Kentucky Investigation Clears Asmussen

The KHRC investigation found no evidence of rule violations by Eclipse Award winner Steve Asmussen.
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A nearly one-year investigation in Kentucky cleared Thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen of allegations of horse abuse brought by the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) investigation found no evidence of rule violations by Eclipse Award winner Asmussen or his assistant Scott Blasi. The allegations were brought by PETA, which had an "undercover" member work for the Asmussen stable at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2013.

In March 2014 PETA released it said documented horse abuse; the issue received added attention when the New York Times ran the video on its website. The KHRC investigation vindicated Asmussen of all the PETA allegations that included "maintaining horses in poor physical condition," and "cruel or injurious mistreatment," by forcing horses in poor condition to continue to train.

"On the contrary, the investigation revealed that Asmussen-trained horses were well-cared for as measured by such factors as incidence of injuries and KHRC veterinarian scratches," the KHRC said in a statement read by its chairman, Bob Beck, at a Jan. 15 meeting. "The stewards concluded the allegations do not support any administrative action because no evidence of rules violations was found

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Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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