Kentucky Derby 2014 Trainer Accused Of Animal Cruelty

kentucky derby

Each time evidence of cruelty against horses is brought up at professional equine events, the people who run these shows make claims that their industry would be destroyed if they are not allowed to torture animals. Most horse advocates do not want racing and horse shows to disappear. They want the animals to not be tortured or fed mixtures of drugs that will do harm to them. There is a Senate bill that addresses these very issues: S. 973: The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.

From HSUS on the matter: Currently, each state’s racing commission sets its own rules, allowing trainers to escape oversight by simply moving to another state. With no national governing body for the sport, there is no consistency across the country. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, H.R. 2012/S. 973, introduced by Rep. Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., and Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., would designate the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency as the independent anti-doping organization for interstate horseraces. The agency would create universal rules on the use of drugs, prohibiting race day medication of horses with performance-enhancing drugs. Any racetrack that wanted to offer “simulcast” wagering would be required to participate. Find your representative and tell them to vote for H.R. 2012 / S. 953.

From: The Inquisitor

kentucky derbyThe Kentucky Derby 2014 is finally upon us, but for one of the Derby’s biggest players, the event is being tainted by terrible allegations of horse abuse.

Thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen should have a lot to look forward to when it comes to the 2014 Kentucky Derby. He trains Kentucky Derby contender Tapiture and Kentucky Oaks favorite Untapable.

Yet the Kentucky Derby trainer and his former longtime assistant, Scott Blasi have been accused by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) of a catalogue of crimes against the horses they train for the Kentucky Derby 2014 and other races.

PETA released a damning nine-minute undercover video and 285-page report ahead of the Kentucky Derby which wreaked havoc on an already troubled American horse-racing industry.

The video entitled ‘Horse Racing’s Daily Double: Drugs and Death,’ focuses on racing injured horse, the use of electric devices to shock them into running faster, the dubious amount and differing types of medication they are wrongly given to enhance performance, and the scant regard which PETA alleges the Kentucky Derby 2014 trainers have for their horses.

In the video shot over five months on a hidden camera at Asmussen’s stables, the Kentucky Derby trainer’s assistant Blasi can be seen making insensitive comments about injured horses and talks about running Kentucky Derby 2011 contender Nehro, despite the horse in question suffering chronic foot ailments.

After the New York Times reported the allegations on March 19, Kentucky Derby 2014 trainer Asmussen had 10 to 14 horses removed from him by Nehro’s owner Ahmed Zayat. In turn Asmussen sacked Blasi and was taken taken off the Hall of Fame ballot.

As a final insult the Kentucky Derby 2014 trainer was requested to stay away from Churchill during Derby week “for the good of the game” by none other than Jockey Club chairman Ogden Mills Phipps.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • Horse racing is a wonderful Sport, its some people who abuse the Horses that need to be weeded out, I believe wholeheartedly Horses were born to run, and i also believe they love the competition, one must consider that Horse racing houses and takes care of thousands of Horses most of which their owners love them, and do really care !!!!It must be made safe for horses and no abuse , I have monitored many race Horses at a Track here in Ohio, and I am not the only one who does this, there are caring owners and trainers , but there are always those who just exploit them these people must be ousted……….

    April 29, 2014
    • susan Carter

      May I ask how you “monitor” the horses at the Track Arlene? Are you an owner, a trainer, a jockey, a groom, a Vet? How do you get in the barns, on the backside? Are you there when horses are being injected with drugs? Does someone call and let you know? Did Mr. Asmussen invite you in? How exactly do you get access to “monitor?’

      April 29, 2014
      • Dear Susan,I think you you misunderstood , I didnt see Assmusen, I have friends who own HORSES AT THE TRACK, I do do a little grooming , mostly I am at the Pool, where the horses swim……I talk to all Trainers who bring their horses in there to swin, great for soreness , most of the Horses like it !!! Nice cool down on a hot summer day…….

        April 29, 2014
  • Janet Schultz

    I’m so glad he is being made accountable for the careless disregard for the trust we all place in the horses’ handlers.

    April 29, 2014
  • Margaret

    I know Steve is under a LOT of scrutiny. Fair or not, this is a part of training and part of the “game”. Wishfully like Sterling Steve would walk away after the Triple Crown and retire from horse racing. It would relieve a lot of pressure.

    Scott Blasi should be banned from racing for life. Period. End of story. His comments were equal in their own way to what Sterling said. If he felt that way why was he even there?

    Training goes like this. Because giving horses some version of levothyroxine (thyroid medication)bumps one horse up performance wise EVERYONE else has to keep up by giving their horses levothyroxine. It isn’t whether the horse needs it or not–they use it as performance enhancing just like Lance Armstrong.

    Just because the industry doesn’t have a test for EPO (or the horse version of it)don’t think for a moment that an unscrupulous trainer wouldn’t try it. He might get busted but then trainers and vets will get smart. When can they give the horse such and such drug. The horse will still get the benefit but won’t test for it.

    Our horses are nothing more than pin cushions for people who HAVE NO BUSINESS performing medical procedures period.

    I’m for closed circuit video in ALL barns. Every angle. There needs to be an accounting for every syringe going in and out of each barn. A clean trainer isn’t going to care because he runs a clean barn. They know it isn’t personal. A dirty trainer is gonna get busted.

    We didn’t see Blasi actually do anything “dirty” other than cursing his horses. But I’m sick and tired of trainers making excuses, arguing suspensions for years and years hing someone will forget or just “go away”.

    It’s time for accountability and responsibility.

    April 30, 2014
    • Love it, the part about Closed circuit TV , if this is what we must do then so be it, its a shame to resort to this but it is needed……

      May 1, 2014