1953 dead racehorses in 4525 days in the UK

Thoroughbred Eye Photographic Print from Etsy.

Death and disarray on the racetrack seems to know no bounds.

The numbers in the title of this post are what you find when visiting the UK based Animal Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch page. They describe their mission:

Animal Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch was launched during the 2007 Cheltenham Festival. Its purpose is to expose and record every on-course thoroughbred fatality in Britain.

The horse racing authorities have failed to put clear, unambiguous horse death information into the public domain, preferring to offer complex statistical data rather than specifying, as Death Watch does, the names of killed horses, where the fatality occurred, who was riding the horse and the nature of the injury.

We have good reason to believe that the equine fatalities we are able to list on Death Watch, and which we have verified, fall some 30% short of the true total. Disgruntled industry insiders have, in the past, supplied us with documents to support that view.

Sounds familiar, right? Read on.

Here are Animal Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch’s ten most recent entries. These injuries and deaths happened mostly over jumps. They note where the fatalities have occurred on the flat.

Aussie Showstopper (FR) / Goodwood / Broke Near-Foreleg — Destroyed
Le Maitre Chat (USA) / York / Pulled Up Injured — Destroyed
Prince Ahwahnee / Redcar / Broke Foreleg — Destroyed
Watt Broderick (IRE) / Uttoxeter / Fell, Injured — Destroyed
Altaira / Windsor / Injured Foreleg — Destroyed
Beat The Bank / Ascot Flat / Broke Near-Hind Leg — Destroyed
Swift Emperor (IRE) / Chester / Finished Race Lame — Destroyed
One More Tune (IRE) / Newton Abbot / Fatally Injured
De Good Man Luke (FR) / Pulled Up after Jumping Hurdle, Injured — Destroyed
You Say What (IRE) / Uttoxeter / Fell, Spinal Injury — Destroyed

The Horse Fund have been in contact with the British Jockey Club and the British Horseracing Board over the years, warning them and asking them  — begging them actually — to bar the American Thoroughbred from their Stud Book because of their unsoundness which has been bred into them due to egregious and debilitating doping practices and abuses.

In the meantime, does it matter why and how so many racehorses are killed during racing outside of the U.S.? The question it raised for us is — what do they have in common since it’s not excessive, deadly drugging? Does it all start in the shed?

Whatever the answer to that turns out to be, the bottom line for U.S. horse racing is this.

American horse racing has problems which are now virtually insurmountable making its future assuredly doomed. It’s just a matter of time. Our concern is how many racehorses will be drugged, abused, tortured and killed before the final curtain?

There is no doubt whatsoever that the U.S. horse racing industry is on a death watch of its own, but not just in terms of its horses, but of the entire industry itself.


Forgotten Side of the Salix Debate: The Calcium Connection

• LASIX. In the 1960’s when U.S. Astronauts were going to the moon, American horsemen figured out how to prevent and manage Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) or bleeding in horses with the use of Furosemide (Lasix/Salix).

• BUTE. Phenylbutazone (Bute) is an analgesic pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication, commonly used for the treatment of horses.

So, what’s wrong with that?

JANE ALLIN writes:

“So Salix leaches calcium from the bones and bute aids and abets the outcome. Great combination if you are Gumby’s sidekick Pokey, the talking red horse with rubber legs.” Go to Report »


Racehorse Memorial Wall

Covering racehorse deaths worldwide since 2005. Detailed account 2014 to present here. See http://racehorsememorialwall.blogspot.com/

Horse Racing Wrongs

Patrick Battuello’s American racehorse death watch. See https://horseracingwrongs.org/ »

Slow and Merciless Death of American Horse Racing

See The slow and merciless death of American horse racing by Vivian Farrell, Tuesday’s Horse »

Horse Fund Special Reports



H.R. 1754 — The Horse Racing Integrity Act

Racehorse in red hood. The Horse magazine online.
Racehorse in red hood. Image source: The Horse magazine online.

UPDATE: The Horse Fund opposes H.R. 1754. Read why here »

On March 24, 2019, Rep. Paul Tonka (D-NY-20) introduced The Horse Racing Integrity Act, H.R. 1754.

The goal of the bill is:

To improve the integrity and safety of horseracing by requiring a uniform anti-doping and medication control program to be developed and enforced by an independent Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority.

The summary of H.R. 1754 states:

This bill establishes the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority as an independent, private non-profit corporation with responsibility for developing and administering an anti-doping and medication control program for (1) Thoroughbred, Quarter, and Standardbred horses that participate in horse races; and (2) the personnel engaged in the care, training, or racing of such horses.

The Federal Trade Commission shall have oversight over the authority. An interstate compact may be established after five years to take over the authority’s duties.

The bill takes into its consideration the Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Standardbred racehorse.


H.R. 1754 is a very lengthy bill. Admittedly we have not fully analyzed it. But our legal team and chief lobbyist have read it. So has Mrs Farrell.

They all arrived at the following point independently — it has a “fox watching the hen house” vibe going on.

Look at the last two lines of the summary regarding oversight. “An interstate compact may be established after five years to take over the authority’s duties”. What do you make of that?


Neutral. We neither support or oppose this bill.

In answer to the two most asked questions we get, here’s our answers.

“Isn’t it better than nothing”? Possibly.

“Isn’t it better than what we got now?” Almost anything is.


H.R. 1754 has 120 cosponsors, and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.