Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs and Death
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Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs and Death

August 15, 2019


Steve Asmussen is one of the most successful Thoroughbred race horse trainers of all time. Asmussen also has the most extensive record of rule and drug violations of all major trainers in U.S. horse racing. PETA conducted a four-month investigation of Steve Asmussen’s operations at the famous Churchill Downs and Saratoga racetracks in order to expose what it takes to get to the top in horse racing and the price that the horses pay. On average, 24 horses die per week on racetracks in the U.S. During the course of the investigation, PETA’s undercover agent documented standard practices in this industry, in which death and injuries are business as usual. The horses were sore and injured all the time and constantly getting injections and treatments of all kinds. To train and race through all the injuries, exhaustion, and pain, horses are subjected to an endless cycle of performance-enhancing medications and pain-masking drugs. This regiment takes its toll on fragile, young horses, whose bones aren’t fully developed. Even Asmussen’s prized horse Nehro, who finished second in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, was forced to continue training and racing on painful, chronically damaged feet. Animal Kingdom wins the Derby! Nehro in second! Just a few days later on Kentucky Derby Day 2013 Nehro died after a severe bout with colic at Churchill Downs. From birth to death, most horses used for racing are treated like disposable commodities. While gamblers at the Kentucky Derby sip mint juleps the horses are served a steady diet of drug cocktails. With all the medications the horses were being given, even in their feed, it felt more like working at a pharmacy than a stable. One of Asmussen’s drugs of choice was thyroxine. The drug was being given to every horse in Asmussen’s barns, apparently without testing or evidence of any thyroid condition. This drug was recklessly administered, seemingly just to speed up metabolism, not for any therapeutic purpose. Similarly, Lasix, a controversial drug banned in Europe on race days, was injected into all of Asmussen’s horses who were being raced or timed. PETA’s investigator recorded New York’s top horse racing veterinarian admit that the primarily reason why lasix is given to most of the horses is for performance enhancement. PETA’s investigator also documented an array of painful treatments performed on horses. I would see bettors in the stands reading statistics in the Daily Racing Form and I would think, “They don’t know how sore and injured these horses are and how many medications they’re on.” They’re being duped. Here, Asmussen’s chief assistant trainer, Scott Blasi, angry that his horse got scratched by stewards before a race, tells the investigator how he will fool the stewards next time. Trainers will do just about anything to gain an advantage, regardless of the consequences to the horses. Here, Scott Blasi jokes about how one of his leading jockeys, Ricardo Santana Jr., used a concealed shocking device on the horses. The investigator also recorded Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens and Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas laughing about the use of these painful and dangerous shocking devices. Although during nationally televised races owners and trainers will wax on about how much they love their horses, here’s what they say when they think the cameras aren’t rolling. Here, Scott Blasi celebrates losing one of his poorly performing horses in a claiming race to a new owner. The horse, Valediction, later had to have emergency surgery but Blasi was overjoyed that he had unloaded the horse. Then, Blasi and the new trainer for Valediction, Rudy Rodriguez, joked about Valediction, saying that he was a rat, horse-racing vernacular for a horse who doesn’t win money. PETA’s investigator also documented the terrible conditions for the exploited workers in Asmussen’s barns. Many undocumented laborers were required to work long, hard hours for little pay. It was awful to see them getting exploited like this. Many couldn’t even live in the staff dorms at the track because they were undocumented workers. They had to sleep in barns and tack rooms. Here, Asmussen is explaining how to manufacture paperwork illegally. The horse-racing industry tries to project the image of rolling, bluegrass hills and family farms. But these are factory farms where syringes are the most important tools of the trade.

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  1. These godfamn mother fuckers are so fucking oblivious! No no no, not oblivious, fucking ignorant! Calling horses rats. A "rat for a rat". Giving horses fucking drugs, "performance enhancers" fucking lying ass mother fuckers! This shit is DISGUSTING! Who would ever want to give in to this money scamming, bullshit horse races. This is obvious abuse and these people chose to leave those BABY horses like that. Unbelievable! Un-fucking- believable! How people could choose to leave horses with colic, untreated foot care and scrapes/ cuts, saying that they will hurt the horses if it gives them money and a good profit is Gross and innapropriate to the highest degree! I'm amazed people call this part of the equine community. It is revolting and plain disappointing how the world has come to using BABY, innocent horses for people's bidding. I'm sorry for my language, but SERIOUSLY, FUCK OFF!

  2. Horse racing is all about money, egos, selfishness, no morals. That is just the obvious. Behind the scenes can be much worse. And of course the horses suffer the consequences.

  3. I bet it must suck when you're passionate about the lives of these animals and you have to sit and laugh along as they joke about burning them with liquid nitrogen or electrocuting them.

  4. First of this is not a regular thing. 100% there are trainers out there that are dicks and abuse there horses and drug them up but that is a very small minority. Not every trainer does i know for an example my Dad and his dad before him have never done this. my family has being training horses for generations and i know many other trainers that are the same as my family all over Australia. people like u see in this video are evil and should be taken down but not the hole industrie. Second horses hurt them self's while racing. Look at every sport ever and u will see the same thing and before u say "they are being forced to race" the horses fucking love u can see it by the way they walk on to the track all proud and there eyes light up with exictement before they race they love it just as much as we do. Please if u even care or are just pretending to care to be a good person whatever just read this article https://animal-care.blog/2017/11/06/looking-into-the-eyes-of-evil-the-racing-industry/?fbclid=IwAR2pTONpNDLhobgBPLLT8UwpItNpT834jV6GBifZsQh7w8-SflQVkAT3rUg. last thing of course u swear at the animals and get pissy with them its natural yearlings can be a real bitch but we never hurt the cause of it

  5. I hate this!
    Why are people killing horses only because they are better then their horse!
    And i saw many more videos of people killing horses for money!
    And also USA planned to kill 45000 horses(i don’t know what they are thinking!!!!)
    I am heartbroken for all the porr horses that got killed by stupid people!
    And please watch the teneese walking horse cruelty!

  6. My mom has worked with Asmussen in the past for 25 years,and she can confirm that it is true they would drug the horse and all these horrible things.

  7. Wow ,even horse racing makes the animals suffer, every contact a human makes with nature gets destroyed, why can't we do anything right?

  8. I don’t always agree with PETA but this is tragic! They need to regulate how they treat these poor horses! So sad & the owners always pretend to love the horses.

  9. I'm sick to my stomach, this is disgusting. Why is this not illegal yet? We have all the proof we need. I'm only 11 but know enough to try to stop this disgusting industry. Nobody cares about their horses they just want the money. I'm gonna go puke because I swear it's that bad. If the horse is to younge, Has no hoof, Is raced with painfull tack, bits and is whipped over and over again. Oh yeah and the fact that they are drugged! That's just "amazing!" Oh and then if a horse dosent make the track is sent to auction or straight to slaughter. This is disgusting, I want it to stop. I'm only 11 and I'm wondering if there is anything I can do? I have a horse of my own and could never imagine treating her like that neither would I. I hope my statement Is seen and it helps make a difference.

  10. Well, if I ever got my hands on any these people, especially this man, I would fucking kill them. How dare they treat these poor animals. Makes me so angry.

  11. Don’t support horse racing in any way please! Even people who are kind to their race horses shouldn’t be supported. Horses shouldn’t be forced to race! Some love to run, they should run free not fucking forced to run to win for peoples entertainment and money

  12. Ok here’s what pisses me off it’s when y’all look at one person doing the wrong thing with there horse so peta before y’all judge one place y’all should go look at the rest of the places jeez🥵

  13. I agree that this is extremely cruel. I went on my first horse when I was two years old at a family relitve’s birthday party (I think) and although I have never owned a horse myself, I do go to a horse back riding barn every Friday that would never abuse/neglect there horses. And Also, Maybe You Should React To Some Peta Memes And Try To Clear Things Up. Like Why Did You Guys Euthanize A Little Girl’s Chihuahua? And why do you euthanize The animals that you “Rescue” (that is according to the internet, btw.). Maybe Telling The Truth And Not Lying About Anything Would Clean Up The Mess. Be honest with us, PETA! 😀

  14. But colic has nothing to do with his hooves? Colic is the when horses get soil or air in there intestines it’s fatal because they can’t throw up this is the most in truthful video on youtube

  15. I hope these people rot in hell. They have no heart and deserve to die. I f*ckin hate them. Stop the U.S from ruining innocent horses lives.

  16. I'm still not sure why this sickening 'sport' hasn't been banned. It's disgusting. Sadly, I doubt it will ever be banned, because of it was, the snobby rich pricks who love to watch it would complain and of course they'll get their own way. Imagine if people lined humans up and forced them to run by whipping them, and then left them to die if they lost too many times. That would be considered morally wrong so why shouldn't it be for horses? Ban it!

  17. Money, is the problem. They, that don't want, ask, and receive, that Jesus taught, will want, what is happening . People, world wide, need, to cooperate, one, with another.

  18. The farrier friggin told Blasi… that’s more people related versus the sport. Every damn sport on earth attracts whack jobs. I’m glad they’re putting regulations on drug testing for the horses.

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