PAWS Magazine

Issue 41, Spring 1999

Suicide Erasers causing a stir in Omak

The Suicide Eraser stuck a post-it note to the envelope from the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Washington. The note—delivered to Suicide Race campaign coordinator Mike Jones—read, "How might I respond to this?"

The envelope contained a letter and a photograph. The letter was from the manager of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Wenatchee/Omak, claiming that Coca-Cola does not sponsor the Suicide Race. He suggested that the Suicide Erasers—a group of horse advocates dedicated to stopping the Suicide Race—should target a different company. The photo showed the bottom of Suicide Hill and, alongside it, a Pepsi logo.

Since the Suicide Erasers launched their letter-writing campaign, and gained new members through the "Horse Country" issue of PAWS News, Coca-Cola has disavowed the Suicide Race. Les Schwab Tire Centers also have discontinued sponsorship of the Suicide Race. Jones, who named the Suicide Erasers and organizes their efforts, attributes this progress to the dedication of this disparate group of people. "We all have one thing in common," Jones said. "We love horses."

The Suicide Erasers responded to Coke’s letter by approaching Pepsi. A representative of Pepsi said it was their understanding that the Pepsi logo on the building at the bottom of Suicide Hill had been painted over years ago. As of mid-April, the Pepsi logo hadn’t been removed, but if the efforts of the Suicide Erasers are successful, it soon will be. A representative of Pepsi told PAWS, "We have zero involvement in the Suicide Race."

In March, EXTRA’s 1998 report on the Suicide Race was recognized with a Genesis Award, presented by the Ark Trust, Inc. to acknowledge responsible coverage of animal issues by the news and entertainment media. Through the efforts of the Suicide Erasers, more media attention will be focused on this year’s Suicide Race in mid-August.

The Suicide Erasers now number close to 200. Horse enthusiasts from across the United States, as well as Australia, England and Denmark have joined the Suicide Erasers and are working to further isolate and finally eradicate the Suicide Race.

Momentum is building toward the demise of the cruelest horse race in the world. To become a Suicide Eraser, e-mail suiciderace@paws.org.



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