Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityAnimal rights advocates protest during Whitney Stakes Day races | WRGB
Close Alert

Animal rights advocates protest during Whitney Stakes Day races

Animal rights advocates protest during Whitney Stakes Day races (WRGB)
Animal rights advocates protest during Whitney Stakes Day races (WRGB)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

Thousands of people attended the Saratoga Race Course Saturday; some to catch the Whitney Stakes race, others like the Horseracing Wrongs organization showed up against it, protesting over cruelty in the sport.

"We're standing with Horseracing Wrongs because there is no difference between our companion animals and these horses at the track, " said activist Marianne Harrington. “To educate the public of the gray area of horse racing, there's a lot of brutality that goes on, many deaths, a lot that people don't understand because they're here to party."

Saturday afternoon temperatures soared in the high 90s and protesters say the extreme heat is only one part of the problem.

“The heat is one of many wrongs this industry forces on these poor animals,” said Horseracing Wrongs founder Patrick Battuello. "they're kept locked in tiny 12 by 12 stalls for over 23 hours a day which is a cruelty, all the worst being inflicted on these naturally social herd animals like horses."

According to Horseracing Wrongs website, they estimate that at least 2,000 races horses are killed every year in America.

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) sent CBS6 the following statement regarding the animal cruelty accusations.

MORE: Wilson Chute returns to the track; first time since 1972

“The health and welfare of horses and jockeys competing at NYRA tracks is our highest priority. NYRA continuously evaluates all aspects of the operation to ensure we are providing the safest possible environment for training and racing at Saratoga Racecourse, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack.

“NYRA’s organizational commitment to safety sets the industry standard. We advocated strongly for the Horseracing Safety and Integrity Act and look forward to working with our industry partners on implementing the reforms we have long supported and advanced. That includes a national approach to medication control and the strongest anti-doping authority the sport has ever seen, which will further modernize horse racing at a critical juncture in its history.

“NYRA is committed to implementing science-driven best practices to establish and maintain safe racing surfaces and facilities and has made significant capital investments to upgrade all facilities with a focus on safety. Since 2019, NYRA has completely reconstructed the main track at Saratoga and the Oklahoma Training Track while adding rider safety rails at each location.

MORE: Saratoga Racetrack opens for 2022 with showers, sunshine, and fast fun

“This commitment to safety and investment in the NYRA racing infrastructure has yielded results. In 2021, 99.8 percent of the 14,679 horses who ran in races at NYRA tracks competed safely and without incident. On the training side, 99.9 percent of the 46,731 timed workouts recorded at Belmont Park and Saratoga Racecourse were completed safely and without incident.”

Comment bubble

According to the New York State Gaming Commission website two horses were euthanized Saturday because of injuries while training. Five have died since June 2022, there have also been seven racing incidents, some reported minor injuries, others did not.

Loading ...