Horse News

Stronach Group Urges South Korean Horse Sales Ban

By and as published on Blood Horse

Major track owner concerned over horses being sent to slaughter

The Stronach Group is endorsing a call from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to ban the sale of North American Thoroughbreds to South Korean racing interests, it was announced Dec. 16.

“Obviously we have very strong feelings about aftercare, and we support any efforts that make sure horses aren’t shipped to or used for slaughter,” said Craig Fravel, CEO of the group’s 1/ST Racing. “This effort is something we support just like our other aftercare initiatives.”

The major track owner, of which Belinda Stronach is chair and president, issued the call after viewing a PETA video exposé about the slaughter of racehorses in South Korea and learning from PETA that American stallion Private Vow was slaughtered in South Korea. The Korea Racing Authority lists the date of the horse’s death as Sept. 22.

Bloodstock agent Jun Park, the American representative for the KRA, did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday.

“The Stronach Group is urging all North American auction companies, breeders, and owners to develop policies that prohibit the sale of Thoroughbred racehorses or broodmares to South Korea without the meaningful and binding assurances that these noble animals will be protected after their racing and breeding careers,” Stronach said.

Private Vow, a multiple grade 2 winner by Broken Vow, entered stud at Jay Adcock’s Red River Farms in Louisiana, where he stood for seven years. Because breeders stopped supporting the stallion—he bred nine mares in 2013 and 10 in 2014—he was sold to a farm in South Korea, where he began stud duty in 2015. Adcock said he was not aware the 17-year-old stallion was dead until he saw news reports Wednesday.

“It’s sad and it’s disturbing,” Adcock said. “He was not sold as a stallion just to get rid of; he was a viable stallion that wasn’t getting supported here that we sold to help another breeding program. He got 30 mares there (in) his first year.”

Adcock said he did know the Korean farm that bought Private Vow at some point sold the stallion to a breeder, who used the stallion only for his breeding program.

“I have sold a lot of horses and they’ve all done fine,” Adcock said. “The decision to sell this horse was a business decision. When you have a horse that isn’t getting support, you have to make room for one that will. You have to make decisions to keep yourself afloat.

“I don’t have a crystal ball and if I did, I certainly would not have made the decision I did. But I think that applies to all of us, doesn’t it? He was a good horse and a kind horse.”

PETA’s investigation went behind the scenes at the largest slaughterhouse in South Korea, owned by the national corporation Nonghyup. Three workers and Nonghyup itself were found guilty and fined for violating South Korea’s Animal Protection Act in January 2020. As a result of its findings, PETA has asked the KRA to introduce a retirement system modeled on the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, allocate 2% of prize money to aftercare, end its support for horse slaughter, and ensure that imported North American horses will not be slaughtered.

“The over 400 American racehorses exported to South Korea every year deserve peaceful retirements, not terrifying deaths on a slaughterhouse floor,” said Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of PETA. “PETA is calling on North America’s Thoroughbred horse racing industry to stop selling horses to South Korea until the slaughter ends.”

6 replies »

  1. Possibly more eyes are being opened about this horrible “business”? OR the publicity might be re-arranging a few owners thinking. Really, if there were more care taken as to where these horses go? And frankly selling to another country might persuade one to investigate more thoroughly. Whatever the reason – changing thinking is important.

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  2. Always pass the buck when they can’t make a nickel off of them. Do we knot know that horse slaughter is alive and well in America as of Mexico and Canada and the plethora of killer buyers and auctions? breeders step up and take responsibility. Lip service too many years. ” “He was a good horse a kind horse ” Yes like the thousands that go to slaughter from America. while there are many ” Horse rescue organizations that try to pick up the pieces of what is left of these noble animals at the auctions , they are there because of irresponsible people who throw them away. Lobby Congress and get slaughter of American horses stopped , no shipping to Mexico , Canada, South Korea , China , anywhere.Stop the pipeline once and for all.

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  3. “Three workers and Nonghyup itself were found guilty and fined for violating South Korea’s Animal Protection Act in January 2020.”

    I can’t bear to think of it. Human behavior never ceases to nauseate.

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  4. We should all take up the motto WHERE IS PRIVATE VOW. Why oh why couldn’t he simply be put out to pasture to retire. REALLY THIS GREED HAS TO STOP.

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