On the Record: Trainers Talk About the PETA Investigation

As was likely the case at backstretches across the country last week, conversations at Florida’s tracks and training centers continued to focus on the New York Times’ story on PETA’s undercover investigation at Steve Asmussen’s Churchill Downs and Saratoga barns last year.

Public commentary has been plentiful, abundant in insight, in stridency, in commitment, in sanctimony, in determination, in anger, in defensiveness, in desperation. It’s been written by fans, journalists, executives, and observers. People have talked about what needs to be learned from the incident, what needs to be done next.

In conversations last week, both on and off the record, trainers acknowledged the need to both enact reform and educate the public. They expressed dismay about the possibility of being recorded in both private and public moments, at having one’s worst moments broadcast out of context, at what they saw as both sensational and misleading in the video and the coverage, pointing specifically to the comment about the lack of a pulse in Nehro’s feet being portrayed as a sign of poor condition, when in fact it is, according to multiple commenters, a sign of health.

Five trainers agreed to speak on the record, offering their reactions to what they saw and their hopes for the good to come out of it. Trainers’ comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Continue reading at Raceday 360

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