Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Stop Horse Racing

Cruelty Abounds in Horse Racing

In The Journal News:  

(Original publication: May 15, 2004)

Though the Kentucky Derby is still a popular draw, questions are finally being asked about this archaic event, and about horse racing in general. A recent New York Times article, "Down the stretch they go, carrying a controversial tool," discussed at length the practice of whipping horses during a race. I wish it had gone further.

According to an article by Michael Korda in Reader's Digest, ". . . horse racing is a cutthroat business. The thoroughbred industry breeds far more animals than it needs, and the only thing that matters is winning races. That means pushing horses hard when they're still young, with soft bones, and sometimes continuing to race them even when they're injured. When animals develop crippling leg problems . . . they can be sold for between $350 and $500 to the slaughterhouse industry and then processed into meat." (Oct. 2003)

Trainer Nick Zito says, "They go 45 miles per hour, weigh 1,000 pounds and have ankles as big as yours and mine." Agrees New York Daily News racing columnist Bill Finley, "The thoroughbred racehorse is a genetic mistake. It runs too fast, its frame is too large, and its legs are far too small. As long as mankind demands that it run at high speeds under stressful conditions, horses will die at racetracks."

The Bronx Bar Association has sponsored a "Day at the Races" at Belmont for the last three years; it is currently seriously re- thinking this sponsorship, having been presented with evidence of the abuses involved in this cruel and exploitative endeavor.

When profit is involved, the animals always lose. Always.

Kiley Blackman, Yonkers
The writer is spokesperson, Animal Defenders of Westchester.

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