main thought on this, though, has to do with the NYTimes writer, who missed an opportunity to point out what the BLM won’t: gelded horses in pens are not wild horses. If the public starts accepting the BLM’s modified version of what a wild horse is, we can kiss the free-roaming version goodbye.

  7. March 24, 2012

    Canada seems to be having the same problem:

    Fate of horses forgotten in political gambit
    by canadianhorsedefencecoalition
    Harold Howe
    Fri Mar 23 2012

    There is quite little that provokes horse lovers more than the subject of horse slaughter, which is why Premier Dalton McGuinty’s moves to effectively destroy the horse racing industry has signed the death warrants for thousands of animals.

    According to the Ontario horse racing industry there were approximately 14,000 unique starters who raced last year, which includes Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. It is estimated that the total race horse population, which includes broodmares, stallions, foals and yearlings, comes in at just over 26,000.

    But if racing is decimated in the McGuinty plan, the question has to be asked as to what happens to all the horses. Does the welfare of the horse play any role in all this?

    Full story here:

    http://www.thespec.com/sports/article/692751–fate-of-horses-forgotten-in-political-gambit

  8. Louie Cocroft #
    March 24, 2012

    EXACTLY, Vickory! There is NO comparison between a gelded domestic horse and and a castrated stallion that has been captured (make no mistake…they are CASTRATED). There is NO role for a gelding in a Wild Horse Band.

  9. Louie Cocroft #
    March 24, 2012

    My apologies, Vickery…VICKERY with an E…GREAT ARTICLE!

  10. March 24, 2012

    Don’t mind the spelling variations, Louie, and thanks for the comments.

  11. Louie Cocroft #
    March 24, 2012

    I’m not sure whether this is the right catagory in which to post this, but I think the information is current and vital:

    http://sunnysidevetclinic.com/articles/laser-geld-surgery.htm

    Gelding is a common operation with an uncommonly high complication rate. Like skinning cats, there is more than one way to do it. There is a way that offers less pain, faster recovery, and a lower complication rate. It’s not for everybody, but is is worth reading about.

  12. Louie Cocroft #
    March 24, 2012

    Back to racing.
    An old and dear friend, who has since passed on, raced horses years ago (and won quite a few) in something they called “bush tracks”.
    My friend, who went on to riding and training horses for jumping (because they were treated better than race horses) explained something to me:
    Horses run out of fear. It is the “flight” mode that makes them run, especially when they are running with other horses. That’s why they get so reved up and why they often panic when they go into the starting gates.
    I’m sure that they sometimes run, just for the sheer joy of it, when they are in the pasture or in the wild… but there is a difference.

  13. Maggie Frazier #
    March 24, 2012

    Hadn’t heard of laser gelding – but considering its used for so many surgeries for humans (the laser, not the gelding) its time.
    What a difference from years ago.
    Unfortunately, I imagine the same routine from “years ago” is whats done to the mustangs that are gelded. As frightened as they must already be,
    this must almost send them out of their minds.
    And from what I’ve watched on the roundups – gentle & compassionate is far from how they are handled.
    The article about the Canadian racing industry is awful. From the comments on the article – people just seem to take it for granted that these horses all would go to slaughter eventually – whether the industry was flourishing or not. And it doesnt seem to matter all that much.
    It sounded so matter of fact.
    Maggie

    • Chris #
      March 25, 2012

      I know that like myself, both commenters are against horse slaughter. Yes, their comments sound matter of fact, because they are. Now that the racing industry in Ontario is being threatened, the people in the industry are suddenly so concerned about horse slaughter. They didn’t seem to care before and most did not support anyone who was against it. Just like in the U.S., the horse race industry in Canada cares only about the bottom line, and slaughtering their used us athletes and feeding potentionally toxic meat to humans is just part of the business. An excerpt from the Standardbred Canada website under Horse Welfare Statement:

      “Use of Horses in the Food Chain
      Standardbred Canada is aware of the diverse nature of the equine industry and the vital role horses play in a sustainable agricultural economy at the provincial, national and international levels.

      Standardbred Canada supports agricultural initiatives and recognizes that Canada’s equine meat producers must adhere to industry standards with respect to transportation, feed lots and humane slaughter.

      Standardbred Canada acknowledges that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulates the use of horse meat as part of the human and animal food chain. Welfare regulations and standards can be found at the CFIA’s website.”

      I haven’t gone to see horses race since looking into the slaughter issue. I don’t feel sorry for, nor do I have any inclination to support the race industry at all, though I feel so very bad for the horses. Like the commenters on the Canadian article said, the horses would have gone to slaughter anyway.

      • March 25, 2012

        Thanks, Chris, for the Canadian info. Learning a lot from the reactions there to the potential end of slaughter. I hope the US doesn’t pick up where Canada leaves off.

  14. Louie Cocroft #
    March 24, 2012

    Maggie, what is done to the Wild Mustangs and Wild Burros behind closed doors is a topic well worthy of investigation. Some of it done in the prisons, where there is NO documentation. What was documented was bad enough. One can only imagine the terror for these Horses, that are WILD. The helicopters, the traps, the trucks, the holding pens, the metal chutes and then????

    http://humaneobserver.blogspot.com/2010/05/castration-blues-just-deal-with-it-and.html

    ADDENDUM: CASTRATION BLUES: JUST DEAL WITH IT, and other BLM Classics

    • March 25, 2012

      I’m going to steer the comments back to slaughter and racing, since that’s the topic, here. Who read the Times article, which came out yesterday?

    • Maggie Frazier #
      March 25, 2012

      Louie,
      That video was certainly a real eye-opener –
      the people who “provide thoses services” should have to deal with the same exact thing!!!! How can they watch that & think those little guys dont need some kind of pain management? Blows my mind.
      Sorry, Vickery,
      havent read the article in the times – will do so.
      Maggie

    • Maggie Frazier #
      March 25, 2012

      I did read the NYT article – I guess the word would be enlightened. Hopefully enough people will read it & realize how much needs to be done to improve (?) horse racing. But I doubt it. Anywhere theres money to be made, the animals dont stand much of a chance. Dont mean to be pessimistic, but just like the mustangs – another way to use or misuse animals. Taking a 2 year old baby & training him to carry a rider & run as fast as he can just does not do it for me. I remember a friend of mine who started riding her barely 2 year old & of course she didnt work him like a race horse would be, but his knees always looked a little over & I dont think he was all that sound. Also knew a hunter/jumper trainer whose colts were never started till they were 4. She never seemed to have a soundness issue with them, either!
      I dont really know anything about racehorses other than what Ive read, but sure does seem they start them way too early – looking at the percentage of colts that break down.
      Very good article – hope they continue with more
      Maggie

  15. March 25, 2012

    I have seen the photo in this article of the bloody horse many times. I have used it as a horror of the slaughter house PIPELINE: From auction to truck to truck to chute to kill box. This photo taken in the crammed truck. A photo similar to many, with horses faces so brutally, bloodied, mangled. Heinous. For years I wondered how and why their faces, specifically, got so “injured.” Last month I found out when a slaughter house trucker taped “confessions.” It is common, and part of the transport of horses, to beat them, electric prod them, as they are so frightened and are a fight/flight animal. But the best “calming” solution is when the trucker gouges out the eye, eyes, of horses. The horses now will focus on the agonizing pain and blindness and NOT on fight/flight. This is what the photo above shows. The norm in transport. The norm is surreal, heinous horror…BEFORE the butcher.

  16. Louie Cocroft #
    March 25, 2012

    Vickery, I just read the article. It would have to be read several times to absorb all of the information. It could just be summed up in one sentence. IT’S UGLY…Speed and Greed. Just as ugly as everything else that is done to horses for Money…Money and Ego.
    It seems that the jockeys could hold some power in the racing industry. No jockeys…No race. I’ve read a bit about their plight, as well. It still comes down to something that you wrote. YOUR money stays in your pocket.

  17. Louie Cocroft #
    March 25, 2012

    I found an old article. This is ONE part of the equation. Another part of racing that I haven’t seen addressed (very much) is GAMBLING:

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2007/02/Issue-94/Facilities-Venues/Aqueduct-Cancels-Racing-Amid-Jockey-Protest-After-Accident.aspx

    Aqueduct Cancels Racing Amid Jockey Protest After Accident
    Published February 5, 2007

    Jockeys “refused to ride in the last four races at Aqueduct race track [Saturday], in protest of the medical attention — or lack of it — they say they receive from Jamaica Hospital, and racing was canceled,” according to Jerry Bossert of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. NYRA closed the track yesterday in part because of the “uncertainty over whether the jockeys would ride.”

    • March 27, 2012

      One of the unfortunate aspects to the cancellation of Luck was that this show was exposing all of the dark sides of racing. For example, the sire of Nick Nolte’s horse had been insured for hundreds of thousands of dollars, so when the family went belly up financially, they had the horse’s legs broken. There was a book that exposed this part of the racing business a number of years ago.

  18. March 25, 2012

    Well the jockeys lives are on the line; they need to look out for their own interests, because no one else does.

    • March 26, 2012

      Same for all backstretch workers. They cant speak out. If they do, they will lose their jobs and incomes. Usually, they make very little income and live at risk. Health care coverage? Not usually. Those are dangerous jobs and the lowest paid can end up injured, out of work and suffer effects for life.

      The big money in racing does not even acknowledge this reality for the lower paid workers in racing. They know the truth and can’t say anything about it. They are forced to keep their mouths shut as they witness abuses and suffer abuses themselves.

      When life is not respected, no species is safe from abuse. That is what you know when you see the abuse of the horses in these industries.

  19. Louie Cocroft #
    March 25, 2012

    And they are riding horses that are injected with drugs…or however they dose them. Some of those injured horses probably shouldn’t even be ridden, much less, raced. The voices that could really add some valuable input on this are probably those who work at the stables and at the tracks…the behind the scenes people.

    http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/06/commentary/column_sportsbiz/sportsbiz/

    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – On Saturday, for about two minutes, millions of Americans will watch the most exploited workers in America — the nation’s jockeys.
    Right now the key battle is being fought over insurance coverage for jockeys injured or killed while riding in races.

  20. Louie Cocroft #
    March 25, 2012

    I keep bringing it back to the jockeys, because I think they hold some of the power in this and could put it to good use and the public would have to support them. I would think that they have every reason to look out for the horses’ welfare.

    • March 26, 2012

      Yes because if the horse falls that they are riding they fall right along with the horse.

    • March 27, 2012

      They can stand together and be effective as they did at Aquaduct, but if they are vying for rides against one another, they are almost as disposable as the horses (not to me, but to some of the owners).

  21. calico #
    March 26, 2012

    The article criticizes PETA for standing in the way of the greater good for horses. Yet this author, who presumably also advocates for animals, spends more time in this article bashing PETA than addressing the real issues. This article would be so much more powerful with the sentences referencing PETA removed. Those who seek to exploit & abuse animals love it when animal advocates spend their time attacking other advocacy groups.

    I wish the racing industry would just fix a things which would go a long way to ensuring the horses get long productive lives: stop racing babies. Their bones and connective tissue are not mature at age 2. This would be like the Olympics competing 11 year old kids. Of course the injury rate is high. Of course early onset osteoarthritis is a big problem. What good are retirement programs in a system that makes horses lame before they hit age 8 or 10? And start breeding with a little bit of regard to temperament so that he has some chance to be useful off the track. A hot, energetic horse that is wired like a time-bomb is not useful to many people off the track. Right now all they care about is breeding for speed, and when you breed for only one trait, other traits will suffer.

    And during the races there needs to be higher standards for the care & soundness of the horses. Lame horses *are* being run. I see horses coming straight off the track who were run on ankles so damaged they’re swollen to the size of grapefruit & are half fused — and they were being run this way. I see fresh off the track young horses going unsound from arthritis at early age. Why are we even allowing these horses to run doped up on anything? Why would a sound horse need Lasix? And why do 80%+ of TBs get Lasix on race day?

    I love your analogy about carbon credits and pollution: people who refuse to talk about anything but racehorse re-training are ignoring the much bigger picture.

  22. March 26, 2012

    Last week when the Paulick report came out bashing Peta I directed my comment at Paulick. I asked him just what was his opinion on horse slaughter, I also brought up the fact that all of the politicians in congress are given donations to not ever pass any anti-horse slaughter bills. He answered it by saying he approves of euthanasia but ignored the rest of my the comment so you can see just where he stands on this,
    after all horse racing is his bread and butter.

    I have been in this slaughter fight for a number of years and nothing these people say surprises me. I had my say on the NYT article too. At last count the comments were closed down when it reached 500 with a large number shouting for racing to be shut down. I agree with them.

    • mpclark #
      March 30, 2012

      Paulick has never replied to me about slaughter either. (His wife is important in the HSUS, too). I have found that few people can respond to direct questions about this topic. After a while, what I have come to think about people who say they know horses and who won’t defend their lives is that those people are compromised and can’t speak due to income or relationships in the industry.

      Decent people speak out and defend the innocent because the issue is more important to them than opinions from those being paid or paying. Unfortunately, this is my conclusion about many of these “experts”. They simply don’t care and won’t bother to speak out. When there is enough money involved, innocent life doesn’t matter to the cash recipients.

      For example, I have been asking about the surviving TB’s from Luck. No one connected to HBO, racing, HSUS, ASPCA, ever answered. I am still asking. No one has any idea what happned to relatively high profile horses at risk since the show was cancelled after 3 died. What does that tell all of us about the level of interest in these at risk horses? I guess no one cares enought to even bother with a response. This is after 3 died.

      Do we know what happens to TB’s who are not needed by “entertainment” venues? Guess. I think they deserve decent homes and yet, again, no one even answers. Kind of interesting, isn’t it? All that furor over that show and now, nobody cares. I guess all those very concerned horse experts just don’t care if those horses are alive or dead. Sounds just like racing, doesn’t it? After all the hysterics about racing’s public profile in gambling, where in the hell are the horses? That is the question, isn’t it?

      This kind of tells us about who cares and who doesn’t. I will go on asking and maybe, someday, someone can let me know what happened to these forgotten horses who may be anywhere right now. All the interest in the ridiculous show amounts to nothing when the horses themselves are at stake.

      As a former owner of an OTTB and a QH, I find the entire situation repulsive. Slaughter needs to end first and then, the boom needs to be lowered on the scum in the horse industry. They need serious jail time but only after the horses are finally safe.

  23. Louie Cocroft #
    March 26, 2012

    Here are two things that we can sign. One is an ongoing newpaper poll in Tennesse. The Tennessee legislature is set vote on this in 10 days.

    The other link is to a petition against slaughter. The goal is 1 million signatures:

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/polls/2012/mar/20horse/results/

    Also, please sign this petition as well if you haven’t already:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-usa-horse-slaughter

    • HoofHugs #
      March 27, 2012

      There is legislation in the House of Representatives to bam the use of race day medications. This bill is being sponsored be Kentucky Representative Ed Whitfield. There is bi-partisan support for the bill. It may not seem like a lot to ban drugs just on race day, but if drugs like Lasix were banned on race day, Eight Bells might have won her race against Big Brown easily. When performance enhancing drugs are allowed the day of the race, the best horse may not win. Since it is the winners that most often bred, part of the problem with TB’s may well be that the best horses are being bred less while the weaker horses are bred more. This has tremendous ramifications. It is one thing for a horse with excellent genetics is asked to perform at the highest level, and quite another for a horse whose sire or dam had hidden inherent weaknesses that get passed down, and that horse is expected to compete as if his parents were the talented horses they were believed to be. Please call your Congressional Representative and ask him to support H. R. 1733 Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act of 2011. This legislation is current and has passed committee in the House.

      • tiggy98 #
        March 27, 2012

        There are only two lines left so the breed is horribly inbred. They start too young, their joints are not fused until they reach the age of four. It is the equivalent of a human ‘toddler’ being asked to run a sprint! Eight Belles was a tragedy for sure, she was indeed galloping on broken ankles and they said she died of a heart attack. That was a bald faced lie; they euthanized her at Belmont.

        Banning drugs does not make a difference, they have ‘clever new ways’ of doping the horses by using substances that are not yet tested. This breed is one that we created and not we are literally destroying it. The breed needs to be conserved.

      • Suzanne Moore #
        April 4, 2012

        Read this about how inbreeding is destroying the American Thoroughbred.

        http://www.horsefund.org/horse-racing-breeding-for-trouble-part-1.php

      • mpclark #
        April 4, 2012

        The breeding of known unsoundness is unforgivable. There is no excuse for that. Racing has turned into something I don’t even recognize.

        To run a horse with known tendencies toward breakdowns as a part of the breeding history is so foul I can’t think of a way to describe it. It killed Eight Belles and I was at a Derby Party that day. I remember it very well. Dubai Gold Cup?

        Needless to say, there have been no Derby parties since and won’t be until racing completely reforms esp in re to breeders.

        What we are seeing isn’t “racing”. I don’t know what it is and at this point, I don’t care. If people and horses don’t matter to the big money in racing, I want nothing to do with it and will not give it a nickel.

      • Suzanne Moore #
        April 4, 2012

        It’s so tragic. And the only way to save this wonderful breed is to open the stud books and bring in some new blood. But, the Jockey Club – in it’s infinite wisdom – has said they will not do that. Really sad.

      • mpclark #
        April 4, 2012

        I know two working pros in racing right now: both are anti-slaughter and for equitable treatment of the TB’s and the people who work in racing and make an honest effort. Shouldn’t they have representation and a chance to be part of a modern industry which is ethical and fair to all, humans and the equine athletes we all love? This is quite possible to aspire to.

        If the Jockey Club is keeping the sport at risk, shouldn’t there be an option for reforms and management from outside that entity? Management seems to be missing along with enforcement. We are looking at the end of racing as an acceptable form of entertainment for most people. It is seen as inhumane and in this day and age, this will not sell.

        Racing has been in financial trouble for a long time. Well, the tracks added casinos. In the US, unless it changes, racing is gone. It is time for the long view of a potential future, if any.

        Why not consider the alternative? Real and genuine reforms and a modern business sense about this industry. Pro sports are businesses. In this case, the athletes are at risk of abuse and slaughter. So, why breed in more defects knowingly? That ever-present greed factor. It just adds to the mix of the totally unacceptable.

        Fans pay some bills at the gate. How many would support this scenario–breeding for unsoundness to abuse and deaths on the track to attempts to remove disabled jockey’s insurance (CDI)? Would you spend money at a track if you knew the entire picture? If racing intends to have a future, the obstacles to progress have to removed. If the Jockey Club can’t allow better breeding practices, then there is a real problem with racing. The Jockey Club is just one factor in this spectacle of dysfunction.

        Racing is not about performance on the track. Racing is making a living off of breeding for sale and that’s about it. This is one of the sources of corruption in racing but is also the oldest form of fraud known. “Horse trading” is as old as the horse itself. Without sound breeding practices and reliable and fair enforcement, an end to the horrific abuses and slaughter, there is no reason to spend money at these tracks. If racing can’t appreciate the TB, why have Thorobreds in racing at all? Why not use kiddie cars instead and skip using horses entirely?

        It is time to see this change and fast.The Thorobred is a magnificent breed and if racing threatens that, racing can go and cheap casinos can replace the gambling aspect. We can keep our beautiful Thorobreds for use in other disciplines. They can do anything and are very intelligent companions.The Thorobred deserves respect for what that breed actually is.

        We need genuine horsemen and qualified management and enforcement at tracks across this country. At this point, if you love the TB, why support racing? This is far more important than the Jockey Club. It comes down to the future of the Thorobred itself. In that case, all bets about racing are off.

      • Suzanne Moore #
        April 5, 2012

        Excellent post! Now, if someone would only listen. Unfortunately, the Jockey Club isn’t the only big breeding org that does not put the welfare of its horses before profit.

      • Suzanne Moore #
        April 5, 2012

        I think it’s more about gambling now than racing or the welfare of the individual horse or the breed.

      • tiggy98 #
        April 4, 2012

        Thank you for re-posting this. It is extremely well researched and documented.

      • mpclark #
        April 4, 2012

        Thank you for posting this.

        BTW, have not yet heard back from Joe Drape. He is a busy journalist.

        I will keep everyone posted if I hear any responses.

      • tiggy98 #
        April 4, 2012

        Indeed, he is a very busy guy. When will the next part of the report be published?

      • Suzanne Moore #
        April 4, 2012

        It is excellent isn’t it? It’s from the Int’nl Fund for Horses, in the Reports section. There are many other reports there about Thoroughbreds and other subjects such as horse slaughter.

        This is the first of a 4 part series on the topic of irresponsible breeding of TBs.

        http://www.horsefund.org/horse-racing-breeding-for-trouble-part-1.php

      • tiggy98 #
        April 5, 2012

        Yes, I have been a supporter of the HorseFund for many years. In my humble opinion they are the best bar none.

        I know how to access all of their reports and indeed have all of them. :)

  24. Louie Cocroft #
    March 26, 2012

    I forgot to mention something.
    When you sign one of these petitions, it is important to add a comment in order for your signature to counted. Just one sentence is adequate.

    • March 29, 2012

      Hi Louie—
      I went to that site, voted, and immediately smelled all kinds of rats. This is one site where you can vote as many times as you want. The horse slaughter “yeses” increased as I read the site and commented on the article. Someone’s Aunt Matilda is up all night voting, and I bet the paper publishes the results.

      • Suzanne Moore #
        April 4, 2012

        You are right. If you log in so you can comment, you can only vote once, but you can log out and vote as many times as you want.

        The paper states that this is not a scientifically designed poll. They are SO right!

  25. andrew boone #
    March 26, 2012

    there is good and bad in every industry yes owners and trainers uses horse until they can ether no longer run or produce foals . than they move them on so they can get something else that will run or produce . many retired horses are sold into the pleasure market some are given to recues and some are sold at auction to who ever buys them i buy horses at auctions and i`m not a kill buyer i have also sold horse at auction that have more than likely gone to a kill buyer . i`d rather see that animal serve a final purpose than just be put down and sent to a rendearing plant to be boiled down . are theer handeling and shipping changes that need to be made oh yes there is . but until unrealistic horse people can sit down and disscuss the needs that need to happen without going over board these things will keep going under the radar . i can`t even find the going price for horse meat on the net anywhere cause people are so scared to be giving any assicaation with it

    • March 26, 2012

      As far as I can find out it sells in the supermarkets in Europe for $20.00 a lb give or take the consumer price and it being on sale. There used to be websites that would tell you what parts of the horse was used for including blood but they are all gone now. I do know that the EU does not except shipments of horse blood from Canada or Mexico because of the antibiotics that it contains. If the slaughter plants in Canada/Mexico collect the blood I don’t know what is it used for. The larger amount of blood horses have than cattle is one of the problems the slaughter plants have in disposal of it.

    • Suzanne Moore #
      April 4, 2012

      Andrew Boon ~ You have never seen horse slaughter for yourself have you? If you had, you might be more inclined toward euthanasia. Not only is it far more humane for the horses, these horses are undoubtedly unfit for human consumption because of having been dosed with phenylbutazone – bute – one of the most dangerous to humans of all the banned substances, especially to children.

      It is not only illegal in any country to sell these horses for food, it’s unethical and disgraceful.

  26. March 26, 2012

    Knowing what racing has become and with thanks to professional journalists who are not afraid to tell the truth, do you think anyone would be willing to expose the Quarter Horse industry and tell the truth? Racing QH’s are just the tip of the iceberg. Registered QH’s in the show ring face many of the same situations and many must have been sold into slaughter, esp in re to the 2007 numbers from Dallas Crown (Kaufman, TX). These horses are overbred, rapidly bought and sold and many end up in terrible circumstances or at kill pens. Animal Angels USA has documented some of this abuse with kill pens in KY. As a former owner of an OTTB and a reg QH, I am asking for someone to expose the QH industry, too. Trainers, breeders and owners bear responsibility for this mess. This needs to be made public in order to force Congress to end slaughter ASAP. As long as slaughter exists, there will be no reforms in any horse industry. The AQHA refuses to be held accountable and it is time this truth was known to everyone.

    • March 26, 2012

      Hi, many people have been working to expose the AQHA, which is pro-slaughter, and there is an AQHA Against Slaughter FB page. You may want to go over and take a look at it.

      • tiggy98 #
        March 27, 2012

        I have one of the last of the ‘Impressive’ sons. He will be 21 on May 6th, He stands 16.2 hh and weighs a healthy 1300 lbs.

        I saved this gorgeous horse from being taken to a sale when he was 4 years old as his owner could not ride him. I knew who his sire was and luckily my horse is HYPP double negative. There are more Quarterhorses than any other breed of horse going to kill.

        Regarding Geldings and harems, yes, my gelding has his harem of his girls the OTTB Mares I rescued and am rehabbing.

        However, to have non producing herds of Wild Horses and Burros is just ensuring the genocide we are witnessing of the Wild Horses and Burros.

        The article you have written was excellent. We must read more about the drugs, we must read more about the process of potential ‘stud’ to ‘dud’ and where these horses end up.

        It is well known that Ingrid Newkirk is not in the main stream of thought regarding animal advocacy. As she has aged she has become more radical. That is a shame. We should not pay attention to her nor should we mention her or her organization which actually has done tremendous good all over the World, and that includes helping horses.

        Thank you for your excellent article!

      • March 27, 2012

        The AQHA is still promoting breeding, even of rescued AQHA horses who are being housed at rescues. The AQHA still needs intensive public exposure, just as racing as getting. Rescues are never going to be able to afford to take in all the registered horses and foals that the AQHA wants bred. These QH are at PMU farms in and being adopted out thru Canadian horsemen thru CA rescues. These are registered mares from good names in QH history. Until the AQHA stops promoting endless breeding no matter what, we will see very good horses on Craigslist and listed at rescues with no papers and for free. What does that say about the status of registered QH much less “QH-type” grade horses without papers? QH are being bred for kill pens thru the AQHA. The stud fees and first sale are what counts to the AQHA. The deaths are at record levels and of no interest to the AQHA. I am familiar with and support the AQHA anti-slaughter minority. When does the AQHA decide to confess what it really is all about? That’s why slaughter has to end before any other effort. The AQHA will go on breeding and showing QH forever. What happens to the thousands who will have no homes and be killed after they are deemed useless by a QH pro/breeder? The AQHA has no enforcement about anything. These horses are considered “recreational” in use. There is no official anything defending them. Price? How much does a PMU farm pay for a reg QH mare to be used in that manner? At an auction? And the QH foals? What do we think this is all about and how much enforcement can we expect for these horses? None. They have less than racing on the books. These are almost “pets” and yet are considered livestock. As such, its a wide open field day on our QH. I have yet to see anyone pursue the real story on our QH aggressively enough to stop this. Investigate the QH show trainer and see what you find. Nobody would believe what they do for cash. The decent people in the QH world want these bad guys gone. They can nothing about this entire corrupt money-driven scenario. Every day, our docile and trusting QH suffer for all of this. Until this is exposed for exactly what it is, nothing else matters. The NYT needs to open this close knit elite in the QH world. I can’t imagine who can get into this world and open it up for the general public. Then, maybe it could finally be addressed appropriately.

      • tiggy98 #
        March 27, 2012

        I could not agree more. I gave my horse’s height and weight as the AQHA (whom I have never given one thin dime to) is breeding them incessantly. We had Quarterhorses with ‘tea cup’ hooves! Had my horse not been sired by Impressive, and had he not been gelded, he would have made a wonderful stud. I do not breed horses, and never will. I rescue them from folks who are irresponsible and greedy. My horse has been declared ‘a perfect specimen’ of what a Quarterhorse should look like by Vets, Appraisers, and other Quarterhorse owners who always ask where I got him. This horse I paid a dollar for, was insured for 60K when he was younger. That is what people ‘throw away.’

        It is rampant throughout any breed you can mention. Drugs, over breeding, inbreeding, all of it is a disaster.

      • March 27, 2012

        Did you attend the Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus OH in the mid 1990’s? I with a group and saw what was going on then. All of us left at that time and never went back. There were deformed QH being worked for show and no one stopped it. It was sickening. This was long term cruelty in action. The horses were unable to move normally and some actually had deformed necks. I was told that they were so slow getting into the show ring that time limits had to be made so the horses could get into the ring in time for the class. Guess what was going on with these horses? Anyone who knows QH knows that this behavior indicates that something is terribly wrong with these horses. We went to see Richard Shrake, who finally spoke out about the big money back then. Basically what he said then was that if the big money influence was not removed, the working QH which built this country, was done. BTW, Shrake was a respected and recognized trainer (pre-guru) and he was risking his livelihood by telling the truth to a crowd at the Congress. We decided to not go back and refused to support the AQHA. I was with a locally recognized horse trainer at the time and she was respected in the horse community. This was the final bell for all of us re the AQHA and what they had done to the American Quarter Horse. The AQHA was turning the Quarter Horse into a crippled, beaten dog and they awarded ribbons for that behavior. From then on, we regarded the AQHA as worthless and we never spent a nickel with them again and never supported their events or shows. We believed that merit deserved recognition. A pedigree does not matter compared to achievement. The AQHA was making a living from tormenting the horses we had been raised on. Until the AQHA decides that horses and genuine horsemanship matters more than a fast dollar, the horses themselves will pay in suffering. I refuse to support any AQHA event and want them investigated and in public until every last breeder is shown and every last so-called trainer and show “student” is exposed. The Quarter Horse itself is regarded as a throwaway by the big money and the breed itself is endangered by these posers. They need to be known and gotten out of the AQHA itself. We need to demand intensive public exposure. The horses are being killed in slaughter for dollars per pound. This is an outrage that no one can be allowed to ignore. It is an insult to every American.

      • tiggy98 #
        March 27, 2012

        I have never attended any formal Quarterhorse events. I do know that broomsticks are shoved down their throats while their heads are chained to the ceiling of the stall. This is so they can appear to be relaxed! It is revolting. I do know what a Quarterhorse should look like, they should all look like mine. Also, people are being lied to left and right, the other day I got a call to give three horses ‘safe harbor’ however, I do not have the space. She said she had an 8 year old BLACK Impressive son! I kindly explained that I did not have room for the horses and also, her ‘Impressive’ son was not as ‘Impressive’ passed in 1994 if memory serves. These breed ‘Industries’ are all the same, but I agree the Quarterhorses are the absolute worst. Look at ‘Rugged Lark’ and now look at what we have today. My friend bought her daughter a ‘Quarterpony’. I don’t know what the Pony cross is but this is one messed up ‘Pony’. He is Laminitic, his hocks have fused and he is only 8 years old. So tragic to be in pain management for the rest of his life! He could live a very long time due to the Pony cross!

        I don’t know about you, but all the Quarterhorses I have had in my life were indeed ‘hot.’ They are sweet but sometimes you have to watch for that odd cow kick or that premeditated ‘spook’ and these horses spook wide! I have an odd ability to find their center of gravity and I know their body language so I am always able to ride through these ‘spooks’. It becomes a game.

        It breaks my heart to know the foals are going to kill at the PMU farms, all of it breaks my heart, but there has to be a major story about the American Quarterhorse Association. I for one do not recognize them as legitimate in any shape or form. Same thing with Paints. My Paint mare is so gentle it is truly unbelievable. When I am with my gigantic Thoroughbred mares it is always a matter of letting them know I respect their size and tell them “I don’t want to hurt you and I know you don’t to hurt me’ (which works by the way), it is always a joy to be with my Paint mare.

        Exposure is the only way this fetid so called ‘Industry’ will be abolished. I wanted to start a breed registry called the National American Quarterhorse Association. The rules would be: live cover breeding only, a cap on how many horses could be brought into the world, and other totally harsh rules which are the exact opposite of what the AQHA is doing. Some people might like that, but I would be somebody would try to kill me. No joke.

        And that is what I know and where I stand.

      • March 27, 2012

        I think I need to write the NYT and beg for in-depth coverage of the QH industry. I am very willing to take time to ask them to please make a concerted effort to bring this breed organization into public view. I may only be one former owner of a QH and an OTTB but at least I can write and ask. They may ignore me or it might help.

        Who do you think would be most receptive on the NYT staff of reporters to hearing a request to have an expose done?

      • tiggy98 #
        March 27, 2012

        Most likely the guy who is the lead on the project. Joe Drape or Vickery Eckhoff. We are on her blog now.

      • March 27, 2012

        Ok. Joe Drape sounds good. I will Google for his contact information and send an inquiry. I think it is worth the time.

        Thanks for your opinion on this one. If I get any responses, I will post on Tuesday’s Horse or here.

      • tiggy98 #
        March 27, 2012

        That sounds great! Vickery would be better as we are posting on her blog…

  27. HoofHugs #
    March 27, 2012

    If owners of Quarter Horses, TBs, Standardbreds, Paints, and Arabians (I think it is these breeds that have the greatest percentage sold for slaughter) refused to register them with AQHA or the current breed registries in favor of an alternative registry or breed association that was anti-slaughter and pro-horse welfare, members of the industry could cut down these abuses.

    Breeding a quality race horse or performance horse takes some education and scientific understanding. As long as we have horse slaughter available as a disposal for either unfit or imperfect (as he has a star, not a blaze) people who have no business breeding will still breed because they can still eek out a living by doing almost no work, having no skill, having little education. There might have been a time when a good breeder did not need as much background in science, but some of our breeds are overbred and inbred, so it is going to take some smarts to understand what kind of horses need to be bred with weaker pure breeds to strengthen the breeds.

    Instead of buying a QH or an Arab from a AQHA breeder, someone looking for a horse would do well to look at rescues and retraining facilities. There are many excellent horses with papers or not living in rescues all around the country.

    The availability of horse slaughter only compounds the welfare problems. Nevada allows horse tripping where cowboys rope a Horse’s back hoof and call it entertainment. Of course then horse is crippled and shoved out the back door.

  28. Louie Cocroft #
    March 28, 2012

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/401/901/650/stop-drugging-race-horses/

    Stop Drugging Race Horses
    Target: Jockey Club

  29. Louie Cocroft #
    March 28, 2012

    THIS IS A READER’S COMMENT FROM ANOTHER BLOG.
    BEWARE…HORSE SLAUGHTER PROPONENTS ARE STILL LURKING…QUIETLY:

    It is no secret what their plans are… the plans were laid out very clearly in their IEBA (International Equine Business Association) statement several months ago, and then again briefly in the 4th paragraph of this PDF press release.

    First, they will push legislators (the ghost of NAIS by a different name) for microchipping all horses, supposedly for their protection through the EOAP (Equine Owners Assurance Plan)… probably state by state… to include horses in the food animal livestock chain… in this way they can track every single horse in the nation and theoretically have a record of medications, wormers, etc. ready to hand to the USDA and EU inspectors.

    Then they will influence legislation as to who will be allowed to rescue horses and how they will be evaluated for reuse, trainability or “processing”. They have stated more than once that existing horse rescues are overflowing and not able to take any more horses and don’t take care of them… almost implying that rescues are actually hoarders in disguise and need to be regulated and penalized. It is clear that they intend to have a national program which only allows them and their “approved” franchises to seize horses and determine what is to be done with them.

    Beware of changing zoning laws in communities where you may be able to keep horses, but not other livestock… they will change that… minimum acreage is one way to do it. My community is going through this right now. Then they will limit where you can keep horses based on the manure, etc., especially near natural water sources… they will ultimately limit keeping of horses to large commercial facilities… might even put a “green” label on it (it’s good for the environment)!

    Since they did not say exactly WHY they are postponing the Summit, I would guess that they are busy lining up legislators to accomplish these goals PLUS probably trying to kill the anti-slaughter bills in committee right now. After the elections they will emerge victorious with new legislators giving them new tools to implement their plans.

    Finally, they are probably in the process of setting up a “model” rescue/evaluation facility and a horses-bred-for meat-facility to “show” how sanitary the whole concept is. I love this line from their mission statement:

    “All proceeds from the sale of horses in United Horsemen programs will be used to further the non-profit purposes of the organization.”

    ??? Meaning??? Rescued horses will not be up for ‘adoption’… they will be sold… once sold, anyone can sell them to a killer buyer… Also, the United Horseman Rescue facilities will have a direct pipeline to slaughter houses and not have to bother with public auctions and those pesky horse rescuers.

    Pay attention to what is going on locally and state wide. They are going underground for a while.

  30. Louie Cocroft #
    March 29, 2012

    Sally, I’ve been wondering about that, too.
    I’m so glad that you checked it out.
    Apparently, the rats have been having a ball, but the CATS are back.

  31. mpclark #
    March 29, 2012

    I can’t find an email for Joe Drape. I posted a request to him via Twitter re investigating the AQHA and the situation with our Quarter Horses. We need someone who is willing to spend time on the whole story and who is willing to get to the ugly truth so we can save their lives. I hope Mr Drape can find a way to investigate this terribly abused breed of loyal, devoted friends to all of us.

    They need a champion who will tell the truth and who will follow through for them. They are ignored often yet have been raised as pets. They are bred, used and thrown away in record numbers. Their story has to be told. While they are usually not famous, they deserve decent treatment and safety. I hope someone will find a way to help soon. I am trying to find someone who will be able to tell their story so they can be saved. I will keep trying.

    If anyone else can find someone to tell the truth, please let us know so we can help. They die in record numbers at slaughter and for no reason. This can’t continue.

    • tiggy98 #
      March 29, 2012

      Try jdrape@nyt.com

      That might work.

      Elle

      • mpclark #
        March 29, 2012

        Many thanks for the email address. I will try that one.

      • tiggy98 #
        March 29, 2012

        It may work, or you could try: drape@nyt.com

        Elle

      • mpclark #
        March 29, 2012

        Got it. Thank you!

    • March 29, 2012

      NYTimes emails are always something like this:

      jdrape@nytimes.com

      or you can try this: https://myaccount.nytimes.com/membercenter/emailus.html

      Find any article Joe Drape writes, then click his name (in the byline). It will lead you to his bio and there’s always an “Email” button. It doesn’t give you his email address, but it does allow you to send in a comment that will be delivered to him.

      • mpclark #
        March 29, 2012

        Thank you. I will try that. I have posted again on Twitter today but I think an email may be more effective.

  32. March 29, 2012

    Awesome Article, I hope the NY times is paying attention. Thank You Vickory.

  33. Louie Cocroft #
    March 30, 2012

    Here is a good opportunity to comment on the radio show:

    http://rtfitchauthor.com/

    Media Update: Horse Slaughter Debate Comes to PBS/NPR Radio on Friday
    Posted: March 29, 2012
    Discussing the plight of horses and the legislation regarding horse slaughter, are:
    • Madeleine Pickens, Philanthropist Businesswoman, dedicated to protect wild Mustangs, by creating an eco-sanctuary that would be good for horses, taxpayers, and a boost for tourism in Nevada
    • Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, taking a leading role in animal protection, and law reform that targeting inhumane practices
    • R.T. Fitch, Co-founder and President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation and the author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart: A Spiritual Ride through Love, Loss and Hope”
    • Rep. Sue Wallis, Wyoming State Legislator, a proponent and advocate for Horse Slaughter plants, that will end unnecessary pain and suffering for abandoned, starving horses, being processed under the U.S. Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. The plants will create jobs, and increase revenue for the community. She estimates between 120,000 to 200,000 horses will be killed annually for human consumption .
    We invite your questions and comments:
    Call 1 877 GCU TALK = 1 877 428 8255
    Or email DURING THE SHOW: sasha@wgcu.org

  34. Louie Cocroft #
    April 5, 2012

    TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE TO VOTE MONDAY ON HORSE SLAUGHTER

    http://www.wsmv.com/story/17327194/horse-slaughter-plant-headed-to-middle-tn

    Horse slaughter plant headed to Middle TN?
    Posted: Apr 03, 2012 8:34 PM PDTTuesday, April 3, 2012 11:34 PM ESTUpdated: Apr 04, 2012 4:07 AM PDTWednesday, April 4, 2012 7:07 AM EST
    Posted by Nancy Amons – email
    NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) –
    A bill is expected to come up for a vote in the House Monday that its sponsor says is designed to make horse meat processing plant operators feel welcome in Tennessee.
    REP.ANDY HOLT a Republican from Dresden, says the bill would create jobs and a place for unwanted horses to die a humane death.
    “We’re trying to encourage job creation and economic development in the state of Tennessee,” Holt says.
    Holt says rural middle Tennessee is a likely location, although HE WON’T SAY WHERE OR WHO’S BEHING THE EFFORT
    “I don’t think it’s anyone’s authority to make me divulge who these people are. This has been a controversial issue,” Holt says.

    • mpclark #
      April 5, 2012

      Unless the legislators pull a closed door move on TN voters, I don’t see TN voting for any kill plants. As a matter of fact, I talked to TN state officials re the I-40 wreck and they were pro-horse. I did not get the idea that anybody I spoke with was pro-slaughter. The impression I got from TN state officials was that they were not pleased with kill buyers living in or passing through their state (this is in re Dorian Ayache, Three Angels) and that they were fair but firm. I don’t think TN will fall for this scam. TN has a history with horses that goes back for some time and it would hard to fool them.They have a large tourism business and handle it well. Sue Wallis and her desperate buddies have tried this in some other states and it has failed miserably. I think responses against this effort are all to the good but I think in the end, TN can stop the effort to force them to have a kill plant.

  35. November 19, 2012

    Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and in depth information you provide.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same
    out of date rehashed material. Great read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    • November 19, 2012

      Thanks so much for following, Hugo. The subject, unfortunately, provides many opportunities for fresh and outrageous material.

      • November 20, 2012

        I admire your work and am hoping you can expose the breeders and show circuit in the AQHA, among others. PMU also uses the American Quarter Horse.
        These wonderful horses could be kept here and be loyal companions and generate income as they always have if not for the continuing tragedy of horseslaughter.
        Please keep covering horseslaughter.

      • Sally Eckhoff #
        November 20, 2012

        So very sad, so very necessary. Thank you.

        Off to Idaho for T’giving.

        Have a good holiday. Kiss Maddie for me.

        xx

        S.

        Sally Eckhoff, Large Animal Critic 2133 Spring Garden St. #4 Philadelphia, PA 19130 518-817-9171

        http://www.sallyeckhoff.com

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Dear New York Times: Please Don’t Forget the 26,600 Slaughtered Thoroughbreds « Straight from the Horse's Heart
  2. Dear New York Times: Please don’t forget the 26,600 slaughtered Thoroughbreds | Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's Blog

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