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The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (PTHA) works hard to protect and provide for the Parx Racing horsemen through the guarantee of live racing, horsemen’s rights, health care and pension for horsemen, benevolence programs, and more.


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  /  Backstretch Buzz   /  Suzanne Jenkins Responds to Philadelphia Inquirer

Suzanne Jenkins Responds to Philadelphia Inquirer

To Whom it May Concern:

I am Suzanne Jenkins, a horse trainer stabled at Parx Racetrack in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. To say that I was shocked by the appalling headlines on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer would be an understatement.

“Death at the Track Mostly Due to Illegal Drugging and Horses Dying in Their Stalls”

I had to pause a moment for a reality check. Is it possible that they could be talking about a place I’ve been working for the last 50 years? A profession and sport that I loved and dedicated so much time to? A profession that had affected me the opportunity to raise my three children, send them to college and give them an insight into all walks of life.

A firsthand appreciation for the horse, and the spirit of competition so needed in life. A reality of winning and losing with grace and good manners. But more than all that—an opportunity to pursue one’s life ambition and love.       
It became obvious to me that the writer of such misguided information knows very little about horse racing or the staff of people working with our charges. The saying that the pen is mightier than the sword was never felt more, especially when the pen is politically motivated, hence a following of emotionally uninformed readers.

Having been raised on a farm in Pennsylvania, my association with all animals has been a great education. I was intrigued by the intelligence, beauty, and strength of the Thoroughbred horse especially. As I watched them as foals playing in the fields and interacting with each other, it was always a wonder that a leader was soon established.

Most Thoroughbreds possess an innate desire to run, and that is what they are happy doing.

One such horse left his legacy for all to enjoy and appreciate. He put Philadelphia and Pennsylvania on the world map. He was our champion: our hope that it could be us. It made us all equal. There was no wrong or right side of the track. There was just a little chestnut colt named Smarty Jones that affected us all. Hope. Why would anyone destroy hope or the opportunity for such a treasure? 

Haven’t we all been through enough this past year? Please don’t take away our hope for the future. If we are all in this together, as I have heard so many times, then don’t believe all that is printed in our Philadelphia Inquirer. 

Suzanne Jenkins