Through a “Freedom of Access Act” request, I have confirmed the following 4 deaths on or at Maine harness tracks in 2014. (Note: Maine has no Thoroughbred racing.)
Scootin Keefe, January 14, Scarborough Downs: “Injured in New York during a race…transported to Scarborough for examination. The private practitioner determined the horse needed to be euthanized.” Owner, Gordon Dubois.
Our Desire, April 5, Scarborough Downs: “Diagnosed with a broken leg following a race and was euthanized by a private practitioner.” Owner, Randy Tompkins.
Redestrian, April 17, Scarborough Downs: “Diagnosed with colic and was euthanized by a private practitioner.” Owner, Michael Hubert.
Town Fool, May 20, Bangor Raceway: “Collapsed after a race and was pronounced dead by a private practitioner. After review it was determined the horse died of a heart attack following the race.” Owners, Robert and Kyle Gibbs.
Maine’s response came with this: “This is all of the information that was reported [italics added] to the track management and the State Racing Stewards in 2014.”
Surely, there were others.
This is all the information you get ! Yes, Patrick, “surely there are others”. Also, as we know, horses do not have “heart attacks”. Are these people clueless ? I guess it is more like any excuse will do !
My understanding is that horses can suffer cardiovascular failure but there is always a cause for the heart to fail. So easy for them to state “a heart attack” I agree with you Rose. They fail to state the CAUSE of the “heart attack” e.g. exercise induced cardiovascular failure (the stress of racing); adverse result of drugging; one necropsy I came across stated “Collapsed and died due to acute cardio respiratory failure and severe pulmonary haemorrhage, most likely as a result of exercise induced cardiovascular failure”.
Scootin Keefe, January 14, Scarborough Downs: “Injured in New York during a race… The private practitioner determined the horse needed to be euthanized.” What was the reason for the vet to euthanase this horse? a fractured limb, a fractured pelvis, a fractured shoulder, etc. Where is the transparency and disclosure? What a weak excuse for Maine to state that “this is all of the information that was reported”. It appears that the Maine racing authority for harness racing is being negligent for not policing the reporting of all horse deaths. 4 deaths in 12 months…? why does the word CORRUPTION come to mind.
The horses lives are meaningless to the Maine racing authority and racing in general. They treat these magnificent animals as disposable goods. It is sickening, and the lack of transparency is unacceptable to those who care. Corruption is putting it mildly. Keep digging, eventually the truth of this horrible business always comes out, thanks to people like you, many on this blog, and most important, Patrick. Marlene Thornley
Imagine the pain and suffering that Scootin Keefe endured while being transported from NY to Maine with an injury so severe he had to be euthanized! Despicable.
I thought of that as well, Deb. Absolutely heartbreaking. These poor animals….no voice, no say in anything. Even after suffering a catastrophic injury, they don’t receive immediate, humane euthanasia…instead, loading, the trip, unloading, all the while with a life-ending injury. I can’t even imagine…
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