Actor and animal activist James Cromwell has partnered with PETA again, this time to speak out about the fate of racehorses.
The actor is asking organizers of the Belmont Stakes to commemorate the 35 horses that have died at the track since last year’s Triple Crown, by printing their names on a special page of the raceday program.
In a letter (posted by PETA) to New York Racing Association (NYRA) Chair David J. Skorton and steward Carmine Donofrio, Cromwell asked, “Will you, amid the festivities of the Belmont Stakes day, remind racegoers that these horses were once as alive and full of energy as the thoroughbreds they will see racing on June 8?”
Cromwell also describes horse racing as a sport with a “predictable death toll.”
He writes, “Horseracing is the only sport in America with a regular, predictable death toll, and New York has been heavily criticized recently for the staggering number of breakdowns and deaths on its tracks. While I understand that the New York Racing Authority has taken steps to reduce these numbers, it does not change the fact that hundreds of horses have suffered catastrophic breakdowns at Belmont in recent years —and dozens in the last year alone. When their bodies are hauled away, they seem to be considered no more than collateral damage, discarded and forgotten by the racing industry.”
He closes the letter by pointing out that memorializing the fallen horses is a small gesture to honor those who paid the ultimate price in the industry.
When HuffPo reached out to the NYRA regarding Cromwell’s request, the racing organizers had no comment. Here’s hoping they come around in the next few days and honor their fallen.