Horse News

Influential New York Race Group Adopts Zero Tolerance Policy on Horse Slaughter

New York Racing Association
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CHICAGO, (EWA), – The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA), an organization representing more than 70 member organizations, strongly applauds the recent announcement from the New York Racing Association (NYRA) establishing a zero tolerance policy toward horse slaughter at its race tracks.

Chris Hayward, NYRA president and chief executive officer, stated, “We are fully committed to protecting our sport’s equine athletes.” Hayward continued, “This policy sends the message that horse slaughter will not be tolerated and that those participating in this practice, either knowingly, or for lack of due diligence, will not be welcome at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, or Saratoga.”

The three tracks represent a triple crown of respected venues serving the sport of kings.

The NYRA statement comes on the heels of the announcement from Old Friends Kentucky Thoroughbred Retirement Facility of the opening of their auxiliary farm, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, just outside Saratoga Race Course in Greenfield Center, NY. The 40 acre farm leased by Old Friends owner, Michael Blowen, has already retired three former racehorses, Moonshadow, Gigli and Thunder Rumble since its opening last month.

“Blowen and Hayward both refer to American race horses as athletes – an appropriate term deserving of the horse’s contributions to the sport,” said EWA’s John Holland.

“Racing enthusiasts come to see the horses and it is the horses that bring revenues. They deserve a dignified retirement, not ending up on an elite diner’s plate in Europe,” added EWA’s, Vicki Tobin.

The NYRA zero tolerance policy states, “Any owner or trainer stabled at a New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) track found to have directly or indirectly sold a horse for slaughter will have his or her stalls permanently revoked from all NYRA tracks. NYRA requires its horsemen to conduct due diligence on those buying horses and encourages them to support rescue and adoption efforts and to find humane ways of dealing with horses unable to continue racing.”

The horse slaughter industry contributes less than 3 cents of every $100 of revenue for the horse industry. EWA is encouraged by the NYRA announcement as an indication that the industry, like the overwhelming majority of horse owners, believes that the slaughter of American horses is neither necessary nor acceptable.

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2 replies »

  1. I have friends from a (name withheld on purpose) rescue that go to Sugarcreek in Ohio. Our disgraceful slaughterer extraordinaire, Leroy Baker’s outfit. They were there in June ’09 and found the trucks would bring in the Thoroughbreds at the last minute so there was no time to check tattoos. The ones they were able to get near were carefully “guarded” and they were “advised if they wanted to be welcomed back” they had better direct their prospecting towards other horses. Actually fearing for their safety, they carried out their mission more discreetly. These women are some of the bravest I know, the horror they described seeing just on that one day still haunts me. Despite the efforts at the auction to rush the Thoroughbreds through the pit, they were able to rescue several of them. These horses are so amazing, several have been adopted and are now competing in other sports. I do not know where all the horses rescued came from, but Mountaineer in West VA is reported to be a major contributor at Sugarcreek. I commend the NYRA for their zero tolerance policy, hopefully others will follow their lead SOON.


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