Every one of them is dead: racehorse slaughter

You have to love a guy who exposes the grisly underbelly of the industry he works in on their big red carpet award day.

I refer to Ray Paulick who posted a report today on underhanded horse slaughter practices going on in and around a Pennsylvania racecourse (that just happens to be a short jog from the notorious New Holland livestock auction, depending on how many good legs you have) on Thoroughbred racing’s Eclipse Award day.

To be honest, I had trouble following all the whodunits in the report. Probably reading it too fast. However, the bottom line I got right away.

Racehorses who can no longer be used to any kind of advantage by anyone at a racetrack are passed from one deadly pair of hands to another on their way to slaughter, no doubt making a couple hundreds bucks here and there for some of the “traders”.

It is not uncommon in these scenarios for these poor, doomed horses to pass through the hands of so-called rescuers so they can get it on the blood money too.

While we know all too well at the Fund for Horses that this goes on regularly no matter how many “no slaughter” policies racetracks say they have, to read a detailed account of the grisly transactions and vile individuals conducting them is gut wrenching. No horse should ever be put to death in such a heinous fashion.

Here’s the link to “Every One of them is Dead“.

9 thoughts on “Every one of them is dead: racehorse slaughter”

  1. Viv, I think I remember you wrote about the Jockey Club’s “Thoroughbred Connect” last year. I keep wondering how that program is progressing, and found this update from September, 2011: http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/national-news/2011/09/27/jockey-club-enhances-thoroughbred-connect.aspx

    Not as successful as I had hoped, but I don’t know how much it’s publicized. The second paragraph has me confused. “Under this new feature, persons in possession of Thoroughbreds in need of aftercare can now list those horses publicly on thoroughbredconnect.com. Those willing to provide assistance for a Thoroughbred appearing on the list may request their contact information be sent automatically to the person in possession of the horse.” To me, “persons in posession of” brings to mind the TBs rescued in Louisiana. I wonder what it really means.


  2. The Jockey Club is horribly irresponsible as we all know, Ellen Parker agrees that they ‘control’ the ‘industry’ and that breed conservancy would never happen. I disagree. I think that if either Zenyatta’s or Rachel Alexandra’s owners could be persuaded to allow the mares to be bred to an Arabian before going to ‘Old Friends’ then that would bring major attention to this dying breed. If I had the money, I would buy 2 mares from England or Ireland and do it myself. After several generations, I believe it is ten, the offspring would be considered ‘pure.’ This of course, is a long term project of considerable expense, but not out of the question with the right support.

    It is not just about getting wealthy horse owners to ‘pony up’ and participate so they can be considered ‘leaders’ among their peers, it is about bringing the reality to the general public that they will continue betting on horses that will fail. The Jockey Club is in violation of RICO rules and should be prohibited from having the right to its races for a very long time. If they are the ‘arbitor’ of what is considered allowable, then they are the organization that must be stopped. Horses are going to kill due to this heinous ‘Club’ which allows drugs on ‘race’ day. I wonder what kind a stud Big Brown will turn out to be as he was the fastest horse on drugs. He is beautiful, but when his trainer took his ‘vitamins’ away from him and he failed to capture the Belmont, you could see that Big Brown was confused. I watched the replay of the race and have the films of all of the races going back to 1965. It was heartbreaking to see a proud horse look so utterly defeated through no fault of his own. I actually cried when I saw that because I could only imagine what the horse felt being last when he had always been first.

    Congress was disturbingly lax about the investigation into the use of drugs. Eight Belles was galloping on two broken ankles and when she collapsed they said she had died of a Heart attack. Not so, she was euthanized at the track as Barbaro should have been. What happened to Barbaro was criminal and they glorify Dean Richardson whom I refer to as ‘The Butcher of Barbaro’ as that horse died bit by bit. NO horse founders ‘over the weekend’ and they lied about Secretariat foundering as well. He was put down for the insurance money, As if Secretariat was improperly managed!!!

    Here is something I posted on my website (which was hacked, I did not notice until half of the home page was missing) http://www.manesandtailsorganization.org/cripple.htm This page is called the Cripple Crown, and it has Ruffian’s breakdown which was due to her breeding and not drugs, it has Barbaro’s ‘Preakness’ race and Eight Belles in slow motion galloping on her broken ankles. She was running through the pain and she collapsed when she passed the finish line as her Jockey slowed her down and lack of impulsion caused her to collapse as the front ankles could not support her. Ruffian’s film is tragic, the other two are revolting, Eight Belles especially.

    This is not folly, this is about a grassroots campaign to create a change. The Jockey Club refused to have a Memorial for ‘Ferdinand’ on his 25th Anniversary of winning the Kentucky Derby. I spoke to them directly and they said there would be a ‘mention’ of him in the program that all attendees got, when I requested a copy of that it was not forthcoming. I love all breeds of horses, and take any breed, any age, any gender, despite whatever health or psychological issues they may have. I find that I have rescued far more Thoroughbreds in the last 17 years than any other breed. The Thoroughbreds leave me early, I have never had a Thoroughbred live past the age of 23. When I look at the pedigrees there are two ‘Secretariat’ grandsons, and one Seattle Slew son (he was hit and killed by a car at the age of 11) so the breeding definitely impacts their longevity and that is tragic.

    At this point in my life the horses are my main focus. I don’t like social media, I am lousy at fundraising, and all of my ideas have been co-opted by the EWA. I started that Children’s Letter Writing Campaign last year! John Holland refused to forward my emails to his list because I started Howling Ridge Radio which I named after his farm. He was my friend (I thought) but when I made it clear it was my idea, I footed the bill for the entire thing and had people wanting to be guests etc., he decided to choose a night when he knew Vicki was not available and was a no show. He said it was an EWA project and it never was. It was ludicrous. So I am left swallowing my anger and pushing the feeling of betrayal aside, but I know from experience that these ideas has a very short shelf life. If they don’t keep after it the project will be forgotten. It will have zero impact on Obama. His daughters have no idea about any of this stuff. Big deal, he got a dog,

    So being an ‘upstart’ against a closed group is a challenge that is good to focus on. Somebody has to try it and if nobody does there will never be any change. Like Ginger Kathens said to me, ‘You only lose when you stop trying’ and she is so correct.

    Thanks Vivian,



  3. I have the old link for Ellen Parker’s site posted above. the correct link is:


    She was very generous with her time and because I cannot bear to watch ‘live’ races any longer, I will watch the replay if none died. She took me to task for that, however, I now have a low tolerance level for these breakdowns . I have rescued far too Thoroughbreds from the kill pen at New Holland and have spent thousands of dollars rehabilitating them.

    One that is ready to be free leased scares almost everyone that approaches her. She is a big gal and she knows not to give me a hard time. She is simply a bully and she responds to voice commands said in a very firm and somewhat load tone. She is shocked by the sound and stands like a statue. I wish I could find a home for her but her personality is not for the faint of heart!

    Sorry for the incorrect link.



    1. Improving the breed as you suggest is for The Jockey Club to decide. US breeders are reluctant which is irresponsible in my opinion. It appears that the industry prefers to “improve” the breed through drugs.


  4. Thank you Vivian. I was not aware of Jane Allin’s research but I will definitely read it. Do you agree that the breed needs to be conserved? This is something I would like to accomplish before my 100th birthday as I refuse to leave the Planet until Equidae Slaughter and that includes the Wild Horses and Burros. That is how long it would take. Thoroughbreds are only 97% pure. If the owners of these Mares would allow them to be bred to an Arabian stud before going to ‘Old Friends’ that would get us started. ‘Barbs’ are on the ALBC list as ‘rare’ so the chance of getting one of those would be tough.

    Queen Elizabeth has brought her horses to the US to be sold or bred. They have never competed in any Triple Crown Races.

    Ellen Parker’s site is http://www.Pedlines.com




  5. Nobody ever responds to me here, however, I will try again. There must be a Moratorium on breeding Thoroughbreds in this Country. The breed is working off of TWO bloodlines and are completely in-bred. ‘Line Breeding’ of any species always ends in disaster, be it Equines or Purebred Dogs.

    Ellen Parker is a woman whom now lives in Kentucky. She studies the Pedigrees of Thoroughbred horses. The Mare has more impact than the Sire. She also was a guest on the Howling Ridge Radio Program and she explained in depth why we will never see another Triple Crown Winner in our lifetime. Here is that program:


    The breed must be conserved! They are failing left and right, odious humans whom are the lowest form of life just take them off to kill without a second thought. We must create a National Stud and rebuild the breed by getting some Arabian blood back in the Gene Pool.

    Zenyatta is an excellent mare as is Rachel Alexandra. Those two are the best in the United States but they will go to ‘Old Friends’, whom I admire greatly, however, if either of those mares could be bred to an Arabian that is how the breed conservancy begins. That is how a National Stud Begins. The British people breed great horses, and the Irish horses are, in my opinion, the best bred horses on the Planet due to the limestone in the grass. We must learn from the people in England and Ireland, however, everyone wants to make a fast buck.

    Okay, everyone may now ignore me.



  6. I hope those rotten people are found and dealt with. God rest the souls of those poor horses. May the ones that killed them rot in the worst possible way. The racehorses didn’t need to be slaughtered. I hope the killers are found out and justice served.


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