It’s a popular sport to watch whether it’s at the Kentucky Derby or in the Capital Region during the summer time. But, some organizations say horse racing should be banned in New York.

Reducing racehorse fatalities is just one issue discussed at a legislative hearing on the welfare of the animals in the state. 

We want to hear about how they’re safeguarded during the racing season, on race day and then when they retire.” Daphne Jordan, Senator.

Equine Medical Director Scott Palmer says the state doesn’t regulate training the way that racing is regulated.

Every horse that races at a New York race track is examined by a veterinarian more than once on the day that he races. Ok, so lame horses don’t get on that race track. But when a horse trains, the trainer decides he’s gonna train today he just sends him out and trains him. Nobody looks at him.” said Palmer. 

And, he says some illnesses can be difficult to detect.

“Training injuries can happen because there are factors that can exist in the horse’s bones, changes in the bone can exist in there, and we don’t know about it,” said Palmer. 

Meanwhile, some animal advocates are on a mission to ban horse racing in the United States completely.

“We document horses dying across the country every day. Over 2,000 horses are killed racing or training on American tracks every year, ” said Patrick Battuello Horseracing Wrongs Founder and President

Battuello calls horse racing “cruelty.”

When you look at what’s happened in just the past few years with Ringling Brothers closing for good, and Sea Wold in steady decline because of Blackfish, greyhound racing is all but dead, there are rodeo bans in multiple cities, ” says Battuello.

More information on race horse deaths and the breakdown is available at