Assistant in PETA horse cruelty investigation re-hired by trainer
An assistant trainer fired in March after being caught on video by PETA showing inappropriate behavior towards horses has been re-hired by his former trainer, according to The New York Times.
Steve Asmussen, the trainer who re-hired assistant Scott Blasi, is under investigation by racing officials, along with Blasi, for "for cruel and injurious treatments to their horses, administering drugs to them for nontherapeutic purposes and having one of their jockeys use an electrical device to shock horses into running faster."
In 2013 PETA went undercover at Asmussen's stable in Saratoga Springs, New York, for five months, producing a nine-minute video edited from several hours of footage and a 285-page report about the stable operations.
On the recordings, Blasi was often heard bemoaning the lame horses in his barn, cursing owners and bragging about how he could get sore horses past veterinarians.
Upon Blasi's return, Asmussen, the second winningest trainer in North America, told Daily Racing Form that the assistant "makes us better ... He’s done a lot of good for us in 18 years.”
According to DRF, the two remain under investigation with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the New York State Gaming Commission, neither of which have yet released results.
- Molly Geary