KENTUCKY DERBY TO RUN IN SEPTEMBER WITH NEW SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR FANS
WHAT ABOUT THE SAFETY OF THE HORSES?
KATHY GUILLERMO, SVP of PETA’s horse racing department
BACKGROUND: The 146th Kentucky Derby will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY on September 5, 2020, the first time it will not be held on the first Saturday in May since 1945. To protect against COVID-19 a series of guest safety protocols have been put in place, but much more needs to be done to protect horses at the track.
The dangers of horse racing have been in the spotlight since last year, when 37 horses died at Santa Anita Park, leading to a PETA-requested investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney and groundbreaking new regulations to protect horses. But every week, at least 24 horses experience fatal injuries at racetracks across the country. While PETA doesn’t support horse racing, the group is advocating life-saving changes.
PETA is calling on Churchill Downs and all racetracks to enact these changes to make progress for thoroughbreds. These changes include:
- All medications should be banned for two weeks before a race;
- Injured or sore horses should be allowed sufficient time to recuperate;
- Cutting-edge CT scan equipment should be installed;
- All dirt tracks should be replaced with high-quality synthetic Tapeta;
- Trainers who have multiple medication infractions should be banned;
- Tracks should be more transparent, should not sell horses to foreign racing entities, and they should take care of horses when their racing days are over.
For more information, please visitwww.PETA.org
More about Kathy Guillermo: Kathy Guillermo is senior vice president of PETA's Horse Racing department. The responsibilities of this 31-year PETA veteran include leading the organization's work to expose and end the exploitation of horses by the racing industry. She has overseen the release of multiple horse racing investigations that have exposed the deaths of young horses at Thoroughbred auctions; the slaughter of U.S. horses in Canada, Japan, Mexico, and South Korea; and the misuse of medication by horse trainers, which led to the introduction of federal legislation. Her work also resulted in the formation of horse racing's first-ever industry-supported retirement program for horses. Guillermo is the author of the 1993 book Monkey Business: The Disturbing Case That Launched the Animal Rights Movement.