Painted Poney, Bella Bamba Dead at Finger Lakes

The NYS Gaming Commission reports the deaths of two at Finger Lakes:

5-year-old Painted Poney, July 16, euthanized for colitis.

4-year-old Bella Bamba, July 17, euthanized for broken hip – “history of kicking walls.”

While the Commission classifies these as “non-racing” fatalities, make no mistake, Racing bears full responsibility: As both horses were still very much “in the game” – penned at the track, each having been raced there just last month – it is not unreasonable to conclude that this industry’s inherent stress contributed to their deaths. “History of kicking walls”? Sorry, NY, you don’t get to wash your hands by calling it “non-racing” – a dead racehorse is a dead racehorse is a dead racehorse.

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  1. BELLA BAMBA – a four year old mare. She had “a history of kicking walls”. This is not uncommon. Some horses go out of their minds with the confinement in a box for about 23 hours a day – most suffer shocking boredom and depression. I once looked after a chestnut mare who kicked the walls and all I could do for her was distract her with a lovely long groom/massage, an extra walk in the afternoon and carrots when I had to put her back in the box and understandably she would fight going back in. She was a big mare and her box would’ve been no bigger than 14 feet by 12 feet. And these animals require to be moving their bodies, walking freely, grazing, resting, rolling on earth/grass, being able to groom one another, play and sleeping, all absolutely essential for their basic well-being.

    She could’ve broken her hip in a kick out
    She could’ve suffered a stress fracture in her hip in a race.

    A “non-racing” death – oh please! New York State Gaming Commission is kidding itself if it expects any member of the public to believe that this mare’s death had nothing to do with racing. To imply that because this mare had a history of kicking the walls was the reason for her death and not racing is ridiculous.
    Boxing a horse in confinement IS RACING.

    MISLEADING THE PUBLIC just puts the racing industry into further disrepute.

  2. I trained Bella Bamba since she came from the farm as a 3 year old. I had her for almost a year, she NEVER NEVER KICK ANYBODY OR THE WALLS!!!
    She got claimed from me….story changed??.

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