President’s Message:

Pledge Not to Support Horse Racing

Laura-Ann Cammisa
Laura-Ann Cammisa – President of NYSHA

The school year has come to a close, and as a teacher, there is now time to reflect on what children are really learning. Sadly, it rarely involves humane education.

Unfortunately, that transfers to the real world. It is astonishing to realize how many people do not see through the “glamorous” facade of horse racing and continue to support what is incredible animal abuse, yet are enraged when dogs or cats are involved in cruelty situations. How can we make them more aware?

In addition to all our other activities, NYSHA is focused on equine education. Board members recently attended the Equine Summit where a coalition of nationally known equine advocates spoke. We have supported and facilitated horse and donkey rescues both as an organization and as individuals. One of our Board members, Patrick Battuello, writes a blog for the Times Union newspaper in Albany entitled “Horse Racing Wrongs,” in which he heartbreakingly reports on the daily tragedies at race tracks across the country. Our billboard, approaching the Capitol in Albany, about horse slaughter is seen daily by thousands.

When I personally speak to people about these issues, or when friends or Boy Scout troops visit my rescued donkeys, and I explain that they could easily have become burgers in another country, they are astounded and sickened. Next year I am hoping to do a school-wide project to sponsor a rescued horse at a local equine facility.

Once anyone with a heart or a conscience becomes aware of the massive and system-wide cruelty in the horse breeding industry, for racing or commercial purposes, it is impossible to turn away and do nothing.

As Patrick Battuello said in his blog, “The Sport of Kings is a well-crafted illusion of the grandest order: In no other sport are the athletes condemned to a life as chattel, mere things to be used, abused, and trashed whenever and however an owner decides. In no other sport is a whip the primary means of motivation. In no other sport are deaths on the playing field routine. In no other sport are the “retired” shackled, slashed, exsanguinated, butchered, and sold for meat. In the end, horseracing is exploitation of a weaker species for the most shameful of reasons, $2 bets. … Enough already.”

Please, take the pledge on our website to not support horse racing in any form and whenever you have the opportunity, let others know the truth.


As always, for the animals,
Laura-Ann Cammisa
President NYSHA

New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol. XXVIII No. 1, Spring/Summer 2014.