KHRC: PETA Failed to Cooperate During Investigation

The KHRC said it found PETA’s failure to cooperate odd, as the latter group brought the horse mistreatment allegations.
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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

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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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