Far from being a sport, horseracing is, at its core, a simple vehicle for gambling. Romantic and self-serving rhetoric aside, racehorses are abused creatures: rushed to the track before their skeletal systems have matured; drugged and doped to enhance performance, mask injury, dull pain; kept confined and isolated; whipped for motivation; “retired” and neglected on some mismanaged or overtaxed farm – or worse, sent to auction, mere numbers now, the whimsical names a bitter lifetime ago. From there, the horror escalates: Shipped hundreds or thousands of miles on cramped trailers – where the USDA has determined they can go 28-36 hours without food, water, or rest – their final destination is a merciless concrete building where they will be yelled at, pushed, prodded, and eventually, shot (multiple times, perhaps, because the terrified horses instinctively wish to flee), shackled, hoisted upside down, slashed – occasionally while still conscious – exsanguinated, butchered, and sold for meat.
If exploiting another species, especially one whose intelligence and trustworthiness made for good human resources in the first place, for mere entertainment, placing and following a wager in this case, does not rise to the level of unethical, what does? To those who sustain this morally corrupt industry, we say in behalf of the equines, slake your gambling urges with decidedly inanimate slots and scratch-offs; let the horses be. They’ve suffered enough.
Horseracing Wrongs Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization working to end the cruel horseracing industry through education and grassroots advocacy.
While our focus here is on a single industry and a single species, Horseracing Wrongs stands unequivocally against all animal exploitation. We hold that no animal should be bred, domesticated, and used for human purposes. The evil, as we see it, begins and ends with animal property; as long as we continue to own them, talk of “rights” is positively meaningless. Accordingly, we are not interested in reform or so-called welfare improvements, simply an end – to horseracing, to all of it.
The Pounding of Unformed Bodies: The typical horse does not reach full musculoskeletal maturity till around six; the typical racehorse begins “training” at 18 months and is raced at two – or the rough equivalent of a kindergartner.
The Extreme Confinement: Most active racehorses are kept isolated in small stalls 23 hours a day, making a mockery of the industry claim that their horses are born to run, love to run. No affection, no stimulation – just an existence.
The Commodification: Most racehorses are bought and sold several times during the course of their “careers” – traded and treated like common Amazon products.
The Drugging and Doping: Racehorses are injected with various drugs – some legal, some not – with a singular goal: to keep them running, even through pain and injury.
The Whipping: What happens openly at the track would qualify as animal cruelty if done to our pets. What’s more, in what other sport do lashes provide the motivation?
The Killing: Horseracing Wrongs estimates that upward of 2,000 horses are killed racing or training on American racetracks annually.
The Slaughtering: Although the industry downplays the extent of the problem, the prevailing wisdom is that the vast majority of “retired” American racehorses are bled-out and butchered in foreign abattoirs. One final profit on their heads.
– Patrick Battuello, Founder and President, Horseracing Wrongs