PETA lays blame on jockey and merciless whipping … Good grief.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is seeking the suspension of Eight Belles’ jockey after the filly had to be euthanized following her second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

Gabriel Saez was riding Eight Belles when she broke both front ankles while galloping out a quarter of a mile past the wire. She was euthanized on the track.

PETA faxed a letter Sunday to Kentucky’s racing authority claiming the filly was “doubtlessly injured before the finish” and asked that Saez be suspended while Eight Belles’ death is investigated. 

“What we really want to know, did he feel anything along the way?” PETA spokeswoman Kathy Guillermo said. “If he didn’t then we can probably blame the fact that they’re allowed to whip the horses mercilessly.”   Full Story

The Beefs …

“Good grief. If you know a thing about horses, if you took any time at all to actually look at the sport, you know that you can’t MAKE a half ton animal do ANYTHING, whip or no whip. Try loading one into a trailer that doesn’t want to go there if you want to know something about what a horse does when he doesn’t like something you’re asking him to do.  They run, and run fast, because they WANT to. They run at top speeds around their own paddocks and pastures just for the hell of it, with no rider on board.  And if you watched a race, really watched it, you’d see that this “merciless whipping” just doesn’t happen.   As to the jockey, Eight Belles broke down AFTER the race.   She came in SECOND IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY, FFS. That was an amazing horse that was running in top form. What was it he was supposed to have noticed?  That she was flying a little low?   But yes, two year old horses’ bones are not as strong as they will be when the horse is truly mature, so perhaps that needs to be changed. ”  ~ Kathryn

Thanks to Kathryn for granted me permission to post her opinion on “The Beefs”.  Obviously more than opinion, as her experience working with horses first hand offers more than mere words. 

Speaking of mere words, now for my beef …

It’s unfortunate what happened to this fine horse,  but it doesn’t mean that it was the jockeys fault.  How ridiculous to blame the jockey for this horse’s injuries.  Why would he deliberately kill his own bread and butter, his lively-hood ?  Frankly, PETA needs to get there head of of there rear ends.    They have gotten way too big for there britches, and has become one of the most misguided organizations in existence.  They act as though they have the right to comment on everything that happens with animals, to the point it seems that the rights of animals takes precedence over those of human beings. This is a sport, whether you agree with it or not, it is just that. 

OK, I’m off to run around the parking lot a few times to blow off some steam… that’s what we animals do.  No worries PETA, I’ll take a water break at the fourth furlong.

Stevo.

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25 comments so far

  1. Ken Letizia on

    I watched this tragedy take place. I could see the horse was having issues before it came around the last turn. I expressed this concern to my girlfriend, and she agreed with me. Now, keep in mind, we were waiting for the Crown Royal 400 to start and know absolutely horseshit about horse racing. The last horse race I watched was when my, now passed brother, bet on Alidar to win the Triple Crown. So, if I could see the horse was in pain, and my girl could see it, you cant tell me that little jerk with the whip on her back, couldn’t feel it or see it. I am still in the old testament when it comes to crime. If you stab a person to death, that is how you should die. If you whip a horse till it breaks its own legs, then you should be hobbled and then shot. I watched as the, winner Big Brown, jockey waved the crop past the shoulders and past the ears. The horse responded and moved faster and it was incredible to see that the horse did not have to be whipped to death to get a reaction. I applaud that Jockey for his ability to handle the animal in a safe humane way. I am sickened by people like Mike Vick, and the owners of this horse who used these animals to further their comforts by abusing them and beating them to death for entertainment. I would very much like to jump on their backs and beat them to death with a riding crop. I weight about 350lbs. So, it would be a painful and prolonged death, just as it was for Eight Belles. I am so angry that this animal was first abused and then, because it would never race again, they just killed it. (I hate the word Euthanized, it is a clean way of saying Killed. Just say the damn word and make it real.) Wow, imagine if we did that to our elderly and disabled. I have seen animals receive medical attention, and heal to lead normal lives. Your telling me, this millionaire owner couldn’t pay to have this animal saved? Couldn’t give this wonderful creature a good life on his farm? Why not? Why? Because its offspring would not be race worthy? So, it was shot on the track. The only good that came from this, is my children watched, and cried as did we all. Not one of my kids, will ever bet on horse races… Nor will I.
    Kathryn, please, make these people pay for the injustice they committed. For the murder and abuse we all witnessed. Make these people pay for the callus handling of these animals of God. You know an animal will take abuse from its abuser until it ends and abuser leaves. But when that person returns, the animal still wags its tail and want to love them. This is unconditional love. Apparently, animals, and Jesus are the only ones capable of such love. That is sad. That is just so sad.
    Ken.

  2. Fred Den on

    PETA’s demands targets Gabriel Saez as an escape-goat for the tragedy yesterday at the Derby. This marvelous filly had just beaten 18 of the finest 3 year old colts in the country at the most fabled venue in horse racing. Eight Belles ran with courage and distinction and Saez did absolutely nothing wrong. He rode a clean and aggresive race, while his filly “ran the race of her life” quoting her trainer Larry Jones. Jones and Saez had the day before, combined to win the ‘Kentucky Oaks’, the preiminent race for 3 year old fillies in America. He is known as a stellar horseman, keenly aware of the scrutiny surrounding the sport after the accident last year at the Preakness with Barbaro. Saez was in tears and nearly unconsolable as he told Jones after the race, “they has to put her down Mr. Larry”. Horses especially at the highest level of racing, love to compete and to win. Peta’s cries are unfounded and not fair to Saez or to Larry Jones. It seeks to place blame on a individual for an unfortunate and bitter accident. IF PETA WANTED TO CHAMPION A CAUSE, they would be better served and have the full support of this racing fan and a growing legion of people in the racing industry, by calling for SYNTHETIC surfaces at every racetrack in America. California mandated last year that all major tracks in the state MUST install some form of a synthetic surface. Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar, Golden Gate Fields, all installed a ‘synthetic’ replacing the conventional dirt surface. There has been a tremendous decrease in accidents, especially involving fatal catastrophic injuries since the plan was implemented. Synthetic surfaces have more resiliency, more bounce for the horses as they run, that results in sounder and healthier horses. It promotes safety without taking away from the essence of horse racing; the incredible and beautiful spirit of competition that these majestic equine athletes love to do. Traditions die hard in the racing industry, but it’s time for mainstream tracks like Churchill Downs in Kentucky and Pimlico in Maryland (home of the Preakness) to do everything possible so this kind of tragedy does not happen again.

  3. Fred Den on

    TO KEN LETIZIA:
    As a former owner of race horses, let me first say I agree with the immense tragedy of Eight Belles yesterday. The fatal injuries to the filly occured a 1/4 mile after she had crossed the finish line. As Saez was galloping her out, both her front ankles literally snapped at the same time resulting in catastrophic compound fractures. Her injuries were so severe she could not stand; she was gravely injured and in immense pain. Now I know that’s not what you want to hear…but it’s the truth. The track vet did not have enough time to even consult with her owner or her trainer; there was nothing anybody could do to save her. I too watched the race, and have seen a replay of Eight Belles ridden by Gabriel Saez. In my opinion, yes she was a very tired filly in the stretch, but Saez did not abuse this great animal. He rode a clean race and should not be cast as a “Michael Vick” type of criminal. It would have been impossible for “Belle” to have completed the race and FINISH second if indeed she were so gravely injured as they turned for home. As far as the use of whips…now that’s another story. There are many in the industry who advocate removing the use of whips entirely in American racing. I would have no problem with that idea, and feel it should be seriously considered.
    Fred

  4. Cecil Jones on

    Peta calling for this jockey to be whipped is like Blacks calling for Bill Clinton to be flogged. Although both may deserve it, it’s not the jockey’s or Big Bill’s fault. Why? The horse decides what race they run. Eight Belles ran the race of her life but she just wasn’t good enough to beat all the men. Big Brown could go on to win the Triple Crown? Hillary is running the race of her life and she just can’t seem to beat a “Big Brown” either. The competition must be fair but it isn’t. Throwing the kitchen sink at Obama is like trying to cut him down at the knees. Hillary was “Doubtlessly injured before the finish.” She’s acting like a Huckabeen! Bill Clinton is her jockey but she is running her race. She decided to run dirty and perhaps the accident is a warning? Can you imagine the outcry if Obama tried to cut Hillary down at the knees? Sex shouldn’t matter when it comes to playing dirty. There is no shame in running second if you lost fair and gave your all. The Presidential competition is marred because she played dirty. You can’t win if you throw the kitchen sink to make your competition collapse at the wire. Eight Belles was an act of God. Hillary was an act of choice. I think God was at the Derby sending a message to a filly through a filly. Sex doesn’t matter if you cheat. Eight Belles will be remembered for trying to win the right way. The Clinton are a totally different story. The race is over, but she’s still trying to prevail the wrong way.

  5. Russ on

    Horse racing is a disgusting sport. But PETA is meaningless. Have they ever accomplished anything. I live in Virginia, horse country (not to mention Michael Vick’s retired dog fighting). My opinion is not generated or back up PETA.

    I live in the heart of horse country. Any horse person will tell you:

    1. 2 year olds are not physically fit to run

    2. 2 year olds my aonly be one year old because every horse’s birthday is the first of the year, breeders target for a Decmember birth.

    3. Race Horse’s know nothing about life unless its running on a track or sitting in a stable.

    4. 2 horses every day are euthanized on the race track.

    5. Barbaro, who shattered his leg at the Preakness and eventually was put down, showed sign that he shouldn’t have been in the gate…there was just too much money to scratch the derby winner.

    6. Horse Jockeys risk alor riding there horses. There is a large number of jockeys in wheel chairs or dead because of being thrown. That’s why Secretariat had two jockeys.

    7. Breeding a throughbreed with strong upper body and tooth pick legs is dangerous, like racing an SUV at the Indy track.

    8. Horse Racing is more of a bet, with investors than it will ever be a sport.

    9. Horses aim to please…they love to run faster and win for the jockey, regardless of injury.

    10. The bond between any horse and its owner is family…even tighter that dog and owner!

    11. PETA thinks they are the first and foremost to be outraged…they aren’t. PETA has accomplished nothing but take money from other fanatics. They weren’t the first to be outraged about Michael Vick’s Dog fighting operation. As a Virginia resident I KNOW THIS!

    12. Could the horse racing “sport” be reformed? Could they race at a later age? Could the animals be treated better?

    Real Quiet at the Belmont, Barbaro at the Preakness, Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby. Not to mention all the horses euthanized on a daily basis. Something has tro be done. But PETA isn’t the answer. PETA has never accomplished anything.

  6. Ken Letizia on

    Fred, I thank you for the input. Like I said, I know horseshit about horse racing. I am not a vet and I do not know when the injury is so sever that an animal must be destroyed. But I just read about an Eagle that got a new beak after people tried for two years to help this bird. They were put to the test, and they developed a false, working, beak. We can replace hips, and knees on humans. So, why don’t the owners get together and do some R&D on the ankle and how to make it stronger for the race? Fred, I have to ask this also. Why were X-rays not taken of Belles legs, and for that matter all the horses before the race? Could an X-ray have determined any possible damage that may have already existed before Belle ran the track? I would have to believe that for her ankles to both give out, at the same time, something would have had to have been preexisting. I may have been a bit harsh on the Jockey and I am sure he is not the Evil One-Mike Vick, but I love animals and I have to believe this tragedy could have been avoided with some pre-race medical inspection. I know the horses are looked at on the outside, but how about their legs being X-rayed. I feel this will help the horses in the future, and will eventually prove cost effective for the owners, when the philly saved has a youngster that wins, say the Derby or the Triple Crown.
    I don’t agree that horse should be banned, but I believe it can be made better. These animals, while bred for what they do, have rights as well. They cant talk for themselves to say when something is wrong or they have an injury, so we have to be their advocates and do all we can to insure their safety.
    Ken.

  7. Thomas Colby on

    Wow, alot of people have posted comments about something they know very little about. I understand the outcry, I understand the grief, its a tragic situation when a horse gets hurt and even worse when a horse has to be put to sleep as a result of an injury. Having spent my entire life around race horses and the business I consider, as do most people who know me, to be an expert in this area. I have worked at all the Major Racetracks in the USA, I have seen incredible efforts to save injured horses and have watched the true grief that owners, trainers, and anyone else who works with them go through when a tragic event happens. Luckily it does not happen often and I think sometimes the Media does not focus on the success stories.
    Personal Ensign.. The Undeafeated Filly that ran after having several pins put in to secure and mend a cracked leg. She won all those races, with those pins in place and was a true champion.
    Winning Colors.. the third filly to ever win the Kentucky Derby, after winning the Santa Anita Derby and Oaks, she suffered from various injuries but was able to mount an impressive career. There are issues that face Thoroughbred racing. The Triple Crown is a grueling schedule for young horses, its been suggested they move up the dates on these races or move them further apart. But remember The Kentucky Derby has been run for 135 years, and to my memory the injury that took the incredible filly Eight Belles down on saturday was a rarity, I have never seen anything like that in the Derby. In everything horse do there is a risk of injury. I watched a brilliant 2 year old colt running around a field one sunny afternooon mistep and compound facture his front leg, there was no rider, he wasnt spooked, and the field was in great firm conditions, it just happens, luckily its rare and not seen by millions of people. Another issue that PETA should take on and the American Public should be aware and up in arms about is the million, I am talking MILLIONS of unwanted Dogs and Cats that are put to death every year, just because they are tired of them, or they dont have time, or because they view them as unwanted. That also brings up the millions of Dogs and Cats that are abused every year, working in the Veterinary Field its an all too common site. So my advice to everyone is… Learn what your talking about. Take the time to adopt of help take care of the millions of unwanted pets and take some solice that these great athletes, Thoroughbreds, recieve some of the best care possible and if they could have they would have done anything to save Eight Belles, she was amazing and anyone that watched her run on saturday could she her giving a 110% percent as she did in all her races.

  8. Fred Den on

    Hey Ken,
    I also read about “beauty” and the great work those volunteers are doing to try and save it’s life…a great story. I agree with Mr. Colby in the previous post. The vet at CD said in his 20+ years, he had never witnessed a horse suffering compound fractures of both ankles. It was a rare and unusual breakdown that Belle suffered. A trainer from way back told me something once i’ve never forgotten, “Horses weigh 850-maybe 1200 lbs Fred. They’re bred to run as fast as they can and have hearts as large and as pure as the good lord could find. Unfortunately they have bones as thin and as fragile as their soul and hearts are immense”. Recently a top trainer on the east coast was found to pocess SNAKE VENUM in his barn. He was given I beleive a one year suspension because when injected, it is one of the most powerful pain killers in existense, dulling the pain and promoting severe injuries to the horse. Another example of what PETA should be ranting about…not the crucification of jockey Saez unjustly for the sake of their own agenda, to promote themselves.

  9. Fred Den on

    FYI…I neglected to give the triners name. It’s Patrick Biancone, originally from France and a trainer who has won many Grade 1 races across the country for years. This guy has been suspended before for medication abuse and his questionable “win at any cost” practices. There you go PETA; there’s somebody you can justly go after with cause and reason.

  10. Stevo on

    Great posts everyone. The level of thought and knowledge represented by all these posts is an unexpected surprise. Good to have some balancing point of views as well. Often topics become so one sided we’re overlooking the wisdom of those that happen to speaking from a different vantage point. It’s enough to give the most infuriated PETA hater, a warm fuzzy :)

  11. casey on

    ken-
    when a horse breaks any bone in the leg, the chances of recovery are very slim. even if the horse does survive the surgery, they will be in a sling for months on end. coming off of an intense working program, the muscles will deteriorate and laminitis will develop. if everything goes perfectly and the horse is still alive, it will never be comfertable again, let alone be able to walk or run or enjoy life. when two bones are broken, there is no chance that they will survive. none at all. also, even if the jocky felt that something was wrong, he is about 110 lbs. eight belles was about 1000. there is no way that he could have stopped her even if he wanted to. the wipping was no inhumane, but i do think there should be some restraints on the issue. as well as an increased age for the horses as their bones are not fully developed at 2 and 3.

    accidents happen in every equestrian disipline, but we soud not be so upset by the few and rare fatal accidents to stop riding these wonderful creatures. if PETA is going to be against anything in the horse industry it should be to get more regulations in eventing because more than 4 horses have been put down in the last two months due to freak accidents. sad but true.

    rest in peace baby girl<333

  12. Stevo on

    Thought I’d share this … ties in nicely with Cecil’s comment regarding Hillary and “Big Brown” being in a horse race.

    click here to view

  13. Ruth Ann Olson on

    Why isn’t anyone talking about the use of steriods and how that contributes to brittle bones. Seems like a no brainer to me.

  14. Paula Beninati on

    Comment on: Eight Belles’ death renews horse racing questions – Game on at 5/4/2008 8:51 AM EDT

    I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO THINK OF A WAY TO GET THE NATIONAL HORSE RACING COMMISSIONS ATTENTION FOR YEARS. BUT, BECAUSE I AM NOT FAMOUS NOR A ORGANIZATION WITH A LOT OG MONEY TO BACK ME UP, I HOPE TO HELL PETA STOPS THE IGNORANCE OF RACING HORSES AT THE EARLY AGE OF TWO.

    EIGHT BELLES OR ANY OTHER HORSE HAVE NO BUSINESS ON THE TRACK FOR ANY REASON AT THIS AGE. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND AND HAVE KIDS TRY MAKING YOUR TWO YEAR OLD DO SOMETHING THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE DOING AT THAT AGE, THAT WOULD BE CALLED “ABUSE” AND YOU WOULD ONLY GET AWAY WITH IT FOR SO LONG.

    BELOW IS WHAT I WROTE TO USA TODAY.

    IN REGARDS TO EIGHT BELLES DEATH AND BARBAROS DEATH, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHEN THE THE NATIONAL HORSE RACING COMMISSION IS GOING TO BE FORCED TO STOP ALLOWING THESE HORSES UNDER 4 TO RACE.

    HOW MANY DEATHS NEED TO OCCUR UNDER THE IGNORANCE OF THE COMMISSION, THE OWNERS, THE TRAINERS AND THE JOCKEYS? THEY ARE ALL FULLY RESPOSIBLE FOR ALL OF THEIR DEATHS.

    THE INSURANCE COMPANIES AS WELL, SHOULD HAVE SOME TYPE OF KNOWLEDGE OF HORSES AND THE ENDURANCE THE HORSES CAN WITHSTAND IN THESE GROWTH SPURT YEARS.

    THE COMMENTS THAT “SHE WAS GLAD TO DO IT” ARE SO UNBELIEVABLY IGNORANT THAT I CANT BELIEVE THAT THIS COMMENT WAS MADE AS SHE IS BEING WHIPPED UP THE TRACK.

    I HAVE BEEN AROUND HORSES ALL OF MY LIFE, TRAINING AND SHOWING THEM FOR YEARS. I KNOW THAT ANY HORSE SHOULD ONLY BE STARTING TO BE BROKEN IN AT MAYBE 1 LET ALONE BROKEN IN AND TRAINED TO RACE AND RACING BY 2.

    CONGRESS NEEDS TO STEP IN AND PUT A STOP TO THIS MASSACRE.

    I HAVE WRITTEN THE COMMISSION AND WILL BE STARTING AN EMAIL AND HOPEFULLY WE WILL HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE SIGN THIS EMAIL THAT SOMETHING WILL BE DONE ABOUT IT.

  15. Liz on

    The horse racing industry advertises itself as “glamorous,” but in reality, exploitation, welfare violations, cruelty, and premature deaths are an inherent and unavoidable part of this industry based on greed.

    FACTS:

    The horse racing industry causes thousands of horses to be born only to be slaughtered or abandoned to an existence of neglect, starvation, and suffering. There are three reasons for this:

    Very large numbers must be produced annually to generate a few fast ones to be selected to compete. Of the many thousands bred to race, very few make the grade. The rest must be disposed of.

    During training or racing, injuries are common. Injured horses are also euthanized or sold from one owner to another into increasingly worse conditions.

    When race horses have finished their career – usually at a very early age, before they are fully mature – they, too, must be disposed of. Their numbers exceed by far the number of humane retirement facilities.
    The above has been found to be true of every country where this issue has been studied, including England, Germany, Japan, and the U.S. In the small country of Macau, for example, approximately 300 horses are imported per year, the same number as are retired. Most of those retired are euthanized. Some who do not make the grade, but who can still race, are exported to race and/or to an unknown fate in China or Vietnam. A local Macau newspaper published photos of healthy horses (some as young as 4 years old) who were no longer fast enough to win races, being lined up and shot, their bodies dumped at a local landfill. The horses were shot because shooting is a cheaper, though much less humane method of euthanasia than lethal injection.

    In the U.S., around 5,000 leave racing every year, the same number who enter it. As in Macau and in every other country where horse racing exists, many end up euthanized or sent into a downward spiral of abuse.

    Race horses frequently suffer injuries because they are forced to train and race before their skeletal system has finished growing.

    To compete in the races with the largest purses — which are for 2 and 3 year olds — horses must be trained and raced at too young an age, before their bones’ growth plates have matured. This causes many lower-limb ailments and injuries, including fractures, pulled ligaments, and strained tendons. Such injuries are common in horse racing.
    Riding horses are started at 3-4 years old, while race horses are often started as young as 1.5 years. Riding horses are brought along slowly and with as little stress to their still-maturing joints as possible, while race horses are forced to run beyond their limits, pounding their still-developing joints into the ground. When the riding horse is just entering his prime, the race horse is ending his career, and possibly his life.

    One study showed that for every 22 races, at least one horse suffers an injury severe enough to prevent him or her from finishing a race. Another study estimated that 800 Thoroughbreds die from racing-related injuries every year in North America. Most owners are not willing to pay high veterinary fees for an injured horse who is unlikely to ever race again, and instead, choose to euthanize the animal.

    Read more at: http://www.chai-online.org/en/compassion/entertainment_racing.htm

    Get involved at: http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/eight_belles

  16. Fred Den on

    I agree with Liz that Horse Racing certainly has a dark side. Anybody familiar with Horse Racing is keenly aware of it’s existance. That analogy however, is true with every sector of industry and business throughout the world. Every sports franchise, doctors and hospitals, the financial hubs of Wall Street, teachers and schools; there is no expection or limits to the cruelty, manipulation, and sheer greed of people towards others. When the victim of deplorable behavior is an animal unable to defend itself or communicate it’s pain or situation, these acts of depravity are magnified even more so. Fairness and objectivity also tells of many people, organizations, and foundations, that truly care about the equine animal without whom our industry would perish. These individuals and programs strive every year to improve the safety and health of horses on and off the racetrack. There is woman that I know (and for the life of me cannot remember her name) who has a small facility near Temecula CA near Riverside. She grew up with horses and was once an exercise rider who worked for Farrel Jones and Buster Millerick in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I along with my daughter visited her ranch years ago for a school project when Jenny was in middle-school. We walked amongst the buildings, corrals, and fields, where literally hundreds of aging horses are kept and taken care of after they leave the racetrack. Some looked healthy, the majority looked sad and defeated. “See that one there”, she asked. We looked at a dark bay standing by himself under a tree. As we walked closer, this old warrior saw and heard her voice and slowly methodically began walking over to her. Both front legs were swollen and mangled. “This big boy won the Eclipse Award for Champion Sprinter a few years back…his name is Precisionist. He’s been with us since he left the track; can hardly walk anymore but we’re all he’s got; right boy?”, she said as she rubbed his nose. Seems Fred Hooper who owned and campaigned this gallant gelding was going to retire him to his farm in Ocala Florida, but he died before the plan could be completed. Best laid plans of mice, men, and horses…he came to the care of this wonderful and caring woman who works 14 hour days with her small staff of volunteers taking care of “her family”. As we drove home that day, I couldn’t help wonder, “what would of happened to those horses if she were not around” willing to dedicate her life to these animals she so obviously loved?” So Liz, not all that racing represents is about greed and selfishness, or about death and cruelty. We need a hundred, a thousand more like her to embelish the goodness and determination of the vast majority of people in the sport who truly care.
    Fred

  17. Liz on

    Far more horses are euthanized and slaughtered than are fortunate enough to find owners who care for them after the rigors of racing. If you research as I have you will know that it is true. However the reason the race horse’s legs in your story were mangled and swollen was because of the cruelty of racing. Many aged horses that are well taken care of frolick well into their 30s. What man has the right to take any horses mobility or life for greed. I say NONE and I stand by what I say.

  18. bolsonon on

    More dicussion is definitely in order. For more on the Eight Belles tragedy, visit http://bolsonon.wordpress.com

  19. austinbaby31 on

    It really saddens me to see such a beautiful horse cut down in her prime. But what saddens me the most is the slanderous accusations P.E.T.A. has made.

    I am an equestrian. I have owned, cared for, and ridden horses for most of my life. One thing I have learned over the years, is you cannot make a horse do anything they do not want to do; no matter what method you use to obtain your required result.

    Horses are simple but beautiful creatures, they run when surrounded by other running horses and use their natural fight or flight response to respond to a rider’s leg or whip pressure.

    Their hides are much tougher than one thinks…. think about it. If a horse can sustain another horse’s kick or bite without so much as a minor welt or superficial cut what makes you think a simple whip with a leather end is going to cause this “horrible” pain P.E.T.A. talks about? Animals of this size are very capable of tolerating a whip’s application.

    This jockey in question was using no more pressure than was necessary and the horse ran with it’s ears pricked forward. If the horse was in excruciating broken bone pain it would have been hobbling on three legs and pinning its ears. I didn’t see any welts on the animal after it fell to the ground, did you? The whip was not applied unjustly and the pressure used was not excessive. The jockey is not at fault.

    I understand the age issue with racehorses… unfortunately it is the way of the horse world. Industry standards have been established and the horse world is a creature of habit…. Change will take time if it happens at all. What one can do in the meantime is educate yourself and others on the most effective methods of training and care for these animals. I am not denying there is a dark side to the horse world, but for every one sad story there are hundreds more good stories out there. In general owners have more than money invested in the horse they own, they have their hearts invested in them. Yes a horse is an investment but there is no doubt in my mind that there is more to it than monetary gain. If you don’t love this industry you will not stay in it and the animals under your care will not thrive, therefore you will be left with nothing.

    When organizations such as P.E.T.A. lump all horse owners, trainers, etc. into one money grubbing heartless group they sound ignorant and irrational. If P.E.T.A. truly wants to expose the underbelly of the horse industry they should investigate, get facts, and bring legitimate attention to key issues. I am not condoning their actions, in fact I think what they have done is despicable in the case of Eight Belles and her jockey. Be responsible with your words and actions, for in the end P.E.T.A. was left looking like an uneducated fanatical organization. Don’t follow in their steps. If they want to do more for animals they need to think rationally.

  20. Liz on

    PETA and other animal rights groups have NOT targeted all horse owners, they have targeted horse racing and it is high time some one did. This has gotten totally out of hand and they are treating these horse like disposable commodities. I am not a member of PETA but I agree with them on the horse race issue. People who have taken the time to research realize what a greed infested horrendous operation horse racing is. Do the research and you will gain knowledge. TO stand back and do nothing is the worst thing to do, when horses are being killed at the track at an alarming rate!

  21. Ken Letizia on

    Liz, Fred and all the people who posted to this tough topic…Wow, the diversity of the information and the depth of topic, have been eye opening. I see horse racing in a whole new light. It’s probably one of the most prestigious sports in the world, and one of the most horrid as well… aside from dog racing and fighting. I can’t see another sport where the athletes are treated like royalty while they can produce, and then disposed of, destroyed, or what ever fate awaits them when they are no longer useful…well there is the NBA. Trainers with Snake Venom, animals shipped off to foriegn lands and never seen again and owners who have no scruples about doing these things to these wonderful animals. I just dont get it. Am I missing something here? I don’t believe God intended for any animal to be abused. (NBA players are another story)
    I just dont know what to say. I can’t imagine beating a horse with a crop or whip or druging them to improve their performance. I can’t see tossing them out once their usefulness is over. And I can’t understand how people can treat them so horribly make money off them and then just disguard them like so much trash.
    Thanks to all of you for the information and knowledge I have gained.
    Ken.

  22. casey on

    these horses are not killed once they are done racing or werent good enough to race in the first place. i know this for a fact as i personally own a thoroughbred who was too slow to race, and therefore never was. if the horse doesnt want to go, trust me, they wont. eequestrians in every diciplin use crops and whips. they are not used to hurt the horse! they do not hurt the horse! they are simply used to encorage, not force, a higher quality of performance. and usually not even for quickness or speed!everyone in the horse industry would much appriciate that you know your facts or have been involved before you try and make judgements on what happened.

  23. Ken Letizia on

    All I know about riding crops, is that I own one and my girl friend appreciates it’s sting on her behind. LOL
    I would like to see crops banned, I realize a horse has thick skin, and the crop isnt really all that harsh, but it just looks horrible. I really have no good idea on what to replace it with, but something more like a whisk, for brushing the animal to make it go faster or, wrong choice of words, perform at its peak.
    Ken.

  24. Kristy on

    Why don’t people get off there high horse most of you people say horse racing is cruel have never even seen a bloody horse let along have the skill to say what did or didn’t happen to eight belles. Unless you were on the track, the trainer or the jockey how the bloody hell would you know. As for whipping the horses get a life. These jockeys are trained on how to use a whip and are not beating the horse to death. What about all the horses left to starve and freeze in the world. Racehorse are very well care for loved and looked after. I have seen horses brake legs in the safety of a stable or paddock. so do we just stop everyone have a horse in case it gets hurt. Get real there are more horse killed in paddock accidents and slaughter houses every year then are killed on a race track. I have racehorses myself and the amount of time, care and love that goes into these animal is amazing. Thoroughbred are bred for racing and racing is what that like to do if a horse doesnt want to be a racehorse they are not beaten into submission they are simply sold on, given away or put down, which in the end beats being left to starve to death in a shitty paddock with no to care for them. People really need to get all the facts before make such harsh remarks. It really is a shame that people only see the bad side to everything not the time, care racehorses give there owners, trainer and everyone that works with them.

  25. Thomas Colby on

    WOW, So many various comments and views on Horse Racing, its really amazing to see how many people have wide ranging opinions and some wrong facts about the sport itself. I have not worked directly in the sport since 1994, BUT, i did spent the majority of my life dedicated to it and the welfare of animals in the racing industry. I also worked with Racing Greyhounds, who also get alot of negative press and opinions. I have to say that most of the negative press is unfair. I am not saying that nothing bad ever happens, it does. But have some prespective! I can not comment of things I know nothing about. I cant sit here and say that Auto Racing is horrible because driver DO die and are hurt. I know nothing about Auto Racing. I can say one thing for sure, one thing that I know. Millions of Dogs and Cats are killed each year because of neglect, abandonment and refusal of owners to spay or neuter their pets. Thats a fact. My time in racing was surrounded by people whos entire life revolved around taking excellent care of their animals. Was there any trainers or owners who neglected their animals? Yes, of course. Are there any parents who abuse or kill their own children?? Yes, sadly of course there is. So should we bar people from having children? Maybe we should, but you common sense tells us thats jsut not possible or the solution. The correct thing to do is to work on making sure animals are taken care of properly and that when accidents do happen we dont just give up and condem the people that work so hard to take good care of their animals. We need to look at the heatlh and well being of these animals, with the help of Veterinarians and people who KNOW what they are talking about, not activists groups that dotn know up from down.


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