7 racehorses killed so far at Saratoga in 2017

Correction 1.25 pm: 7 deaths not 17. Hope this error does not turn out to some sort of dark omen.

Saratoga Bugler (Skip Dickstein/Times Union).
Saratoga Bugler (Skip Dickstein/Times Union).

SARATOGA, New York — Patrick Battuello of Horseracingwrongs.com reports:

In the final race of the afternoon yesterday at Saratoga, this for 4-year-old Brooklyn Major (Equibase):

“BROOKLYN MAJOR three wide at the half mile pole, was through after the half, then fatally collapsed after crossing the finish line.” Yes, another “fatal collapse” after the wire. But all is not lost: For finishing the race, Brooklyn’s connections took home $84.

To date, seven horses have died at Saratoga ’17, four in the last four days:

Lakalas, May 28, “collapsed and died after breezing”
Queen B, July 6, “fractured leg while breezing…ambulanced to clinic – euthanized”
Wanztbwicked, July 22, “suffered an injury while breezing – euthanized on the track”
Angels Seven, July 28, “pulled up, injury to LF leg – euthanized on the track”
Howard Beach, July 29, “suffered a fracture to RF leg breezing and was euthanized”
Positive Waves, July 29, “suffered a fracture to his RF leg breezing – euthanized”
Brooklyn Major, July 31, “collapsed and died after the finish of the race”

It makes you wonder how horseracing can brag that its casualties are down and they are doing better. Doing better than what? At what? All we can see them excelling at is abusing and killing horses. They are are marvelous at that. Many of their horses die at the track while training. These sad victims haven’t even made it into a race yet.

I suppose with (1) the threat of the return of horse slaughter to U.S. soil (horse racing will love that —murder and mayhem being a day-to-day part of this disgustingly cruel “sport” so called), and (2) the hotly lobbied for killing of 90,000+ American Mustangs needlessly robbed of their homes and freedom and placed into U.S. confinement camps to eke out the rest of their now tragic lives — who cares about a few dead racehorses, right?

Well we do. We care about all of them. What can we do? Protest.

The people at horseracingwrongs.com have been and continue to do so. More on that coming soon.

Protest on Twitter. Tweet reports like this one, but most importantly Patrick’s reports at @ABRLive. That America’s Best Racing’s handle that tweets endless drivel about this “great sport”. Let’s shake their audience up.

And to the gamblers who support suffering and death with their $2 bets, can’t you find something else to bet on? There are a myriad of sports played out across the world you can bet on with human athletes who choose it as a career and voluntarily take the risks associated with it.

Tweet reports like this one, especially Patrick’s to @lasvegasbetting and @vegasSB1 (for strictly sports betting). Use the phrase You Bet. They Die.

These are just a couple of ideas. Help these horses with your ideas. Email us or post them here in comments.

With U.S. horse racing we must put their feet to the fire and keep it there. No one else is going to do it. We have to, in memory of all the racehorses already maimed and destroyed by this dangerous, drug infested industry and its forthcoming victims.

What trainer was it that said this not so long ago? Can’t find it now, but it went something like this: I don’t care if they get rid of drugs in horse racing. I just hope I’m dead when they do it.

That pretty much sums it up.

A young horse just died at this Racetrack — and no one’s talking about it

His was the third death in just two months.

Horses jump out of the starting gate at Saratoga racecourse. Saratoga.com.
Horses jump out of the starting gate at Saratoga racecourse. Saratoga.com.

THE DODO | BY SARAH V. SCHWEIG | JULY 26, 2017 | Link to Article

A 3-year-old thoroughbred horse named Wanztbwicked was euthanized on the Saratoga racetrack on Saturday after breaking down during training — he’s the third horse to die at the New York track in just two months — and no one’s really even talking about it.

That’s because casualties like this are the norm for horse racing. Hundreds of horses die on tracks in the U.S. every year.

In just New York state so far this year, over 50 horses have died at racetracks and many more have been injured. Last year, at Saratoga alone, 17 horses died from racing-related injuries.

Part of the reason so many young racehorses die is because of a lack of regulation on drugs administered to the animals, according to Vivian Grant Farrell, founder and president of The Horse Fund, an organization that promotes horse welfare. Farrell said that horses are commonly given drugs to mask preexisting injuries so that they can “run through the pain,” and this compromises their safety.

“Man and animal alike love to do what they were created to. Racehorses love to run. But some even go so far as to believe that racehorses love to compete. Perhaps, but not in the way a human being does. In the instance of horse racing, too often humans project insatiable appetites for money and glory onto the performance of these magnificent animals,” Farrell told The Dodo after a young horse died at the Belmont Stakes in 2015. And little has changed since that death, and so many others.

“Horses continue to die unnecessarily on America’s racetracks,” Jane Allin, research writer for The Horse Fund, told The Dodo.

One of the most memorable deaths on the track was a horse named Eight Belles, who was euthanized at the Kentucky Derby after getting injured on May 3, 2008. “It was her tragic death that spurred a major undertaking to address the pervasive use of drugs — both therapeutic and performance-enhancing — in every division of horse racing occurring on the tracks across the U.S.,” Allin said. “Since this time, has anything really changed?”

Eight Belles falls to her chest as she fractures both front legs after crossing the finish line in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.
Eight Belles falls to her chest as she fractures both front legs after crossing the finish line in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.

In terms of drug use, nothing has changed, according to Allin. “Year after year, the racing industry meets to discuss and argue about developing new regulations … but the industry itself is divided and so the ideas of many well-intentioned individuals are mired in disagreement,” she said.

Allin pointed out that Saratoga, like other tracks across the nation, has a history of death. “With the rampant use of drugs in North America, unlike other jurisdictions in the world, there is certainty that horses are compromised, leading to a greater number of fatalities on the track, reported or not,” Allin said. “It seems no horse is immune to these abhorrent practices… Horse racing in North America is a sham. Until real changes [take place], racing here will continue down the ugly path of deceit and death.”

Even if better regulations pass, there are other problems that cast a dark cloud over the industry. “There are some horse racing jurisdictions that are highly praised such as Hong Kong where drug abuse is virtually nonexistent. However, gambling is the heartbeat of horse racing and it has much more to do with running ‘clean’ races, which bettors in their culture demand, than any consideration for the racehorse,” Farrell told The Dodo. For instance, it is not uncommon for ex-racehorses to be shipped to slaughter or die of neglect. “How can you make an industry humane that for decades has been dumping racehorses of no further use to them in slaughterhouses?” Farrell said.

Read full article »

Additional Reading

Horse Racing Special Reports, Jane Allin »
Horseracing Wrongs, Patrick Battuello »
Racehorses Killed in 2017, Patrick Battuello »

Featured Image

Horses jump out of the starting gate at Saratoga racecourse. Saratoga.com.

Colorado Governor’s uninspiring response to unsanctioned horse racing

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Drew Angerer / Getty Images.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Drew Angerer / Getty Images.

COLORADO (Horse Racing) — You remember the undercover report on “unsanctioned” horse racing exposed by the superb Fox31 ProblemSolvers’ team of Chris Halsne and Chris Keoberl.

Thanks to horse advocates like you a lot of pressure has been put on the Governor of Colorado and the State’s lawmakers, but chiefly on the Governor.

It is Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper who has finally responded, stating he is “supportive of some sort of new oversight”.

What? There’s more.

“When financial self-interest is involved, people might dope up horses — do things that are unacceptable for almost everyone,” Governor Hickenlooper told FOX31 during a recent on-camera interview.

“You want to get all those people together and say how can we make sure these horses are not mistreated for the lowest amount of cost and intrusion into people’s lives? We want to make the regulatory part of as minimum as possible and still guarantee the welfare of horses.”

The key words here are financial self-interest.

Chief of Racing Enforcement, Ron Hammerzell, told the FOX31 Problem Solvers he hears complaints about unsanctioned horse racing, happening at rodeo grounds like in Deer Trail, but can’t do anything about it.

Hammerzell said, “Simply, our statutory authority doesn’t really allow us to get involved there. Again, when local law enforcement calls, we assist them in any way we can.”

How about reporting it to the FBI? Isn’t this type of activity where illegal gambling is involved a federal crime, like dog fighting?

Governor Hickenlooper thinks with the help of venue operators, animal rights organizations (like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), lawmakers, and racing regulators, the state can and should start thinking about crafting some simple safety rules that bring horse match-races out of the shadows.

The ASPCA are animal welfarists and exactly who you do not want in a situation like this. It is nigh to impossible to make these horses safe in sanctioned horse racing let alone unsanctioned. Look at the horrible day-to-day drugging, abuse and death connected with sanctioned horse racing.

Sadly we see that no firm stand for what is right is going to be taken by the politically ineffective Governor of Colorado. And we are not simply talking about the horses here even though they are our main focus.

Hickenlooper asked, “How to we get to a compromise where everyone is satisfied – where we can make sure horses are not mistreated, the spectators and racers are safe and the end of every day, everything is going to be okay?”

It is never right in cases of potentially dangerous and abusive activities to try to satisfy everyone. It shouldn’t even be a consideration.

Compromise. What an ugly word in the context of this barbaric issue. For the most part, the only ones being compromised are the horses. Sound familiar?

Response from Legitimate Racing

We have been trying to get a response from legitimate horse racing in Colorado but none will give Tuesday’s Horse or The Horse Fund a statement. However, we notice no one we spoke with seemed particularly concerned. Is it because this is a way of unloading racehorses they don’t want any longer without having to go through the bothersome task of getting rid of them some other way such as via the meat man at auction?

The undercover report mentions that the unsanctioned races they investigated were run primarily by hispanics. Since there are so many hispanics working at U.S. racetracks they are in a prime position to acquire racehorses for unsanctioned races. Is this another reason those running horses at sanctioned races prefer to stay mum or don’t seem to have a problem with it? It seems they would at least be concerned about the gambling revenues they are losing. Why aren’t they? Is someone in sanctioned racing taking kickbacks?

Take Action

Take action residents of Colorado.

State Lawmakers

Find your State Legislators and call or email them. The Legislature is not in session but they are working. Tell them that you are disappointed with the Governor’s response and ask them to amend an existing statute or pass a new one that will make unsanctioned racing illegal Colorado.

Governor Hickenlooper

Please also contact the Governor of Colorado and tell him that you are disappointed at his response and to take a whatever steps are necessary to abolish unsanctioned horse racing in your State.

(303) 866-2471 (front desk)

Tip: Collect your thoughts. Make a note of what you want to say, rehearse it a few times until you feel you’ve “got it”. Then dial and deliver it. We all do that here so we present our views in the best possible way.

Use the Governor’s Share Your Comments Form
https://www.colorado.gov/governor/share-your-comments

Tip: Again, collect your thoughts, type it up and review it until you are happy. Be concise. Then copy and paste it into the comment area provided.

• Regular Mail

Office of the Governor
136 State Capitol Bldg
Denver, CO 80203

Last updated: 6:06 pm.

Ireland and China agree deal to allow direct export of horses

Irish bred Thoroughbred Mare and Foal. ~ The Flint Gallery.
Irish bred Thoroughbred Mare and Foal. ~ The Flint Gallery.

IRELAND (Horse Racing) — Chinese plans to develop racing and breeding industry is ‘good news’ for sector in Ireland declares The Irish Times, who interestingly filed this article in its “agribusiness and food” section.

The Republic and China have agreed a deal that will allow direct export of horses from here [Ireland] to the world’s second biggest economy, paving the way for a potentially lucrative trade in bloodstock.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirmed yesterday that it has agreed a deal with the authorities in the People’s Republic of China that will allow quarantine and pre-export approval of horses bound for Asian economic giant to take place in the Republic under the supervision of its vets.

Up to now, any horses sent to China had to undergo quarantine in the Netherlands, an arrangement that added to Irish exporters’ costs.

The deal confirmed yesterday was the next step from a protocol signed last year by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and vice-minister Wei Chuanzhong, where the two agreed that Irish horses could be exported to China subject to a quarantine period in an Irish facility approved by Mr Coveney’s department.

Key Sectors

All types of horses are covered, but one of the key sectors expected to benefit from the move is thoroughbred breeding. China is planning to develop its racing and breeding industries, lead by a project at Tianjin, where there are plans to invest $2 billion in a complex that will include a racecourse, training facilities and stud farming.

The Chinese authorities last year chose Irish bloodstock empire, Coolmore Stud, which has operations in Tipperary, the US and Australia, as a partner in the project.

Coolmore will provide 100 broodmares, sourced in Ireland, to Tianjin over a three-year period to help establish a breeding programme at the centre. There are also plans to acquire stallions for its stud farm.

The Tipperary-based operation, headed by John Magnier, is one of the world’s leading stud farm and racehorse breeding businesses. It owns leading European stallion, Galileo, and champion Australian sire, Fastnet Rock, among others.

* * *

In a seemingly unrelated story, Australia are considering the export of horses overseas for slaughter. As stated above, “The Chinese authorities last year chose Irish bloodstock empire, Coolmore Stud, which has operations in Tipperary, the US and Australia, as a partner in the project.”