PETA Buys Stock in Horse Racetracks to Press for Change in the Boardroom

October 30, 2020

Norfolk, Va. — Just days before the Breeders’ Cup, one of the biggest racing events of the year, PETA has purchased stock in four racetrack-owning companies—VICI Properties, Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and Gaming and Leisure Properties—in order to take its case for ending cruel practices straight to the boardroom.

Currently, more than three horses die on North American tracks every day and medications are overused to keep injured horses racing when they should be recuperating, among other deadly practices. PETA’s proposed changes include replacing dirt tracks with high-quality synthetic ones, banning trainers who have multiple medication violations, and banning whipping. Tracks will be encouraged to work with state racing authorities when necessary. The full list of 11 recommendations is available here.

“Track owners in California and Kentucky are changing their rules and sparing horses a gruesome death, and every track owner in every racing state needs to do the same,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is eager to get inside the boardroom and push racetracks to make simple changes that will make a world of difference for vulnerable horses.”

PETA’s proposals will affect Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia; JACK Thistledown Racino, Belterra Park Gaming, and Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course in Ohio; Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino and Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel in Louisiana; Retama Park and Sam Houston Race Park in Texas; Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack in New Mexico; and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania.

PETA previously worked with the California Horse Racing Board to implement mandatory investigations into the deaths of horses and increased drug testing for horses, among other new regulations.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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