Ziggy Marley: Say No to Abused Horses and Cancel Your Performance at Del Mar Racetrack

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Ziggy Marley is scheduled to perform during the kickoff weekend for Del Mar Racetrack’s summer meet.

Earlier this year, Del Mar’s sister track, Santa Anita Park, garnered unwanted national attention with a string of 29 racehorse deaths. But what most people don’t know is that death at the track is, in fact, business as usual: Santa Anita has averaged 50 dead horses annually over the past decade. At Del Mar, 73 horses have been killed in just the past five seasons. At all California tracks, over 5,000 deaths since 1998.

Nationally, through our unprecedented FOIA reporting, Horseracing Wrongs has documented over 5,000 kills on U.S. tracks just since 2014; we estimate that over 2,000 horses are killed racing or training across America every year. Over 2,000. Imagine that. But it’s even worse: hundreds more die back in their stalls from things like colic and laminitis. And perhaps worst of all, the vast majority of has-been (or never-were) equine "athletes" are brutally and violently slaughtered once their so-called careers have come to an end - 15,000 Thoroughbreds alone each year. Taken together, it is no exaggeration to say that the American horse racing industry is engaged in wholesale carnage. Again, not hyperbole, carnage.

But the killing is only a part of the story. There is, too, the unremitting confinement and isolation - the typical racehorse is kept locked - alone - in a tiny 12x12 stall for over 23 hours a day; the absolute control and utter subjugation - lip tattoos, nose chains, mouth bits, and whips; the commodification - racehorses are literal chattel, things to be bought, sold, traded, and dumped whenever and however their people decide; the negation - all the horse’s natural instincts and desires are thwarted, creating an almost unfathomable suffering in these innately intelligent, sensitive creatures.

Ziggy Marley, you are an iconic musician, and an activist who fights for love, peace, equality, and justice. We are humbly and respectfully asking that your compassion be extended to these beautiful animals. Be the first to do for racehorses what the SeaWorld boycotts did for orcas, and in the process, become a model for all others to follow. Please, Ziggy, cancel your performance at Del Mar Racetrack.