UPDATE: HBO Cancels “Luck”. The Blood-Horse reports that HBO have now cancelled the series “Luck” due to racehorse deaths while filming.
We understand that the AHA, there to monitor the handling of the horses, were at the mercy of the veterinarians hired to ensure the horses’ safety. From what we make of it, these were racetrack veterinarians whom you think the racehorses should have been safe with. However, with the high casualty rate that normally takes place in horse racing, how unlikely that was to be. The series may have had a better chance if they had not filmed at Santa Anita where the death rate can get quite high, especially with the way they switch surfaces.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A horse was injured and euthanized Tuesday during production of the racetrack drama “Luck,” the third death in connection with the series, and HBO agreed to suspend filming with horses while the accident is investigated.
The humane group that oversees Hollywood productions had issued an immediate demand “that all production involving horses shut down.”
“We are also insisting that this stoppage remain in full effect pending a complete, thorough, and comprehensive investigation,” the American Humane Association said in a statement. It noted that the accident didn’t occur during filming or racing.
The animal was being led to a Santa Anita Park racetrack stable by a groom when it reared and fell back Tuesday morning, suffering a head injury, according to HBO. The horse was euthanized at the track in suburban Arcadia, where “Luck” is filming its second season. Continue reading >>
WHAT WE SAY
While the American Humane Association say they are taking strong measures to ensure it does not happen again, I would not bet on the AHA getting it right concerning the odds.
This is the third reported horse death. There were two deaths reported in the media and another reported to us that occurred in the stalls when a horse rared up and broke his shoulder and euthanized. We have not been able to verify whether this was a third death, or one of the two reported deaths where both were said due to leg injuries.
Horses were killed during the AHA-monitored filming of the movie “Flicka”. We only learned of that because someone working on that set unaffiliated with the group wrote to us, appalled at the way the horses were handled by “wranglers” and the seeming lack of concern from those watching over the proceedings.
During “Flicka” we were told that the only action the AHA were going to take was withhold the “No animals were harmed . . .” accreditation. This is the same thing the AHA did with the Luck episodes where two horses were euthanized after sustaining life-threatening injuries.
If the AHA do not have proper knowledge on what are dangerous activities to horses during film production, or how horses should be handled in order to avoid cruelties, injuries and death, then it needs to find people who have it, and pronto. It would also be highly beneficial if they had someone who could read a script and determine potentially harmful situations before horses are ever allowed on set or location.
In the instance of HBO, we suggest they use clips of previously run races, or digitized footage.
Listen to Vivian on Go Vegan Radio discuss the horses who died for “Luck”, and more: