In response to Kentucky’s Churchill Downs horse racing track announcement of a halt to racing upon the recommendation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund issued the following statement.

Keith Dane, senior director of equine protection at the HSUS, said:

“Only ten days into full power, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has taken a monumental step by recommending Churchill Downs halt racing for an extensive safety review. Remarkably, the track has adhered to this call, displaying a commitment to change and prioritizing the animals at the heart of the industry. The 12 deaths at the track this meet have been too much to bear witness to. We can’t help but wonder how many of these deaths and the hundreds of others since the passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act could have been prevented had reform come sooner. We stand with HISA and Churchill Downs in declaring that the safety and wellbeing of the horses should be at the forefront of all decisions within the industry. This is a significant step towards reforming horse racing, and a clear message to all that the health and welfare of horses is non-negotiable.”

Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund, said:

“At the Humane Society Legislative Fund, we have been fighting for these vital reforms and strongly advocating for the welfare of racehorses. This is a watershed moment in the history of racing equines. For once the welfare of horses has been prioritized over one more race, one more purse, one more accolade. While we recognize that there is still more work to be done to ensure the well-being of racehorses going forward, this is an absolute gamechanger.”

Media Contacts