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Contact: Lanny Brooks 618-567-5531
7/13/06

ILHBPA responds

Dear Mike,

Just a few comments about your piece yesterday (Sport Of Kings Hurting Some Horses) concerning horse racing, especially at Fairmount Park. I find your report to be extremely unfair, slanted, and void of many truths about Thoroughbred racing.

Here are some examples. You said you couldn't find any owners or trainers that were willing to talk. You certainly didn't look very hard. I am a long-time trainer and owner and as the horsemen's representative I am here every day and I'm very willing to talk.

You used a quote from Cindy Medina about horses that could have been saved but were put down. First of all, Cindy isn't involved in racing and hasn't been for some time. She has a business that re-breaks horses after they retire. She does this for a fee. You failed to report that there are many wonderfull organizations that find good homes for our horses that can't race anymore such as C.A.N.T.E.R and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. They place hundreds of horses a year for no charge.

You also didn't come back to the barn area and see with your own eyes how well these animals are taken care of. Many hours are spent caring for each horse.They receive the best quality feed and their every need is seen to seven days a week.

You commented that the door to the detention barn was kept closed. That's because a few years ago Fairmount installed air-conditioning to benefit the horses cooling out after the race, and not for the reason you suggested which was to hide something.

You started your report by saying that the efforts to save Barbaro would not have been repeated at Fairmount. WRONG AGAIN! I know of countless horsemen including me who have driven to clinics in the middle of the night to take a sick or injured horse in for care. The vet you talked to at U. of Missouri has treated a horse for me.

You reported that in 2005 15 horses died as a result of racing. What you didn't say was that in 102 racing days we ran over 7,000 horses. We never want any horse to die as a result of racing but I think if you do the math the percentage is extremely low. If you could ever be here when a horse has to be put down you would see many people including the owner, trainer, groom, hotwalker, and other horsemen in the barn in a state of extreme grief. These horses are part of our families and when we lose one it's like losing a family member.

I've watched Channel Five for many years. I've always found your station to be very fair and give all sides of the story. I trust you will do the same in this instance.

Sincerely,
Lanny Brooks
Executive Director
Illinois Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Assn.

618-567-5531
ilhbpa@aol.com

H.B.P.A.
P.O.Box 429
Caseyville Il. 62232

 

 

 

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