Denise Tetrault: Do not support ‘cruel’ sport of horse racing

Dornoch, center, with Luis Saez up, crosses the finish line ahead of Mindframe (10), with Irad Ortiz Jr. up, to win the 156th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Dornoch, center, with Luis Saez up, crosses the finish line ahead of Mindframe (10), with Irad Ortiz Jr. up, to win the 156th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. AP PHOTO/SETH WENIG

Published: 06-21-2024 2:42 PM

Modified: 06-21-2024 6:59 PM


Regarding the Horseracing Wrongs protest on Belmont Stakes Day at Saratoga racetrack: I’d like to note that there were over 50 protesters against this cruel and deadly “sport” in attendance. Yes, we were ignored, laughed at, and sometimes treated with violence and venom, but it is important to note that with any social justice movement, first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

There is much cruelty and death involved in this “sport.” An average of 2,000 majestic and beautiful horses die each year in the New York horse racing industry. Tongue tying is the practice of immobilizing a horse’s tongue and is used to force a horse to be compliant. It causes difficulty swallowing, cuts and lacerations to the tongue, bruising and swelling.

Whipping the horse is routine. There is a high risk of injuries — some catastrophic — on racetracks. There is widespread slaughter of the horses who cannot compete. All of this so that someone can be entertained. To read the vice president of NY Horse Racing Association refer to the activists’ “extremist political agenda” says a lot about this world. Being compassionate and fighting for the rights of other beings is never extreme. Please do not support this horrific “sport.” 

Denise Tetrault

Belchertown

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