One of the most successful trainers in horse racing history is being accused of mistreating horses.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, filed the complaints after its undercover staff captured video of what its describing as unethical and cruel practices being administered to horses at Churchill Downs and Saratoga Springs in New York.
The PETA investigator also witnessed Scott Blasi, Asmussen’s top assistant trainer, administer drugs for non-therapuetic purposes in what the organization describes as a reckless way.
Asmussen has amassed more than 6,700 wins and nearly $215 million in earnings since 1986.
Officials at Churchill Downs would not comment on the accusations, but did issue this statement:
“The health, welfare and the safety of our equine and human athletes is paramount at Churchill Downs’ racetracks. This has always been a topic of great importance to us, and we’ve made long-term and far-reaching commitments to incorporate health and wellness measures for every race, every day. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and New York Gaming Commission have indicated that they intend to investigate the matter and we await their findings.”
Presently, Asmussen does not have any horses being stabled at Churchill Downs, according to racetrack officials.
PETA also filed complaints against Asmussen for employing undocumented workers.