peta2 mobile

Imagine being forced to run, being pushed beyond the breaking point, the bones in your legs straining to hold up the weight of your body, your bleeding lungs incapable of breathing in enough air, and forced to keep running in spite of it all.

This is what life is like for racehorses who are chronically drugged by trainers in order to mask their pain and make them run faster.

All this, just so their owners and trainers can win money or fame.

For the first time ever, PETA has captured these cruel, standard industry practices on camera during an undercover investigation of leading thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen. Watch now:

"We witnessed a horse so sore it hurt him even to stand, thyroid medication dumped into horses' daily feed, and horses who had been blistered in a bizarre attempt to stimulate healing. Even at this top level of racing, the syringe is the top training tool, and if the horses get out alive, they're broken."

PETA's investigation revealed the following …

  • Many if not all horses in Asmussen's New York stable were given thyroxine, a powerful drug that treats hypothyroidism. Horses may not have needed the drug―they may have been given it solely to "juice them up" and push them beyond their natural capabilities.
  • A horse's legs were burned with liquid nitrogen, according to one trainer, and other horses' legs were blistered with chemical paint, purportedly to stimulate blood flow to their sore legs but leaving multiple scars.
  • Horses were also given muscle relaxants, sedatives, and other potent pharmaceuticals―treatments designed for ailments such as ulcers, lameness, and inflammation―at times when they had no apparent symptoms.
  • Horses are reportedly sometimes electro-shocked with concealed buzzers to make them run faster.
  • One horse, Nehro (who came in second in the 2011 Kentucky Derby), was forced to run with chronically painful hooves that actually had holes in them and that were held together with superglue and was eventually killed after becoming violently ill.


Contact your U.S. representative and senators and ask them to support the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013, Senate Bill 973 and House Bill 2012, which would increase oversight and penalties for overusing drugs in horse racing.

Remember: The best thing you can do to help horses in the racing industry is never to attend any race, including the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.

Participation in this action alert is limited to those who live in the U.S., but if you are outside the U.S., you can still help horses by sharing the video and encouraging everyone you know to skip horse races.



[Your Name]

Heads up! By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.


*Required fields
Question - Required - Date of Birth