PETITION TARGET: Churchill Downs
UPDATE (5/30/2023): Twelve horses have now died in the last five weeks, according to news reports. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has called an emergency summit with Churchill Downs and the Kentucky racing Commission, with a scheduled investigation and review of the horse deaths. Meanwhile, we’ve sent our petition to Churchill Downs, and we’ll keep watching this situation. —Lady Freethinker Staff
Five horses already have been killed in the days leading up to this year’s Kentucky Derby — and it’s time for officials to take immediate action before any more defenseless horses die!
Wild on Ice and Take Charge Briana — both so young, at just 3 years old — were killed after injuring their legs during training and racing at Churchill Downs.
Another horse, Code of Kings, reportedly broke his neck after flipping three times and was found bleeding from his mouth, according to news reports.
Then, horses Chasing Artie and Parents Pride both were killed within a 3-day span after collapsing onto the track after their races. While the causes of death for these two innocent horses are not yet known, decades of reports and hundreds of injuries and deaths have proven horse racing a dangerous and deadly activity that should be recognized for the blood “sport” that it is.
Despite touted reforms in 2019, a Lady Freethinker investigation found dozens of horses used in racing are still dying preventable deaths — with a whopping 80 percent happening in horses just 2 to 4 years old. Our investigation also found that, despite regulations on paper, horses are still being drugged, beaten, and raced while sick or injured.
Tellingly, one trainer who was slated to enter this year’s Kentucky Derby was suspended in March after a horse who won her race tested positive for gabapentin — a medication typically used to treat nerve and chronic musculoskeletal pain in horses.
Churchill Downs has issued a statement that the deaths of five horses in a single week is “unacceptable” and “must be addressed” — and we’re calling on them to honor that statement and take these deaths seriously.
Sign our petition urging Churchill Downs to thoroughly investigate these horse deaths, as well as the trainers and jockeys using this track, and to swiftly implement measures to save future horses.
We’d also like to encourage our readers to never participate in or attend horse races or any “sport” or activity that exploits animals or subjects them to likely injury and death for people’s “entertainment.”