Target: Tim Fennell, CEO and General Manager of Del Mar Racetrack
Goal: Implement policies to prevent injured racehorses from racing in light of recent deaths.
After a series of tragic racehorse deaths, the Del Mar racetrack has been under scrutiny this racing season. Reports state that in the span of just 10 days, seven horses have lost their lives. Sadly, this trend is not new. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reports that another 16 horses died at Del Mar in 2014. Studies have attributed these and other similar racetrack deaths to the stressful conditions that horses undergo to prepare them for racing.
Many injuries and deaths that occur during or shortly after a race are caused by pre-existing injuries that have not been properly tended to. Oftentimes, instead of making sure that an injured horse is fully healed before returning it to the racetrack, attending vets will dose them with steroids and/or painkillers. This irresponsible course of treatment allows an injured horse to race when it would normally be in too much pain to run, and the results are often catastrophic.
Seven deaths in 10 days should be cause for great concern, and it is time that the Del Mar Racetrack do more to protect the health and longevity of its horses. The use of performance enhancing drugs and other controlled substances should be strictly limited, injured horses should not be forced to race, and pre-race medical examinations should be more thorough. Sign our petition to demand better care for these horses.
Dear Mr. Fennell,
I’m writing to you with great concern regarding the recent racehorse deaths that have occurred on the Del Mar Racetrack. As you must certainly be aware, seven deaths have occurred in less than two weeks’ time. These are not the first deaths that Del Mar has witnessed, and unless drastic measures are taken, they will not be the last.
The horses that draw hundreds of thousands of spectators every racing season are more than just money-making machines, and they should be treated as such. They are animals, they feel pain, and they have physical limits that should be respected for their own safety. No being should be worked to the point of exhaustion, injury, or death, no matter how much money someone is betting on them.
I must strongly urge the Del Mar Racetrack to do more to protect its horses. Any practice that may endanger a horse’s life, such as using steroids to numb pain when racing or insufficient veterinary exams prior to a race, needs to be rectified immediately. For the sake of your company’s reputation and for the health and safety of its horses, please take action to prevent any more unnecessary, tragic deaths.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: kellinahandbasket