Dying 'Simpsons' producer Sam Simon rescues racehorse

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An executive producer of “The Simpsons,” who is giving away his money after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, has secretly paid for the rescue of a racehorse allegedly about to be raced again despite the risk of “catastrophic” industry.

Sam Simon, who also produces “Cheers” and “The Drew Carey Show,” told NBCNews.com that he moved to save the horse, Valediction, to stop animal cruelty and so that people would find out “what horse racing really is.”

Valediction was reportedly being prepped to return to racing in February despite a seriously injured leg when Simon stepped in and bought the horse for $60,000.

NBC reports that a videotape recorded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) -- who helped Simon obtain the animal -- shows one of the trainer’s assistants talking about injecting a horse with medication, and calling Valediction a “rat” – a term for a horse who doesn’t make money.

“When you watch them talk about Valediction as a rat and now you know he’s in a pasture someplace, it makes you feel good,” Simon, who was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer in 2012, told NBCNews.com

Simon has been a long-time backer of animal rights causes. He started a foundation to rescue shelter dogs and train them as assistance dogs, and in 2012 he bought a ship for the Sea Shepherd Society, which attempts to block whaling around the world. He is also a board member of PETA, and the headquarters in Virginia is named after him due to his large contributions to the group.

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