Santa Anita Racetrack | Rep. Judy Chu Reiterates Call for Moratorium

After 29 horses died at the Santa Anita Racetrack within a span of 5 months, Representative Judy Chu reasserted her position on the current standards of the horse racing industry

PHOTO: Santa Anita Park | News

Over the weekend, two more horses died at Santa Anita Racetrack making these the 28th and 29th horses to die since the start of the meet in December 2018. The 29th horse died after the owners of Santa Anita Racetrack rejected a request by the California Horse Racing Board to suspend racing for the rest of the meet, which ends this month. Rep. Chu issued the following statement:

“Despite new safety standards, horses are continuing to die at Santa Anita Racetrack. I have previously called for an immediate moratorium on racing until the safety of the horses can be guaranteed. I agree with Governor Newsom’s latest comments that until we know the cause of these deaths, and the horses are evaluated by independent veterinarians, all racing at Santa Anita must be suspended.”

“I am encouraged by the announced agreement on Wednesday between the California Horse Racing Board and the Stronach Group, owner of Santa Anita Park, to implement enhanced safety measures, including a review of horses’ medical, training, and racing history and the use of a new evaluation system to determine risk of injury. It is my hope these new rules will prevent further horse deaths, but we still need to understand what has lead us to this place where so many horses are dying.”

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PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | News | Congresswoman Judy Chu 

Previously, on May 26, another horse died racing at Santa Anita racetrack. The horse was the 26th to die racing or training at Santa Anita since December 26, and the third in nine days. Representative Chu, whose district includes the racetrack and who called for a Congressional hearing and investigation into the treatment of horses, released the following statement reiterating her call for an immediate moratorium on horse racing at the track until the safety of the horses can be guaranteed:

“Although the Santa Anita racetrack did implement some positive changes, it is clear that they are insufficient. Horse deaths have become an accepted part of horse racing as a sport, and in America, our horses die at a rate almost three times the international average. Small rule changes are not enough.”

“That is why I have been calling for a Congressional hearing to investigate the causes of these horse deaths and how we can stop them. And I continue to support federal legislation to establish a national horse racing board that can better regulate this sport. We need to understand what is causing so many horses to die, and what changes we can make so that killing horses is not seen as an inevitable component of this widely enjoyed sport and pastime. In the meantime, all racing at Santa Anita should be halted.”