Equine Rescue

Historic Hearing on the Welfare & Aftercare of Racehorses

Source:  Equine Advocates

This beautiful image of rescued Thoroughbred, Freddie was taken by #EllenLynch. I mentioned Freddie’s case during my testimony yesterday. After racing 51 times, he was retrained and successfully performed on the show circuit for years, only to be discarded when he could no longer compete. Freddie came to the sanctuary in 2011. He turned 28 in March. – Susan Wagner

by Susan Wagner, Pres., Equine Advocates

Historic Hearing on the Welfare & Aftercare of Racehorses

June 6, 2019

Yesterday, representing #EquineAdvocates, I testified at a joint public hearing of the NYS Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering and the Senate Standing Committee on Domestic Animal Welfare.  Those committees were chaired by Senator #JosephAddabbo and Senator #MonicaMartinez, respectively.  I was told by a colleague that this event was historic in that nothing like this hearing had ever been held in the NYS Legislature before because it focused on both the health of #Racehorses in training as well as their #Aftercare and Retirement.

Here at Equine Advocates, just over 25% of our horse population is comprised of #Thoroughbreds and #Standardbreds.  The main focus of my testimony was ending #HorseSlaughter and the need for more funding for #HorseSanctuaries and aftercare programs. At Equine Advocates, the Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds that end up here are not candidates for retraining and second careers. I did try to make the point that our horses play very important roles in our #HumaneEducation Program and with public awareness – People need to understand that one must be responsible for the horses under one’s care and to provide a kind and safe home during that animal’s life and a peaceful and dignified passing at the end of life.

We also try to set an example for how equines should live and be treated with this sanctuary as a model of which I am extremely proud.  I feel strongly that the horses we rescue are just as deserving of support and the right to live out their lives as the ones who are sound enough to be retrained and go on to other careers.

I was very honored to speak on Panel 3 with my dear friend, #JohnHolland, President of the #EquineWelfareAlliance, an organization with which we have close ties.  Also on our panel was Dr. #LesterFrieldlander, a former investigator with the #USDA and a strong advocate against horse slaughter.

Here are some links of the media’s coverage of yesterday’s hearing:











5 replies »

  1. Thank goodness for you all for speaking up for the innocent horses.
    Your statement is something VERY important for all animals, “People need to understand that one must be responsible for the horses under one’s care and to provide a kind and safe home during that animal’s life and a peaceful and dignified passing at the end of life.”
    Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And not once was the age of these race horses mentioned! In NONE of these articles – far too many of which were written by racing news organizations. John Holland & Susan Wagner were great as were the other pro-horse testifiers. BUT:
      “Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., the Queens Democrat who chaired the hearing, said he believes the industry’s problems are “somewhere in the middle” of what the witnesses on both sides testified about.” So – the various people employed by the racing industry are as believable as the people attempting to speak FOR the horses? Yes, the economics are the most important! Sort of like the argument about climate change & I guess, any other subject thats important.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Maggie- I know many of us write letters to editors and BLM & FS etc regarding the abuse of animals. Do you have any names/email addresses for us to send our messages to regarding this race track animal abuse so that they won’t sweep this under the rug? Not expecting miracles but I feel like we need to speak up.


    • Honestly – I’m at a loss here, GG. I read all the news articles that were shown here & its kind of this side says this – the other “side” says that. I wish I had some clue as to someone who really has influence here – but you’re right – we all write letters & comments whenever the opportunity arises but it feels like those of us who really empathize with other species and, to be honest, our environment, seem to be kind of all lumped together and ignored. I get pretty much all my information here & probably on the same sites you do. If I find anyone or any organization that seems to fill the bill – will post it here.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Since racehorses are private property being used for “business” purposes, it seems the logical people to contact are racing commissioners in each relevant state, and the elected officials there as well. If you live in CA you could voice concerns through all elected officials regarding what is going on at Santa Anita, or protest at the entry as some have done.

      Just for comparison, I was thinking of Freddie’s 51 races, and figuring each race is about 2 minutes (or less) long, one can figure he was competitively racing for about 2 hours total in his life (training etc. aside of course). Our wild horses can be run for that long in a single roundup, with no concern for footing, age, health, or disability, nor any “training” to familiarize them with people, gate panels, trailers, hay feeders or water troughs.

      Anyone outraged by private, for-profit horseracing (however well placed) should rightfully expand that furor exponentially regarding the supposed “professional care” of our publicly owned wild horses. We are the stakeholders and should hold our managers accountable or fire them!


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