Belmont Loses 4 Horses in 4 Days

Chris Englehart is a famous Thoroughbred trainer. In fact, he’s one of the best in the business, a virtual winning machine: top-10 five years running, over $33 million career earnings. This being horseracing, however, with success, comes baggage: Among his numerous fines, Mr. Englehart counts five drug-related suspension judgments since 2005, the most recent a NY 60-day TCO2 overage served earlier this year. There’s more, of course. Since 2009, 20 of his charges have perished while training or racing on NY tracks. 20. The latest victim, a four-year-old named Attenborough, fell Saturday at Belmont, Englehart’s second death there in three days (Skiddles n’ Bob).

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But the week’s carnage at Belmont Park was not yet complete. Like Attenborough, the Robert Hess-trained Maui Mark (pictured below), broke and died while “breezing,” an innocuous sounding racing activity that sometimes ends with pentobarbital. For Mr. Hess, himself a wildly successful trainer, that’s three Belmont deaths this year (Spit Ball, Parasol). Belmont Park, one of NY’s racing “jewels,” can now boast 21 dead horses since the beginning of 2013.

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  1. And of course all these deaths are being “investigated” ? Nothing will happen regarding this carnage until there is a completely independent body to seriously take over these so called “investigations”. Otherwise it will be “business” as usual with more and more of these athletes sacrificed for greed and ego. It is nothing short of a disgraceful sub culture built around hardcore gambling.

  2. Amen, Rose! The racing industry is notorious for turning a blind eye to the atrocities that happen day in and day out at tracks throughout the country.

  3. I am not shocked other than the insurance company’s pay out these large claims without a through investigation Seems there is a equine vet or two is someone’s pocket ….. Disgraceful

  4. Nothing is ever done with animal welfare in this country whether it be racing, horse slaughter horse transport to feedlots, feedlots themselves, puppy mills, I could go on and on and on, everyone JUST can’t be bothered, right down to the police in towns that ignore abuse, or just a slap on the wrist IF anyone even gets that… This is a NATIONAL DISGRACE

  5. You are so right Debbie. The situation is emblematic of where our society is heading. I believe it was Ghandi who said the goodness of a society can be judged by how it treats it’s most defenseless which, of course includes the animals.
    The rampant abuse of the voiceless says nothing good about us and not to mention the growing indifference.

  6. as a racehorse owner who cares about her horses…we are not all bad…as and sport, there are villains and heroes. I pride myself in having a stable full of spoiled race horses…also accidents do happen in every sport…I realize my industry is not viewed in a good light all the time, but we too have our heroes and celebrate them…don’t hate the industry…there are real spoiled horses out there

    • First, Lynn, while accidents in other sports rarely if ever result in death, at least three horses die on American tracks each day, and, inconveniently for you and your industry, those victims did not consent to their participation. “Sport”? Enough already. As to your last point, do you guarantee that all your “spoiled horses” retire to bucolic, wide-open spaces? If so, how about your colleagues? Because until you (they) can, your comment reads like specious nonsense.

      • You people are all STUPID for judging us that own and train horses as Lynn stated not all of us beat our horses into the ground..I also spoil my horses and even though they may not have consented to racing it is what there bread to do racing is what there passion is… And I damn sure dont do it out of greed I have a job off the track making good money I have race horses because its a hobby and I love them like there my kids but like Lynn said somtimes accidents do happen regardless of what sport it is and yes most horses do have to be put to sleep when this happens but there doing what there bread and love to do and thats RACING so until you ignorant ass people know what your talking about stay off sites like this and stop downing our industry and people in it because were not all bad

        • Mickey, thanks for the comment, for I’m always happy to have racing people indict themselves. As for ignorance: First, bread is something you eat, and second, you probably should have checked the title of this blog before suggesting we “stay off sites like this.”

  7. Absolutely egregious! Why do we allow this? When will these horses receive justice from filthy people!?

    • Encourage family and friends to stay away from the tracks. Also, tell them not to bet on horse racing. The only way to get through to the racing industry is to hurt them where it counts the most – in their wallets!

  8. What other horse industry puts a saddle and rider on a young horse whose joints haven’t yet fully developed? Spoiled horses? Give me a break…..

  9. I agree Sharon. However, the spoiled, pampered horse is the image this industry wants to portray to the public. Nothing could be further from the truth with the exception of the super stars, and even then there is deception.

  10. To all you none race horse owners that know nothing about the health or welfare of horses. Yes there are some bad people in the business. You are right there. But some of us do care an fight everyday for laws against these people to be changed. People like these do not belong in the business

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