Death, Drugs, and Controversy: Is This The End of American Horse Racing?
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Death, Drugs, and Controversy: Is This The End of American Horse Racing?

September 18, 2019


(upbeat music) – Hello, hello. Welcome back to Rogue Rocket. My name is Philip DeFranco, and today we’re gonna be
talking about an industry that has received a ton
of negative press lately and that is horse racing. In the last 50 years, horse racing’s popularity has plummeted. There are fewer people attending races and even less money being
bet on at the tracks. And if you’ve seen horse
racing in the news lately you might be able to guess why that is. Horses are dying on American tracks, and there have been calls for the industry to shut down completely. But also, at the same time, some people are saying that
the industry can be reformed. So, today we are going
to talk to several people on both sides of that aisle. And not only that, we’re also gonna be talking about the most controversial
subject in horse racing. And that specifically is a topic that gets almost no
attention from the media or from people outside of the industry. But, part of the reason for that is it’s also a topic so controversial that people in the horse racing community told us that they were worried that they might lose their
jobs if they spoke about it. Also, we want to make sure
that at the start of this video there is a clear warning. There is a lot of footage
that you are going to see that is graphic. I really cannot stress that enough because we’re not gonna have a warning in front of every single graphic, so I’m letting you know
right at the beginning. So, please, just be aware that in order to really
deep dive into this story we will be showcasing some graphic images as to what is actually happening in the horse racing community. And so, to really dive into this story, I’m gonna turn it over to Elissa Chojnicki from the Rogue Rocket team. (peaceful music) – [Elissa] Santa Anita Park
is a thoroughbred race track in Arcadia, California. That’s just a few miles
outside of Los Angeles. And the track is pretty well-known for hosting some prestigious races. – [Announcer] Roadster on the outside and Game Winner go on with it! Roadster so confidently handled. And Roadster gets up to
win the Santa Anita Derby! Ultra impressively! – [Announcer] California Chrome! Arrogate still coming! California Chrome! Arrogate steals the show! In the Breeders’ Cup Classic he has defeated California Chrome under Mike Smith in his
25th Breeders’ Cup score. – [Elissa] But Santa Anita isn’t just home to some big time races. With its picturesque track sitting against the San Gabriel Mountains, and Art Deco style facilities, Santa Anita has become a go-to location for movies and television over the years. – [Man] Beautiful day at the track and they say the jackpot
will top 3 million. – Good luck. (bell ringing)
(hooves clopping) – Well I just think this
horse has a lot of heart. – I’ll lay even money
that this nag, Seabiscuit, couldn’t even finish six furlongs. – [Elissa] But lately,
Santa Anita is the media for a whole other reason. – [Newscaster] Another racehorse has died at Santa Anita Park. It’s the 22nd horse to be
put down just since December. – [Newscaster] In this
exclusive Fox 11 video, you hear the racetrack alarm sound. And as the camera pans over, you see a three year old filly named Princess Lili limping right after, breaking both of her legs
during a morning run. – [Newscaster] It happened in an instant. Watch the number four horse, the three year old
thoroughbred appears to stumble and his jockey pulls back. Because of a severe leg injury, the horse had to be euthanized. (racetrack announcer calling the race) (crowd calling out) – Another horse death at Santa Anita, that is now 30 horses since December that have died at the track. – [Elissa] A slew of deaths at Santa Anita has caused an uproar here in California, and across the country. – Horses want to live. – [Crowd] Just like us! – [Man With Megaphone]
Horses have emotions. – [Crowd] Just like us! – [Man With Megaphone] Horses feel pain. – [Crowd] Just like us! – [Elissa] In April,
an LA district attorney opened a special task
force to investigate. And in the final days of
this years racing season, protestors gathered outside
of Santa Anita Park. We spoke to Heather
Wilson, a Protest Organizer back in June. – This is nothing new,
the protests are new but the carnage is not new. Horses have been killed
at this racetrack for as long as they’ve been
open and horses are killed at every racetrack in
California and every racetrack around the world. – [Elissa] But just how many
horses are dying in the US? Well, that’s a question
more difficult to answer than you might expect. Because there isn’t a
single national board, government agency, or racing organization tasked with tracking
all race horse deaths. But there is someone out
there who’s trying to collect this information. This is Patrick Battuello,
testifying before the New York State Senate, at a hearing on equine welfare back in June. Battuello runs a non-profit,
called Horseracing Wrongs. On his organization’s
website, catalogs deaths from horses around the
country after collecting records from Freedom of
Information Act requests. Battuello lists names,
dates, and locations of horses that have passed
during training and racing. Last year, his list was
over a thousand horses long. And when you take into
account the number of horses that die in states that rejected Battuello’s FOIA request, and the number of horses
who’ve died in barns and stalls off the track,
Battuello says that number is even higher; closer to two thousand. An average of nearly 40 deaths a week. And by his account,
Battuello told us more horses have died at Santa Anita,
the media is even reporting. – In the press, it’s usually cited as 30. The 30 just refers to the
racing and training deaths. Six other horses died
back in their stalls, I filed the request with the
California Horseracing Board to get the names of those
horses and I did get them and I published them on the website. Those horses are just
as much casualties of the industry as the horses who break legs out on the track. – [Elissa] And while 36 deaths
in six months may sound high, Battuello told us that number
is not unusual for the track. – [Patrick] At Santa
Anita, going back to 2007, they’ve averaged 50 dead
race horses annually. That this is not an
anomaly, it’s not a spike, it’s not a spade, some
of the words that are banding about in the press. This is business as usual. – [Elissa] Battuello believes ultimately there should only be one course of action. – We are clearly and
unequivocally out to end horse racing. We see this as I said
earlier, animal exploitation, animal cruelty, animal killing. – [Elissa] But not everyone agrees. Some believe horse racing can be reformed. And while there are
several suggestions for how the industry can change, like
improving track conditions and incorporating longer races, most often the conversation
in the horse racing community turns to medication and drugging. In the past, media outlets
have documented illegal drugs use on horses to
increase performance and mask pain. These drugs have included cocaine, Viagra, and even some more exotic substances as the New York Times reported back in 2012. – [Narrator] First
class Fred won the race. But it was later discovered
the horse had frog venom in its system. The venom called Dermorphin, is a powerful exotic
painkiller drawn from the South American frog. It is said to be 40 times
more powerful than Morphine. – [Elissa] Dermorphin,
cocaine, and Viagra, are all banned substances
in US horse racing. So the majority of American
horses aren’t running on them. But that doesn’t mean most
horses are running drug free, because most US tracks
allow horses to run on sanctioned drugs, like furosemide. Furosemide is often sold
under the brand name, Lasix. Around 90% of American
horses race on the drug. And it is perhaps the
most controversial topic in the horse racing industry. In the course of our research, multiple people told us
they were afraid they would lose their jobs or businesses
if they spoke to us about Lasix. And multiple others told
us they felt the current debate around the drug is
as controversial as abortion or gun control. So what is Lasix, and why
is it so heavily steeped in controversy? Well that depends on who you ask. Some say Lasix is an
anti-bleeding medication, necessary to prevent
and reduce potentially lethal bleeding in horses lungs. Others say the drug is an
unnecessary performance enhancing diuretic. But one thing both sides
agree on, is that race horses are bleeding from their lungs. This is a video of an
endoscopic examination of a horse’s lungs after a race. And what you’re seeing here is blood. This horse has something known as Exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, often called EIPH for short. EIPH isn’t a disease, it’s
a condition brought on by intense exercise and a series of distinct biological
factors in race horses. Horses have a unique
ability to drastically increase their red blood
cells when they run. And their blood pressure
can increase dramatically during exercise too. So because of this combination
of increased volume and pressure, small
capillaries in the lungs can sometimes rupture. And that results in blood in the lungs. But EIPH isn’t actually
an uncommon occurrence in race horses. Some studies have shown
up to 90% of race horses experience some amount of
bleeding after exercise. But the severity of bleeds can vary. EIPH is categorized into grades. At grade zero, endoscopic
examinations show no visible traces of blood. At grades one through
three, blood is visible in the lungs through scopes. And at grade four, epistaxis occurs. That means blood is visible
in the horse’s nostrils. And at this stage, EIPH can be deadly. But most horses never reach grade four, and Battuello even told us he
estimates only a single-digit percentage of horses die
from EIPH and epistaxis each year. Some have also claimed EIPH
isn’t painful for horses since there aren’t pain receptors
deep in a horse’s lungs. But still, there’s a
lot of conflicting data about the impact of EIPH
on a horse’s health. Some studies have shown
that as long as a horse falls between grade zero to grade three, EIPH doesn’t affect
performance or overall health. But other data has
suggested the symptom is a cause for concern. For example, some research
says EIPH can have a negative effect on the
longevity of a horse’s career. So this is where Lasix comes in. Lasix is the only medication
allowed in US horse racing to treat and prevent EIPH on race days. The drug is a powerful diuretic, which means it makes horses urinate. And that resulting water
loss helps to lower horses blood pressure. It’s believed by some that this
reduction in blood pressure can also help reduce EIPH, but studies on efficacy
of Lasix have been mixed over the years. Some data has shown Lasix
has no effect on preventing or reducing blood in the lungs whatsoever. But other studies have shown
horses are much more likely to bleed without Lasix. Both sides of this debate do
agree on something though. Horses run faster on Lasix. And this is where a lot
of controversy lies. Because while some argue
the drugs simply allows horses to race at their full potential, others like Matt Iuliano,
Executive Vice President and Executive Director of the Jockey Club, thinks Lasix does something else. Do you think Lasix is a
performance enhancing drug? – I do, I do. There’s a couple effects of Lasix. The reason I think that is first of all, it does
cause severe weight loss and lighter horses are faster horses. Lighter athletes are faster athletes. – [Elissa] Lasix is
such a powerful diuretic that horses can lose
anywhere from 10 to 50 pounds of fluid in the hours before a race. That can be upwards of 4%
of their total body weight. There’s no other medication
permitted on race days that causes such a dramatic weight loss. Iuliano also claims
there’s another aspect of Lasix that could qualify the drug as a performance enhancer. – And after workout for example, you’ll notice your muscles get sore, there’s a buildup of
lactic acid in the blood that’s a byproduct of intense exercise from the muscle. And Lasix, because it
alters the pH of blood ever so slighty, it has the ability to improve the blood’s ability
to buffer that Lactic acid. So some would claim that
it can enhance performance by delaying the onset
of fatigue on a horse. – [Elissa] Ultimately,
Iuliano in the Jockey Club, believe Lasix should
be banned on race day. – We’re certainly not opposed to the administration
medications to help horses heal. When it comes to racing however, we believe that horses
should only be allowed on the race track when they’re
free from all influences of medications. – [Elissa] Iuliano also
argued Lasix isn’t good optics for the industry either. And programs handed
out to fans and bettors horses injected with
Lasix hours before a race are marked with an L. Those against Lasix argue
the L acts as an asterisk, informing bettors and fans
of a potential advantage. But it’s worth noting
here, racing without Lasix wouldn’t be groundbreaking. The United States and Canada are the only countries in the world that permit Lasix on race day. Other major racing places
like England, Dubai, and Hong Kong, have all banned the drug. But there are some who think
a ban could be inhumane. The Association of Racing
Commissioners International, published this press release
in the popular racing website, the Paulick Report. In that release, the
ARCI said without Lasix, horsemen will resort
to a practice known as “Drawing and Muzzling”. That’s where they claim a
horse is denied food and water for 24 to 36 hours prior to a race. ARCI has said the practice is common to lower blood pressure in European horses. But Iuliano says that’s just not true. – That statement that’s been issued by certain groups in this industry is utter
and complete nonsense and has no basis in fact. When you speak with international trainers and participants in racing jurisdictions where Lasix is not
permitted, it’s laughable. – [Elissa] We reached out
to a trainer in Europe to find out firsthand
if drawing and muzzling happens there. – People like to say that
everybody in Europe does that because we can’t have Lasix, which is a complete myth. I have never heard of a
trainer withhold water 36 hours before a race. I have never heard this before, I read it in the American
comments on the Paulick report. I don’t know where this came from, I’ve not seen it done here
in 20 years of being here. – [Elissa] This is Gina Rarick. She’s an American living in France, and she’s been training
race horses overseas for 20 years. In that time, she has never
had to euthanize a horse under her care. She told us she couldn’t
remember the last time she saw a horse sustain a
fatal injury during a race, and she says the rate of
fatal injury in France is a quarter of what it is in America. So what is France doing differently? Well for starters, they don’t allow Lasix. – We don’t have horses
staggering off the track with blood coming out of their nose, and we don’t use Lasix. And our horses are happy
and they’re competing and they’re athletic and it’s possible. – [Elissa] Rarick did tell us that some of her horses do bleed, but
she noted they rarely reach severe grades. In 20 years, she’s only
had to retire three horses due to EIPH. Consequently, she believes
Lasix is unnecessary. Rarick has also become a vocal critic of the current state of American racing. She’s written op-eds
for the New York Times and the Washington Post,
calling for change. She also believes that American racing should include a ban on
racing medication like Lasix. – America has to change that. I mean, I’m sorry but the Lasix has to go and the medication has to go. And if some modifications in
the system need to be made so that the horses can compete
and handle the environment and handle the stress of
competition without the drugs, they’ve got to do that. Because if they don’t do that, the public will not come back. – [Elissa] Rarick also told
us another major factor that could increase safety,
would be the creation of a National Racing Commission. Currently, rules,
regulations, and medications, all vary by state. – It’s a huge problem. You have 38 states that
are racing I think, and you have 38 different
racing commissions. So a trainer can lose
his license in one state and go next door. You know, the medication
rules are not uniform, it’s a huge problem. – [Elissa] Several members
of Congress seem to agree. In March, Congressman
Paul Tonko of New York, introduced H.R.1754, better known as the Horseracing Integrity Act. The bill aims to quote, “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.” H.R.1754 would also prevent
the use of race day medication. Effectively banning Lasix on race days. The bill has a lot of
support in the house, but getting this bill signed
into law will be difficult. Versions of this bill have
died in Congress before. In 2017, H.R.2651 was also introduced as the Horseracing Integrity Act. But it was met with pushback by many in the horseracing industry. Especially from groups who
support the use of Lasix, including the Thoroughbred
Horsemen’s Association, The Horsemen’s Benevolent
and Protective Association, and the Association of Racing
Commissioners International. In June of 2018, members
from all three groups testified before Congress about the bill, urging them to reconsider. – I am proud and honored to be invited to participate this morning
to defend the honor and integrity of the racing industry, and to oppose what is tantamount to a federal takeover of a state sanctioned, state regulated industry. – Lasix is not performance enhancing, it does not make a horse run faster than its God given ability to do so. – We’re opposed to this bill because it is a radical and unnecessary
federalization of a state responsibility that
this exercised effectively. – [Elissa] Obviously the
2017 and 2018 version of the Horseracing Integrity
Act did not pass. And this year’s version
still lies in committee. But even if the 2019 Horseracing
Integrity Act doesn’t pass, it doesn’t mean Lasix bans are impossible. Because a group of tracks
and major races have taken it upon themselves
to phase out the drug. The Breeders’ Cup, Churchill Downs, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club,
and the Stronach Group, which own Santa Anita, are just some of the races and tracks
planning to phase out Lasix by 2021. All three tracks hosting
the coveted Triple Crown will also be Lasix free by 2021. But even though Santa Anita
has announced a Lasix ban, the track hasn’t
identified EIPH or the drug as a major source of the
deaths we’ve seen this year. Only time will tell if
a Lasix ban will make the track safer. Or if EIPH and Lasix are
just being used as scapegoats for an industry that won’t seem to agree on what’s going wrong. – With all of that said,
everything we’ve showcased, we wanna pass the question off to you. What do you think about the current state of the horseracing industry? Obviously we’ve seen a lot
of horses die this year on major tracks like Santa Anita, but do you think that it can be reformed? Do you think banning Lasix
and moving to a model more similar to France’s is a good idea? Or do you think no, we’re
already far too gone and we just have to get rid
of the industry entirely? Any and all thoughts and
reactions we’d love to see in those comments down below. Also if you like this video be
sure to hit that like button. If you’re new here and we did
our job and you want more of these videos in the future, be sure to hit that subscribe button, definitely ring that bell
to turn on notifications. Also if you want more news,
be sure to head on over to roguerocket.com and/or
follow us on all our socials. But with that said, of course
as always thanks for watching, I’ll see you soon on the
next Rogue Rocket deep dive!

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  1. This video is so hard to watch but so important. Without this video I would have never known about this issue. Thank you for making this video!

  2. As someone in the horse industry, yes, horse racing in America needs to be reformed. If you’re wondering why these horses are in a constant state of being broken down, take a look at what age they begin their training. The average horse isn’t physically supposed to be ridden until they are at LEAST two and a half to three years old, and at that point it’s only supposed to be light riding. These horses bodies are not designed to be put under such intense workouts when they’re only one year old and barely weaned.

  3. Any industry that uses animals for profit is animal exploitation. It's actually that simple. These animals belong in the wild with their herds not racing on a man made track to make their owners and jockies millions. I have a family member in the Horse Racing industry, but as much as I love my cousin I simply cannot support the forced racing of these animals. They have no freedom. How are we supposed to know if the Horses really want to race or not? We just don't.

    Want horse racing for real? Get the people off their backs and watch the horses race wild without any man made accessories. That's the only way to watch the true authenticity of these animal's natural abilities. It's no different than captive dolphins and whales performing at places like Sea World. It's no different than a circus forcing animals to perform for dead food. It's no different than a zoo where animals are kept in cages, environments and social settings that aren't natural for them. Horse racing needs to be abolished all together just like any other industry that uses animals for profit.

    They are not ours to touch. LOOK BUT DON"T TOUCH ARE WE A BUNCH OF INSOLENT GREEDY CHILDREN OR WHAT GIVES? We wouldn't dare let animals treat us the way we treat them or we would murder them for our own protection. As long as they are racing there will always be risk of horses snapping their legs or bleeding internally. NO MATTER HOW SAFE WE ARE. The only way to eliminate the risk to these animals is to cease and desist immediately. It doesn't matter what humans loose their jobs because they aren't loosing their lives like these animals do. I'm horrified at how cruel and heartless humans can be to these gentle giants in the name of fame, glory and money.

  4. I was hesitant about watching a video about horses, but the way you people present news in such an unbiased and interesting way, and with real interviews is awesome. Keep up the great work y'all

  5. Yep, nope. Didn’t make it past the first scene after the warning. Was a warning yes, but I was not prepared at all. My heart weeps for ALL animals of abuse. Even ones people use for food. Don’t @ me, you damn well know it’s true.

  6. Leave the horses alone and buy a race-car. The tracks can be converted to car tracks and they can bet on each car & driver. It’s a win-win and the spin off work will create more jobs.

  7. The amount of OTT (off the track) race horses who are not able to be rehomed once the race industry has deemed them 'too slow', is astronomical. I used to run a rescue centre for them, I would have thousands of calls a month asking whether I could take on horses from various organisations. They end up in slaughter facilities, to become meat for animals, some for human consumption, and others to have their bodies harvested for various industries.

  8. The amount of OTT (off the track) race horses who are not able to be rehomed once the race industry has deemed them 'too slow', is astronomical. I used to run a rescue centre for them, I would have thousands of calls a month asking whether I could take on horses from various organisations. They end up in slaughter facilities, to become meat for animals, some for human consumption, and others to have their bodies harvested for various industries.

  9. Horse racing is just abuse they are racing horses that are 2 yesra old and in horse yesrs they are still babys

  10. Very upsetting and heartbreaking to watch but more of this needs to be exposed so either things heavily change or horse racing is banned altogether. I attended horse racing with my dad as a young girl as I loved horses but if I'd of known this I'd never of supported it as I am so against it now. Humans can be vile human beings. Let the horses live cruelty free. :'( xx

  11. Maybe a bit of a hit-piece,but just my opinion . One question I do have is that of the American trainer in France. She is 89th in today's standings; not that I am questioning what she is saying,but if I want answers about baseball…I would rarely go to the 89th rated pitcher or the 89th best batter!

  12. I want to keep watching this but it hurts my heart seeing such pain on these majestic creatures. 🙁
    I had to watch this without the video.

  13. Another thing to consider is what happens to them after they've retired. Most are simply killed or dumped to die slow horrible deaths. Animals shouldn't be raced, humans will never ever do it fairly to the animals. Also, just because in other countries horses don't die as much, doesn't mean the abuse in training and racing aren't just as cruel. I know people in the horse world (none that race), that treat horses like a car, to be picked up and discarded at will, but there are also people that would honestly lay down their lives for their horse, fuck, some love their horse/s more than anything else in the world. I think It's a bit like dogs, those that race them mostly just use it for money, and in anything where money is stood to be gained, it will be placed by people ahead of any shred of "humanity".

  14. Reformation, ban LASIX. If everyone follows the rules, the nation respects and honors change for the better of the sport and horses.

  15. I’v been a fan of Phil’s for years but this video was really upsetting. The rogue rocket team usually works hard to give the facts but they were lacking in this video. There’s is a racehorse injury database on the jockey club website the catalogs and calculates all race horse injuries. http://www.thejockeyclub.com/default.asp?section=Advocacy&area=10 They are the only equine industry that does this. You can see by their data that the amount of death and injuries on the race track is on the decline for 2% when the list started in 2009 to 1.68% in 2018. Horses are drug tested before every race and are trained to pee to the sound of a whistle. If a horse tests positive the whole barn is tested and all the employees. There is a problem with the tracks in California and with bad owners and trainers who are just in this sport for the money. We shouldn’t demonize the whole industry based on bad people. https://open.spotify.com/episode/2wVFhz0ahU8fy9XF8w0V2u?context=spotify%3Acollection%3Apodcasts%3Aepisodes&si=083YLYHFRayv84BID1ATxA

  16. As someone who has grown up in the horse industry, watching races all of the time, I 100% disagree with the horse racing industry. Those colts and fillies are way too young to be racing at those speeds. Their joints aren't completely closed and solid yet. Horses don't stop growing until AT LEAST 5 years old. So why would we race 2 and 3 year olds when we know they're not done growing and changing? I've owned OTTBs (Off the track thoroughbreds), and ALL of them have either had bone or joint issues. It also messes with their mental state. It takes a lot of therapy and TLC to get them back to where they're not high strung, where they're normal animals. My first horse still would go into what we called race horse mode and would take off if he heard a chain on a gate jingle.
    The use of drugs is sickening. Trying to justify the use of lasix as "not a performance enhancement" is sickening.
    This industry is far too gone to be fixed. I agree with shutting the whole industry. Let these beautiful animals live their lives. Stop ruining them with for your entertainment. A couple years of racing isn't worth the 20+ years of pain they feel afterwards.

  17. Thanks for talking about the Santa Anita horse races. It was actually a fairly well-covered story across some media platforms here in LA. I was able to get informed about this several months prior, because most radio news stations were covering this on my way to work.

  18. It's also interesting to note that thoroughbreds are more often than not racing before they're even two years old. They aren't anywhere CLOSE to being finished growing, their knees haven't even properly fused together at this point. As a person fairly educated on the equine industry I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if age restrictions could be implemented into racing. Hopefully it would lead to less injuries outright, as well as fewer horses being retired before they really should be. The use of less drugs would prohibit trainers and owners pushing their animals too hard too soon, they couldn't maintain them with chemicals. It won't happen though, because the longer they have to care for the horses before they can race the more money they have to spend on feed etc. At the end of the day it's all about making money, whether those lower down (grooms, etc) truly care about the animals they're working with or not.

  19. This is horrible. We need to get rid of horse racing. It's animal exploitation. If you love horses go to a sanctuary. Forcing them to race for money and entertainment is gross. Watching those poor horses break their legs was hard to watch :/

  20. People use drugs on themselves to enhance performance(Aussie swimmers recently), not surprised to see drugs being used on horses. It's very sad to see horses broke their legs doing something they may not want to do.

  21. As a horse lover I think horse racing just needs to be retired as a whole. They train horses and ride them well before they are fully grown and growth plates are fused and are dumped at sales once they no longer run fast enough. Most race horses will end up in slaughter. Some are lucky and get bought before they get on the meat truck but it's a long and hard journey of training and rehab for them to have a normal life. Horses at the age of 5 coming out of the racing industry with arthritis and life altering injuries. Would we let this happen to our children?

  22. We have to GET RID of the racing industry!!!!!!!!!!!! It is the most cruelest equine sport EVERRR WE HAVE TO WAKE UP AND GET RID OF THE RACING INDUSTRY and use our voices for the horses!!!

  23. Sometimes the more painful and heart wrenching a topic is, the more important it is to cover. thank you very much, and GO FRANCE!

  24. This horrified me. I competitively show horses in reining/working cow shows and have never seen a horse abused like this. The only other time I have seen something like this is in the reining industry (separate from reining/working cow). For the reining it can be common to use prohibited drugs meant to calm a horse down as well as overly medicating a horses hocks (which often for these horses have major arthritis). As someone who grow up and is still living with these creatures daily this is horrifying. Performance enhancing drugs should be illegal, and the trainer/owner of said animal show be subjected to consequences. When you take away a horses ability to feel pain and or give them the ability to preform at a level that they do not naturally of course they are going to end up dead. How careful would you be able to be with a jet pack that you didn’t know how to operate and no ability to feel pain?

  25. I'm a veterinarian. Lasix, while I wish it was used solely when horses are diagnosed with EIPH instead of a preventative and agree it shouldn't be allowed on race day unless the horse has EIPH, is not the reason horses are dying on race tracks. American Thoroughbreds and racing quarter horses are over trained and over bred, combine that with the high forces on those bones and terrible track conditions, its a recipe for disaster. These broken limbs are catastrophic stress fractures (similar things have happened to human athletes during games). The only way to fix that is better genetics, better monitoring of training, and getting them to the veterinarian sooner when they're lame. There's a lot of money in this industry and unfortunately those who profit aren't necessarily willing to rest animals that need it so they don't lose money. I don't think horse racing should be banned, but I think it needs a huge overhaul. Starting with better oversight. (Also it is thought that EIPH is in part due to the weight of the abdominal contents slamming up into the diaphragm and lung during running. And any trainer that withholds food and water for 2-3 days is a stupid head…that's a recipe for potentially fatal colic).

  26. Can everyone just take a sec to love Phil's shirt….. 😍😍😍😍😍

    I want one for me!!!

    Note: I haven't watch this film when i posted this.

  27. I want to watch this but I cant. I was eating a drum stick when I saw that white spotted horse fall and break his leg. Nope, cant do it.

  28. I am an avid rider but racing always made me upset. These horses are pushed to breaking and it’s absolutely horrible. I spend much of my time with horses and I have never seen one injured while we ride because we don’t push the horses far. No one rides fast and the horses always take breaks. This breaks my heart and no animal should be stuffed with drugs and forced to their limits.

  29. lasix is not the only drug that is a problem in the horse racing industry. Unfortunately where money meets animal competition there will always be people willing to put the horse's life at risk to win.

  30. SANTA ANITA RACETRACK is sitting on PRIME REAL ESTATE in ARCADIA CALIFORNIA "the new Beverly Hills". The owner, FRANK STRONACH an Austrian (ie: Adolf Hitler) and his daughter are purposely turning THE GREAT PLACE into the TITANIC so that they can sell the land to developers. Because SANTA ANITA is of historical significance, the City of Arcadia would not allow it to be sold and bulldozed simply for a real estate deal so someone got the idea to ruin it's reputation first, ignite a media frenzy and get the track shut down. The same thing is happening to ALL other Stronach-owned tracks , PIMLICO, GOLDEN GATE FIELDS, LAUREL PARK, GULFSTREAM PARK AND PORTLAND MEADOWS! EDIT: The tracks never should have been sold to STRONACH or any foreign buyer. Trainer JERRY HOLLENDORFER is a scapegoat. #savesantaanita #savethegreatraceplace #makeracinggreatagain #deportstronach

  31. Great (and tough to watch) video. I just wishful provided a little more history of horse racing as a juxtaposition and to see what, if any progress has been made in the past.

  32. From what it sounds like, Americans (myself included) cannot handle the responsibility of properly handling race horses, and it should be stopped in the states. Period. There is NO EXCUSE for a horse to have had that happen to it's leg. Seeing as it isn't uncommon makes it 10x worse. This is disgraceful. I WAS going to start going to horse races but this changed my view, thank you.

  33. There is nothing that can change my mind when I say that horse racing needs to stop. I might not be a vegetarian or vegan at the moment, I'm sorry, but at least the animal is being eaten. Racing a horse , abusing it, and then killing it when its not of use to you is extremely inhumane. No different than hunting for sport.

  34. I'm all for Banning any kind of medication that masks pain, information and anything that enhances a horses performance in any way shape or form. The problem is it's still going to continue, no matter what Congress, Senate, and the President do. Based on past history with similar bills, this one will not pass. If it does pass, trainers and owners will just find other ways to hide the doping of horses. I think the system's too far gone and horse racing needs to be banned, which of course creates a whole new set of problems of illegal horse racing.

  35. Throw the whole industry out. I live in Vegas and I’m so disgusted seeing people bet on horse races just to make a quick buck. Why fund such cruelty?

  36. First of all, this is fucking terrible, poor animals. How can people call them selves even athletes if they abuse animals to do the work for them. A sport should be bound to the human not to the animal. This shit is not better then dog fighting. Its not a fucking sport, its only cruel and disgusting. Get a bicycle and actually race your self you jack ass human.

  37. I've been to war, seen dead bodies, and experienced horrific trauma. I've been able to cope with it, and much of what I've seen has definitely desensitized me.

    Watching a creature break both of it's legs, and knowing that it doesn't understand why or what is going on made my stomach turn. Multiple times during the video I had to look away.

    I've progressively disagreed with pretty much all use of animals for entertainment. Sea World, Horse/Hound racing, and many zoos need to be shut down. I would have hoped that we have evolved beyond such a barbaric and pointless practice by now

  38. Death isn't an acceptable price for entertainment. France has only a quarter of the deaths of America? So only 12+ horses dying per year at one track (going off the 50+/- deaths per year at the California track they spoke of)? No, that's just ridiculous. I have been to Churchill Downs twice. Never again. End the industry.

  39. I think we need to end horse racing and rodeos. I get how people can be ignorance to the cruelty of horseracing as most of the abuse seems to happen off the tracks and not in front of the crowd, but I will never understand how people can enjoy rodeos. The abuse is literally the entertainment. It's happening in front of the crowds eyes. Slamming bulls to the ground, whipping, tazing, beating, etc. Bulls are calm creatures, but the idiots will taze them to make them aggravated before a show. I don't care if rodeos are part of tradition, if your tradition or culture accepts the abuse of an animal or person, I do NOT respect your traditions. It's not a good enough excuse.

  40. I think that a big part of the issue that was not discussed enough was the track quality, from the lack of banking (which is done in nascar) to the actual footing provided. Horses are fragile large creatures who easily hurt themselves. This is just a known fact of anyone in equine medicine or veterinary medicine in general. I believe that if they make changes they will need to incorporate the track quality itself as well to see significant improvement.

  41. With Santa Anita you also have to look at the footing. They sealed the track countless times over our very wet winter and it never got a chance to dry out. By sealing a track you compress it and squeeze the water out making the track hard and fast. Doing that over and over again with make a track so hard it’s not safe to run on. I personally love horse racing, they do need some reforms, and I also think you guys could go further with this than just looking at lasik. LASIK is also used in other arms of the horse industry for various reason with little to no controversy, that would be interesting to explore

  42. This makes me wonder, not so much about the race industry (problematic though it is) but rather, what is going on at "that" track?

    I also really hate the knee-jerk reaction to wipe out a whole industry that people love and rely on instead of improving what's there. France seems to be an excellent model of how the industry could look. Horses are built to run and they do enjoy it. They don't think about the risks at all as the careen around their pastures, but running (as with any sport) has inherent physical risks. We humans need to do the best we can to mitigate that risk, whether at the track or at the home stable.

    The other important thing to consider is that when horses get serious leg/hoof injuries, they usually have to be put down since it is very difficult to repair their legs. They are big animals that need to be upright for most of the day (and lay down for a few hours of deep sleep), so being confined and strapped standing in a stall, for weeks at a time, is challenging, to say the least. Most owners opt to put them to sleep rather than have them endure this misery (and/or financial loss) of a difficult treatment that will likely still leave the horse lame. This factor alone must increase the death toll from injury in horses.

  43. I don't judge people as much by the obvious virtues they preach, but the exceptions they make. So when people see inflicting suffering on others as evil but still make exceptions to allow any continued suffering, then that's a measurable and demonstrable evil.

  44. we are enslaving these animals and breeding and forcing them to work themselves as hard as they can
    because we want paper that is overall almost valueless and putting that minute value over the life of an intelligent animal that would be better off if most every human on earth died

  45. Looks over at australian racing

    Man, I am glad were not as bad as america and for the most part we treat our race horses like royalty (FOR THE MOST PART)

  46. Every professional horse sport, be it racing, dressage, jumping etc. is cruel and abusive. They use the same methods, the only difference is that horses don't die elsewhere in such high numbers so nobody cares. But these horses will suffer later from arthrosis or other painful diseases.
    As long as there's money involved the horse sport industrie will never change!

  47. wow im dating a guy who participates in show jumping. He competes in willington and princeton and stuff and keeps his horse at a fancy farm upstate NY. Last december we went to equestrian world championships in Prague. There were multiple horses that fell and spit out loads of blood and then they cover the scene so the people dont have to see and the show goes on. At the time i didnt even think twice about it. In retrospect its so awful. And these horses travel all around the world competing. I met bill gates daughter and her boy friend who sponsored a team. Anyway Yes horses are abused

  48. This video makes me furious. We need to end this medieval and archaic practice for good! I think a deep dive into greyhound racing would be an interesting topic.

  49. I would like to see reform in this industry. Horse racing is an exciting and lovely sport that promotes strong healthy animals when it is done right. When people trying to make a quick buck get their hands on it it can go very very wrong. I would like to learn more about how track conditions impact accidents on the track and how they can be improved. Broken legs seem to be the cause of death visually focused on in this video but from my understanding this drug does not increase the likelihood of broken legs ? How are foreign tracks preventing leg injuries and why are horse owners/investors not demanding American tracks do the same to protect their animals?

  50. Nurse mares are the ugliest problem. Nursemare foals happen when a racing mama has a baby, but has to go back to race or stud. Well they find a lactating mare, take her baby and leave it for dead so that the racehorse baby gets milk. As an equestrian there is reformation for this industry. Nurse mares are EVERYWHERE, Europe, america,

  51. As a horse person, I can tell you: a large reason that horses are breaking legs is because they are being raced way before they are physically mature. Racehorses are on the track by 2 years old, much too young for such a heavy work routine.

  52. "Lasix is not performance enhancer. It does not make a horse run faster than it's god given ability to do so." So… College kids using adderall and such to study just helps them "study as hard as their God given ability to do so." Meth being used in foreign countries to be able to force workers to work 37 hour shifts is just "working as long as their God given ability to do so."

  53. It cna't be reformed. These horses will always fall, they will always stumble. They don't consent to this, they don't consent to be drugged. Let the meatheads who do their sports and shoot up willingly do it and leave things like horse racing and bull fighting back where it belongs. In a less civilized time

  54. Horse racing is a remnant of another era and should be phased out, luckily the free market seems to be taking care of that. As attendance and betting decrease so will pursue sizes and without a financial incentive to breed and train racehorse it will die on its own.

  55. This is what I want to say though. I love racing and I don't think it needs to be shut down by any means but, the race track at Santa, has something wrong with it. They need to go through throughly and fix the track. As for horses potentially being sent to slaughter, all I can say is at this time it's a necessary evil at this time. So many horses are bred and dumped. Might as well make it useful.

  56. Yeah I'm happy to hear about the reforms in other countries, but any sport where there is ANY sort of a chance that the participant, be it animal or human, will die, is not a sport. It's a fucking gladiatorial match. In other words, it needs to not exist. I was not a fan of horse racing before, but now, I am vehemently against it. And I will gladly enlighten anyone who thinks otherwise because this should be an absolutely black and white issue.

  57. If our athletes can’t inject themselves with drugs why tf are they injecting athletic horses? 😑 this is disgusting

  58. Modern horse racing uses the youngest horses, 2 years olds, considering a horse can live well into its 30s, thats like 5 year old humans playing football. That means soft, still forming leg joints, add in the doping of all kinds and the injuries and deaths are no surprise. Horse racing will go the way of dog racing now because the industry refuses to respect the rights and physical limitations of the animals. Good riddance, now lets talk about rodeo.

  59. This wasn’t a deep dive, it was a hit piece

    I miss the old weekend deep dives without magic gypsies, historical hyperbole, and biased interviews

    It sucks, cause this could have been a great one if done with the same integrity as the PDS

  60. I've always been against horse racing, because of how cruel it is for the horses. But as someone who lives in Ocala, Florida, which is considered the horse capital of the world, a large part of our economy comes from horse racing. So if horse racing is outright banned, then it could greatly hurt the economy of many places. I think horse racing can be greatly reformed to protect the horses without hurting the jobs of thousands

  61. I dont know what Americans are doing wrong, but here in Australia and other European racing countries and also hong kong and dubai i have never hears of so many horses dieing or breaking down.

  62. If you can't have horse racing SAFELY, like other countries mentioned, then there shouldn't be horse racing in the US. Period.

  63. I have a question for horse people who know how to care and maintain them why can't the horse's leg be set back ( not 100% back to normal) as best as possible to let them live in a century as retired

  64. Dear lord…single horse timed heats!!! No fighting for the inside, no pile ups. And if you're breeding sound horses as well as conditioning appropriately you shouldn't need to drug the animal to win a race.

  65. Anyone else notice how practically everyone in the building was white but the waitress serving them was black?
    (not trying to say anything bad about white people, just highlighting class divide)

  66. Something like bull fighting is definitely animal cruelty but I don't know if horse racing HAS to be if it was done better than this (if you need drugs to stop racehorses from bleeding you're doing it wrong).

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