122 Dead and Counting in California This Year

To date, 122 Thoroughbreds/QuarterHorses have died at California tracks this year:

Del Mar, 16 dead
Golden Gate, 31 dead
Los Alamitos, 16 dead
Santa Anita, 48 dead
Alameda County Fair, 2 dead
Humboldt County Fair, 1 dead
Los Angeles County Fair, 2 dead
San Joaquin County Fair, 3 dead
Sonoma County Fair, 3 dead

This is horseracing.

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  1. 122 DEAD RACEHORSES…in ONE state…NOT COUNTING those that limped into rescues only to require euthanasia due to their racing injuries…NOT COUNTING those who were sent to slaughter…NOT COUNTING those who are starving in someone’s backyard right now because the horses’ connections could not have cared less about who they were unloading the horses to, they just wanted them GONE, NOW.

    Once again, the racing industry shows itself to be an unnecessary industry where rampant abuse and total disregard for the horses run wild. There is nothing “good” about the racing industry…just like there is nothing good about dog fighting, bull fighting, orcas in captivity at SW, animals enslaved in the circus industry….. The only “good” that supporters of the cruel industries such as those just mentioned can claim is the “entertainment” they receive from it and the blood money that fills their wallets. There IS no other side to abuse.

    • 122 racehorse deaths in just one State (assuming season is from Jan to Dec) for almost a year is OUTRAGEOUS!

      Joy is absolutely right in that these statistics are far from the truth.

      The racing industry disclosed 125 horses for the whole of Australia for one year. A very credible study was done several years ago here on racehorse deaths and in a nutshell it was concluded (based on factual evidence) that one can be assured that the total number of DISCLOSED deaths be multiplied by at least 3 and then it would be closer to the truth. And that was only for raceday, barrier trials and trackwork training deaths that were not disclosed by the industry.

      Thank you Joy, you are absolutely spot on. Let the racing industry prove otherwise……..?

  2. This Site NEEDS a “like” Button for Comment’s Like Above !!
    BRAVO Joy Aten for Expressing it all so Clearly, now just Another 100,000 Pair’s of Eye’s
    need to be able to see the Truth, and the Horror Behind Horse Racing

  3. in 2010, there were 72 deaths at Golden Gate Field . in 2009, there were 61 and in 2008, there were 43.

    Here is an excerpt from a facebook page from protesters

    Golden Gate Fields employees, as well as the police have gotten more annoyed with their presence. Lets keep the pressure on & let the public know that Golden Gate Fields has the worst horse death track record in all of California.

    The had a protest against horse cruelty at Golden Gate Fields in Berkley


  4. I am praying for horse racing to stop completely. it is terrible what they put these magnificent horses through.

    “As long as they are racing, this is going to happen,” said Cousins, adding that she can’t bring herself to attend races anymore.

    I wish more people would follow this woman’s lead and stop going to watch horse racing.

    Interesting article on the subject.



    This was from 2012

    Track surfaces are one of several factors that experts say play a role in horses’ deaths — a longtime bane of the racing industry.

    A consensus is emerging among researchers that synthetic surfaces are safer than dirt for racing, though it is unclear whether the same is true for training. Training regimens, racing schedules, breeding practices and the use of medications are also thought to be important variables.

    The deaths of three horses during the production of the television horse racing drama “Luck” — which happened to be made at Santa Anita — has drawn recent attention to the issue. HBO canceled the series this month after the third incident in which a horse on the set suffered injuries and had to be euthanized.

    Yet as racing fans everywhere know, it is not uncommon for horses to break bones during races and later receive a lethal injection. At tracks across California, 186 horses died after racing and training accidents during the last fiscal year, according to statistics from the state horse racing board. An additional 79 horses died at tracks from other causes, including intestinal and respiratory diseases.

    Santa Anita leads California tracks in horse racing deaths
    The toll rose significantly after the Arcadia facility abandoned a costly and troublesome experiment with a synthetic surface and returned to dirt, statistics show.

    Horse racing is losing popularity to other forms of gambling, and the number of races and race horses has been declining. The industry, though, has faced increasing scrutiny as a result of high-profile cases such as that of Barbaro, who two weeks after winning the 2006 Kentucky Derby, shattered his right hind leg in the Preakness Stakes. After several operations failed, he was euthanized.

    Pasadena resident Connie Cousins used to visit Santa Anita at sunrise to admire the horses as they trained. After some of her favorites failed to show up, she learned that they had been euthanized following accidents. In 2005, she started an online “memorial wall” to honor them and others.

    “As long as they are racing, this is going to happen,” said Cousins, adding that she can’t bring herself to attend races anymore.

  5. Wow, these numbers are astonishing…I love racing but had no idea this was gong on!

  6. Unfortunately the people who are in the racing business consider the few racehorses that do die each year are considered acceptable losses when you consider the thousands that are born into the racing business each year. You are bound to lose a horse or two each year with injuries, colic, etc. Thats the attitude of the horseracing business people, just like any other business. But what if your doctor considered you an acceptable loss? No person would stand for it, he would have no patients in his waiting room would he? In my opinion, 1 racehorse dying a year is 1 to many due to a racing accident. We can only hope and pray that more race tracks close and people will stop betting on the horses. The horses need us now more than ever.

  7. RIP to every single one of these lost souls, you deserved more than this horrible life could give you

  8. I think you need to investigate the mortality for horses used for non-racing ownership. Colic, EPM, fractures, laminitis, etc. are responsible for many horse mortalities in the private sector. I believe, being involved in the horse racing industry, that the majority of owners give incredible care to their animals. I know I do. Track conditions, weather,and maintenance play a role in the running health of the horses. Synthetic track design was instigated with the belief that the more,cushioned surface would lessen the injuries in races. Thi experiment my be wainimg with only one synthetic track remaining in California after 2014, Golden Gate Fields. I read your blog daily and appreciate,the information you put forth, if not the sentiment. Dog and cat deaths in clinics and shelters are approaching 3 million per year in the United States. While many thoroughbreds are abused by owners and trainers, the numbers are insignificant when compared to the deaths and abuse of,domestic pets. How we treat,the slaughter of beef cattle and fowl is another whole topic for discussion. When a race horse or any horse is injured, the first question asked, and one that needs an immediate answer, can the animal be treated to a,degree that it will recover, race again or have a second career off track. If the answer is no ,the horse is euthanized. I have have five stainless steel screws inserted in a horses patella to save the animal when others may have avoided the expensive surgery. The ongoing discussion of drug use in the industry is one that is moving in a positive direction. Some treatments equate to aspirin, Tylenol or Ben Gay in humans. Horses get sore when running a race and in training. Compare any owners veterenarian records and it is evident the care the owners and trainers devote to their animals. I could go on at length, but enough for now. Thank you for your forum.

    • I allowed your comment because you put some time into it. But I should be clear on this: There is no other side to this debate. Horseracing is cruel exploitation of intelligent, sensitive creatures for lousy $2 bets. So I’m not at all interested in hearing about the “good people” within your industry or the sad rationalizations for wholesale killing – track conditions, weather, the proverbial “bad step.” As for the other pernicious forms of animal abuse, I am an ethical vegan and have written extensively on the subject. http://inbehalfofanimals.blogspot.com/2014/04/end-animal-property.html

    • Seamist, your horse that was operated on with five screws inserted, did it race again?

  9. Seamist, why would anyone on this site be even remotely inclined to investigate non-horseracing deaths?
    The life of the racehorse is incomparable to the life of a non-racehorse. Just one example is that the racehorse is the gambling commodity of the racing industry. You know “the main ingredient”. It appears from your comments that you might be new to your involvement in the racing industry, if not, then it appears you are very much unaware of what goes on with these animals. You state you read the comments on this site daily, then you would’ve read the numerous comments by Joy, Mary, Rose, Kathleen, Gina, Carolyn Hyatt and many others who substantiate their comments with real facts. Last but not least Patrick’s comments and statistics also based on facts. You might give incredible care to your horses but sadly the truth of the matter is that you are just a drop in the ocean in this regard. You admit that trainers and owners abuse their racehorses and state that the number is insignificant compared to domestic pets (which is a totally separate issue and has nothing to do with horseracing). For many years I’ve seen pro-racing people raising the issue of domestic animals and animals in other industries as a comparison which it most certainly is not.
    It is a pathetic tired old argument (which does not qualify as an argument for debate on horseracing) and, in my view, displays an appalling weakness by pro-racing bloggers when this so called “argument” has to be resorted to to defend the racing industry.
    “The ongoing discussion of drug use in the industry is one that is moving in a positive direction”.
    DISCUSSION…… hmm….. the racing industry has been doing this for decades and decades and it’s called LIP SERVICE to be seen to be doing something about it to appease the public when it is deceiving the public because, unfortunately, the drugging of racehorses will never ever cease because if it did the racing industry would completely collapse and they know it. A jockey lost his life in a barrier trial because the trainer gave the horse Bute (similar to Panadol, Tylenol for humans) when the horse was sore and not fit but oh yeah lets’s just administer Bute and that will fix it. Horse so badly injured had to be euthanased. It was all hushed up of course except to declare in the media how sad it was that jockey died (horse not mentioned) but it was just one of those “freak accidents”. You state horses train and race when sore and you are perfectly comfortable with this? No horse should ever train or race when it is sore but we know that this is common place in horseracing, it is totally accepted and nobody gives a damn.
    Veterinarian records and treatments? I cannot begin to tell you my view and experience as to what goes on with racehorse vets whether it be official race club vets or owner/stable/trainer vets.
    “and avoid owner or trainer pressure to simply mask clinical signs rather than getting to the bottom of the issue.” (extract from the link below)
    You might be interested in reading this article about catastrophic fractures in racehorses by Hong Kong Racing Club’s Chief Veterinarian recently published –

    • Carolyn….great reply. Your personal experience with the subject matter and the wisdom it awarded you shines through your words. What an amazing, strong advocate you are for the racehorses that so desperately need our voices! Thank you!

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