A survey of more than 800 people conducted by HorsePlayerNOW.com, a fan education website that hosts the weekly "Night School" program, indicates a strong belief that racehorses are well cared for in the Thoroughbred industry.
The survey results were discussed during the March 25 Night School program. The survey stemmed from recent reporting of an undercover investigation of the Steve Asmussen barn by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
In response to the question of whether racehorses are well cared for, 47.3% of respondents said mostly, 37.9% said almost always, and 5.3% said always. Of the remaining 9.5%, about 8% of the respondents said racehorses are sometimes well cared for.
Another question asked if respondents support federal regulation in the absence of a national governing body for horse racing. The majority, 57.3%, oppose a federal takeover, while 41.8% support it.
In a related question as to which industry organization is best equipped to lead and regulate horse racing, "no response" led the way at 29.2%, followed by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association at 25.9%. The Jockey Club (11.1%) and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (10.4%) were next.
Major racetrack operators—Churchill Downs Inc., the New York Racing Association, and The Stronach Group—received less than 3% of votes in total.
From a wagering standpoint, 78.1% of respondents said the PETA/Assmussen investigation will have no impact on their betting habits. When asked how they would react if fewer medications were used in horse racing, 62.5% of respondents said they would wager the same amount, and 29.9% said they would bet more money.
Also, 88% of those surveyed considered racehorses as a business; 10.9% see them as pets.