Protesters Sound Off Over Eight Belles Death

In response to the death of Eight Belles following the Kentucky Derby, PETA, People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals, protested at the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority's headquarters in Lexington on Tuesday.

However, they were not alone. Supporters of the horse racing industry also came out to support Eight Belles owner, trainer and jockey with a couter-protest.

Eight Belles broke down at Churchill Downs Saturday, after finishing second in the Derby. The filly had to be euthanized on the track.

PETA says it will call on a ban on whipping, the suspension of jockey Gabriel Saez's license, and and investigation into the horse's owner, trainer, and veterinarian.

The trainer, Larry Jones, defended Saez's actions during and after the race Monday.

Associated Press Story

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The trainer of euthanized filly Eight Belles says his jockey handled the horse properly during her second-place finish at the Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Larry Jones told The Associated Press on Monday that if the Derby were run again tomorrow, he'd put jockey Gabriel Saez right back on one of his horses.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has called for the suspension of Saez. The group says the horse must have been injured during the race, and Saez should have pulled her up rather than finish.

But Jones says Saez acted exactly as he should have. He says the jockey started whipping the horse to prevent her from running into the rail.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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