Celzo’s Birdie Dead at Humboldt County Fair

Welcome to county-fair season, where cheap horses run for paltry purses at rinky-dink tracks under bottom-feeder trainers. To be sure, you won’t be reading a Paulick report on today’s 4th at Elko. But here, all horses are equal – in life and death – whether a Grade 1 entrant at Saratoga or a $1,500 claimer at White Pine.

Friday afternoon at the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale (CA), a nondescript 5-year-old named Celzo’s Birdie broke down in the 4th and was euthanized. While this weekend’s Del Mar and Saratoga kills (see last three posts) received some – but not enough – media attention, Celzo’s demise was destined to pass unnoticed. How very sad, on multiple levels.

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  1. Thank you for this post. Would you please create a category for action people can take to contact their congress and send in the petitions on the different bills in Congress so they can be brought to the floor for a vote.

    • Thank you for your interest, Kathleen, but as I am only interested in racing’s end, I feel lobbying for various reform-oriented bills is pointless. Assuming you want what I want, the best thing you can do is spread this site far and wide – educate the fans and bettors; let them know what their consumer dollar supports.

  2. Patrick you told me once before that I could give you ideas for your blog. The one I did give you did not get attention. This is one I have always wonder why no one writes about. Taboo I guess. — County/State fairs. Kids hug and kiss all over their goats, pigs, cows, and the rest of the livestock. They just love love love their animals. Then they sell them for meat. I know that has to bother you but do you have the stones to write about it???

    I know everyone this does not have anything to do with horse racing but Patrick and i are not exactly pen pals. This is the only way I can contact him…So deal with it…

  3. Another Country 2, why don’t you state who you are? Comparing the animal cruelty in horse-racing with cruelty inflicted on animals in other areas is a very tired old argument
    and often a strategy to avoid addressing the serious animal welfare crisis currently being experienced by the horse-racing industry world wide.
    Most people regard animal cruelty as not only unacceptable but abhorrent, especially in today’s society, after all this is the 21st century! Just because it is a tradition going back hundreds of years does not justify the whipping, slaughter, drugging, sending horses out when they’re sore, carrying a subclinical health issue, confinement, being bashed and the list goes on………

    Horse-racing is in the public eye every day for “entertainment” and gambling – shame on us.

    • Carolyn just for you I will state who I am. I am Another Country 2. Good enough? If you would have read my post to Patrick it had nothing to do with taking the spotlight off of horse racing. I was giving Patrick an idea for his Union Times posts. As I implied in my comment I do not have a valid e-mail, phone number, or address for him. This is my only means of contact. Why does it feel like I am repeating myself??? ^^^ read the post..

      I figure you are a know it all, so you would know he had another blog where he addressed all animals. I thought it was a great blog but few people if any made comments. Horse racing is the hip thing to hate right now so other animals going to slaughter don’t count. Everyone is jumping on the band wagon. Like yourself.

      Also yes that is Celzo’s Birdie “jumping out of the barriers”. HRW has someone take a picture of every race everyday.

      • Is Celzo’s Birdie the horse coming out of either barrier 3 or 4 with jockey wearing red cap and red white and blue colours?

      • Mr. AC2, you state that racing is the “hip thing to hate right now so other animals going to slaughter don’t count”. I know I have stated this before, but for those that are a bit “slow”, including you, here it is again. This site is called Horseracing Wrongs….not Cows Going To Slaughter Wrongs or Disgusting Cowboys Slaughtering Pigs Wrongs. I know it is tough to grasp, especially for those who support racing, but please try. I am a vegetarian, and proud to be one, and I work diligently to educate others on the virtues of not eating animal flesh. I’m sure you know this but vegetarians live, on average, 7 years longer than carnivores. They also have a lower incidence of diabetes and obesity. All animals matter to me and to insinutate otherwise, is simply untrue, but not surprising coming from you. You have the audacity to babble…”why does it feel like I am reapeating myself”? Those are your words, not mine, Mr. Anonymous. Again, to REPEAT myself over and over and over…This page is called Horseracing Wrongs. Deal with it!

        As far as the “hip thing to hate right now”, you are way off on that one, Mr. AC2. I have despised racing for a LONG time because of the atrocities that I have seen for YEARS on the backside of a low level track. Yes, horses destroyed and crippled by YOUR industry. “HIP THING?” Nope, It is called “reality”. Patrick reports deaths on many different tracks. Horses destroyed when they are babies. Shameful, yes, but “real”, nonetheless. When people begin to see the truth, the veil is lifted and the atrocities are there for all to see. One would hope that a compassionate person would choose to walk away from horseracing, but sometimes that is difficult when there is a buck to be made.

  4. Can anyone tell me if the photo of the horses jumping out of the barriers is the race in which Celzo’s Birdie broke down and euthanased?

  5. Yes, Celzo’s Birdie had the same survival instincts, the same will to live, and the same feelings of well-being or of pain, hunger and thirst as California Chrome. One does not have a greater intrinsic value than the other. And when any of them die in their servitude, it is only the loss of what they had earned for their master that is mourned.

    RIP Celzo’s Birdie. Your enslavement is over.

  6. Another Country 2 – thank you for letting me know which barrier Birdie came out.
    If you look at horse out of barrier 3 (red cap) its tail is up now this means horse
    has experienced pain and possibly an injury due to the stress on the pelvic and hind area.
    Also the grey’s tail evidences horse has experienced pain.
    Now Birdie, as you say, was in barrier 4 (white cap) but i cannot see his tail so
    i cannot comment on whether he likely suffered an injury on jumping out. The two horses in barriers 1 and 2 appear to have jumped out well with no indication that they suffered any pain/injury.
    It would be interesting to know what Birdie’s injury was necessitating him to be euthanased.
    If it was a fractured pelvis or a hind limb then i’d say it happened when he jumped out
    and his tail would’ve been up.
    I’ve done research on racehorses jumping out of the barriers after i saw a number of deaths as a result. As for the grey the pain might’ve been momentarily and not suffered an injury. However, if it did suffer an injury, unless xrays are done, no one will know. Ever since the Aga Khan’s mare, Verema, suffered a catastrophic injury in our Melbourne Cup last year, and was euthanased, an equine vet/researcher went public in the Australian media and said
    words to the effect that the industry should not be so accepting that this is “normal in racing” because it could be avoided if the horses were routinely x-rayed for stress fractures some of which occur on jumping out. A high profile Australian trainer recently retired a mare that was doing extremely well when he had her x-rayed and found a stress fracture which meant that
    it was too risky to send her out again in case she broke her leg. So because she was very well bred, very valuable, had done well and was destined for the breeding barn, the connections did not risk her. Yeah, that’s ok for wealthy connections but what about the thousands of horses that are not famous. We are putting them into the barriers knowing that they can suffer an injury just on the stress of jumping out. It is so very wrong.

    • Wonderful. You are so observant. It is great to have someone that has done all the research as you have responding to these posts.

      We have a good one here guys…

    • Carolyn, please ignore Mr. AC2. He is condescending when he replies to your post about the horse breaking through the “barrier”. I’m not sure why he continues to post here unless he enjoys it when we engage him. If you are speaking out against racing, then you are one of the “good guys” or “good gals”. If this was my blog, I would have banned him months ago, but it is up to Patrick to make that decision. He has talked down to many of us in the past. Of course, that is super easy to do when no one knows who you are because you are Mr. Anonymous.

      Also, Patrick uses “stock” photos to “paint the picture” of the atrocities in racing. The racing industry doesn’t photograph the horses at the lower levels. The photo of the horses at the start of the race is probably a “stock” photo. However, Celzo’s Birdie is just as deserving of a “real” photo as California Chrome but that isn’t how the racing industry works.

      • I am sure she knows what she is talking about Mary. If their tail is up they are in pain.I am sure her research is something THIS blog would like to share with the public. If a horses tail is up it more then likely has fractures in the pelvis.

        I guess maybe you should take into mind that the picture is very likely of Arabians not thoroughbreds. All the well informed HRW aficionados know an Arabian from a thoroughbred and know many Arabs carry their tale in that manner.

        This week has been very informative. You have learned not to put those “iron” shoes on young horses because they are not fully developed and all Arabians have stress fractures in pelvis that is why they carry their tail high…

  7. Oh pour l’amour du ciel : horses’ tails going up is not a sign of pain. I don’t know who AC2 is and don’t care, either. Horses raise their tails when excited. Arabs carry their tails high from birth. Good grief. After being born into and living over half a century in this business, I know what I’m talking about. I don’t hide behind a screen name, either. Okay, regarding this particular casualty of human greed and willful ignorance, here are the details:

    08/22/2014 Trainer Humberto Loma, owners Jorge Loma and Maria Rodriguez. Horse, 5YO chestnut gelding Celzo’s Birdie (31 starts 4-3-5, earnings $39,858), broke down while running 2nd during the 4th race, a $5K CLM… EUTHANIZED ON THE TRACK AFTER SUFFERING A CATASTROPHIC FRACTURE TO THE LEFT FRONT. Jockey Dionicio Navarro transported via ambulance to hospital with significant injuries. *The gelding’s previous out SIX DAYS EARIER, he ran 7th out of seven coming off a win FOURTEEN DAYS EARLIER at Santa Rosa on 08/02/2014. *Celzo’s Birdie began his career by running 7th out of nine in a $12.5K MDN CLM at Zia on 11/08/2011 for trainer Jose Ramos, came off the track sore and DID NOT START AGAIN FOR SIX MONTHS… Celzo’s Birdie was a dead gelding walking long before he died on the bullring track at Ferndale.

    PERSONAL OPINION? Loma is a dirtbag so worthless that I wouldn’t waste the water required to spit on him. He’s earned my opinion. ONE EXAMPLE? On 04/11/2014, Loma paid a $1000 fine for KETOPROFEN in the filly Sharp Bella, 2nd in the 3rd at Los Al and claimed for $3.2K by Bret Vickery who ran her on 06/01/2014 (finished 3rd out of eight in a $5K CLM). After the claim, Vickery and Sharp Bella failed to show up in the receiving barn on 07/05/2014 at Los Al necessitating a late scratch—this is what claim game trainers do when they don’t want an unsound horse to go onto the vet list but know that the horse can’t run that day—they don’t show up for lasix and pay a $200 fine which is cheaper than having a horse break down before they can unload their problem onto someone else—Sharp Bella didn’t start again until 08/02/2014, and sure enough, Vickery unloaded the unsound filly onto Chuck Treece who claimed her for $4K from a race where she ran 5th out of five—NOTE THE FACT THAT VICKERY DROPPED THE FILLY IN CLASS AFTER SHE’D HIT THE BOARD AND EARNED $1,470—followed by an amazing change in form for Treece when she came back 27 days later to run 2nd for a $2.5K tag… Gosh. Why do you suppose Treece claimed her for $4K then dropped her in for 2.5 as soon as her blood plasma reading for methylprednisolone would be under 100 picograms per milliliter—or whatever drug was used to get her sound enough to pass the vet check had reached allowable levels? Do the math…

    Mary Johnson and I have disagreed on many issues, but she is my friend. In this area—the mistreatment of cheap horses by trash trainers—we will NEVER disagree. Why not? Because Mary unequivocally correct in her assessment of the abuses inherent in the claim game. It’s not much better at the top nowadays, either.

    Patrick, when I’ve finished adding race details and histories to my database of fatalities at one particular track between 2009 and the end of 2013 (not a single one of these confirmed fatalities is public knowledge yet)… IT will hit the fan. Vet records obtained via open records request—and trust me on this one: IT will definitely hit the fan when I publish my findings.

    As a women who spent her whole life looking at the world from the back of a TB racehorse—horses who never saw a needle except when it was time for vaccinations (plus one mare who cut herself on a sharp stick from a live oak tree as she was galloping around the pasture on turnout between races—and a filly who sustained a chip fracture to her RF knee when she banged herself in the wash rack, chip removed before the knee was even hot much less sore thanks to my belief in regular radiographs, filly came back to win and is currently doing well eventing at the Preliminary level)—I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE the nightmare of modern racing’s training and medication protocols—racing’s new normal even at the elite levels is becoming increasingly abusive. There remain a few trainers who run on oats, hay and water—a few who don’t train on clenbuterol, methocarbamol injections to the joints, various other steroids, estrol, bute, flunixin, various blood thinners, on and on—oddly enough, their horses tend to have long careers and walk off the track sound… but not many.

    • Ms.Broussard, I keep a name that everyone knows is an alias for numerous reasons. One being I do not always speak well of race tracks or their policies yet sometime those same track employ my services. Secondly, though I do not own or train any horses (I actually own no animals big or small) there are people who share my name that do. Some in this blog will search out relatives of pro horse racing commentators and drag them into the conversation. One lady had to defend the father of her child because he had been ruled off years before. So you liking me or my alias really matters little…

      I had the same opinion as you on the tail raising issue yet you wish to add me in on it for some reason. Is it your opinion that those horses are NOT Arabian??

      You can relay all the incidentals about the breakdowns you like. If you are pro racing in this blog you are basically considered scum. Not by me of course, but the others. Is that not correct Patrick?? If not what is the correct description?? I believe this young lady tries to race horses as clean as possible, yet she still races. For 50 years she has only had 2 horses that received a shot that were not vaccines. I personally do not believe that to be possible, but who am I to refute her claims.

      This will be very interesting. A person playing both sides of the fence. Will you be considered one of the “Wonderful People” or pro racing scum like myself????

    • Ms.Broussard do tell us how you have managed to have been born into and living over a half century in this business and have only been on the backs of 2 horses that have received shots other than vaccinations. You have a better chance of hitting the lottery 6 times in a row then performing that feat.
      I make the comment that I knew of 2 horses living happy lives and get a barrage of naysayers. You claim an impossibility and I guess everyone wishes to believe that. Ms.Broussard since you know what your talking about, how about a couple of names of those fortunate horses that only got the vaccines. I would love to see a list of horses who must have never had a bout of colic and needed banamine or literally any shot ever.

      I will be blunt. I do not believe you…

  8. Purebred Arabs raise their tails, it is one of their characteristics.
    Racehorses are not purebred Arabs.
    I have indisputable evidence of racehorses suffering pelvic/hind injury and
    the tail went straight up in each case and in most cases didn’t go down
    until jockey was able restrain it out of the race. Racehorses don’t have brakes and when
    they suffer a catastrophic injury they cannot immediately pull up due to their momentum and it often takes 300-400m for the horse to come to a standstill. Have been witness to this on the racetrack for decades.

    • Arabian race horses are purebred Arabians. When your first comment is asinine it takes away from anything else you write.

      “IF” all horses with pelvic injuries raise their tail that does not mean that all horses that raise their tail have an injury… The horses in the picture are Arabian not thoroughbred…

  9. Another Country 2 – you seem to have misinterpreted my point in relation to my research and observations. I did not say “all horses that raise their tail have an injury…” that was YOUR statement. I would not be so stupid to say something so utterly ridiculous. I did not know that you raced purebred Arabian horses in America…. we don’t here, we race thoroughbreds.

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