HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS ANNOUNCES POLICY ON HORSES SHIPPING FROM OKLAHOMA

Bossier City, LA – Due to the outbreak of EHV-1 in Oklahoma City, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will not allow horses from Remington Park or Will Rogers Downs to access its grounds. This decision was made on Friday, November 21 and will be in effect until further notice.

As widely reported,  cases of  Equine Herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1)  were confirmed at Remington Park beginning on November 12.  Currently, there is no live racing at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, but the Bossier City racetrack serves as a training center for horsemen in between race meets. This was introduced in November, 2018 following the closure of the Evangeline Training Center.

“In order to protect our current horse population, we felt it was necessary to issue this policy,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations. “ Should horsemen have any question regarding this change in policy those inquiries should be directed to Louisiana Downs’ Director of Racing, David Heitzmann, or Stall Superintendent, Natalie Ardoin.”

The 2020 Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Quarter Horse meet will commence on Saturday, January 4.

Currently, the racetrack is open for training six days a week with full amenities including a clocker, outrider and ambulance service.  Security in the stable area is provided 24 hours a day, seven days each week. Located in the Bossier City-Shreveport metroplex, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is located in convenient proximity for shipping to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana; Fair Grounds in New Orleans and the upcoming live season at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

 

Space and availability for Thoroughbreds is limited and is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Horsemen are encouraged to contact David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Director of Racing at (318) 741-2511 or (318) 741-2512 for rates and information.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

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DELTA DOWNS ISSUES BAN ON HORSES FROM REMINGTON PARK FOLLOWING EHV-1 TEST POSITIVES

– TEMPORARY ACTION TAKEN TO PROTECT LOCAL HORSE COLONY –

VINTON, LA. – Due to recent positive tests for Equine Herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) at Remington Park in Oklahoma, Delta Downs has issued a temporary ban on horses stabled at that racetrack from entering its stable area. This action is being taken to ensure the health and safety of Delta Downs horse population and will serve the best interest of local horsemen. The ban will be in effect until further notice.

 

For more information about racing at Delta Downs visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

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Six Scholarships to be Awarded on College Day and Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans

New Orleans, La. – The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will award six scholarships each valued at $1,000. Four scholarships will be awarded during College Day on Saturday, December 7. Two more scholarships will be awarded at Louisiana Champions Day on Saturday, December 14. Both events will take place at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, La.
The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:
  • Must be a college student enrolled full-time for Spring 2020.
  • Must be in good standing with the college or university.
  • Must be present to win at the Winner’s Circle when the announcement is made.
  • Must have college ID and government-issued ID.
For College Day, December 7:
  • Registration: 1:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. at the designated booth
  • Races begin: 3:00 p.m.
  • Drawing Time: The scholarships will be awarded after the fifth race. The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.
For Louisiana Champions Day, December 14:
  • Registration: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. at the designated booth
  • Races begin: 12:00 p.m.
  • Drawing Time: The scholarships will be awarded after the fifth race. The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.
“The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association continues to make an investment in the future of our state by investing in our students and their education,” said Roger Heitzmann, secretary/treasurer for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. “This type of investment is for our future, the state, as well as the organization. Our hope is that these scholarships get the younger generations interested in thoroughbred racehorses so that our organization stays the top breeding incentive program in the United States.”
Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association manages one of the best incentive programs for breeding thoroughbreds in the United States. Since the organization formed, this has led to increased purses, better quality horses, and increased interest in racing and breeding horses. The thoroughbred racing and breeding industry generate over $1 billion in economic impact and employs over 60,000 people in the state of Louisiana.
For more information about Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association visit louisianabred.com or call (504) 947-4676.
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Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale Moved to April 3

The Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale will be held April 3, 2020, at Lone Star Park. The date was originally set for March 31 but has been pushed back to better fit with the national sales schedule and with the start of the Lone Star Park Thoroughbred meet. The breeze show will be held April 1. Presented by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park, the sale will also include a horses of racing age session.

“We’ve already seen some added interest from consignors and potential buyers now that purses are on the upswing in Texas thanks to recent legislation,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “Sam Houston Race Park has announced a lucrative purse structure for their upcoming meet, and Lone Star Park is also expected to have larger purses this year. I expect there to be added demand for the Texas-breds in this sale now that buyers will have a chance to run for some nice money this summer, including the $100,000-estimated Texas Thoroughbred Futurity in two divisions for sale grads.”

The entry deadline for the sale is January 15, 2020.

 

For more information, go to ttasales.com.

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Into Mischief and Mitole Available to Quarter Horses

Breeding will be via artificial insemination handled by Robicheaux Ranch.

 

Spendthrift Farm has partnered with Robicheaux Ranch and will offer the opportunity for Quarter Horse mares to breed with leading Thoroughbred stallion Into Mischief  and recent Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Mitole  for the 2020 breeding season, it was announced Nov. 20. Quarter Horse mares will be bred via artificial insemination.

Between Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes looking for creative ideas and Ryan Robicheaux, manager of Robicheaux Ranch in Breaux Bridge, La., looking for an outcross, the venture interested both sides of the deal.

 

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Former Jockey Sellers Still ‘In The Game’ With New Farm Role

by

 

Shane Sellers at Keeneland, 1996

Former jockey Shane Sellers’ daily routine is far different than his previous lifestyle, yet he’s only 15 miles from Keeneland where he had some of his most successful moments on the track.

In a career that closed in 2013 after 30 years, counting a five-year premature retirement, Sellers won 4,393 races. His mounts, including Hall of Famer Skip Away, earned more than $130 million. Since his final race, Sellers has found his stride in farm life. He is content in his role as a key crew member at Safari North, the former Pauls Mill that was purchased in 2018 by his girlfriend, Susan Moulton. The picturesque facility has mares, foals, yearlings and racetrack lay-ups for a total of about 50 horses. The property also houses a few retired racers that Sellers and Moulton ride.

 

Read Paulick Report Article

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MARIAH’S GALAXY WINS THE TREASURE CHEST AT DELTA DOWNS

LOUISIANA-BRED ALSO WON THE MAGNOLIA STAKES ON OPENING WEEKEND

Mariah's Galaxy, Treasure Chest - 11-15-19
Maria’s Galaxy defeats open company in the $100,000 Treasure Chest Stakes at Delta Downs.

The Treasure Chest Stakes
Delta Downs, 11-15-19, One mile
Three-year-olds and upwards, fillies and mares, $100,000

MARIAH’S GALAXY
Greeley’s Galaxy–Black Mariah
Breeder: Margie K. Averett (LA)
Owner: Riley Blanchet and Todd Matte
Trainer: Victor Arceneaux
Jockey: Kevin J. Smith

2nd
She’s Our Fastest
Oratory–Dawali
Breeder: Eureka Thoroughbred Farm (TX)
Owner: Mark Norman and Norman Stables LLC
Trainer: Scott Gelner
Jockey: Thomas L. Pompell

3rd
Special Blessing
Flat Out–Langsyne
Breeder: J. Adcock (LA)
Owner: Coteau Grove Farms LLC
Trainer: W. Bret Calhoun
Jockey: Roberto Morales

 

VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted the 14th running of the $100,000 Treasure Chest Stakes on Friday night and the winner was Mariah’s Galaxy under jockey Kevin Smith. The Victor Arceneaux trainee has now won two stakes races already this season as she also took the $100,000 Magnolia on opening weekend, October 11.

Mariah’s Galaxy’s task in the Treasure Chest appeared to be tougher one as she was facing open company this time after beating Louisiana-breds in the Magnolia. She passed the test with flying colors however as she sat back in the 10-horse field while Summer’s Indy set the early pace of 23.01 seconds for the opening quarter mile and 47.40 for the half. As the field entered the final turn of the one mile event Smith called on his mount and she responded with a determined rally that put her 1-1/2 lengths in front of Shes Our Fastest at the wire while Special Blessing rallied for third, another four lengths behind the top pair. Summer’s Indy faded to fourth.

The final time for Mariah’s Galaxy over a fast track in the Treasure Chest was 1:39.51

The win by Mariah’s Galaxy, who is owned by Riley Blanchet and Todd Matte, was the ninth of her 24-race career. She banked another $60,000 for her win on Friday and now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $302,485.

Bred in Louisiana by Margie K. Averett, Mariah’s Galaxy is a 5-year-old mare by Greeley’s Galaxy, out of the Devil His Due mare Black Mariah.

Sent to the gate at odds of 5-1, Mariah’s Galaxy paid $12 to win, $5.20 to place and $4 to show. Shes Our Fastest was worth $11.20 to place and $7 to show. Special Blessing paid $4.80 to show.

 

 

For more information about racing at Delta Downs visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information about through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

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Desormeaux Returns to Louisiana to Ride at Fair Grounds

The 49-year-old rider leaves California, his longtime base.

Cajun-born Kent Desormeaux, who began his Hall of Fame career as a jockey at the unsanctioned “bush tracks” of Louisiana on his way to riding more than 6,000 winners, has returned home to Louisiana to ride full time at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots this winter.

Frustrated by reduced opportunities in California, where he has predominantly ridden since 2014, Desormeaux sought a change in circuits. He is experiencing one of his quietest years as a jockey, with 34 winners from 269 mounts and earnings of $2.4 million. He last rode at Del Mar Nov. 10, winning with one of his two mounts that afternoon.

 

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Horse Tests Positive for EHV-1 at Remington Park

The barn’s quarantine is currently set for 14 days.

A horse stabled at Remington Park has been confirmed by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry as testing positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1. As of Nov. 15, the affected barn has been placed under quarantine.

“ODAFF was informed last night of a positive EHV-1 test sample from a horse at Remington Park,” said Dr. Michael Herrin, ODAFF assistant state veterinarian. “This horse was euthanized Tuesday evening, and the barn it was housed in is currently under quarantine.”

Clinical signs for EHV-1 in horses vary to include fever, incoordination, and weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs. Additionally, this disease can cause rhinopneumonitis, a respiratory disease usually found in young horses, and abortion in broodmares. A small percentage of horses infected with the non-neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1 can develop neurological signs consistent with Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy.

 

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Donna Brothers: PETA Is A Bully

by | 11.14.2019 | 5:13pm

Donna Brothers having a special moment with Zenyatta

I can no longer remain silent about my love for horses and for horse racing for fear of backlash from PETA and other extremist organizations that claim to be looking out for our horses’ welfare. PETA’s modus operandi is to scream louder than the people and industries they attack, but unfortunately, while they promote themselves as a savior of horses, a closer look into their practices suggests otherwise. I have read through numerous lawsuits against them, I’ve looked up their kill-rates, and I’ve read about their revenue allocations. PETA is pro-PETA, not pro-animals, and they are behaving like a bully.

PETA VS THE HORSE-LOVER
In PETA’s Statement on Companion Animals, they state their belief that even dogs and cats (domesticated for thousands of years alongside our horses) should be free of all human interaction. In other words, PETA is on a mission whose end-game is to eventually halt the natural bond between man and animal that has led them to co-exist since before written record! Organized horse racing has been a part of our United States family culture since at least 1667. Long before the invention of baseball, basketball, football—pretty much any current sport you can think of— people were enjoying a variety of equestrian sports with their beloved horses. Horses have also seen man into civilization; helped them win battles at war; carried man across continents; plowed their fields (including the grain, hay and bedding these horses needed to survive through hard winters), led hunts and so much more for thousands of years. Yes, horses have taken care of man—but man has taken care of them too.

People haven’t domesticated horses, dogs and cats, they’ve domesticated themselves. At some point along the evolutionary chain these once wild animals realized that living near and around homo sapiens could benefit them. As they got closer and closer to our bi-pedal species their food sources became more reliable and their living conditions became less volatile. And so these relationships have grown over the years and we’ve become closer to our animals and them to us. And now, after thousands of years of evolutionary development of these mutually beneficial interactions, PETA marches in insisting that this is all wrong? Well I beg to differ.

I have been involved with and loved horses since my earliest memories. My mother rode horses with me in her womb and I have no memory of when I rode my first horse: I’ve just always ridden. I don’t just love horses, I live and breathe them and owe everything I have to them. In fact, I’ve been taking care of horses—and they’ve been taking care of me—for my entire life. I do not and will not apologize for my love of the horse or of horse racing.


FERAL HORSES VS DOMESTICATED HORSES

The thing about horses is that they’re going to run, play, jump, frolic and race across vast fields with or without us. What makes us love them is that they are gracious enough to let us go along for the ride. And, yes, sometimes horses are fatally injured alone in a field—or on the track—while doing this. It will break my heart every single time, but I know with all that I am, that they love their humans and their sport as much as we love them and this sport that allows us to interact with them in a deeply meaningful and fulfilling way.

INJURY AND OTHER CAUSES OF DEATH

The causes of death for a horse are many. Colic is the number one cause of death in domestic horses though infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, bone and tissue degeneration, and acute trauma (including fractures) also ranks high. But, in terms of evolution, fracture injury is the natural mechanism by which most horses’ lives terminate, and our studies of feral and other wild horses show that this remains the number one reason for elimination of wild horses from the herd.

Though musculoskeletal injury to a horse during racing is an aberration, it is a gut wrenching event for everyone. Horses are made to run. Horses love to run. But history shows us that running naturally ends the majority of horses’ lives when left to their own devices. In fact, humans don’t force horses into vulnerability, it is just the opposite. Much of what humans know about the care of horses, from our advances in modern medicine, our understanding of biomechanics and training, and our advances in nutrition and therapeutic protocols, is owed to private funding from the thoroughbred racing industry. We reduce the likelihood of terminal skeletal injury, and we’re getting better at it all the time. That said, we cannot totally eliminate the evolutionary destiny of horses left to their own accord anymore than we can eradicate all diseases and fractures in man.

PETA BEHIND THE SCENES

As for PETA. Please. All one has to do is Google “people against PETA” to find website after website, article after article of the atrocities that PETA has committed upon domesticated animals and the families that own them. Yes, if they have their way we will never race horses again, nor will we be able to ride them in any fashion. No show jumping, no dressage, no hunters, no endurance, no pleasure and no trail riding…all of it banned, eventually. To PETA, this isn’t about racing.

PETA is against people interacting with animals. Sound extreme? I didn’t make this up; it’s in their Statement on Companion Animals! PETA believes that harboring a domesticated animal of any kind (most of which are unable to survive in the wild) is a cruel form of animal slavery. This is extreme, and yet PETA takes it one step further: PETA believes that domesticated animals are better, not simply set free, but euthanized straight away in the event that they contract an infectious disease or get hit by a moving vehicle. Illness or injury is not PETA’s only standard for euthanasia. Dozens of articles can be found online of PETA’s active mission to not just euthanize the sick and injured, but perfectly healthy dogs, cats, kittens and puppies. This calls into question their ability to follow not only their own publicized standards for euthanasia, but the legal standards they must follow to continue operating their shelter in Virginia.

Nathan J. Winogard, graduate of Stanford Law School, animal rights consultant and executive director of the national No Kill Advocacy Center estimates here, that PETA’s effective kill rate for cats in 2018 came in at 99% when taking into account the agreements they have with shelters to euthanize the animals PETA delivers to them.

According to this 2015 article from the Washington Post, PETA’s kill rate for 2014 was 81%, with a kill rate in some years exceeding 90%. By comparison, that same article states that the average kill rate at other Virginia shelters came in at less than 25%.

In the linked article by Adele Douglass, the Executive Director of the nonprofit, Humane Farm Animal Care states that following an official investigation to determine if PETA’s shelter license could be revoked in the state of Virginia, Dr. Daniel Kovich, an investigator for Virginia Department of Agriculture issued the following: “The findings of this site visit support the assertion that PETA does not operate a facility that meets the statutory definition of an animal shelter as the primary purpose is not to find permanent adoptive homes for animals.” PETA’s lawyer responded to VDACS arguing that a legal technicality protected their status as an animal shelter. [emphasis added]

In an article by Julie Scheidegger for DVM Magazine, she offers this compelling quote from AKC Chairman, Alan Kalter, “While most shelters strive for a 90% re-homing rate, PETA is apparently proud of their 99% killing rate and callously boasts that the animals it rescues are ‘better off dead.’ That is an alarming ratio that should be fully investigated. PETA’s track record is absolutely unacceptable,”

“I would go to work early, before anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals myself…I must have killed a thousand of them, sometimes dozens every day.”  Ingrid Newkirk, founder and president of PETA,

This is a quote by Newkirk from a 2003 interview with Michael Specter, for The New Yorker. In this same article, Newkirk shuns even the use of guide dogs and had admitted to taking a seeing-eye dog away from the dog’s blind owner.

Do you want an organization such as this, protecting your beloved companions?

I understand the knee jerk reaction when a horse suffers a catastrophic injury – when ANY living being suffers a catastrophic injury. When something so heartbreaking happens, I often think this hurts too much to bear. It sounds silly to those who don’t follow horse racing, but these horses aren’t just our friends. We work with them day in and day out. Our entire life revolves around their care and they become family. We cheer for them and fear for them. We hope for them, we laugh with them, and we even cry for them. The loss of even one of our horses can make me wonder if the angry voices are right.

PETA: A REALITY CHECK

And that’s when I have to take a deep breath, leave emotion and impetuous judgements behind, spurn Pollyannaish aspirations, and come back to reality. Statistics can be difficult to ignore whether they support your cause or impugn it. Compared to approximately 55 training or racing fatalities per month in the U.S. (1.86 per 1,000 starts), there are nearly 3,300 human deaths per month due to automobile accidents.

With these approximately 55 horse fatalities spread throughout all U.S. tracks, it is truly a rare occurrence to witness one. It is also rare to actually see a dead person on the side of the road, and yet a person is 60 times more likely to die when they get in a car than a racehorse is to die when exercising. Witnessing even one catastrophic vehicular accident can scar a person for life, and yet we continue to make the decision to buckle our children into car seats or seat belts on a daily basis.

RESPONSIBLE MEDIA REPORTING

It turns out that it is actually safer to race our horses than it is to drive our children on the roads, but if we leave the story-telling of this subject to extremist groups such as PETA and sensationalist media sources seeking to exploit anyone’s suffering, anyone’s loss, any negative tidbit that can be found in order to increase their ratings, views, clicks and hits, then those who know very little about horse racing would be led to believe the loudest voice: extremist organizations like PETA and known, sensationalist news outlets that in the end, are also deeply profiting from this gambit.

Irresponsible media reporting is not the fault of the public. They’re simply watching news they have been told they can trust, and then reacting instinctively. Any psychologist will also tell you that we humans are emotional creatures that are prone to category errors and dreadfully poor at understanding and calculating risk. As an example, consider all of the people you know who are deathly afraid of spiders and/or snakes in spite of the fact that, in the United States, you have about a one in 50 million chance of dying from a snake bite. And since the dawn of modern anti-venom, death from spider is almost nonexistent. Even in Australia, a place known to have some of the most venomous spiders in the world, there have been no reported deaths related to spider bites since 1979.

Like all sport horses (from warmbloods to Arabians and beyond), our Thoroughbred racehorses are athletes. Just like human athletes, our equine athletes suffer injury in both competition and training. Many of these injuries are repairable given sufficient time off, however, broken bones are often catastrophic and fatal because horses do not understand that they need to keep weight off of a leg in order for it to heal and they are biologically designed to stand and graze. In some (though not all) cases, the humane option is euthanasia. In the wild, a broken bone ensures the horse suffers until being found and eaten by a predator.

I’ve seen numerous competition, training and pasture accidents (including breaks) in our other competitive equestrian sports as well. The two major differences are that one, every competition isn’t captured on camera as it is in organized horse racing and, two, there is not as much money involved with many of these other disciplines and so the visibility and reporting also isn’t there.

THE USE OF FORCE

One of the arguments against racing that I’ve heard is that people can accept injuries in human athletes since they choose to compete, but race horses are forced to race—it’s not their choice. Any horseman reading this can confirm that this is not even possible!

I once was told a story about a very reluctant horse tasked to a European cavalry officer from World War II that had had the opportunity to ride/train many horses and was himself a former Olympic team member. This had been the most difficult case he had ever had and it was with a beautiful warmblood with tremendous ability that would not move forward once tacked. He and multiple other trainers at the royal academy had attempted to resolve this problem but without success, even though these were some of the most elite riders in the world (and yes, non-injurious force was attempted)! Do you know who won? The horse, and it was turned out to pasture. A rare but telling example of just how strong (and strong-minded!) these beautiful animals that we call both friend and companion are.

If a horse does not want to race there is no amount of persuasion that will change that horse’s mind. I’ve seen horses that don’t want to race—and we don’t race them! Not every thoroughbred is born with racing on their mind but the vast majority of them are, just like not every horse bred to be an eventer, wants to event, and likewise with dressage and every other discipline in which a team effort must occur. Our horses that race, love to race, and we love to watch them—even help them—achieve their best form.

A GOOD TASK FOR PETA

Look, if PETA really wants to clean up their act and become the self-professed savior of animals that they call themselves, they should start with putting their efforts toward banning puppy mills. Right now, with regard to dogs, the majority of PETA’s efforts are going toward simply euthanizing every stray dog that comes into one of their so called “shelters”, including well-loved (but lost) family pets being euthanized within hours of intake and without being allowed a waiting period for their owners to find them.

According to the Humane Society’s website there are upwards of 10,000 puppy mills churning out dogs every day—many of which will either never see the light of day or will eventually end up on the street, in a shelter, and then eventually euthanized by organizations like PETA.

In fact, the Humane Society states that more than 194,000 dogs “are kept solely for breeding in USDA-licensed facilities. Sadly, a license is not a guarantee of a breeder’s quality.” Nor is buying from a licensed facility any kind of a guarantee about a dog’s life. Some of their “breeding stock” never see the light of day and are kept in tiny and filthy pens and crates. Inbreeding is rampant and deformities and other life limiting and life threatening illnesses abound due to extreme neglect. And yet, two million puppies are sold each year from these puppy mills.

I have dogs—two of them. Both are rescues and one came from the Humane Society. I couldn’t imagine buying a “designer dog” when there are so many wonderful dogs in need of a good home and, yet; PETA wants to pick on us? Why is that? Perhaps because that’s where the money is and PETA likes their bottom line. It’s nasty business going into a puppy mill. Have you ever seen one? Google it.

STATISTICS ON PETA, SELF PROFESSED “SAVIOR” OF ANIMALS

Using public records gathered from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, over the last 21 years, PETA’s kill rate comes in at an astounding average of 85%. PETA’s average rate of adoption over the last 21 years tallies in at 7%. According to numerous reports I’ve read on this, including this affidavit from a former PETA employee that states animals were routinely euthanized in a PETA van before they even arrived back at the shelter, most of PETA’s intakes are not at the shelter for more than 24-48 hours before being euthanized.

According to the Center for Organized Research and Education (CORE), an organization that tracks nonprofit activities: “Over a ten year period, PETA spent four times as much on criminals and their legal defense than it has on shelters, spay-neuter programs, and other efforts that actually help animals.” PETA’s direct involvement and financial support of criminal organizations such as SHAC, ALF and ELF is not a secret – these are organizations that the FBI conservatively estimates (according to the article) as having caused more than $43 million in damages with a list that includes breaking into the private homes of (and assaulting) scientists, planting car bombs, cutting brake lines of food delivery trucks, planting fire bombs in restaurants, razing university labs, and the list goes on.

My stomach churns with writing this, and the deeper I dug into my investigation, the more insanity I uncovered. PETA doesn’t “do” constructive discussion, and they certainly don’t “do” reform. Until all animals are “liberated” from humans, the trail of death and destruction they leave behind wont abate—even when that liberation means “freedom” via a twisted definition of euthanasia that PETA delivers even to perfectly healthy and happy animals.

But it doesn’t end there. As I read through endless lawsuits (those initiated by PETA and those brought against PETA), the media surrounding one in particular stood out. PETA went so far as to sue Whole Foods (a national natural foods market) for charging more money for meats that were raised the most humanely vs. those that were simply antibiotic-free and hormone-free. Here’s an article from the Humane Society’s blog defending Whole Foods.

Quite frankly, I’m vegetarian but I’m not an extremist. I don’t expect everyone to stop eating meat just because I did five years ago. I shop at Whole Foods, and consider them to fall into a class of non-government organizations (NGOs) that are actively having those tough conversations, and trying new things like their food certifications and their donations to food banks on both a global and local level. These are the types of activities that lead to community-wide change, conservation, humane treatment efforts, and education, and they’re not alone. They’re one of the leaders in this charge by being the change they wish to see.

PETA should be dealt with in the way that bullies are best disempowered—and no, not by ignoring them! PETA is the type of bully that will not simply go away. The only way to nullify their influence is to be a brighter light, a better influence. To spread the word about how we do love our horses and we do care for them.

MY CALL TO ACTION – PLEASE HELP RACING. WE ARE CUSTODIANS OF THE THOROUGHBRED RACEHORSE!

Sharing stories and photos of newborn foals; yearlings playing in a field; a groom and/or exercise rider lying in the stall with their beloved race horse; off-track Thoroughbreds in a new discipline; a jockey hugging a horse around his neck as they are entering the winner’s circle…across the country, every single one of us who is a horseman, a horse lover and an advocate for the horse, has photos and stories to tell of how important horses are to them, and how important they are to their horse’s lives as well!

Please post images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, any of your blogs and other social media outlets of your choice! Show us when you were a child and riding your first horse—or your favorite horse! Sharing stories about how you fell in love with horses and horse racing! If you need ideas, please go to “Juanita Webb” on Facebook (she’ll be the Juanita Webb pictured with a horse—of course) and read her post from Oct. 11, 2019. Or, visit “We Are Horse Racing” on Facebook to see lots of stories, each with a photo, about how people fell in love with horse racing. Susie Raisher’s (Daily Racing Form) photo below is a beautiful example.

This is not a time to stand silently and idly by while we watch a bully on their pulpit: the compliant, cynical and fatalistic media and the extremist groups that help them line their pockets. In many cases the media outlets are simply uninformed and, yes, this is to some extent their own fault. However, PETA is handing them a story to tell. What sort of stories are we offering? This is the time to wear your heart on your sleeve. It’s long been respected on the racetrack to keep your emotions in check and stay mum about the people, horses, dogs, and cats that mean the most to you. This is not the time for stoicism—but rather, for activism. Are you with me?

(I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Larry Bramlage and Euki Binns for their help in validating research and statistical information for this article, and to @JennyPhoto for the supporting pictures.)

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