Horse quotes and a special poem

Beautiful chestnut horse with cascading mane,

In January of this year, we moved the Fund for Horses website to WordPress where we have been hosting the f4H blog Tuesday’s Horse for many years. It is so fabulous to have everything “under one roof”. One of our most popular pages has always been the horse quotes page. Here are some of our favourites. Following our quote selection, there is something extra special — a poem by our long-time friend and wild horse advocate, Craig Downer.

“If God made anything more beautiful than a horse, He kept it for Himself.” ~ Author Unknown.

“Horse thou art truly a creature, for thou fliest without wings and conquerest without sword.”~ Author Unknown

“God made the horse from the breath of the wind, the beauty of the earth, and the soul of an angel.” ~ Unknown

“Somewhere. . . . somewhere in time’s own space,
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow,
Some Paradise where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.”
~ Stanley Harrison

“No heaven can heaven be, if my horse isn’t there to welcome me.” ~ Author Unknown

by Craig Downer

Something there is of Destiny
that calls to me
in the wild horse
who runs so free
upon the remotest
desert and plain,
mountain range
or valley green,
for there is a Rightness here
and an ancestral precedence
dating back millions of years!

Surely this egotistical upstart
called civilized man
shall not be allowed
to extinguish
either this powerfully beautiful line
of ascent from ancient times,
or that by-God-valued Freedom
without which
the very soul of Horsekind
would be denied.

… And there is something implicit here too
in the very Destiny of all we call “the West”
that affirms: “Without wild horses
free to roam the vast unfenced expanses,
the West itself its very soul would lose!”
May Heaven forbid!
Praise God!

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Horse Racing Integrity: The Owners


I don’t think it would be unfair to say that horse racing is in an ever increasing state of crisis. That means the horses are also.

Racehorses are bred, used and disposed of at an alarming rate. They are drugged, their bodies manipulated in grotesque ways from the moment they are foaled. They are run into the ground until they can no longer perform, breakdown and die on the track or shortly thereafter off of it. Racehorses are “retired” by the thousands via death in a slaughterhouse often as young as two and three years old.

Is horse racing’s modern day conduct and its glaring lack of integrity any worse now than during its earlier days? The short answer is we don’t know. What we do know is that in this day and age you can hide very little of what goes on because of the advent of social media. That means many of horse racing’s many sins are glaringly made public to the masses now as a matter of routine. They do not like what they see. Fans and bettors are abandoning horse racing more and more every day.

Owner Integrity

During our coverage of US horse racing and its many sins we have looked at the trainers more than just about anyone else in the industry. Integrity it seems is hard if nigh impossible to find among racehorse trainers. In a culture entrenched in cheating, everybody “is doing it” to stay competitive, or so they say.

It may very well be (and we wouldn’t bet against it), that there it not a single trainer left in the US with even a fraction of integrity, especially when it comes to doping. As trainers and their assistants routinely point out, “you have to dope just ‘to stay in the game'”. What about the “boss”? The owner? The ones who employ these trainers? Where are they in all of this?

The late, great Penny Chenery, owner of the heralded and haloed Triple Crown winning hero Secretariat, makes the following observations in an interview with Andrew Cohen for The Atlantic, May 28, 2012.

The title of the article is “Secretariat’s Owner on the Triple Crown and Racing Integrity“. The subtitle is fittingly, “On the eve of Triple Crown drama, Penny Chenery, the grand dame of horse racing, calls out I’ll Have Another’s owner and implores the industry to do better.”

I quote liberally from that article.

A conversation with Chenery begins with the concept of integrity (which in racing is often like morning-line odds — long on speculation, short on specifics). “Our own integrity,” Chenery told me, “is not restricted to horse ownership. If you value yourself as a trustworthy person, then you protect your integrity in whatever you do.” Owning a race horse, she says however, creates the special and specific obligation to behave “in the cleanest possible manner” at all times. This is important, she says, because:

I think people like to believe that horse racing is fixed. I think there’s a little something that’s naughty, that if you know someone you can find out if the fix is in, and I don’t think we should fall for that. Or let that image be true.

From image to reality. I asked Chenery, the greatest Thoroughbred owner of the past half century, whether all horse owners should take more of a role, and therefore absorb more legal and financial responsibility, for ensuring that horse racing is clean, fair, honest, and transparent. Her response was emphatic.

I think owners should be held responsible for their choice of trainers, Chenery says. If they tend to send their horses to ‘dirty’ trainers this should be be a suspension of their right to ownership.

And from the general to the specific. I asked Chenery what she thinks of the connections of I’ll Have Another, including owner Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill, who last week was given a 45-day suspension in California (conveniently tolled to begin July 1st) for a 2010 doping violation in the Golden State. Her response was so pointed that she felt the need to reiterate immediately afterward that she wanted to be publicly quoted saying this:

I think it is regrettable. And it isn’t the horse’s fault and this is probably a very good horse. I don’t know Mr. Reddam personally but I think he should be embarrassed that the trainer he has chosen does not have a clean record.

Those words of wisdom from the Grand Dame of Thoroughbred horse racing in America shifts the focus where it also should be. These dirty trainers would not be in business if racehorse owners did not employ them.

Andrew Cohen, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, concludes:

The truth is that horse racing isn’t fighting nearly hard enough to achieve the success it says it wants on integrity issues. Penny Chenery knows it. The connections of I’ll Have Another surely know it. And deep down inside the rest of us do, too.

Yes, we do.

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FEATURED IMAGE: Secretariat in Retirement. Blood-Horse Library.

Source article »

1953 dead racehorses in 4525 days in the UK

Thoroughbred Eye Photographic Print from Etsy.

Death and disarray on the racetrack seems to know no bounds.

The numbers in the title of this post are what you find when visiting the UK based Animal Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch page. They describe their mission:

Animal Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch was launched during the 2007 Cheltenham Festival. Its purpose is to expose and record every on-course thoroughbred fatality in Britain.

The horse racing authorities have failed to put clear, unambiguous horse death information into the public domain, preferring to offer complex statistical data rather than specifying, as Death Watch does, the names of killed horses, where the fatality occurred, who was riding the horse and the nature of the injury.

We have good reason to believe that the equine fatalities we are able to list on Death Watch, and which we have verified, fall some 30% short of the true total. Disgruntled industry insiders have, in the past, supplied us with documents to support that view.

Sounds familiar, right? Read on.

Here are Animal Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch’s ten most recent entries. These injuries and deaths happened mostly over jumps. They note where the fatalities have occurred on the flat.

Aussie Showstopper (FR) / Goodwood / Broke Near-Foreleg — Destroyed
Le Maitre Chat (USA) / York / Pulled Up Injured — Destroyed
Prince Ahwahnee / Redcar / Broke Foreleg — Destroyed
Watt Broderick (IRE) / Uttoxeter / Fell, Injured — Destroyed
Altaira / Windsor / Injured Foreleg — Destroyed
Beat The Bank / Ascot Flat / Broke Near-Hind Leg — Destroyed
Swift Emperor (IRE) / Chester / Finished Race Lame — Destroyed
One More Tune (IRE) / Newton Abbot / Fatally Injured
De Good Man Luke (FR) / Pulled Up after Jumping Hurdle, Injured — Destroyed
You Say What (IRE) / Uttoxeter / Fell, Spinal Injury — Destroyed

The Horse Fund have been in contact with the British Jockey Club and the British Horseracing Board over the years, warning them and asking them  — begging them actually — to bar the American Thoroughbred from their Stud Book because of their unsoundness which has been bred into them due to egregious and debilitating doping practices and abuses.

In the meantime, does it matter why and how so many racehorses are killed during racing outside of the U.S.? The question it raised for us is — what do they have in common since it’s not excessive, deadly drugging? Does it all start in the shed?

Whatever the answer to that turns out to be, the bottom line for U.S. horse racing is this.

American horse racing has problems which are now virtually insurmountable making its future assuredly doomed. It’s just a matter of time. Our concern is how many racehorses will be drugged, abused, tortured and killed before the final curtain?

There is no doubt whatsoever that the U.S. horse racing industry is on a death watch of its own, but not just in terms of its horses, but of the entire industry itself.


Forgotten Side of the Salix Debate: The Calcium Connection

• LASIX. In the 1960’s when U.S. Astronauts were going to the moon, American horsemen figured out how to prevent and manage Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) or bleeding in horses with the use of Furosemide (Lasix/Salix).

• BUTE. Phenylbutazone (Bute) is an analgesic pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication, commonly used for the treatment of horses.

So, what’s wrong with that?

JANE ALLIN writes:

“So Salix leaches calcium from the bones and bute aids and abets the outcome. Great combination if you are Gumby’s sidekick Pokey, the talking red horse with rubber legs.” Go to Report »


Racehorse Memorial Wall

Covering racehorse deaths worldwide since 2005. Detailed account 2014 to present here. See

Horse Racing Wrongs

Patrick Battuello’s American racehorse death watch. See »

Slow and Merciless Death of American Horse Racing

See The slow and merciless death of American horse racing by Vivian Farrell, Tuesday’s Horse »

Horse Fund Special Reports



H.R. 1754 — The Horse Racing Integrity Act

Racehorse in red hood. The Horse magazine online.
Racehorse in red hood. Image source: The Horse magazine online.

UPDATE: The Horse Fund opposes H.R. 1754. Read why here »

On March 24, 2019, Rep. Paul Tonka (D-NY-20) introduced The Horse Racing Integrity Act, H.R. 1754.

The goal of the bill is:

To improve the integrity and safety of horseracing by requiring a uniform anti-doping and medication control program to be developed and enforced by an independent Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority.

The summary of H.R. 1754 states:

This bill establishes the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority as an independent, private non-profit corporation with responsibility for developing and administering an anti-doping and medication control program for (1) Thoroughbred, Quarter, and Standardbred horses that participate in horse races; and (2) the personnel engaged in the care, training, or racing of such horses.

The Federal Trade Commission shall have oversight over the authority. An interstate compact may be established after five years to take over the authority’s duties.

The bill takes into its consideration the Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Standardbred racehorse.


H.R. 1754 is a very lengthy bill. Admittedly we have not fully analyzed it. But our legal team and chief lobbyist have read it. So has Mrs Farrell.

They all arrived at the following point independently — it has a “fox watching the hen house” vibe going on.

Look at the last two lines of the summary regarding oversight. “An interstate compact may be established after five years to take over the authority’s duties”. What do you make of that?


Neutral. We neither support or oppose this bill.

In answer to the two most asked questions we get, here’s our answers.

“Isn’t it better than nothing”? Possibly.

“Isn’t it better than what we got now?” Almost anything is.


H.R. 1754 has 120 cosponsors, and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.