Kentucky horse racing and horse racing in general in the U.S. should hang their heads in shame. But of course they will not. They are too callous and self-righteous.
U.S. horse racing have demonstrated once again they care absolutely nothing about the safety and welfare of the racehorses they use. Asmussen is just the tip of the iceberg of horse racing’s evildoing.
Think I am exaggerating or know nothing about horse racing. I was raised in it — in Kentucky. I also worked many years as a horse racing photographer. And I was married to an Assistant Trainer who worked in the U.S, England and Ireland.
When he was headhunted in England to work in the U.S., I told my husband he would hate the way racehorses are treated in the U.S. He thought I was exaggerating or being oversensitive. After 3 months he was ready to quit. After 6 months he did, and went back home continuing his career in Ireland until he retired.
Here’s part of the story, as reported by the Star Tribune:
- LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky regulators have cleared one of horse racing’s winningest trainers of abuse allegations made by an animal-rights group claiming it had videotape evidence that Steve Asmussen mistreated thoroughbreds in his care.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission [KHRC] investigation found nothing to substantiate claims by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, commission Chairman Robert Beck said Thursday.
Outside veterinarians asked by the commission to independently review PETA documents and video also found nothing to support the allegations, he said.
Kentucky regulators also cleared Asmussen’s assistant trainer, Scott Blasi.
“No evidence was found to substantiate PETA’s claims that Asmussen and Blasi maintained horses in their care in poor physical condition or subjected any horse to cruel or injurious mistreatment, abuse or neglect,” Beck said in a statement he read after the commission reconvened from closed session.
“On the contrary, the investigation revealed that Asmussen-trained horses were well cared for as measured by such factors as incidence of injuries and KHRC veterinarian scratches.”
PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said the outcome of the months-long probe signaled that Kentucky’s racing commission is “uninterested in horse welfare.”
“If there was nothing wrong in the documentation that PETA found, then something is very wrong with racing in Kentucky,” Guillermo said in a statement.
“A responsible enforcement agency would have examined the mountains of evidence — including sore horses who were drugged rather than allowed to recover from strained muscles and ligaments and 3-year-old horses who were made sore every day of their lives — and concluded that significant wrongdoing occurred.”
Of course. If the Kentucky Racing Commission said they had found plenty wrong (and there was plenty) with how the horses the subject of the Asmussen investigation were treated, they would have exposed the industry to an avalanche of damaging exposure they can ill afford.
KHRC Chairman Robert Beck described their investigation as “exhaustive, spanning hundreds of hours of commission staff time to analyze the video and other information.” Seriously? And you saw nothing wrong. Nothing?
Self-serving horse racing regulators in Kentucky are clearly using Peta’s reputation to manipulate public opinion and justify their non findings.
Don’t get too comfortable. Your day of reckoning may not have arrived just yet, but it will.
“The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.” Count on it.
In the meantime, I have a good name for a Kentucky Thoroughbred racehorse. Liars’ Express.
— Read full report >>
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