The New York Times has published an alarming report on the current state of horse racing, citing one horrific injury after another. The report reveals that an average of 24 horses die at U.S. racetracks each week, and jockeys face increasing risk of death and serious injury as well.
Two tragedies, occurring on consecutive days at a New Mexico track, left jockey Jacky Martin paralyzed and quarter horse Teller All Gone euthanized and dumped in a junkyard. Illegal drugging of horses too sore to race otherwise is blamed for the fractures causing such serious injuries.
Lax regulation of the industry, including rogue veterinarians, overseen by cash-starved states cutting deals and corners, continues to put horses and riders at risk and undermine the sport's appeal and integrity, says former racing columnist Barry Irwin.
State and industry self-regulation is clearly not working, and Federal oversight is needed, adds Irwin.
Tell the Federal Government to Clean Up the Horse Racing Industry.
We, the undersigned, find the Times report on the rising incidence of horse and jockey deaths and injuries shocking.
The news is even more disturbing, given that the U.S Government, certainly aware of the problem for some time, has allowed the situation to reach such a state of emergency.
It is totally unacceptable that humans and animals have been increasingly subjected to conditions that would create such cruel and tragic results, and we expect the government to intervene at once to end what is amounting to slaughter.
We agree with columnist Irwin and the Times report that industry and state regulation has only made the problem worse and cannot be trusted to solve it, especially with strained state economies adversely affecting oversight at the state level.
We plead with you to intervene without delay and take aggressive action to end the corruption that is causing these unnecessary and cruel injuries and deaths.
Thank you for you serious and immediate attention to this urgent matter.