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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Santa Anita racetrack cause of animal abuse

    By Annica Wu
    Staff Writer

    The Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia faces backlash after the 42nd horse died since December of 2018. Regardless of the racetrack’s versatility as a venue, Gabrielino High School should not hold graduation there because of the number of horse deaths.

    National Geographic writes that this year alone, “Five horses have died at Santa Anita Park.”
    The rate of deaths at Santa Anita is currently 2.04 per thousand horses, which is significantly greater than the industry average of 1.68 per thousand horses, reported ABC news.
    According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Jockey Club has the Equine Injury Database, a self-reporting system that only counts racing deaths, not those that happen when training,” meaning it is likely that the number of deaths is even higher.
    Petitions have urged Governor Gavin Newson to take action in light of the reports of animal cruelty.
    Today, the racetrack still operates from profits from other sectors such as the annual 626 Night Market that takes place in the summer, and events like weddings, parties and graduations, such as Gabrielino’s ceremony in June.
    Gatherings can also be held at the racetrack in several separate venues on the property, which also adds to revenue for the racetrack.
    Horseracing Wrongs Inc., an organization which works to end horse racing through activism and education started a petition on to close down Santa Anita. The petition currently has over 200,000 signatures.
    The organization believes that horse racing should be banned due to other issues, such as the use of performance enhancing steroids and painkillers, killings of over 2000 horses yearly, and training and racing horses before their bodies are mature enough to do so.
    Drugs such as Lasix, which reduce bleeding in the lungs when racing, are widely used in many states under the guise of medication, when it is actually a performance enhancing drug which causes horses to lose weight and numb their bodies when running. There are currently no nationally uniform policies to restrict such drug use, according to USA Today.
    Gabrielino office manager Katheen Ott stated that the Santa Anita race track started hosting Gabrielino’s graduation in 2012. Before this, the ceremony was held at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse and then the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, but the number of students and families quickly outgrew their capacity.
    The reason Santa Anita racetrack was selected as the current venue for graduation is because it is close in proximity to San Gabriel, offers free parking, and has plentiful seating.
    Some argue that using Santa Anita Racetrack as a venue is separate from it’s use as a racetrack, but the patrons who host events there are fueling the mistreatment.
    Instead, Gabrielino should hold graduation on our field, like many surrounding schools do. Sporting eagle pride and saving money at the same time, hosting graduation at Gabrielino would only require chair rentals, bleachers, and risers.
    According to founder of Horseracing Wrongs Inc, Patrick Battuello, “Horse Racing kills horses […] And for nothing more than $2 bets, idle entertainment. We live in the 21st Century America; we should be better than this.”
    Gabrielino High School should take a stance against the mistreatment of horses at Santa Anita Park by withdrawing graduation there and, instead, hosting it on our own field.

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    Santa Anita racetrack cause of animal abuse