Racing Horses Are Treasured Not Abused

By: Sherelle Roberts Email
By: Sherelle Roberts Email

The horse racing industry has a bitter new enemy, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, otherwise known as PETA.

The animal rights organization is protesting the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority on Tuesday.

PETA says it wants major changes in the industry, including a ban on using the whip or racing horses younger than three.

This campaign against the industry was launched shortly after Kentucky Derby contender Eight Belles was euthanized on the track directly after running the Derby.

Kirsten Johnson, owner of KESMARC, a horse and animal rehabilitation center says PETA is making statements it knows nothing about. She says only the on-site veterinarian and trainers could have decided if it was right to put Eight Belles down.

She also says there is some things we just won't know until the horse's autopsy is returned. "Let's get the facts. There could be some facts that play here and shed light into why it happened and give us a better explanation,” she said.

Johnson also says that racing horses are some of the most well kept animals in the world, and that outsiders should see what goes on behind the scenes.

"People would be very, very amazed at the level of money that is spent on these animals,” Johnson added. “Some of them that are not going to return to a high level of training, their owners just want to ensure that they have a good quality of life.”


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on May 7, 2008 at 10:35 AM
    Most horses now of days if they dont make it on the track they are sold to people that make them jumping horses or some thing like that.
  • by tanya Location: frankfort on May 7, 2008 at 08:09 AM
    Melissa: i agree, if i had bet on 8 Belles, i would not have cashed that ticket. To Angry, there are groups that protect a lot of victims, old and young, human and furry human. PETA is not that group to protect kids. That is an entirely different subject.
  • by melissa Location: pgh,pa on May 7, 2008 at 07:18 AM
    the only thing that will make sense to me is if everyone who placed a bet on eight belles would be to donate their winnings to the Barbaro Memorial Fund or any research to help improve the health and soundness of all horses not just racehorses and another thing, i worked in animal shelters for over 14yrs and in no way shape or form could ANYONE compare horseracing to dog fighting!!!! those dogs suffer more than i would ever see a horse suffer!!! shame on anyone who would ever think such a thing!!!!!
  • by Angry Location: Kentucky on May 6, 2008 at 05:07 PM
    Why on earth do people raise storms over horses? Yes, I love horses, and it was sad to see one have to be put down... But why not put all this time and energy into promoting the ethical treatment of KIDS?! Everyday, another child is neglected, abused, or killed by its own parent(s), but it's PETA who gets all the attention over KFC statues and fallen race horses. I want to see the ethical treatment of PEOPLE and CHILDREN. Yes, I support the ethical treatment of animals. I love animals! But I treat my cats better than some people treat their own children. What does that say about society today? We put the treatment of horses above the treatment of our own offspring and future generations. We live in a very sad time.
  • by Fred Garvin Location: Lexington KY on May 6, 2008 at 02:46 PM
    Where was PETA when Romeo was being abused? Where were they when all these abandined dogs were being found? PETA should go gargle some mouth wash and return to liberal california and worry about KFC!
  • by To Gwen Location: ? on May 6, 2008 at 02:31 PM
    Where do you get your information? As far as I can tell...any stud horse that runs the derby becomes a sperm donor in retirement and any filly becomes a mare. Now I don't think these trainers and owners of such horses would "discard" a winner knowing another winner may come from them. You are as bad as PETA> Go jump on their wagon and ride off into the sunset. Kentuckians don't want to hear your "horsecrap"!!!!
  • by Shawn Location: Versailles on May 6, 2008 at 01:02 PM
    Where is PETA when these horse farms are going under and these horses are starving to death. THAT is where PETA needs to be going to try to "Help" these animals. Millions of dollars are spent every year on these race horses. They get the best care possible....then you have 36 horses starving to death in a farm across town and PETA never says a word...where is the protest there??
  • by Anonymous on May 6, 2008 at 11:54 AM
    This could happen to any breed of horse. Yes TB have got weak legs but I know what gose into takeing good care of them. PETA needs to keep there nose out of things they know nothing about. I saw a show on HBO about them and what they do is two times as bad as what some people do to there animals.
  • by tanya Location: frankfort on May 6, 2008 at 11:22 AM
    Melissa: it is easier and more "profitable" for PETA to jump on the bandwagon for 8 Belles than a bunch of nameless horses. It sounds cruel, but they can get more attention and media and make it an issue. it will not be an issue with a group of horses, unfortunately. Maybe it would be to us Kentuckians, not to the rest of the country
  • by INSULTED Location: FLOYD COUNTY on May 6, 2008 at 09:23 AM
    ALL OF YOU THAT SAY THESE PEOPLE CARE ABOUT THESE HORSES USE HOW MUCH MONEY THEY SPEND AS AN EXAMPLE. A DOLLAR BILL NEVER CARED OR LOVED ANYONE OR ANYTHING. AFTER THE RACE WAS OVER, THEY SPOKE WITH THE OWNER, JOCKEY, & TRAINER OF BIG BROWN. THESE PEOPLE DIDN'T EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE EIGHT BELLES. DID YOUR IDIOT GOVERNOR SHOW HIS LOVE OF THE HORSE WHEN HE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THAT A BEAUTIFUL HORSE WAS LAYING ON THE TRACK. DON'T GET ME WRONG, I BELIEVE THESE PETA (edited) ARE IGNORANT AS WELL, BUT I SURE DIDN'T APPRECIATE HOW THESE SO CALLED HORSE LOVERS DISRESPECTED SUCH A FINE ANIMAL AFTER THE RACE.
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