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Horse Racing Is Animal Abuse

Horses are highly social animals. As prey animals, they are very sensitive in every way. The horse racing industry (as all exploitative industries) distorts who horses are naturally in order to force them to be something they are not ... all in the name of making money. Greed is the root of the horse racing industry.


Following is an overview of the abuse, suffering and death caused by the horse racing industry's greed:

Forced Physical Trauma on Young Horses: The typical horse does not reach full musculo-skeletal maturity until around six years of age; the typical “training” begins at 18 months and these horses are regularly raced at two years time when the horses continue to develop physically and emotionally.

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Extreme Confinement: The majority of active race horses are kept isolated in small stalls 23 hours a day - resulting in extreme solitary confinement. Horses are highly social animals. To understand horses one only needs to understand wild horses. Naturally horses are grazing animals who move and eat constantly. They care very social animals who cherish freedom and family most. One wildlife biologist noted that wild horses have the most sophisticated social structure of any wildlife in North America. 

Commodification: Treated like products rather than sentient animals, most racehorses are shuffled from owner to owner -- often being bought and sold numerous times during the course of their lives.

Drugging and Doping: To keep the money flowing, race horses are injected with various drugs – some legal, some not – with a singular goal: to keep them running, even through pain and injury.

Painful Devices: What happens openly at the track would qualify as animal cruelty if done to our pets. Whips are used because they cause pain. Tongue ties and various bits which can cause suffering and pain are also used in the racing industry. 

Killing: Horses used for racing prematurely die on the track, in training or in stalls. These deaths are not uncommon. estimates that annually upward of 2,000 horses die while racing or training on American racetracks.

Slaughtering: Most “retired” American race horses end up at slaughter plants. The racing industry breeds approximately 20,000 foals each year with half of those horses ending up at slaughter (approximately 10,000 thoroughbred horses (the breed used by the racing industry) end up being slaughtered.

 – modified from information provided by Patrick Battuello,

Golden Gate Horse Racing Track

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Located in the Bay Area (Berkeley/Albany), the Golden Gate "Fields" (GGF) Horse Racing Track is privately owned and operates year round. Ranking as the third deadliest horse racing track in California, following are the deaths at Golden Gate Racing Track:

2017-2018: 30 horses died

2016-2017: 35 horses died

2015-2016: 41 horses died

2014-2015: 30 horses died

2013-2014: 44 horses died

2012-2013: 39 horses died

2011-2012: 49 horses died

2010-2011: 55 horses died

2009-2010: 72 horses died

2008-2009: 61 horses died

2007-2008: 43 horses died

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California Horse Racing Tracks

​(see map, right)

Del Mar Thoroughbred (Jul-Sep, Nov-Dec)

Golden Gate Fields Thoroughbred (year-round)

Los Alamitos Race Course Thoroughbred/QuarterHorse (year-round)

Santa Anita Park Thoroughbred (Dec-Jun, Sep-Nov)

Cal Expo Standardbred

Alameda County Fair, Pleasanton (Jun-Jul)

Big Fresno Fair, Fresno (Oct)

California State Fair, Sacramento (Jul)

Humboldt County Fair, Ferndale (Aug)

Los Angeles County Fair, Cypress (Sep)

Sonoma County Fair, Santa Rosa (Aug)

HorseRacingWrongs Blog Updates on California tracks

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