BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — A KPIX 5 investigation into the dark side of the horse racing industry has led to results. Following our series of reports, Golden Gate Fields has launched a landmark new program to make sure retired racehorses avoid an all too common fate: ending up on someone’s dinner plate.
For Joe Morris it was a rude awakening. “We want them treated right before they race, while they race and after they race,” he said. The former general manager of Golden Gate Fields had come to visit “Come Catch Karen”, a racehorse from his track that could have ended up on someone’s dinner table.
She is one of the six race horses that we discovered at local auctions. Auctions are the beginning of the end for many horses. It’s where horse traders known as “killer buyers” pay pennies on the dollar to truck them off to slaughter.
That is not supposed to happen to horses from Golden Gate Fields. When KPIX 5 talked to Morris a few months ago he told us about the track’s no-slaughter policy, he said “It’s something we are adamant on.”
Now Morris admits: “Obviously there are still horses getting out and around that.”
After we showed him what was really happening to some of his horses, Morris took action. The policy at the track clearly was not enough, so he hired an enforcer.