Stronach to propose 'Racing Charter of Rights' in speech

April 21, 2019 02:21pm
Frank Stronach, the Stronach Group founder, in a Los Angeles Times advertisement on Sunday announced he will speak Tuesday on the future of horse racing in Southern California.

Stronach invited the public to the Embassy Suites Arcadia Hotel, 211 E. Hunington Drive, for a 6 p.m. PT speech in which he plans to introduce the idea of "a Racing Charter of Rights where all the participants in our industry are protected, including the horses."

Stronach, whose company owns Santa Anita Park, said he has invested $1.5 billion into upgrading his facilities, which also include Gulfstream Park and Laurel Park.

His speech will come amid turbulent times in the region. Last week, at a California Horse Racing Board meeting, the public comment portion of the session was dominated by animal rights activists calling for California to end horse racing after an above-average run of equine fatalities to open the Santa Anita meet.

“I have dedicated my life to the betterment of horses," said Stronach, who also founded the Magna International Inc. auto parts company. "I bought my first yearling forty-five years ago, and ever since then I have worked to ensure that horses are treated with dignity and respect. Animals may be subservient to mankind, but that does not give us the license to be cruel.”

Stronach said he considers racetrack owners, horse owners, trainers, jockeys, breeders and veterinarians to be "key stakeholders" in the racing industry. (That he didn't mention bettors did draw some ire on social media.)

"As stakeholders, we have to prove to the public that we love and care for the horses –not only while they are racing but long after they finished their racing career," he said. "That is why I strongly believe we need a Racing Charter of Rights where all the participants in our industry are protected, including the horses. I look forward to bringing forth a number of different ideas to you the people which love horses.”

Stronach, 86, was in 2011 succeeded by his daughter, Belinda, as The Stronach Group's chairman and president. He currently does not have an active role with the company but is involved in a legal battle with Belinda over its management.

See Stronach's full Los Angeles Times letter.


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