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  Horseracing Scandals Engulf New Mexico
Cruelty, Overbreeding, & Overpopulation of Horses Linked
to NM Race Tracks

Recent New York Times reporting on the horseracing culture in NM uncovered a multitude of abuses. Given the chance, horses can live up to 30 years and develop deep relationships with their herd and human families.

Horseracing in the United States continues to face intense scrutiny in the wake of an investigative series in the New York Times and follow up reports in local media outlets. These detailed Times stories are not to be missed:
Regardless of the fact that some horsemen and women involved in horseracing are responsible and humane, the current atmosphere is ripe for abuse. A federal investigation recently resulted in a raid of stables in Ruidoso, New Mexico, and the target of the raid is allegedly linked to a deadly drug cartel in Mexico. The New York Times called for action in their June 16, 2012, editorial “Stronger Medicine for What Ails Horse Racing” stating, “regulators across the country will need to do a lot more to change the industry’s cynical culture, which turns a blind eye to drug use and imposes wrist-slapping penalties on trainers caught in the act.”

Why horseracing matters to people who care about animals:
  • Horses suffer in racing and they are unable to voice complaint or consent to the treatment they receive. Reports are surfacing that veterinarians do not adequately report horseracing injuries and/or improperly medicate horses without regard for the horse’s welfare.

  • Significant subsidies for horse breeding go hand in hand with the horseracing industry in New Mexico. Horseracing is a revenue source for the state, bringing about $63 million into the general fund each year. New Mexico’s laws allow casinos at horse racetracks and dictate that subsidies from casino revenues flow into horse breeding and horse racing purses. For example, $49.3 million was paid into horse racing purses from racetrack casino operators in fiscal year 2011.

  • Not all horses bred for racing are provided with care for their lifetime. New Mexico is ranked seventh in the nation in number of thoroughbred stallions and mares bred, and fourth in the nation in breeders of American quarter horse starters. With the struggling economy and hay prices increased by drought, overbreeding of horses is a serious concern for all New Mexicans.
Horses need people to speak up!
  1. Write to the New Mexico Racing Commission. You may craft your own message or simply copy and paste the text below.

  2. Dear Members of the New Mexico Racing Commission,
    Thank you for taking on the task of cleaning up horseracing in New Mexico. We share a common concern for the health and well being of horses used in horseracing. Horses seem to receive little benefit and lots of harm from the hundreds of millions of dollars made off horseracing in New Mexico. As you work to support the viability of horseracing, please know that the public is extremely disturbed by current treatment of horses in racing. Specifically, horses who are in pain should be given rest instead of injections. Please continue to eliminate and restrict the use of medications and test to find and punish those who are illegally administering drugs in horseracing. Please also demonstrate leadership in supporting programs that reduce the overbreeding of horses and increase the safety net for horses without homes. Horses cannot voice complaints or advocate for themselves, this is the duty and obligation of humans and I applaud you for taking on this urgent work. Thank you for your service to our state.

    (Your name)

  3. Support the Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act
  4. New Mexico’s Senator Tom Udall has teamed with Kentucky Representative Ed Whitfield to sponsor legislation in Congress which would ban race day medications, increase penalties for those that dope horses, and require drug testing of race horses by independent, accredited labs. Read facts about the bill here and contact Congress to express your support.

  5. Support the continued growth of the Equine Protection Fund
    A donation of $100 will feed a hungry horse for a month, a donation of $200 will provide humane euthanasia and disposal for one horse, signing up for the Volunteer Network is free and keeps you in touch with New Mexico’s caring horse community!

New York Times: Latest Illegal Drug for Racehorses: ‘Frog Juice’
New York Times editorial: Stronger Medicine for What Ails Horse Racing
El Paso Times editorial: Black eye: Cartels move into New Mexico racing
Senator Mary Jane Garcia op-ed: New Mexico Needs Another Vision for Horses
Sure Bet Racing News: Get Tough on the Cheaters!

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