PETA Cries Foul Over Filly's Death

Activists want changes in horse racing, jockey suspended
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2008 10:44 AM CDT
PETA activists, clad partly with fresh lettuce, hold placards as they protest at a square outside a Catholic church in Manila's Quiapo district Friday April 18, 2008, in the Philippines.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – PETA is calling for broad reforms in horse racing after the second-place finisher in Saturday's Kentucky Derby broke her two front legs and was immediately euthanized, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. PETA is calling for horses to begin training at their third birthdays, rather than their second, and also for synthetic surfaces on all racetracks, which offer less of a pounding to the animals' legs.

The organization also wants the jockey who rode filly Eight Belles to have his license suspended, and the owners to have their second-place prize revoked until an inquiry is complete. "Compassionate people will not tolerate for long a sport whose champions end up lying dead in the dirt," writes PETA's president in a letter to the agency that regulates the sport.