California Chrome

California Chrome is off to Japan

The news that California Chrome is being sent to Japan sends chills up and down our collective spines.

In 2002 Kentucky Derby winner (1986) and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner (1987) Ferdinand was killed in a slaughterhouse in Japan. When he began to fail at stud, that’s how they disposed of him. No shipping him back home.

The news did not reach the U.S. until 2003 when the New York Times broke the story before the Blood-Horse magazine, the story’s original source, could get it distributed. “It is believed that his carcass was used to make pet food,” wrote the Times.

California Chrome was named the 2014 and 2016 American Horse of the Year. He won the 2014 Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the 2016 Dubai World Cup. In 2016, he surpassed Curlin as the all-time leading North American horse in earnings, a whopping $14,752,650.

We are not doing any finger pointing here about sending racehorses to slaughter. American horse racing send thousands upon thousands of Thoroughbred racehorses to a grisly and terrifying death in a slaughterhouse to satisfy foreign appetites for horse meat. None of them are big stars like California Chrome though, right? We wouldn’t bet on it.

If you are interested in learning more, there is a documentary about the rise of Thoroughbred horse racing in Japan. The description states in part:

“It is the story of a nation’s determination to dominate racing at the highest level, of a family’s bold ambition to revolutionise breeding and a single stallion’s reshaping of an entire industry.”

The tweet below is how we feel about California Chrome going to Japan too with one exception; it would never be the right time for us.


California Chrome prior to the Kentucky Derby.
A playful California Chrome prior to the Kentucky Derby.

Farewell. Or should we say, sayonara?

Updated 7.57 pm 11.22.19

6 thoughts on “California Chrome is off to Japan”

  1. Anyone that would do this to any horse is devoid of feeling and should not be allowed to own any animals.
    Sickening to watch I have watched the videos. Grrrr
    Horse racing has become vicious. I have owned several OTTB’s they make wonderful mounts and are amazing athletes for other horse related sports.
    Please be responsible and all that money you make off your ponies take care of them like they did you.


  2. This it; this is the last straw for me. Ive watched racing since 1953. And i am done. Horses didnt break down all the time until lately. Yes there are always going to be breakdowns but not with the frequency of today. We’re breeding unsound bloodlines and what do we when we have the opportunity to breed to a sound, durable stud who can could race on any surface, we show our GREED and ship him to Japan. The slaughter pipeline in the U.S., the doping and drugs, the breakdowns and deaths, and now this. A BRIDGE TOO FAR, Perry Martin. Now i will support efforts to end this industry, really support. And i think im not alone. With thoroughbred racing in the crosshairs, this has to be the dumbest move ever. Remember, we vote and we can vote to abolish this ” sport “.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Revolting. The Japanese have absolutely no feelings about these horses, they’re a bunch of gambling zombies, and it’s a slap in the face of American breeders that this happens to our star thoroughbreds. But all Americans worry about is the almighty dollar, not about the horrible deaths these horses meet. There should be some organization formed that collects money to arrange to have these horses brought home to retirement, and that should be a requirement of the sale. In fact, the owners profiting big-time selling their horse to the Japanese should donate to such a fund.


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