Target: Stella F. Thayer, President, National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame
Goal: Remove trainer found to use illegal and cruel training methods from inductee consideration
A recently released undercover video shows Steve Asmussen, a reputable horse trainer, and his associates, drugging, shocking, and otherwise mistreating horses in their care. The ex-jockey, who has the second-most career victories of any racer, is currently being considered for induction in the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame, a body that celebrates excellence in American equestrian.
Part of the video shows Asmussen and his assistants administering high doses of drugs to horses for non-therapeutic purposes, including thyroid medications that are said to boost performance. High amounts of painkilling drugs were also administered due to the poor condition of some of the horses, sometimes so bad that they could not walk or stand properly.
The trainer shows little regard for the health of his horses, joking and laughing about serious and painful health problems. Despite his prized horse Nehro’s chronically damaged hooves, Asmussen forced him to train and race by using super-glue to hold the hooves together. Asmussen was also recorded admitting knowledge of the use of shocking devices, an illegal way to make a horse run faster.
The mission statement of the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame is to honor those “whose records and reputations have withstood the difficult test of time.” These disclosures put into question the validity of both Mr. Asmussen’s achievements and his reputation. Demand that the Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame take a strict anti-cruelty stance by removing Mr. Asmussen from consideration as an inductee.
Dear Stella F. Thayer, President, National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame,
Recent undercover footage captured of trainer Steve Asmussen and his assistant trainers reveals shocking cruelty toward animals in their care. Trainers are seen dosing horses with non-therapeutic drugs, including a thyroid medication widely believed to enhance racing performance, as well as large amounts of pain-killers. Horses were often forced to train despite injuries, including a prized horse Nehro, whose hooves were held together with glue for competitions. Asmussen and his assistants also admitted to the use of illegal concealed electric shock devices during races.
Currently, Steve Asmussen is under consideration for induction into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame, which celebrates respectable and accomplished industry professionals, should not even be considering someone with such blatant disregard for sportsmanship and the welfare of his animals. I ask that Mr. Asmussen be removed from consideration in the interest of promoting honest and honorable equestrian.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Billy Hathorn via Creative Commons