Bird Hunter Euthanized After Being Vanned Off

More often than not, a racehorse who cannot exit the course under his own power – is vanned off – ends up euthanized back in the barn or shortly thereafter. But confirmations are hard to come by, and we’re left with but a host of missing athletes. Every once in a while, though, some truth shines through.

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Last night at Charles Town (race 3), 4-year-old Bird Hunter fell, per Equibase, and was vanned off. This morning, I was able to confirm that the young gelding did not survive his injury. This is horseracing.

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  1. The names for this destined horses should not be allowed to be so heroic and honorable. The little foals scampering across their first paddocks should reflect their predictable futures. Not a day goes by that one of those beautifully born animals named to contrive an attitude of joy and meaning is betrayed by its “handlers.”

  2. Well said, janwindsong. I, too, think of how proud and joyous all must be when the newborn foal is first seen and the naming game is in full swing. And then the first trip to the winner’s circle…celebrations all around…
    They die and it just starts all over again. A vicious, tragic circle. So unnecessary!

  3. Another Afleet Alex, Afleet Lexi TB 6 / M Turfway Park; last race 10-19-13 Keene, looked injured to me. PP states “Afleet Lexi had speed for a half.”

    The above is from my notes. I suspect she is dead too, but I have no proof.

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