Two Quarter Horses die at Louisiana Downs

Quarter Horse standing in pasture. iStock photo.

We do not post much about Quarter Horse racing fatalities. Shame on us for not doing so.

“Lrh Fast as Oak” and “Perry Train”

According to Equibase, two “fell and were euthanzied” on opening day of Louisiana Downs’ Quarter Horse race meeting.

Their names were “Lrh Fast as Oak” and “Perry Train”. They were only two years old.

About Quarter Horse racing

Quarter Horse racing competes horses at great speed for short distances on a straightaway course, originally a quarter of a mile, hence the name. Quarter Horse racing was begun by the early settlers in Virginia shortly after Jamestown was established in 1607.

Long recognized as a distinct type, Quarter Horses are known for their ability to start quickly and sprint swiftly, producing close contests with many photo finishes. The breed originated in Virginia from a Thoroughbred stallion, Janus, and native mares.

There are currently more than 5 million registered Quarter Horses.

Montreal bids farewell to its horse-drawn carriages

MONTREAL, QUE.: MAY 18, 2016-- Moise Cohen and his horse Chanel wait for a fair in Old Montreal on Wednesday May 18, 2016. Cohen said he has no idea how he will pay the bills to keep his horse now that Montreal mayor Denis Coderre has announced a ban on caleches for a period of one year just as the peak summer season is about to begin. (Allen McInnis / MONTREAL GAZETTE)

To tourists they are a time-honored, charming way of seeing the sights, but animal rights activists say Montreal’s horse-drawn carriages are a cruel and unnecessary relic of yesteryear.

A longstanding feud between the coachmen and their critics looks set to end however with the unique mode of transport set to disappear from the streets of Canada’s second city by year-end.

City Hall has ordered an end to the tourist rides out of concern for the horses. In 2018, the council passed a bylaw banishing horse-drawn carriages, starting in 2020.

Montreal carriage horse Blackjack injured and down. Photo: SPCA.
20 year-old Montreal carriage horse Blackjack collapsed on the way back to the stable and was kicked by the driver when he wouldn’t get up. He and another 20-year old carriage horse were both rescued by the SPCA. SPCA Photo.

The death of a horse in 2018 (Charlot) while pulling a carriage was the last straw for animal rights groups and prompted Mayor Valérie Plante to say that Projet Montréal’s decision to shut down the calèche industry was the right one.

“It is a tradition that has long been appreciated but today I think it is time to move on,” said Jean-François Parenteau, the city’s pointman in the case.

The city, he said, must “show concern for the animals.”

In April, to prevent out-of-work horses from ending up at slaughterhouses, the city said it would pay the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Can$1,000 (US$760) for each horse offered a refuge or adoptive family.

City Hall, meanwhile, is working on a retraining program to help coachmen transition to other tourist jobs.

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RELATED READING

•  Post Update 12/31/2019: Montreal’s horse drawn carriage industry rides off into history but not quietly, 660 City News, by Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press, 29 Dec 2019.

Rest in peace, Charlot
•  ‘It was gut wrenching,’ says man who watched calèche horse die in Old Montreal, CBC.CA News, November 5, 2018. View video of a clearly distressed Charlot dying taken by a neighbor with his cell phone. View image of a dead Charlot »

•  Calèche owner launches last-ditch court fight against Montreal’s horse-drawn carriage ban, Tuesday’s Horse, Dec 18, 2019.

FEATURED IMAGE

Montreal—Moise Cohen and his horse Chanel wait for a fair in Old Montreal on Wednesday May 18, 2016. (Allen McInnis / MONTREAL GAZETTE)