‘Drugs. Breakdowns. Death.’ PETA US’ New Billboard Tells the Real Story of Horseracing

Posted by 2 years ago | Permalink | Comments (8)

What’s the biggest tradition in thoroughbred horseracing? Not fancy hats or cocktails –it’s drugs. Whether “therapeutic” or illegal, horses are often dosed with chemicals to keep them running, a practice that results in countless tragic breakdowns on the track and the deaths of dozens of animals every week.

Drugs. Breakdown. Death. PETA Billboard at Kentucky Derby

Visitors to America’s highest-profile race, the Kentucky Derby, this weekend will get a striking reminder of these shady behind-the-scenes practices, thanks to PETA US’ bold new billboard, which will be driven in front of the track’s entrance between now and the day of the race. The ad, which was designed by graphic design student Dana Mulranen, comes just days after trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni was banned for eight years for doping offences by the British Horseracing Authority after 11 horses from the Godolphin stable tested positive for anabolic steroids.

Using drugs for performance enhancement poses a serious risk to the health and welfare of thoroughbred racehorses. It’s cruel and unethical. Unlike human athletes who fall afoul of doping regulations, horses don’t choose to take steroids. They don’t choose to compete at all – they are forced to, victims of a multimillion-pound industry that ruthlessly exploits them, then discards them once they can longer keep running.

Retired thoroughbreds are often sold at auction, packed onto crowded trucks and shipped to abattoirs, where they are shot in the head, hoisted into the air by one leg and have their throats slit so that their flesh can be sold – with some of it even ending up being sold for human consumption.

The racing industry is built on cruelty. We’re confident that this billboard will help more people recognise that fact and then make the only compassionate decision available – to boycott horse races completely.


  • Patricia Lynch commented on May 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Horse racing is all about making money – it’s not about the animals and the suffering they endure at the hands of unscrupulous trainers. Many die on hazardous courses, they are whipped and drugged to encourage better performance – this is cruel, unethical and unacceptable. Please boycott horse racing.

  • Sharon Brock commented on May 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I think horse racing is a barbaric sport with no thought or consideration for the horses,these majestic creatures are treated badly then discarded without a second thought:(All horse racing should be banned!!!The grand national is horrific those huge fences to jump & twice round the track,I was just hoping that all the horses got round safely,don’t really care about the jockeys!!!Good on you PETA for putting this lorry where everyone will see it,might get a few people thinking!!

    • sybil sable commented on May 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      I absolutely agree with this comment.Horses shuld be exercised but not to be raced.

  • Gejo Canovas commented on May 3, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    It is difficult to believe that in our days animals are being use for the entertainment of some people. This must STOP!! The grand national has to stop, like bullfighting has to stop, animals circus should be stop and any other activities that put in danger animals or use them causing them stress or hurting them. Enough!!

  • suzanne webb commented on May 4, 2013 at 2:51 am

    this needs to stop thought racers were supposed to care about the horses well actually they dont

  • Johnny commented on May 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I used to bet a lot, but thanks to this kind of campaigns back in early 90′ I’ve accepted how immoral the whole thing is. Entertaining sport?! Not really, not for people with minimum two brain cells. I echo what @Sharon Brock said: I couldn’t care less about jockeys – perhaps they deserve spanking for being involved in this blood stained entertainment for retards.

  • Paola Martini commented on March 20, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Well done PETA US. It’s needed in the UK too!!

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