ESPN and numerous other news outlets reported two deaths at California’s Del Mar racecourse which just opened its Summer Season of racing on July 17.
“Two horses suffered fatal injuries Thursday morning after colliding in an accident during training hours at Del Mar racetrack in California, a spokesman for the track confirmed on Thursday.
“The accident occurred around 6:30 a.m. P.T. when Charge a Bunch, an unraced 2-year-old colt trained by Carla Gaines, threw rider Giovanni Franco and ran the wrong way down the track.
“Charge a Bunch then collided with Carson Valley, an unraced 3-year-old gelding trained by Bob Baffert who was working in the opposite direction.
“Del Mar told ESPN earlier Thursday that the horses were euthanized shortly after the accident but later clarified that the horses were killed in the collision.”
Let’s get our facts straight.
“From the clinical examination of the horses it appears both suffered cervical fractures and both were dead on the racetrack,” said Dr. Rick Arthur, a veterinary with the California Racing Board.
What we know for sure is that they are dead — and by all appearances the deaths were “accidental”, or in other words they didn’t “break down (as in a leg) and die”, as racehorses typically do these days as a matter of routine. This time the horses broke their necks.
How about this quote by Kathy Guillermo in a statement made by PeTA following the announcement of the death of these horses:
“Saying that deaths are inevitable in racing is like saying a swim team can’t compete without drowning.”
Normally the public would have heard nothing about these deaths. Most tracks don’t even report or record training kills. However, all eyes are on California horse racing following Santa Anita’s recent disastrous season of kills.
What’s not mentioned is the pain and mental suffering these two young horses endured as they died. Yes, mental suffering. These are sentient beings.
Source ESPN article by Katherine Terrell, “Two horses die at Del Mar after colliding” »
Related Reading Rancho Santa Fe Review; July 5, 2019; “Del Mar strengthens safety standards after Santa Anita deaths” »
Baffert Picture COED article by Josh Sanchez; May 4, 2019; “Bob Baffert Net Worth 2019: How Much is Horse Trainer Worth Today?” »