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Racing to Ruin — Stop Horse Suffering in Maryland

1,460 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

4.87% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Join the urgent movement to transform Maryland's legacy from one of horse racing tragedies to a beacon of animal welfare and compassion.

Maryland stands at a critical juncture. The historic Pimlico and Laurel Park race tracks, once symbols of pride, now cast long shadows over the state's commitment to compassion and animal welfare. Recent events have exposed the grim reality faced by the magnificent horses forced to compete, often at the expense of their well-being and lives.

At Laurel Park, a series of tragic fatalities has reignited the debate over the ethics of horse racing1. These aren't isolated incidents but symptoms of a deeper issue within the industry — an issue that Maryland can no longer afford to ignore.

The push for enhanced safety measures and the scrutiny of racing practices signal a growing awareness, but is it enough2?

The heart of the matter extends beyond track conditions or safety protocols. It's about the young horses, pushed to their limits before they're fully mature, risking severe injury or worse3. It's about the stark contrast between the fleeting moments of entertainment and the lifelong consequences these animals endure.

Maryland's rich history and cultural identity have long been intertwined with horse racing. Yet, as we evolve, so too must our traditions. The recent legislative efforts to rebuild and modernize Pimlico Race Course, transitioning it to state control, reflect a commitment to the industry4. But at what cost? As the industry grapples with declining attendance and growing ethical concerns, the question arises: are we preserving a tradition or perpetuating a cycle of harm?

It's time for Maryland to lead with empathy and foresight. Closing Pimlico and Laurel Park isn't just about ending a sport; it's about setting a new standard for animal welfare and redefining what entertainment should never entail — the suffering of sentient beings.

Take Action Now

Your voice matters. By signing the petition to close Pimlico and Laurel Park, you're not just advocating for the end of horse racing in Maryland; you're championing a future where compassion prevails over tradition, where entertainment doesn't come at the cost of animal welfare.

Join us in calling for a humane approach to how we treat all living beings, ensuring a legacy Maryland can be proud of.

Sign the petition to end horse racing in Maryland and together, we can create a brighter, more compassionate future — for humans and horses alike.

More on this issue:

  1. Angelique Gingras, The Baltimore Banner (12 October 2023), "Maryland Million at Laurel Park and Horse Safety."
  2. Horse Racing Nation (28 November 2023), "HISA Report on Laurel Park Fatalities."
  3. Andrea Pietrzak, Canadian Thoroughbred (1 March 2019), "Starting 2-Year-Old Racehorses is a Delicate Business."
  4. Brian Witte, Associated Press (8 April 2024), "Maryland lawmakers OK plan to rebuild Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness."
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The Petition:

To the Members of the Maryland State Legislature and the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority,

We, the undersigned, call upon your esteemed bodies to consider the welfare of the countless horses that have been, and continue to be, subjected to the harsh and often unforgiving conditions of horse racing at Pimlico and Laurel Park race tracks. Recent years have unveiled a troubling series of events that highlight the dangers these majestic creatures face - from life-threatening injuries to the fatal consequences of the intense demands placed upon them in the racing industry.

The recent fatalities at Laurel Park, where horses have suffered due to the antiquated and challenging conditions, bring to light a broader issue within the sport itself. The inherent risks of racing, compounded by the physical toll on young horses not yet fully matured, are a stark reminder of the urgent need for change.

By closing Pimlico and Laurel Park race tracks, Maryland can lead the way in championing a future that prioritizes compassion and humane treatment over entertainment and profit. This action would not only protect these noble animals but also redirect the narrative towards a more ethical and responsible stewardship of equine welfare.

Let us come together to ensure a brighter, more humane future for all, where the well-being of every creature is respected and upheld. The time has come to rethink our legacy and the values we wish to embody as a society. By ending horse racing at these venues, Maryland can set a precedent that acknowledges the dignity of life over the fleeting thrill of sport.


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