The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s (KHRC) frustration with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is evident in the 27 pages summing up its investigation of Thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen’s stable following abuse allegations from the animal rights group.
On Jan. 15 the KHRC cleared Asmussen and his assistant Scott Blasi of all charges brought by PETA following the release of what the regulator determined to be a highly edited online video by the animal rights group in March 2014. The animal rights group had suggested the video showed equine abuse at the Asmussen stable in 2013 at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Throughout its report that summed up hundreds of hours of investigation, the KHRC expressed frustration that the group that brought the allegations failed to fully cooperate during the investigative process. It also raised concerns about the "undercover" PETA employee who worked for the stable and shot the video, PETA’s ignorance in interpreting events documented in its online video, and the highly edited nature of the video.
In a statement regarding the KHRC’s decision, PETA suggested the regulator was not interested in horse welfare, at one point comparing its indifference to the Syrian government’s lack of caring for human suffering.
"A responsible enforcement agency would have examined the mountains of evidence, including sore horses who were drugged rather than allowed to recover from strained muscles and ligaments and 3-year-old horses who were made sore eve