A coalition of trainers and owners of racing horses pledged Thursday to release their animals' veterinary records, marking a huge gain in transparency for the sport, which has been criticized in recent years for animal welfare issues, most notably for drug use on horses.
The New York Times reports:
The horsemen have agreed to turn over records for the two weeks before any graded stakes races with the understanding that they will be made available to the public two hours before post time. More than 40 owners and trainers have signed on, including the Hall of Fame trainers Bill Mott and Neil Drysdale, old-line Kentucky breeders and owners like Will Farish, and partnership syndicates like Dogwood Stable.
The news follows an investigation by PETA that revealed disturbing practices in the industry. Undercover video showed alleged drugs administered to horses for non-medicinal purposes and trainers using a device to give horses an electric shock to make them run faster.
The video was filmed by a worker under trainer Steve Asmussen, who is a candidate for the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame and has a Kentucky Derby contender named Tapiture. Asmussen and his top assistant Scott Blasi are currently under investigation by state and federal authorities.