A short video cobbled together from a four-month undercover PETA investigation of a prominent horse trainer shows the underside of horse racing.
Earlier this year, PETA sent an undercover investigator to work for Steve Asmussen, a well-known trainer who has won more than $214 million in purses. Using a hidden camera, the investigator recorded Asmussen and his assistant subjecting their horses to painful medical treatments, often injecting them with tranquilizers and painkillers.
In a recorded conversation between Asmussen, his assistant Scott Blasi, and a blacksmith, the trio admit that Nehro, the 2011 Kentucky Derby runner-up, was raced so hard his feet were ground into nubs and his hooves were held together with super glue. Blasi continued to train Nehro, who died a year later. The trainers claimed it was from colic.
On the tape, Blasi says, "I have seen a lot of shit. That is the most violent fucking death I have ever seen."
In the film, Asmussen also admits one of his jockeys uses a buzzer to administer electric shocks, a practice that is banned in racing.
PETA also alleges Asmussen employed undocumented workers and paid the undercover investigator only $5.95 with no overtime.