On Saturday afternoon, signs that read “There’s no excuse for animal abuse,” and “horse cemetery” were planted outside the Pimlico Race Course, in view of incoming traffic.
Earlier that day, around 50 people had stood on the corner of West Northern Parkway and Pimlico Road, as well as all the way up the street for around two and a half hours, holding similar signs and protesting with the goal of ending horse racing for good, said Jennifer Sully, Maryland Organizer and Board Member for Horseracing Wrongs, the group that organized the protest.
“We’re here to advocate for the horses,” Sully said. “We just have to speak up for the horses and let people know that these horses are dying.”
An average of 35 horses are killed every year at Maryland tracks, the group learned from filing FOIAs requests to the Maryland Racing Commission. On Saturday, Havnameltdown, the horse that was favored in the Chick Langs Stakes, was euthanized after throwing jockey Luis Saez and suffering an injury. Sully said she sadly wasn’t surprised.
“The horses will continue to keep dying until horse racing ends,” she said.
The group goes to either Laurel Park or Pimlico almost every weekend, she said. Sometimes they’re protesting, sometimes handing out leaflets or talking to people in their cars, Sully said.
“Rise up, take a stand, horse racing should be banned,” they chanted Saturday, Sully said.