Cruel horse racing has been suspended indefinitely at Laurel Park in Maryland following the deaths of 13 horses this year alone — including 4-year-old Golden Pegasus, who recently died from an injury during a race, according to news reports.

Sadly the horse’s gruesome death does not come as a surprise, as 277 horses have been killed at Laurel Park since 2014 — including a horse who died from a brain hemorrhage, another who suffered a severed spinal cord, and many who “died suddenly,” according to non-profit Horse Racing Wrongs.

The Maryland Racing Commission and officials allegedly are working “to understand and address any issues of concern raised relating to recent injuries,” according to a statement.

However, as long as horse racing continues, there will be more injuries and deaths of defenseless horses. A Lady Freethinker investigation of touted reforms at California racetracks, for example, found that dozens of horses still were dying and being seriously injured, and also that horses were being forced to race when drugged, sick, or injured.

Patrick Battuello, from Horse Racing Wrongs, also pointed to the conditions inherent in the horse racing industry itself  — breeding for speed, racing very young horses, and constant wear and tear on horses’ bodies  — that put the animals in danger and “guarantee(s) a certain level of killing.”

“Since 2014, 277 horses have perished at Laurel Park,” Battuello said. “That’s an average of 30 kills per year. So ignore the power struggle going on, this is business as usual — and both sides know it.”

Horses are empathetic and sensitive individuals who don’t exist to entertain humans. We hope officials will close down the track for good to prevent any other violent and needless deaths.

You can help horses today by signing our petition for justice for horses tragically killed in the Kentucky Derby.

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