California horse racing has come under a lot of scrutiny since the string of breakdowns occurred at Santa Anita early in the year. Animal activists have been working tirelessly to spread the word that horse racing is a cruel sport. They want the world to think that those involved in the industry do not care about the health and happiness of the horses under their care. Their end goal is to eradicate horse racing in the state of California and beyond.
The scrutiny of horse racing shocked many of the fans of the sport. It’s a personal attack on the lives of so many people - backside workers, fans, breeders, owners, and trainers. Because of this, Karen Norton and Christine Sanchez decided that they needed to take action.
The two had met at Milky Way Farm in Temecula, CA. Both were there to visit their yearling fillies and became friends.
“Karen and I were already discussing the need for change in the industry and were discussing how we could make a difference when Santa Anita started the increase of fatalities,” explained Christine. The two women were feeling the negative impact from the media and from the ever increasing crowds of animal rights activists. They knew that they had to do something.
Karen reached out to some friends that she had met during California Chrome’s journey to the 2014 Kentucky Derby. Karen, Christine, and the five other women banned together to form We Support Horse Racing. They held their first meeting and have been growing their numbers ever since.
The group’s goal is to show the public that horse racing is not what the animal activists make it seem. When asked what We Support Horse Racing aims to accomplish by the end of 2019, Christine had a long list of goals. “We would love to increase our members by the thousands and be at every track. We want to be a contributor to the positive changes that are needed to save the industry,” she explained. “We realize there are a small few making the decisions for the entire industry. We want to empower trainers and owners to think outside of the box and embrace positive change. We want to educate on the horse's health and well being and be the voice for the horse.”
The list of how they will accomplish this is a long one too: “Our website is going to be key - and social media. Right now social media preaches to the choir. We have plans for a documentary. We are currently raising money for that project. The proceeds from the wristband challenge along with other donations will help,” Christine described. “Website SEO is key and we are working on that as well. When the public searches horse racing we want to be right at the top. Right now it is the activists. If that is the only thing that comes up then we lose.”
They also hope to make horse racing a safer sport for everyone involved. Christine says that there is a lot of research that has been completed but not organized and brought to the public. They hope that sharing this research with trainers and owners will get these research results implemented.
So far, We Support Horse Racing is making huge steps towards their goals. Their Facebook page has over 800 likes and their Action Group on Facebook has more than 1,600 members. Their wristband challenge has reached 18 different racetracks!
We Support Horse Racing are currently working towards becoming a non-profit organization and are continuing to build their website and following. They just need some extra help from horse racing’s fans and those that work in the industry.
If you would like to help We Support Horse Racing on their mission, fill out a volunteer forum on their website! “Everyone brings knowledge and talent that can help WSHR.” Purchase wristbands and pass them out at your local racetrack. Tell your friends about the movement and get them involved too!
We Support Horse Racing is going to be a huge part of the fight against animal activists eradicating the sport in California and beyond. Helping them is helping horse racing.
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