Jeers to racehorse trainer and media darling Bob Baffert—the Arkansas Racing Commission suspended him for 15 days and vacated the victories of two of his horses in the Arkansas Derby after they tested positive for the banned substance lidocaine. Lidocaine is regulated because of its potential to mask lameness in an unsound horse.
The truth is this slap on the wrist is meaningless to the thousands of horses that will also end up drugged and eventually in the slaughter pipeline as long as the horse racing business exists, and that’s why it needs to be boycotted.
Horse racing is just a glorified segment of the gambling industry that exploits animals as if they were nothing more than a deck of playing cards. According to the American Gaming Association, betting on horse racing and dog racing generated $300 million in 2018. Churchill Downs, site of the annual Kentucky Derby, continues to generate almost 60% of the revenue ($175 million) in the United States.
Anne Normile, author of Saving Baby: How One Woman’s Love for a Racehorse Led to her Redemption, co-authored a study in 2012 that demonstrated than an amount equal to 70 percent of the annual thoroughbred foal crop on average died at slaughter from 2004-2010. During her tenure at CANTER, the horse rescue she founded in 1997 that intercepted horses directly from their stalls at the track so they did not go to onsite kill buyers, the group was taking in more than 100 horses a year from one racetrack.