Vader Grade Dead at Great Falls

8-year-old Vader Grade, trained by Harlan Bird Rattler and owned by Wesley Edwards, was killed in Sunday’s 5th race at Great Falls (Montana State Fair). Equibase originally reported this as a mostly non-event: “clipped heels, lost rider,” DNF. But in fact, the gelding suffered (according to the meet’s director) “a terrible injury and had to be euthanized.”


Tom Tucker of the Montana State Board of Horse Racing (Great Falls Tribune): “…you’ve got animals running and sometimes they will trip and you have accidents. It’s extremely unfortunate, but that’s just part of this industry.” Dead horses – “just part of this industry.” Mr. Tucker, you’ve said a mouthful.

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One comment

  1. Yes, Mr. Tucker, you said it just right when you said it is “just part of this industry”. What a cavalier statement !! But at least he said exactly how it is in this sorry industry. There was no attempt at pretense !

    What is so disconcerting is how all this abuse is “ignored” by society and never gets the exposure in the media so necessary. It is hands off because of the money generated. Nobody wants to touch it. Somehow this needs to change…

    RIP Vader Grade and all the horses on the long and growing list.

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