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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  • by steve on May 8, 2008 at 06:05 PM
    Is it not time to tell these wackos and green and peta and all these other nuts to finally go to hell is every one afraid to affend someone or are we all a bunch of wusses.
  • by Michael Location: Georgetown on May 8, 2008 at 03:17 PM
    PETA is nothing more than a waste of a charitable organization. In my book, they're right up there with those idiots from Greenpeace.
  • by Anonymous on May 8, 2008 at 06:57 AM
    Eight Belles tragic end at the Kentucky Derby was just that, a tragic terrible accident. I am a huge animal lover and do not believe for one minute that animal was mistreated. Race horses live better than most humans. If PETA wants to get involved with something, how about the thousands of homeless pets across the country that are starving. Now that is a cause to get behind. They should not wait until something happens in the national spotlight to get their names heard. If they are for the humane treatment of animals , how about standing for the ones who need it the most.
  • by syd Location: jackson on May 7, 2008 at 03:19 PM
    it's a shame that people will beat a horse during a race until they kill it for being injured after a hard race but when they yell animal curity. IT'S A SHAME!!!!!!
  • by Teri Location: Richmond on May 7, 2008 at 11:11 AM
    In many (ok most) cases, race horses are only well cared for as long as they are making money. Exceller, the only Thoroughbred to defeat two Triple Crown champions in one race, was slaughtered in Sweden on Apr.7, 1997. He was 24 years old and no longer useful at stud. 1986 KENTUCK DERBY Champion Ferdinand, for similar reasons, met a similar fate in 2002 and was slaughtered in Japan, to feed the wealthy as horse meat is a delicacy. Do I support this industry? No. Do I support PETA? No. However, some of you may have a false image of the race horse industry as a whole. This sport is based on money and money alone. Use the animals until they are no longer useful. This is not what I consider being kind to animals. For the most part, is is comparable to dog racing. Do I have a solution? No, but I have no problem with any group stepping up and suggesting changes for the better. Yes, I'm a vegetarian and yes I support other worthy humane charitable causes, so shush it.
  • by SR Location: Lexington on May 7, 2008 at 09:15 AM
    Why do some people ASSUME that if you are an animal lover that you don't give a flip about kids?? KJ !! I love animals with every bit that I have in me but you can also bet that if I saw a child sitting on a bench crying and/or bruised I would help just the same as with an animal. People who are animal lovers are way more compassionate than the ones who aren't!!
  • by kp Location: Lexington on May 7, 2008 at 08:02 AM
    Sham on the people who live in Lexington who think that the race horses are mistreated. You must never get off new circle road. Because if you would you see that these horses probably live better than you. If it was not for the horse industry Lexington would not be the city it is. I do not want anything to happen to these farms. I would cry if one day I woke up and looked out my window I saw a housing development instead of the horses from the farm next door.
  • by Diane Location: Mt.Sterling on May 7, 2008 at 07:39 AM
    PETA doesn't think twice about killing injured animals. And to say that smacking an animal that weights 10 to 15 times your weight is some kind of torture is almost silly. A jocky wouldn't have a job if he injured his horse. In fact, i think these horses injure themselves more because they are so pampered. They are treated better than many people. And that's my issue with PETA. When they start caring for their fellow man as much as they do for specific types of animals, I may take them seriously.
  • by ann Location: liberty on May 7, 2008 at 06:38 AM
    PETA is an extremist group that gives a bad press to animal welfare efforts. They are the ACLU of the animal kingdom. There is no reason to assume that because people are vocal about horse welfare, they don't care about abortions, child abuse, and the soldiers dying in Iraq. There is room for people to be on more than one bandwagon. Lastly, my gut feeling about horse injuries is that God didn't create these magnificent animals with legs that weren't designed to carry them safely while doing what they love to do. Whether it's breeding, drugs, track surface, or whatever, we humans are doing something wrong which is causing all these breakdowns. God built horses to be able to run without killing themselves.
  • by KJ Location: Richmond on May 7, 2008 at 03:55 AM
    This is to Jade. You are not understanding what people are saying. It is the fact that people are protesting so much over animals and the care that they are getting but their are CHILDREN being abused all over the country every day and noone is going out and protesting for the protection of children and them not being abused!!! Think about that for just a few minutes-you go protest to make sure animals are being well taken care of but what about the kids that get whipped for breathing, or go to bed without any food to eat? Who speaks for them?

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