PETA Files Shareholder Resolution With Churchill Downs Over Deaths on Dirt Racetrack

November 12, 2020

Louisville, Ky. — PETA has submitted a resolution calling on Churchill Downs, Inc., to report to shareholders on the feasibility of replacing the dirt racetrack at Churchill Downs Racetrack with a synthetic surface, pointing to the higher horse fatality rate associated with dirt tracks. PETA owns stock in the company in order to influence positive changes for horses from the inside.

“Churchill Downs, Inc., has an obligation to protect horses from broken bones and death—and to protect shareholders from the negative public perception that comes with carnage on the track,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Synthetic tracks equal fewer deaths, so the choice for the home of the Kentucky Derby should be simple.”

The Jockey Club’s Equine Injury Database statistics show that fewer horses sustain fatal catastrophic injuries on synthetic surfaces than on dirt tracks. These statistics indicate that as many as 2,000 Thoroughbreds who died between 2009 and 2019 nationwide could likely have been spared had these tracks already installed high-quality synthetic surfaces, such as Tapeta.

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 Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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