One year after two horses died on Preakness Day, measures taken to prevent a repeat they say

BALTIMORE, Md. (Baltimore Sun, May 20, 2017) — A year after two horses died under different circumstances after going down at Pimlico on Preakness Day, procedures are in place to help ensure that kind of tragedy won’t be repeated during the races leading up to the 142nd running of the event — or in the featured race itself.

A spokesman for the Maryland Jockey Club said Friday that there was little to prevent what happened a year ago, but declined to talk about Saturday’s races.

“One horse had a heart attack and the other got [his] heels clipped and broke his leg,” the spokesman said.

Maryland-bred Homeboykris, a 9-year-old gelding who ran in the 2010 Kentucky Derby, collapsed after winning the first race and having his picture taken in the winner’s circle. A necropsy performed by the Maryland Department of Agriculture in Frederick showed that the horse suffered a heart attack.

The report examining the horse’s death also showed he was running with an elevated level of the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone in his blood, but it was determined that it had nothing to do with the heart attack.

In the fourth race last year, a 4-year-old filly named Pramedya collapsed on the turn during the final turn with a fractured left front leg.

The filly, who was euthanized at the track, was owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the couple who owned 2006 Kentucky Derby champion Barbaro, who shattered his leg in that year’s Preakness and was eventually euthanized.

The two deaths were among three dozen that occurred on Maryland tracks in 2016, according to a post on horseracingwrongs.com, which received its information through a Maryland Public Information Act request to the Maryland Racing Commission. There have been four deaths so far this year, according to a commission official.

Preventative Measures

The Maryland Jockey Club handed out a list of procedures that will be in place for Saturday’s race, including the fact that no veterinarians administering salix is allowed in any of the barns housing the horses after 6:15 p.m. Friday “unless they have approval from the state veterinarian and the stewards or it is a documented emergency.”

Also, “all salix shall be administered no later than three hours prior to post time for the horses by the veterinarian designated by the commission. Failure to do so will result in the horse being scratched. No exceptions.”

• Read full story »

Crime and Punishment

Regarding Homeboykris “[t]rainer Francis Campitelli was fined $500 for the medication violation and was also assigned a point in the state’s penalty system, which could lead to a harsher punishment in the future if he commits subsequent violations”. (Source: Baltimore Sun, July 12, 2016).

That’s sort of a punishment. Seems pretty flimsy to us.

Dexamethasone

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid hormone (basically a steroid) — a potent anti-inflammatory commonly used in horses to treat allergic reactions such as respiratory allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (heaves), hives, itching and inflammatory diseases including osteoarthritis.

Very potent where overuse can cause serious problems in horses especially in combination with other drugs — pain-masking of course. (Source: Jane Allin, ref’g article by David W. Ramey, DVM.


Amazing isn’t it? They talk about the preventative measures they are taking this year after saying little could have prevented the deaths of those two horses last year. Look who’s involved too.  —Editor.

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Race one winner Homeboykris (3) collapsed and died following the post race Winners Circle presentation while returning to the barn during the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes day at Pimlico Race Course. May 21, 2016. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

 

Horse racing talks aftercare for the Thoroughbreds it uses

LOUISVILLE, Ky — It’s that time of year when the spotlight falls on horse racing — what little spotlight falls on it these days — and the industry and its hangers on laud the winner of the Kentucky Derby and turn their thoughts to the Triple Crown.

Historically at this time, the powers that be in Thoroughbred horse racing hold meetings and talk about the state of its industry.

This year up pops the subject of aftercare concerning the horses the industry uses until they can no longer use them.

Here are a few excerpts from the Daily Racing Form report, “New idea floated to raise aftercare funds.”

Aftercare funding has become a topic of increasing importance in the racing industry as the sport’s viewpoint on retired racehorses has begun to evolve and mature, in no small measure because of pressure from animal-welfare advocates. The overwhelming consensus in the racing industry is that the sport needs to raise millions more dollars each year to properly address the issue.

Currently, the Thoroughbred industry seeks funding for aftercare organizations in a variety of ways. Some are mandatory, such as contributions from purses earned at tracks that have launched retirement programs and a mandatory surcharge on sales that require buyers and consignors to contribute 0.5 percent of the price of a horse sold at auction. Also, in 2012, The Jockey Club added a $25 surcharge to its foal-registration fee to raise funds for aftercare efforts. Other funding is sought through voluntary donations.

A proposal by former racetrack executive Allen Gutterman to ask racetracks to add a surcharge to their reserved seating tickets on popular race days to raise money for the care of retired racehorses is generating discussion among the racing industry, according to attendees of the Pan American Conference.

Gutterman’s proposal would add a surcharge to reserved seats, with the surcharge clearly advertised as being earmarked for aftercare funding. Gutterman said the industry should ask each North American racetrack to apply the surcharge for a single day of the year, and he estimated that the plan could raise as much as $1 million a year, provided the most high-profile tracks participate on their most popular days.

“If a fan is willing to shell out, say, $2,500 for a prime seat on Millionaires’ Row at beautiful Churchill Downs, would he object to spending an additional $5 for the same seat knowing that the additional $5 is earmarked for aftercare?” Gutterman said. “Honestly, do you think that on these days, fans would object? Especially those paying with corporate credit cards?” (DRF)

I quote Karen Richards from the famous Bette Davis film, All About Eve: “This beats all records for running, standing or jumping gall”.  Well just about all.

In essence, the mighty U.S. horse racing industry wants racegoers — albeit perceivably rich racegoers — to help pay for the care of its cast off racehorses. No wonder the idea is being talked about and well received. Anyone other than themselves to pick up the tab.

They brag about the $8.3 million the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance raised which is commendable. However, they have raised that sum since the TAA was founded in 2012. The monies are divided up among 180 accredited facilities.

The industry currently coordinates the majority of its fundraising through an organization founded in 2012, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, whose members had a major presence at the International Forum on the Aftercare of Racehorses, which was held for the first time this year. The TAA has accredited 180 facilities in the U.S. and has awarded $8.3 million in grants since its founding, the organization says. (DRF)

How is that money raised?

Currently, the Thoroughbred industry seeks funding for aftercare organizations in a variety of ways. Some are mandatory, such as contributions from purses earned at tracks that have launched retirement programs and a mandatory surcharge on sales that require buyers and consignors to contribute 0.5 percent of the price of a horse sold at auction. Also, in 2012, The Jockey Club added a $25 surcharge to its foal-registration fee to raise funds for aftercare efforts. Other funding is sought through voluntary donations. (DRF)

That is a nice beginning but they could do much more and should continue in our opinion to develop ways to raise money from within the industry itself.

Jane Allin

Jane Allin is a highly regarded and widely cited racehorse advocate and watchdog. Allin observes:

Aftercare is a conspicuous symptom of this industry’s morality. The callous treatment of cast-off racehorses is both shameful and abhorrent. A conscious undertaking led by those directly accountable for breeding and purchasing these horses would lend credence to any so-called effort to fund the necessary aftercare programs.

Not at the expense of the fans through increased ticket prices or other means of unloading the associated costs but rather by holding those who bring these horses into the world accountable — for their lives, until the end. Horses are not disposable goods, yet this vile industry does just that.

“We are in a modern era, and a lot of people have a need for immediate gratification,” Gallo said. “A lot of owners (today) aren’t in it for the love of the horse. When I talk (to people interested in partnerships) I tell them, ‘You don’t own a horse until its last race. You own a horse until it is properly placed in an accredited (aftercare program).” (BH, JA)

Viable Option

There is a workable solution that would benefit many.

Every State that races horses can take as little as .5% of its race related gambling profits and provide aftercare for virtually every racehorse that enters the industry there, including racehorses requiring long-term aftercare, plus have monies left over to prepare these racehorses for second careers.

Money spent on racehorse aftercare programs would boost State revenues, create jobs and perhaps begin to rehabilitate horse racing’s sagging reputation. (Private Source)

No one in horse racing’s hierarchy are interested. They are too blinkered by greed and callousness.

Wagering windows. Kentucky Derby. NJ.com.
Image Source: NJ.com.

Record Betting

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Churchill Downs reported that wagering from all sources on all the races on Kentucky Derby Day program totaled $209.2 million, a 9 percent increase over the 2016 total of $192.6 million and an increase of 8 percent over the previous record set in 2015 of $194.3 million (LC-J). Imagine what a tiny percentage of Kentucky’s revenues from a handle that size alone could do for Kentucky’s racehorses.

Yet horse racing says it doesn’t have the money to provide aftercare for horses who do not bring sufficient return on investment without help from the public.

Perhaps what halts the horse racing industry from investing in a comprehensive aftercare program is the specter of endless racehorses virtually destroyed within their short careers by the laundry list of debilitating drugs given them turning up on on their doorstep for healing.

Relatively sound racehorses do cross that barrier into rehabilitation and re-training. Tragically, however, the too broken and unvalued racehorses are carried off by the meat man.

Racehorse Owners — Take Action

We certainly do not mean to dishonor those who care and work hard for reform within the horse racing industry, but they must work harder and find a way to be heard.

Lobby your State to be the first to set up an aftercare program described above. Prove it can be done. Become a blueprint for the rest of the horse racing industry to follow.

International Forum on Racehorse Aftercare

Thoroughbred racing held its first international meeting in Washington D.C. May 17-18. Topic: Racehorse Aftercare. We wonder what Di Arbuthnot of Retraining of Racehorses in Britain thought of the American horse racing hooligans she was exposed to there. What an eye opener for her!

See coverage at the Paulick Report, “International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses Concludes First Meeting »

Conclusion

Of course this outward appearance of concern for the racehorse when they are done racing is a load of old rubbish especially in the U.S.

The subject of aftercare is only on this cruel and insidious industry’s radar in America because the spotlight is on horse racing due to the Triple Crown races when a large and unassuming audience is watching.

Recommended Topic

Concerning the International Forum itself, why don’t they talk about the one topic that all of horse racing has in common — sending its racehorses to a horrific death by slaughter when they are through with them. We invite this forum to sink its international teeth into that topic.

See Racing through the slaughter pipeline — Remember Ferdinand and Exceller »


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Jockey John Velazquez celebrates as he guides #5 Always Dreaming across the finish line in the slop to win the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Rob Carr / Getty Images)

Last Updated: 5/20/17 7:51 am EST

Unsanctioned horse racing flourishing in rural Colorado

DENVER, Colorado. KDVR FOX31. Chris Halsne and Chris Koeberl reporting. (May 18, 2017)  — Hidden cameras capture doping, gambling and abuse of horses as regulators, politicians, and law enforcement turn a blind eye. Go to full investigative report »

It’s Easter Sunday outside the Deer Trail Rodeo grounds.

Armed teams of private security in flak jackets set up a road block searching passengers and vehicles. What they are looking for is unclear, but alcohol and beer are allowed to pass. An Arapahoe Sheriff’s deputy drove by slowly on the street outside the stadium, but did not stop.

By early afternoon, approximately 500 spectators are lined up along metal railings near a long, manicured dirt track.

They were drawn here by an online advertising push from a company calling itself Parejeras Racing USA.

A Spanish language flyer promised 10 “match-races,” with prize money in the thousands of dollars.

At first glance, the horse races looked much like the legal, sanctioned ones held at Colorado’s only licensed horse race facility, Arapahoe Park in Aurora.

Jockeys, in colorful silk, mounted muscular Quarter horses draped with matching blankets embossed with large numbers. Handlers helped guide the horses and riders to a metal starting gate.

As the horses charged down the straight-away, it became apparent, there were few rules.

Whipping of the animals was harsh and nearly nonstop.

In one race, a jockey veered his horse into another competitor. The high-speed ramming pushed the thundering beasts toward spectators standing within inches of the track, including children.

In two other races, jockeys lost their balance and went tumbling among the hoofs of other race horses.

Problem Solvers, working with knowledgeable insiders, acquired hidden camera footage of not only the races, but all the activities happening just off the track.

Audio and video recordings show plenty of cash being wagered on horses. Continue reading at source »


 Drugging

Image source: KDVR.
Image source: KDVR FOX31.

The drugging of the horses is rampant and potentially lethal.

Hidden camera footage revealed a brown liquid being injected into a racehorse’s neck who moments later was entered into the starting gates and raced.

The liquid in the syringe was described as “ ‘typically a cocktail of stimulants’ to ramp up the horse’s heart – to get it to run faster”.

Equine veterinarian Bruce Connelly stated, “I’ve seen match-race horses run blind. Break themselves up because of stuff that was put in ‘em that shouldn’t have been.”

Local Law Enforcement

The problem is, the report points out, is that law enforcement and the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees some 1,400 pages of racing regulations, can take action only in sanctioned horse races. Adding “it seemed impossible to FOX31 that such a large event, widely advertised and attended by so many people could go unnoticed by local politicians.”

Oh, it hasn’t gone unnoticed by local politicians or law enforcement. They have either turned a blind eye to it like that Arapahoe Sheriff’s deputy who drove slowly by and didn’t stop, or profited by it, or both.

What about the Mayor?

According to state records, Deer Trail mayor, Kent Vashus is the “registered agent” of the Deer Trail Jockey Club. The Jockey Club is one of the oldest non-profits in Colorado and owner of the Rodeo grounds where the unsanctioned Easter races were held.

Vashus admitted to the FOX31 Problem Solvers he had allowed Parejares Racing USA to use the Rodeo grounds for races in the past. Records show he approved at least fourteen “Mexican Horse Races” in Deer Trail since 2015.

There is much, much more including video reports. This is an in-depth undercover report and one of the best we have seen in a very, very long time.

Take Action Colorado Residents

The Governor

Contact the Governor and register your concern using his online form.  Ask him to take immediate action against unsanctioned horse racing and the horrific abuses of the horses used for it.  Notwithstanding the horses, onlookers including children are put at risk of injury and even death. Share this shortened link to the full KDVR investigative report with him — https://goo.gl/ajkEFl.

Colorado General Assembly

The Colorado General Assembly adjourned May 10, 2017 and reconvenes January 10, 2018.

(1) Contact your individual legislator stating this is an important issue to you and you wish to see it on the next Session’s agenda. Share this shortened link to the full KDVR investigative report —  https://goo.gl/ajkEFl.

(2) Contact the following Colorado lawmakers urging them to place this issue on the next Session’s agenda and enact all laws necessary to make these unauthorized races illegal. Be sure to share the link to the full KDVR investigative report —  https://goo.gl/ajkEFl.

• Speaker of the House, Cristanta Duran (crisanta.duran.house@state.co.us)
• House Majority Leader, K.C. Becker (kcbecker.house@state.co.us)
• House Minority Leader, Patrick Neville (tim.neville.senate@state.co.us)

• President of the Senate, Kevin Grantham (kevin.grantham.senate@state.co.us)
• Senate Majority Leader, Chris Holbert (chris.holbert.senate@state.co.us)
• Senate Minority Leader, Lucia Garcia  (leroy.garcia.senate@state.co.us)

Oh, and throw that unscrupulous Mayor of yours Kent Vashus out on his ear next election Deer Trail residents.


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The image of the horse looking out from under the stands was taken at the Deer Trail Rodeo Grounds and is used here for illustrative purposes only. The image was not filed with the source report.

Former racehorses rescued from slaughter

Update 5/17/2017 8:17 a.m EST. Since Shedrow Confessions seems to have a handle on the backstory to this report, we will refer you to them and close our investigation. Go to shedrowconfessions.com for their story. Warning: Foul Language.


SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Source) — A San Diego County horse rescue is saving 20 thoroughbred racehorses from being slaughtered for meat, which is sold on the black market for human consumption in other parts of the world.

Michelle Cochran runs HiCaliber Horse Rescue in Valley Center.

“I have been in the horse world for over a decade and I haven’t known it existed,” Cochran said.

She wants to raise awareness on illegal horse meat trade.

“It’s human consumption. That’s the biggest issue,” Cochran said. “It’s all for human consumption.”

Cochran said in some parts of Europe, Russia and Asia, people eat horse meat. Some of the horses who end up in the “kill pens” are former racehorses.

It’s a fact that can be traced back to the tattoos that race horses have inside their upper lip.

When Cochran learned of 20 thoroughbred racehorses about to be slaughtered for meat in Louisiana, she and the group jumped into action – raising $40,000 in 48 hours.

“If they get hurt. They are too slow. They are too old. They are done,” Cochran said. Continue reading »

Take Action to End Horse Slaughter

Write or call your U.S. Representative and ask them to co-sponsor and use their influence to pass the SAFE ActH.R. 113 — that bans horse slaughter and closes the export to slaughter loophole for all horses including racehorses.

Story Source: Channel 10 News, San Diego.