~~April 8, 2014~~
WARNING: May find pictures and video to be graphic!
~~Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs, Deception, and Death~~
Imagine being pushed beyond the point of exhaustion: the bones in your legs straining to hold up the weight of your body, your bleeding lungs incapable of taking in enough air, and you’re forced to keep running despite it all. This is what life is like for racehorses who are chronically drugged by trainers in order to mask their pain and enhance their performance.
As reported in The New York Times, for the first time ever, PETA has captured cruel standard industry practices on camera during an undercover investigation of leading thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen.
PETA’s investigator worked for Asmussen, who has won more races in the last decade than any other U.S. trainer, at two of the most famous racetracks in America: Churchill Downs in Louisville (home of the Kentucky Derby) and the Saratoga Race Course in New York.
Racehorses are given an aggressive, daily regimen of pain-masking drugs and treatments.
These drugs don’t appear to be used for genuinely therapeutic purposes — they’re used to keep horses going when their legs and lungs are screaming “Stop!”
Horses in the racing industry are so routinely doped up that they have been labeled “chemical horses,” and their feet, bones, and bodies are progressively destroyed as a result. Our investigator documented some of the most commonly overused drugs and “treatments”:
- Although it’s approved only as a prescription medication for horses with hypothyroidism, the drug thyroxine was being administered to many, if not all, horses in Asmussen’s New York stable, without any apparent testing or evidence of any thyroid condition. This drug was recklessly administered seemingly just to speed up metabolism — not for any therapeutic purpose.
- Lasix — a controversial drug banned in Europe on race days — was injected into “basically all” of Asmussen’s horses who were being raced or timed in New York. A powerful drug meant to prevent pulmonary bleeding in the lungs during extreme exercise, Lasix is a diuretic that can serve as a masking agent for other drugs and also dehydrates horses to make them lose weight and run faster. One of New York State’s top horse-racing veterinarians admitted on camera to PETA’s investigator that Lasix is a performance-enhancing medication.
- Horses’ legs showed multiple scars from being burned with liquid nitrogen ― a process called freeze-firing ― and burned with other irritating “blistering” chemicals, purportedly to stimulate blood flow to their sore legs.
- Horses were also given muscle relaxants, sedatives, and other potent pharmaceuticals to be used for treating ailments such as ulcers, lameness, and inflammation, at times even when the animals had no apparent symptoms.
Pushed beyond their limits, an average of 24 horses suffer fatal breakdowns at tracks across the country every week, due in part, according to a 2012 New York Times investigation, to the misuse of drugs that keep injured horses running, and 10,000 broken-down thoroughbreds are sent to slaughter every year.
Some horses were reportedly electro-shocked with concealed buzzers. One of Asmussen’s trainers, Scott Blasi, jokingly called his top jockey a “machine rider“― a nickname for riders who shock horses. And Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas laughed as he described how, at New Mexico’s Ruidoso Downs racetrack, it was like “a full-blown orchestra. Zzz. Zzz. Zzz. Zzz. Everybody had one.”
Valediction, a horse whose knee had been injected repeatedly, was claimed by another owner after a race, and Blasi exclaimed that he was so happy, apparently to be rid of the horse, that he “could do a f****** cartwheel.” Valediction reportedly had fractured a bone and could not walk to his new owner’s barn, and he had to have emergency surgery.
Blasi and the new owner’s trainer joked that the horse was a “rat”— what they call a horse who doesn’t win any money.
~~Held Together With Superglue~~
Nehro was a magnificent horse. He came in second in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, but what race enthusiasts and reporters never knew was that just a few years later, Nehro was racing and training on chronically painful hooves with holes in them. One of the hooves was, at one point, held together with superglue.
Nehro’s assistant trainer, Blasi, told PETA’s investigator, “I know the f***** hurts” ― yet Nehro was kept on the track and forced to participate in workouts. Just two years after that Derby finish, Nehro developed colic and went mad from pain.
He was euthanized at Churchill Downs on the day of the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
“We witnessed a horse so sore it hurt him even to stand, thyroid medication dumped into horses’ daily feed, and horses who had been blistered with chemical paint in a bizarre attempt to stimulate healing.
Even at this top level of racing, the syringe is the top training aid, and if the horses get out alive, they’re broken.”
~~Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs and Death~~
~~Published on Mar 19, 2014~~
A PETA undercover investigation of leading thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen reveals chronic misuse of drugs, reportedly to enhance horses’ performance and mask their injuries.
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Reblogged this on Mavadelo's mindscape and commented:
article says enough, yall don’t need my happing with this. Support PETA or your local/regional animal welfare organization please (for the Dutch go to http://www.dierenbescherming.nl/)
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I sometimes truly despise people.
It’s hard no to …. When we see this and so many abuses in all senses happening.
The cruelty to these race horses is sickening. All for the love of the dollar. These dispicable so called horse people will get theirs in the end. Thank goodnes for PETA. Please do keep in mind all the good horse people out there, many who take great care of these magnificant animals.Yes, to make money from their races but also to bring the horses unbelivable ability to the surface.. Let’s hear some good stories. The indviduals who knowingly hurt these horses will be punished, one way or another.
Thank you for stopping by and writing your comment. It’s really appreciated.
I agree with you. There has to be some good people out there who care and do good by the animal kingdom!!
I do hope that the “bad apples” do pay!! Peace ….
TY for your visit and comment! In total agreement!!