105 HORSES DIED AT NEW YORK TRACKS IN 2021
Groups Call on State to End $230M in Subsidies to Corrupt & Deadly Industry
8% Increase in Horse Deaths From 2020; 400 Dead Horses Since Beginning of 2018
NEW YORK – A new report released today by the Coalition to End HorseracingSubsidies shows that 105 horses died at New York State tracks in 2021. With data compiled from the state’s Gaming Commission, the coalition highlighted some of the worst incidents of equine deaths in the last year. The 105 dead horses in 2021 represent an eight percent increase over the previous year. Since the beginning of 2018, 400 horses have died on New York’s racetracks.
The coalition renewed their push to cancel $230 million in annual subsidies to racehorse owners, breeders, and celebrity trainers, and to NYRA track operating expenses and capital improvements. Legislation pending in Albany will redirect this money to help New York’s taxpayers, schools, workers, and other social programs.
"Over the past 12 years, over 1,600 horses have died at NYS racetracks. More, still, were mercilessly slaughtered at the end of their so-called careers. To think that we, the taxpayers, are propping up this cruel, deadly industry to the tune of $230 million per year - and all coming at the expense of public-good needs like education and infrastructure - is, in a word, obscene,” said Patrick Battuello, President, Horseracing Wrongs.
Among the most horrifying incidents from 2021 include:
Thoroughbred Happy Happy B was only 2 years old when he died before crossing the finish line at Belmont in September of last year. His broken leg is visible in this gut-wrenching video.
When Belmont Park opened for the fall meet on September 16, 2021, Baltimore Bucko collided with Perfect Tapatino and was killed during the very first race.
Three-year-old Kj Chico was fatally injured during a harness race at Monticello Raceway in 2021. Drivers were violently thrown across the track.
The campaign to End Horseracing Subsidies is supported by a diverse coalition of education, human services, and economic justice organizations, including New York Communities for Change, Alliance for Quality Education, Human Services Council, New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets (NYCLASS), Horseracing Wrongs, New York State Humane Association, LiveOn New York, Worker Justice Center of New York, and PETA.
A 2017 report, sponsored by the horse racing industry, overstated the jobs’ benefits from the horse racing industry in New York, according to analysts from the respected firm HR&A Advisors. Among other things, HR&A found the study deficient in the following ways:
- The study does not provide the level of analysis necessary to understand the true economic impact or drain on taxpayers of horse racing in New York State.
- It does not identify how much of this economic impact is net new and would not occur if the industry were absent, or if the industry changed such that horse racing decreased and recreational and competition sectors remained the same.
- It does not calculate what percentage of the visitation and spending at NYS racetracks is from in-state visitors, vs. out-of-state visitors, and how might the spending of those groups be redistributed if a track were to close. Or to what extent the jobs associated with the industry are unique to horse racing activity (such as specialist veterinary services) rather than general leisure/service/entertainment jobs.
- It does not calculate what fiscal revenues are generated from horse racing, including sales taxes, property taxes and other on and off-site taxes, and what portion of tax revenues might occur regardless of the industry’s presence.
- The report does not calculate the total amount of subsidies and other perks granted by the state nor is there any requirement to report the total cost of all track/industry handouts to taxpayers or government officials.
No other state, including Kentucky, offers such generous perks to the privately owned businesses that comprise the racing industry. An industry with $2.5 billion in annual wagering should support itself and a strong majority of New York State residents agree. A February 2021 Marist poll found that 84% believe that racing subsidies should be redirected to education and human services, and an August 2021 poll found that 91% of those surveyed had no plans to attend races at any New York tracks.
Click here for more information: www.endhorseracingsubsidies.com