“Then it happened suddenly. Cabezudo heard an explosive crack, he would later testify, like that of a tree branch snapping, then Rivera scream. He continued looking straight ahead, but the sound was gut-wrenching. He knew what it meant.

“White arrived less than five minutes later to find a sickening sight: The filly’s right foreleg was held together by nothing more than hide and ligaments. Her cannon bone, slightly above the ankle, looked like it had detonated. But that wouldn’t have killed her on the spot. She must have fractured her neck or spine, or maybe suffered a heart attack as she crashed to the ground.”

The preceding excerpts are from an explosive new article from Ryan Goldberg on Vice: “The Death of a Racehorse.” Last year, you might remember, Ryan highlighted our work in Deadspin. His latest is long but worth every bit of your time – in equal measures exhaustive, shocking, and gripping. Please read, then share widely.

From the FAQS section of the Foxfield Steeplechase website:

Q. What should I wear? A. You’ll see everything from “Sunday Best” to “Country Casual” for both men and woman.  Women lean towards dresses, men are usually in shirt and tie often paired with khaki shorts.  Hats are a favorite of many who attend the races!

Q. Is food available at the races? A. We encourage you to bring food and beverages and tailgate during race day.

Q. When/Where can I purchase Foxfield Merchandise? A. There will be Foxfield souvenir stands in the Purple and Green sections during the race day or you may contact the race office if you would like to purchase merchandise prior to the race.

Sporty attire! Hats! Tailgating! Souvenirs! Fun for all – indeed, Foxfield bills it “Family Day at the Races”! (photo gallery here)

Now, here is the Stewards’ Report for the October 4 event:

“BOLD ESCAPE fell at the second last [fence] after meeting it wrong, getting in close, hooking his knees and sustaining a rotational fall resulting in a possible broken neck and was dead when examined by the course vet.”

“possible broken neck…dead when examined by the vet”

Still, the stewards appended this note to their report: “The course was in excellent condition…. It looks to continue to improve with the current management.” Just one minor hiccup, huh? Disgusting. And to those parents who patronize these “family events” where fully sentient beings are killed in the most horrific of ways, I humbly and respectfully ask: Any regrets, guilt, shame? If not, why, how?

“Top Hat Thoroughbreds” is an ownership/investment group that promises “Thoroughbred Ownership at a Fraction of the Cost.” In other words, a chance to buy in, on the cheap. On its available page, Kaliche Gold is proudly offered, complete with a link to his Equibase profile. Problem is, Kaliche is dead – euthanized a full eight days ago for an “unresolved training injury.” Top Hat was Kaliche’s owner; surely they know he is dead. And yet they can’t be bothered to remove the post. “Just like family,” right?