“People don’t know what they’re watching when they’re watching a horse race”
“It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and also the day after the Kentucky Derby and with two thrown away OTT TBs in our pasture we are sort of sensitive on the issue of horse racing; so what better to share with you, today, than a success story on a rescued race horse. I am passionate on this subject as two souls that were hours away from the slaughterhouse now enlighten and entertain us in our backyard. This is a good story for a very good day. Keep the faith!” ~ R.T.
A Hollywood producer who’s giving away his fortune before he dies of cancer secretly funded the “rescue” of a racehorse that animal advocates say was on the verge of being raced again despite the risk of “catastrophic” injury.
Sam Simon, producer of “The Simpsons,” “Cheers,” and “The Drew Carey Show,” among other series, says he ponied up the cash for two reasons. “One is an animal is no longer being abused and two, people are finding out what horse racing really is.”
On a videotape secretly recorded by PETA, Asmussen’s assistant can be heard talking about injecting horses with medication and how he could get a sore horse past track veterinarians. He can also be heard calling Valediction a “rat,” meaning a horse who doesn’t make money.
Said Simon, who was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer in 2012, “When you watch them talk about Valediction as a rat and now you know he’s a in a pasture someplace, it makes you feel good.”
In March, PETA revealed in a New York Times article that an undercover investigator had worked with Asmussen and his assistant Scott Blasi for more than four months in 2013 and shot secret video. After reviewing seven hours of footage and preparing a 285-page report, PETA charged in formal complaints to racing authorities in Kentucky and New York that Asmussen had “forced injured and/or suffering horses to race and train.”
Asmussen can allegedly be heard on video discussing how to manufacture paperwork for illegal workers, while Blasi makes apparent reference to an electric buzzer used to shock horses during a race.
Blasi and other staff members also talk about 2011 Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro, and how the horse had kept racing despite problems with his hooves, which were held together with filler and glue. “His foot is a little bitty nub,” said a blacksmith on the tape.
The PETA report also alleges that horses were medicated daily with thyroid medication, diuretics and other drugs even when they didn’t need them, and that horses were burned with liquid nitrogen to increase blood flow to sore spots.
As a result of PETA’s undercover taping, racing regulators in Kentucky and New York announced probes of Asmussen. Authorities in both states say their investigations are ongoing. Asmussen fired Blasi, who had worked for him for 18 years, days after the release of the tape, and Nehro’s owner removed all his horses from Asmussen’s care. Asmussen had previously served a six-month suspension in 2006 after a horse he trained tested hundreds of times over the legal limit in Louisiana for an anesthetic…(Click to read much more)
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