The Deadly “Sport” of Horse Racing

Equestrian games are by their very nature cruel and deadly, resulting in the deaths of approximately a thousand horses every year in the US and over four hundred in the UK.

Horse racing is a sport wherein animals are inbred, selecting for genes that result in horses who are especially fast, but especially fragile. Thoroughbreds have thinner bones than other breeds, which results in many injuries on the track, and when their legs are injured they are almost always put down because they can’t stand on the leg, nor can they lie down because it disrupts blood flow and creates other health problems.

TAKE ACTION: Help end the cruelty of horse racing!!

Racetracks demonstrate their lack of concern for horses by their lax reporting of horse deaths. Many states and individual tracks don’t report — or don’t accurately report — the number of horses who die, so we don’t even have a definitive number of horses who die as a result of racing.

And despite advances in medical technology, the number of horse fatalities is not falling. So much for the efforts to improve the lives of horses.

Equestrian games are bloodsports, no different from bullfights, rodeos or hunting. Any “sport” that involves an unwilling participant is no sport at all, it’s torture, murder, exploitation and slavery.

The health and welfare of animals will never be the priority of a group that uses animals for profit. Racetracks, promoters, jockeys and owners are concerned with one thing and one thing only: money. They will continue to inbreed, medicate, and run their horses to death as long as it makes them a profit, and they will do it in spite of any regulations that are imposed on them. They will continue to do the bare minimum to avoid being sanctioned while working to make their own wallets fatter.

The only answer is to refuse to support any sports, entities, industries, companies, or groups that contribute to the torture, exploitation and death of animals. Go vegan, boycott all animal games and entertainment. Refuse to support zoos, circuses, rodeos or horse races.

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition to help bring an end to horse racing!

Photo: Softeis


Sarah A.
m G3 years ago

If you are against slaughter and medicating animals, make sure you are vegan as well. Or you are also a guilty party. I'm not FOR slaughter - horse racing owners should have to make sure their horses have homes when they retire - but look at all the animals that do get slaughtered in this world. Why ? People eat them! Same with horses, sadly so it's humans fault as well.

Sarah A.
m G3 years ago

It's NOT a cruel sport. 90% of horsemen are good to their horses and the horses get the best of treatment-- after all they are athletes and competitors and worth a lot of money. Things can happen that make it appear cruel - a horse breaks down once in a while, some horses run past their prime. But these people love their steeds. Go to the races if you haven't and tell me what is cruel there. If you haven't worked in the sport and you haven't gone, and perhaps not even read about it, you really can't comment on it intelligently.

Julie Botsch
Julie Botsch3 years ago

Thank You.

Justingaberial J.
Past Member 4 years ago

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nora coyle
nora coyle4 years ago

Horse racing has always been cruel. They run when they're hurt, in pain, shot up with pain meds so they can still run. Then when they no longer can, they are sent to slaughter. I grew up around horses and know the horse racing industry too well, rodeos too. If they aren't born perfect, they are sent to slaughter. If you doubt this, check out the thoroughbred rescues and all other horse rescues across the country. It's such big business that I don't think we'll be able to stop it.

Terry V.
Terry V5 years ago

I have NEVER understood why it's called a "sport"

Linda Jarsky
Linda Jarsky5 years ago

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
---St. Francis of Assisi

Eleanor P.
Eleanor P5 years ago

While I agree that horse racing is very dangerous and is greatly in need of changes - especially raising the minimum age of the horses you can race - the writers ignorance of the situation is so laughable that most people who are able to make changes would read this and not even consider one word. First, they do not try to inbreed. The closest you may get is cousins. While I disagree with this practice, it's perfectly legal with humans in some states. Even the most money-grubbing people in the race industry know that if you do too much inbreeding, you get a weak animal that can't run. Two, while Thoroughbreds have thin bones size-wise, they actually have some of the strongest bones when it comes to density. That's one of the only reasons they can run so fast for so long: they have good bones.

But none of that means that the racing industry shouldn't have stricter rules and regulations, and that they shouldn't raise the age of raising horses. They should. But the writer's ignorance here will just make people in the industry shrug him off as a crazy hippie. How does that help horses? Do your job and educate yourself before you write something down.

Virginia R.
Virginia R.5 years ago

Unfortunately - We are the enemy of ourselves and all animals. I hope the younger generation comes up with better solutions than mine has - age 73. When I was growing up horses headed for slaughter houses as tractors replaced those that remained. There were no rescue groups. Abuse continues at all levels today in all areas whether it is horse racing or the show ring.
That being said, my horses loved my attention, time and being ridden. When I was too busy, they would stand in the stall door begging for a ride today. I suspect the very talented horses enjoy the pressure of competiton like we do. The use of drugs, painful shoeing, excessive punishment such as electric shock and whipping,etc. obviously can be overused by those who want to win at all costs. I think most horses want something more than being lawn ornaments or pasture fillers. Some people think a horse standing forever safe in a stall well fed and groomed is not being abused. Personally I think horses are happier with time outdoors free of human interrventions several hours a day. What is humane and what isn't gets complicated. I appreciate those comments written by experienced well thought out opinions, but so many of the younger generation seems to think curse words and emotionally charged superficial reactions are worth reading. I am glad I am closer to heaven than I used to be. Virginia

colleen p.
colleen p6 years ago

Lisa L.

my mom is a groom in a harness barn. she's done a few. I really need to learn how to pick up life and not be like a retarded leggless puppy, and be like a self sufficent driving adult.

I cannot walk to my appointments, but she cannot take me to them sometimes. so my step-dad can leave early to drive me there. sometimes my mom comes home at 2 am.

she gentles the horses and know how to get them to do things, while other people scream and smack them in the face. She'll only whomp their butt if the horse is being a jerk and think it's funny to sneek and shimmy and kick her. or the biting horses who have no mannars. horses kick each other to teach manners like when a parent spanks their child for biting them. but she pets them when they get it and act good.

she can handle those problem horses when nobody else can deal with them. trainers and other grooms cannot handle and deal with them. but she knows how to.

maybe everything just needs to be reinvented.