Sign Petition telling Texas A&M to stop abusing and sending horses to slaughter

COMMERCE, TX — Horses are being exploited and abused at Texas A&M University including at Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMUC) reports One Green Planet.

Justice for Tina

According to a petition on Care2 written by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a horse by the name of Tina was brutally shot to death after being impregnated when she was suffering from a severe case of painful laminitis. Her foal was removed from her body and used for “educational” purposes at the school. (See Image. WARNING-GRAPHIC).

Reports showed that Tina’s laminitis had been neglected for so long that the pedal bones in her feet had “rotated through the soles of her feet,” causing “debilitating pain.”

It was also established Tina was not healthy enough to be impregnated.

This egregious cruelty was exposed by a whistleblower. Read more and sign Petition »

Horse Slaughter

Additionally, TAMUC has been known to sell horses online and send them to animal auctions, where their destiny is an almost-certain trip to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered.

Sign the Petition

If you love horses and are saddened by TAMUC’s treatment of them, please take a moment to sign this petition addressed to the university asking them two things: to instate a zero-tolerance policy for neglect and abuse of their horses, and to stop selling horses online and at auctions, where they are almost always purchased to be slaughtered.

Social Media

Shame them publicly on Twitter. Tweet them using @TAMUC. Example: I just signed the Petition at re horrible horse cruelty @TAMUC. It will also raise awareness.

See also their Facebook page at

Texas A&M and Horses

The Department of Animal Science Horse Center at Texas A&M University supports the teaching, research and extension efforts of the faculty and students within the Department of Animal Science. The Horse Center breeds and sells horses throughout Texas, giving students a hands-on approach to the horse industry from breeding to management to marketing.

Texas A&M University–Commerce is a public research university located in Commerce, Texas. With an enrollment of over 12,000 students as of fall 2016, the university is the third largest institution in the Texas A&M University System.

Source: Texas A&M University’s website.

Headshot of a horse at Texas A&M. From their website.

5/10/17, 3:07 am

National uniform medication program gets a push

Thoroughbred racehorse Nehro. By Rob Carr, Getty Images.

TOM LaMARRA, reporting for The Blood-Horse reports:

The National Uniform Medication Program wasn’t on the agenda at the recent American Horse Council convention, but progress on that front was addressed during forums and in conversations among attendees.

State-by-state adoption of model medication rules and the companion multiple medication violation penalty system continues around the country.

During the AHC National Issues Forum June 24 in Washington, D.C., New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association president Rick Violette said he’s optimistic about the industry despite a declining foal crop and decreases in pari-mutuel handle. He noted the earlier banning of anabolic steroids on race day, as well as progress on racehorse aftercare and the National Uniform Medication Program as reasons for optimism.

“There are really good things going on in racing, but we forget about them or leave them in mid-sentence,” Violette said. “Eighty-eight percent of national handle is committed to (uniform medication rules). There are a few major racing states that need a kick in the butt, but we’re light years ahead of where we were.”

Violette suggested not enough is being done in the industry to show progress on the medication front, and also hinted at the belief by some that individuals in the industry may have helped push the controversial undercover barn investigation performed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals last year.

“What has got to stop is this railing against the industry,” Violette said. “We constantly stop to shoot ourselves in the foot. It’s not OK to constantly go out there and aid and abet the enemy. (Industry) leaders need to pull together and march to the same drum.”

Scott Wells, president and general manager of Remington Park Racing & Casino in Oklahoma, said he has spoken to owners who pay $1,800 in veterinary bills every time their horse races. Though the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission has thus far opted not to pursue the National Uniform Medication Program, Wells urged every jurisdiction to do so.

“That’s just a crime,” Wells said of expensive vet bills for pre-race medication. “Owners end up leaving the sport. People will feel better about owning horses when they don’t feel that they are being beaten by cheaters.”

Another forum panelist, American Association of Equine Practitioners president Dr. Jeff Blea, also commented on uniform medication.

“We’re closer than we’ve ever been,” he said. “It’s good for the industry and good for the horse.”

These people are incredibly, redundantly unbelievable. We have been listening to this rhetoric for more than a decade. And it was going on long before we started watching them. Meetings. Studies. Databases. Talk and more talk. But no forward movement.

What surprises me is how surprised they are that absolutely no one believes them. Why should we? If you were to handicap this bunch getting a win of any kind in cleaning up the horse racing industry, you would have to pick them as no hopers. If you could even could get a bet on. No doubt they would scratch before they got to the gate. Just like they did with the plan to race two-year olds Lasix free in the Breeders Cup.

We would love to believe them. Have tried to believe them. And have given up.

But light years ahead? Really? Closer than they have ever been? In what way for heaven’s sake?

I am sure the industry would love for people to stop mentioning the Peta/Asmussen horse abuse accusations exposed in the New York Times in March of this year. So, does this mean that horse racing is done with this?

What other horse-related sport would act in such a cavalier fashion in the face of such cruelty, or even a hint of it? Oh, yes. The Tennessee Walking Horse soring folks. They can give horse racing a run for its money.

Remember Nehro.

Featured Image: Nehro, center, the 2011 Derby runner-up, died last year. PETA recorded discussions of his foot problems. Credit Rob Carr/Getty Images

KHRC finds no smoking gun in Peta undercover sting of racehorse trainer Asmussen

Thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen leads Tapiture to the paddock before the Rebel Stakes. Asmussen has been accused of cruelty to race horses by PETA. Photo: Danny Johnston/AP.
Thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen leads Tapiture to the paddock before the Rebel Stakes. Asmussen has been accused of cruelty to race horses by PETA.

I am not shocked. I am not the least little bit surprised. This is horse racing American style and it stinks to high heaven. You take your big carcasses of cheating and horse cruelty and sweep them under the proverbial rug.

Abusing drugs and cheating. That seems to be a common thread in too many modern day sports. But the athletes in these sports choose to be there and take the actions they take.

Horses are bred for it and may love to race, but they do not choose who owns and trains them.

Horses do not choose whether or not to push past ill considered breeding, injuries and pain to compete to the point of breakdown and death.

Horses do not choose whether or not to take potentially lethal cocktails of drugs or debilitating medical treatments in order to compete at any cost, to get an edge and cheat their fellow athletes.

This is what you can see in US horse racing with or without the help of Peta. But Peta chose to go undercover in an attempt to expose its extent. And they chose one of the biggest winning, money-making high profile trainers in US racing, Steve Asmussen. And they hit pay dirt.

The Blood-Horse reports:

Though People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has submitted a 10-page complaint and a 22-minute video to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission alleging animal abuse last year in trainer Steve Asmussen’s Churchill Downs stable, no smoking gun is evident in a review of the evidence.

That is not to say investigators won’t find rule violations stemming from the video and complaint that centers on the treatment of 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) runner-up Nehro, but the video does not appear to offer any obvious violations.

Well, horse racing. If people in your industry can do what the Asmussen camp did to Nehro (just one example) and find no obvious violations — no smoking gun — your whole sick business needs to come to an end.

The Blood-Horse got the data they based their detailed article on via a Freedom of Information Act request. Read the entire article here. You may need to super size your barf bag to get through it.

Insofar as the Asmussen circus, the next stop is New York. Thoroughbred racing regulators there are also “investigating”. If Nasalgate is anything to go by, my expectations are equally low.

The mistake Peta likely made is handing over what they found to US horse racing authorities, thinking that it would jar the industry into taking some sort of action to clean itself up and protect the horses they use. So far, no sale.

So horse racing in America. Celebrate your Triple Crown if you get one. It is not a feel good story, should it happen. It will do nothing to put the rosy glow on your sick industry that you think it will.

In the meantime Kentucky, hang your heads in shame.

Scandal casts shadow over grandeur of Kentucky Derby

Steve Asmussen, right, the trainer with the second-most career victories, leads Kentucky Derby contender Tapiture during early morning workouts at Churchill Downs. Asmussen is under state and federal investigation over accusations of various forms of cruelty. Credit Jamie Squire/Getty Images.
Steve Asmussen, right, the trainer with the second-most career victories, leads Kentucky Derby contender Tapiture during early morning workouts at Churchill Downs. Asmussen is under state and federal investigation over accusations of various forms of cruelty. Credit Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

Cross-posted from the New York Times

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Early Saturday night, the horses for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby will saunter onto the racetrack as a capacity crowd at Churchill Downs serenades them with a full-throated “My Old Kentucky Home.” It promises to be a stirring tableau of America’s oldest sport showcasing its history and grandeur and the beautiful athletes at its center.

It is what makes the first Saturday in May a holiday for anyone who has brushed a horse, or climbed atop one, or taken $2 to a betting window because of the appeal of a horse’s name.

But in recent years, this rite of spring has been accompanied by a new dimension: scandal. The latest involves Steve Asmussen, the trainer with the second-most career victories, who is under state and federal investigation over accusations of various forms of cruelty, including administering drugs to horses for nontherapeutic purposes and having a jockey use an electrical device to shock horses into running faster.

Asmussen is here and will saddle the filly Untapable, the favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, as well as a colt named Tapiture in the Derby. He fired his longtime assistant, Scott Blasi, whose voice was prominent on a video recorded with a hidden camera by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but Asmussen has refused to answer questions about the investigations.

The Derby “is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and that’s where the focus is,” he said.

The official scrutiny of Asmussen was prompted by a four-month undercover investigation by PETA.

His presence here has repulsed many horsemen. But there are others who say that Asmussen and the horse racing business at large were the targets of an activist group that wants to shut the sport down. If a picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, a videotape is worth a million of them.

The videotape shows Blasi acknowledging that shock-wave therapy is excruciatingly painful to horses. It shows how often injections are given and how frequently and haphazardly tranquilizers, painkillers and supplements are dispensed. It is deeply uncomfortable to watch for even the most seasoned horsemen.

The reason is that they know it goes on in far too many barns in American racing. In fact, the argument most often raised to defend Asmussen is that every treatment he employed, every drug he dispensed, was within the rules of the sport.

“Anyone in our business who doesn’t tell you they are conflicted isn’t telling the truth,” said Terry Finley, managing partner of West Point Thoroughbreds, which owns the Derby contender Commanding Curve. Read full report at >>