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Protesters Confront Belmont Stakes Horse Racing Fans

June 9, 2021 by Leave a Comment

The News

Horse racing fans wore more than just fancy hats and preppy blazers to the 2021 Belmont Stakes. As they walked past dozens of animal rights activists staging a protest at the main gate, they also wore blinders to avoid the images and messages on the posters. As one man said with a touch of guilt in his voice, “Let me just enjoy the horse race.”

The three hour protest, organized by the Albany-based advocacy group Horseracing Wrongs, generated mainstream TV and radio news coverage, so the messages about animal cruelty reached a mainstream public that is increasingly disenchanted with horse racing due to the spate of deaths reported in recent years. At Belmont Park alone, over 500 horses have died since 2009.

ABC News and other mainstream media outlets reported on the large protest at Belmont Stakes.

According to Patrick Battuello, the director of Horseracing Wrongs, the horses are victims of abuse for their entire lives. “They are torn from their mothers at birth. Their bodies are pounded years before they are done forming. They’re confined in stalls for over 23 hours a day. They’re socially isolated in spite of the fact that they’re herd animals. They’re drugged, doped and beaten with whips. They’re bought, sold and traded like inanimate objects. The vast majority of horses who don’t die on the tracks are killed in a slaughterhouse.”

Animal rights activists protesting the Belmont Stakes horse races confront patrons who put on their blinders while walking through a sea of images of horse racing cruelty

Support for a ban on the horse racing industry began to take hold in the mainstream public in 2018 and 2019 after 35 horses died over the course of a few months at the Santa Anita racetrack. At the time, the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Over time, Americans have to decide how much death they are willing to tolerate in this ancient sport.” Since then, both The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer have published editorials calling for an end to the horse racing industry.

In 2020, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer published editorials calling for an end to the horse racing industry

While speaking to reporters during the protest at Belmont Park, activists made another case for a ban on horse racing: New York gives Belmont Stakes and other race tracks across the state over  $220 million in taxpayer subsidies. Edita Birnkrant, the Executive Director of NYCLASS, said her organization is part of coalition of advocacy groups calling on state lawmakers to end the handouts and redirect the money to more worthy causes. “We want to defund horse racing,” said Birnkrant. “Our tax dollars should be used for healthcare or eduction, not for corporate welfare.”

The vast majority of horses who don’t die on the track are shipped to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered.

Starting in mid-July, Horseracing Wrongs will stage protests at the Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Cheeseburger says:

    Media watchdog for who? Lmao. Time to get off the meth and visit a Psychiatrist
    Donny boy….you are getting paranoid.

    Next time try the burgers and place a bet.

  2. Donny Moss says:

    We both know that you’re a media watchdog in the Haredi community. We both know that you weren’t at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. And we both know that I neither ate a burger nor bet on the race.

  3. Cheeseburger says:

    Who says I keep Kosher or even Jewish? Kind of a strange assumption don’t ya think? Plus Jewish people are at Temple on Saturdays; not at a racetrack. Anyway did you have the burgers? Who did you bet on?

  4. Donny Moss says:

    Cheeseburger is strange name for a kosher person, no? Unless it’s a Beyond Burger or Impossible Burger with non-dairy cheese.

  5. Cheeseburger says:

    Did anyone have those burgers at the track? Man those were tasty

  6. LNorman says:

    Horses don’t reach skeletal maturity until age 6. The racing industry begins pushing them beyond their physical abilities as early as 18 months old. Injuries & Catastrophic breakdowns are inevitable. Injuries are masked with drugs to keep exploiting these sentient beings as long as possible. Most are DEAD before they even reach maturity. Even the most profitable winners are discarded like garbage when no longer useful. Derby winner, Ferdinand, had nearly $4 MILLION in winnings and rather than a well deserved retirement, he was horrifically slaughtered for meat.
    If you’re unfamiliar with nurse mare foals, Google that for a further look into the barbaric cruelty and greed of the racing industry.

  7. Donny Moss says:

    @Jack: What do you think happens to the horses now when they no longer generate profits for their owners? As I’m sure you know, they’re sold to kill buyers, loaded into trailers and shipped to Canada or Mexico where they are slaughtered. When the horse racing industry is finally banned, the industry will stop breeding these horses into existence (for a life of exploitation) in the first place.

  8. Jack Mehoff says:

    The thoroughbred racing industry generates billions of dollars in economic impact across the country including over 100k jobs. Yeah, wipe it out and see how many horses die. Where will they all go?

  9. MOREY MOSS says:

    Very important and well written article Donny. Most people have no idea how bad this industry is. It just looks very glamorous with people having a good time. Most people have no idea how cruel we are to the animal world. I hope things will change so the planet will continue to exit before it’s too late.

  10. Zizi says:

    A cruel, inhumane, greed-driven, exploitative industry that needs to bite the dust! For a majority of unsuspecting spectators, “with blinders on”, it’s just “a day at the races, a chance to hit a winner! For the horses, it’s a matter of life of death!

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