In New York, horses are being beaten to make them go faster—take action NOW!

Anyone who has ever seen a horse being flogged down the homestretch knows it is animal abuse. Thoroughbreds are frequently struck by jockeys 15 to 20 times before crossing the finish line. In the Kentucky Derby, American Pharoah was whipped 32 times. Horse racing drivers often raise their arms high to provide even more force.

Whipping a horse produces discomfort and anguish, and studies have shown that it does not make horses run faster.

We need to make sure that committee members understand that punishing horses or making them run faster is never acceptable under any circumstances. A prohibition on whipping would also aid horses that are fading or damaged from being pushed past their limits. Those who argue against a ban advocate for the right to abuse horses, and the public must not accept this. PETA isn’t going to let that happen.

New Jersey Racing Commission rules prohibit jockeys and exercise riders from lashing a Thoroughbred or Standardbred unless for safety grounds, such as avoiding a fallen horse or rider. It’s past time for the NYSGC and all racing states to halt whipping abuse in a world that is increasingly refusing to tolerate it. So far this year, at least sixteen horses have died on New York racetracks. How many would have slowed down if they hadn’t been defeated to run even faster if they hadn’t been beaten?

While racing will never be completely safe, simple changes like a whipping ban could make a huge difference for horses like Special Trip, who was whipped so many times that an open welt developed on her right flank, even though the Thoroughbred filly had no chance of winning the race, and Donna’s Beach, who was whipped by a driver long after the harness race had ended. Horses are intelligent beings who deserve to be treated better. They’ve demonstrated their ability to comprehend symbols and employ them to make requests.