PETA attacks horse racing after death of 2 horses at Pimlico

Animal rights activists are calling for an end to the “sport of kings” after the tragic death of two thoroughbred horses during the first four races at Pimlico race track on the day of the Preakness Stakes.

One of the horses, Homeboykris, died just moments after winning the very first race on the morning of the Preakness. ESPN had the details:

Homeboykris had rallied to win the day’s first race by a half-length on a rainy Saturday. After having his picture taken in the winner’s circle, he collapsed and died on his walk back to the barn. Track officials believe the 9-year-old gelding suffered cardiovascular collapse.

In a noteworthy sporting coincidence, Homeboykris was partially owned by former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre.

The other horse, Pramedya, was euthanized on the track after breaking her front leg bone while rounding a turn in the fourth race of the day. Pramedya’s jockey, Daniel Centeno, was thrown to the turf and suffered a broken collar bone.

It didn’t take long for animal rights activists to attack the horse racing industry for the deaths which, though very sad, have always been part of the sport.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called for people to boycott the sport in their subtly titled article “Blood on the tracks“:

Please contact your U.S. representative and ask him or her to support the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2015, which would increase the oversight of drug use in horse racing and raise penalties for drug overuse.

Remember that the best thing that you can do for racehorses is never to attend or place a bet on any race, including the Preakness Stakes, the Kentucky Derby, and the Belmont Stakes.

Deadspin jumped in with their own condemnation of the sport (The First 4 Races At Pimlico Killed 2 Horses Today):

And there’s nothing to indicate in these two horses’ deaths that anything was out of the ordinary—this news wouldn’t even merit much coverage if it hadn’t happened at a nationally televised Triple Crown race. These are expected misfortunes. They’re bound to befall horses raced hard their whole lives or sent at high speeds across mudfields.

PETA believes thoroughbred horses are “suffering” and should not be “exploited” for our entertainment purposes. They can couch their objections to the sport in the confines of decrying the use of drugs on the horses, but their global agenda is to shame humans from using animals for food, clothing or entertainment. They are radicals and they always have been. The deaths of these two horses in a high-profile race merely serve as an opportunity for them to push their agenda. (Talk about exploitation)

But, of course, the logical rebuttal to PETA’s emotional argument is to point to the beauty and power of free market economics. Owners, like Joe Torre, shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for these beautiful animals, why would they allow them to be abused in such a way that their lives would be cut short? It makes no sense.

The economics of race horse ownership dictates that the investment is only remotely a sound one if the horse can run and earn for many years and once the horse is put out to stud owners can continue to make back their sizable investment for years to come. Abusing these horses would impact the owners’ bottom line in such a catastrophic way that they have a vested interest in ensuring it doesn’t happen.

PETA is preying on an uninformed public’s emotional response to a tragic situation. Don’t let them get away with it.

Preakness