There are no racetracks in Los Angeles, so why the proposed ban on horse racing?

A self-proclaimed animal rights activist on the Los Angeles Board of Animal Services, Roger Wolfson, is again attempting to push the animal rights agenda in Los Angeles City Government. At the July 23rd board meeting, he proposed first a city-wide ban on horse racing, then city government support for a statewide ban. He did not have a formal motion prepared for the meeting, in fact he furiously typed one during the meeting when he should have been listening. Needing a unanimous vote from the three attending Commissioners, the motion was not passed. Nevertheless, if he stays true to form, it will end up on the agenda again.

The Motivation and The Dark Underbelly of Animal Rights Ideology and Activism

Imagine a room full of animal lovers, and in walks Wolfson and the animal rights agenda. He sows seeds of misinformation and demonizes a long-standing California industry to a group of people where few know anything at all about horses and even less about the sport of racing. He clamors for support, and he gets it.
Why is it important to take note of actions like this? Why should you inform yourself and understand the motivation? Wolfson himself, as he was proposing a motion to support a statewide ban on horse racing, even said it is symbolic in nature as there currently aren’t any horse races in LA.
In reality, the motivation behind actions like this are simple and show the dark underbelly of the animal rights movement. Think big picture. When a group is pushing an agenda, they need public support. So, they choose a large urban population, twist facts, and make their purpose seem credible. Therefore, making it easier to “sell” to a population that knows little to nothing about it. In this case with horse racing, the public doesn’t even have access to horse races in Los Angeles in order to learn about it or see it firsthand.

One needs to ask, has Wolfson himself ever seen a horse in person? He has a stereotypical Los Angeles type resume of television writing & producing. He has even practiced law some. However, he does not appear to be licensed in the state of California. There is no indication that he went to veterinary school or would have had the time to do so if he were truly interested. It also seems as if he would have had little time to dedicate to learning much about animal welfare, especially livestock. Yet, because he is sitting behind the table and appointed to the LA County Animal Services board by the Mayor, he holds a position of authority and perceived experience.

Wolfson Has An Animal Rights Track Record – Vegan Dog Food for Shelter Animals and Proposing Bans on Rodeos

Animal rights activism is not new for Wolfson. He has a track record for pushing both bans and ideas that are in lockstep with the animal rights ideological agenda. In 2017-2018, against the advice of the veterinarian in charge of the health and welfare of Los Angeles shelter animals, and other well-respected veterinary specialists, Wolfson aggressively attempted to get a motion passed that would restrict the diet of Los Angeles shelter dogs to only vegan dog food. The continual and ongoing saga caught nationwide media attention and rightfully ended up being an embarrassment to both Wolfson and the City of Los Angeles. He pushed that motion despite scientific proof provided by the California Veterinary Medical Association, showing a vegan diet would be detrimental to dogs’ health. Regardless, he didn’t seem to care because that fact did not fit his agenda then, just like real facts don’t fit his agenda now.
Along with shelter dogs and racehorses, Wolfson also has rodeo in his crosshairs. He encouraged the board to pass a motion supporting a ban on rodeos in the city. The proposed ban on rodeos has yet to be reviewed by the city council.

Link to dog food article HERE

Los Angeles – The Playground of Animal Rights Ideologues and Their Anti-Animal Agenda

Los Angeles is the perfect place to push an animal rights agenda. The city and surrounding area work well as a home base to gain support for statewide bans on events like rodeos and horse racing– events that seldomly, if ever, take place in Los Angeles to begin with. Here are some additional reasons why Los Angeles is vulnerable to the animal rights agenda:

  • Animal rights has become the latest celebrity trend due to the free PR animal rights groups provide the celebrity, and the increase in popularity of household pets in general.
  • As evidenced by the vegan dog food for shelter dogs debacle, the City Government of Los Angeles is animal rights leaning, likely for the same reasons, i.e. celebrity and PR opportunities.
  • Its abundantly clear many of the people in Los Angeles who claim they support animal rights have no idea that animal rights has nothing at all to do with animal welfare. They are not aware of the true agenda and that the animal rights ideology seeks to remove animals in human care. They simply do not know that animal rights is in fact, the opposite of animal welfare.
  • Given the urban nature, Los Angeles has a large population with little to no practical experience with livestock. Those same people that do not have any practical experience with livestock, also do not have any knowledge of livestock animal husbandry or welfare. Therefore, it is very easy to dupe them with misinformation involving animals and events like rodeos, circuses, and horse racing.

Here are some other points to consider:

  • If passed, these bans set an ugly precedent for the rest of the state.
  • When Wolfson proposes a ban, it is important to keep in mind that it is being proposed by an admitted animal rights activist. He clearly states in a video taken at the July 23rd meeting that the LA Board of Animal Services department is “the largest animal rights department on the West Coast,” thus making anything that comes from them suspicious and a step towards implementing the animal rights agenda.
  • An excerpt that is repeatedly copied and pasted by just about every news source reporting on the event states: “The Los Angeles City Council has shown a willingness to take the lead on animal rights issues in recent years, including a ban on the use of so- called bull hooks, a law prohibiting the display or renting out of elephants, snakes, tigers and other wild or exotic animals for many entertainment purposes, and a ban on the sale of animal fur that passed earlier this year and is slated to go into effect in early 2021.”

Notable Animal Rights Concerns in the LA Animal Services Department and at Santa Anita Racetrack

During the course of our research into Wolfson and the proposed horse racing ban, we uncovered the following information about the connections between Los Angeles Animal Services and animal rights groups. It’s no surprise that that a couple of the biggest radical animal rights groups are jumping in against horse racing. The ASPCA, PETA, and an animal liberation fringe group, “Horse Racing Wrongs” are all involved.

Here’s a snapshot of what we discovered:

  • The LA Animal Services website shows they received a grant for $200,000 from the ASPCA in 2018, to promote cat adoptions. The ASPCA’s Form 990 for 2018 was not available on their website, so we looked at the 2017 Form 990. Deep in Schedule O there are a few lines talking about a 25 million multi-year commitment to their LA partners and their 2017 grant for 1.6 million dollars. The video from the July 23rd LA Animal Services meeting was chock full of shelter volunteers pleading with the commissioners for play yards and paper clips. Where is that money going?
  • ASPCA also recently pledged a $250,000 donation to re-train racehorses for other jobs. Just as the proposed horse racing ban is largely ceremonial, so is this donation. With 7000 racehorses in California, and the annual cost of care for one horse easily topping $2000, the ASPCA’s donation would only cover 125 horses if racing were to be abolished. What becomes of the other 6,875 horses?
  • Horse Racing Wrongs is an active anti-racing – animal rights – animal liberation group. Through their Board of Directors, the group has ties to both the ASPCA and HSUS. Based on animal liberation type commentary of some of their members, with additional investigation, it would be no surprise to find connections to even more radical groups. Their West Coast representative spoke at the July 23 meeting. In fact, she was given the opening statement on the topic with much more than the 1 minute allotted to everyone else. Her scripted speech was the typical animal rights diatribe meant to shock and distress any listeners. We showed this organization’s true motive in a screen shot, shared on our page this Spring. It was very concerning and eye-opening to many of our followers. The true belief about all domestic horses is shown in this chilling quote from the post “Then sterilize to extinction – a planet devoid of Thoroughbreds, Quarter horses, Standardbreds and everything in between”.
  • PETA threatened protests in order to instigate a meeting with track representatives. PETA then took credit for pushing the adopted regulation changes at Santa Anita. The Stronach Group (owners of Santa Anita and many other tracks across the country), mentions PETA’s support in a press release.
  • Quote from PETA’s website in early March talking about their proposed changes being adopted. “Racing must go the way of the animal circus, but this will eliminate some of the misery on its way out.” PETA has written about horse racing over 2500 times since 2008 and has made many public statements that they believe horse racing should be abolished. Why should an organization that looks to end a sport have any place at the table when it’s future is being decided? It is quite shocking that the Stronach Group would make a deal with the devil.
  • PETA also claims the LA County District Attorney’s office formed a task force to investigate trainers at Santa Anita for cruelty at PETA’s request. This happened at the same time as the Stronach Group’s changes, showing they had no intention of allowing any new regulations to take effect at the track, despite the fact that they pushed for the changes and take credit for them. Was it all just a publicity stunt?

A FB comment written by Horseracing Wrong’s Patrick Battuello

Horse & Racing Facts for the State of California

Horse racing is an event that is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. It is a part of world history and culture. It is also a sport that is collectively making important strides to improve from within and should have the freedom to do that. Animal rights groups have fabricated untruths about the horse racing industry and have spread this misinformation far and wide via their heavily funded marketing campaigns. Because of this, we believe it is important to share the facts with the public:

  • When racehorses’ careers on the track are over, many go on to participate in other events where their physical ability and speed is an asset. These include: 3-Day Eventing, hunter/jumper horse shows, barrel racing, Dressage, and as leisure and trail horses. Animal rights groups paint a much different post racing story for these horses, but the vast majority enjoy a second career and a new loving owner.
  • Racehorses spend much of their off-track time in deeply bedded stalls, and are regularly taken out of their stalls, assessed, groomed, exercised, cooled out, bathed, then walked till dry, and offered water while being walked.
  • They have a full hay net to graze on. They are fed with high quality grains and supplements to replace what is not found in the hay (for example selenium and vitamin E based on the land the hay is sourced from).
  • Grooms are the horse’s voice. The groom will let the trainer know how the horse is doing and if there are any concerns. Their grooms know every inch of their bodies and can tell at a glance if they are okay. Most grooms talk to them, some sing, all love them.
  • Exercise is an important part of a racehorse’s life. On average, racehorses gallop 1-2 miles a day, four days a week, then spend perhaps 1-day jogging, 1 day breezing (speed work) and 1 day being tack walked around the barn.
  • Racehorse trainers have pre-race and pre-workout safety checks for their horses, working with track veterinarians.
  • In horse industry circles, bone density has been a topic of discussion for a long time. There are several studies available. Bone is ever changing tissue, adapting to increased and decreased demands of exercise. It enlarges to withstand additional load and reduces its mass when loads regress. Bone will start losing mass within 7 days without exercise. A horse started at 2 will have stronger bones than one who is started at 3 or 4. This is also quite a different story than the animal rights narrative, but this one has science to back it. More information HERE.
  • The California Horse Racing Board unanimously adopted the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities standards in April, showing both a willingness and a drive to move forward with improved animal welfare standards.
  • Horses were run on the Santa Anita track in both races and practice 230,000 times and 2,725 horses started races, just in the 2018-2019 season.
  • Over 7000 horses raced statewide in the 2018-2019 season.
  • Horse racing employs 77,000 people statewide, many of which are trained specifically for their job. Making finding other employment difficult in a state that already has a very large homeless population.
  • Horse racing also provides other jobs indirectly related to the tracks for example: at restaurants, hotels, and other businesses located nearby.
  • Horse racing pays approximately 1.2 million dollars into the California education system annually.
  • There are over half a million horses in the state of California, 2nd most in the country.
  • Reform Plan proposed by The Jockey Club:

Insider’s Opinion from a Track Photographer and Registered Veterinary Technician in Equine and Small Animal Practice:

Mornings are hectic on the backside. Grooms start at about 4 am, taking standing wraps off, checking legs, checking to see if the horse ate its entire dinner. The horses are groomed, tacked, then they begin the morning workout period. After the track is renovated by the tractors, the first 10 minutes of a set is for those horses breezing, then they begin the morning gallops. Sometimes a jockey will breeze the horse, other times it’s an exercise rider. Those are hired by the trainer, though smaller trainers may share the same riders. Even though the pace is fast and hectic, there’s a rhythm about the barn and a cheerful vibe. Workers greet other workers, telling jokes, greeting visitors with smiles. It’s a happy place.

A barn will use one of the track veterinarians for routine care and to do pre-race checks about 3-4 days prior to a race. The state vet will perform a pre-race check 1-2 days prior to the race then on race day, a different vet does the vet check. For workouts, the trainer must put in writing that a specific horse will be doing a timed workout. That horse then has to be checked by the veterinarians as well. If a horse is coming off a layoff, there will be increased scrutiny to make sure the horse is okay to work.

Racehorses, because they’re handled from a very young age, learn their manners quickly and will stand quietly for almost anything. Farriers put racing plates on the horses in the middle of the barn aisle, while the groom holds the horse. Barn veterinarians will do exams, and scope horses in that same barn aisle without needing sedation because the groom is with the horse. The groom is the horse’s best friend.

Most horses are curious and will stick their heads out of their stall to see if there might be a stray carrot or horse cookie in your pocket. When the barn quiets down, they will sometimes stretch out flat in their stall and take a nap or turn their hindquarters to the stall door as if to say, “don’t bother me”.

Horse Racing Legislation:

There are two pieces of current legislation surrounding horse racing. They are deserving of their own article, so we won’t cover them in depth here. We encourage those that are interested to look into them.

California SB 469 – This bill gives the California Horse Racing Board authority to immediately suspend licenses to protect the health and safety of horses and riders. This bill was signed by California Governor, Gavin Newsom, in May 2019.

Horse Racing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754) – Proposed in March 2019 – A concerning aspect is that the member list is full of animal rights groups. This is disappointing as there is also a lot of racing industry support for the Act. The bill would offer a new set of rules, testing procedures, and penalties that would replace the current disconnected regulatory systems that govern horse racing’s 38 jurisdictions.

What can you do:

Keep in mind that first and foremost animal rights groups believe there should be no animals in human hands, none. As we have shared in other articles, they take methodical and gradual strides to achieve this goal, using a ‘divide and conquer’ plan of attack.

This situation is an example of that plan. As we have shown in this article, they are working very hard to insert themselves into the horseracing industry. They are presenting themselves as knowledgeable authorities on both the sport and the animals. We know that this is their goal. PETA has had a long-running employment ad on Indeed looking to hire a person they can use to influence the industry.

Secondly, animal rights is a business and they are in the business of fleecing donation dollars from animal lovers. Exploiting events like horse racing, rodeos, and the like is good for business.
Horse Racing has been an animal rights target for decades. Over the last several years we have written multiple articles about animal rights groups targeting performing animals. There are a wide range of articles available on our website including topics like circuses, rodeos, horse shows, and dog shows.

Protect The Harvest supports performing animals of all kinds, as we know, the vast majority of owners and trainers care deeply for their animal’s welfare, work by their sides every day, and enjoy each other’s company. These animals foster the next generation of animal lovers and that is important to preserve.

Would you like to support California Horse Racing?
Here is an organization to look into:

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