A Broken-Shoulder Kill at Finger Lakes

According to the chartwriter at Finger Lakes Monday, nothing out of the ordinary happened to 3-year-old Act Surprised in the 10th beyond, that is, falling and not finishing the race. In fact, the horse is dead – broken shoulder, and, says the Gaming Commission, “euthanized on the track.” Industry duplicity laid bare – yet again.

This morning, I received this from a witness to the above: “First off, they took forever to get an equine ambulance to the horse. Once they did, they opted not to put up a screen. It was the last race of the day and the majority of the people [had] left anyways. They proceeded to tranquilize the horse and administer euthanization shots, kill him where he lay, no screen, out in the open. They then proceeded to tie a rope around the (now) dead horse’s legs and neck and pull him into the ambulance, to be driven off.” Visualize that.

This is horseracing.


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  1. Since 1992 I have discovered the following facts which seem to be at the root of the astonishingly high rate of suffering and yearly deaths of horses used for racing:
    2 Modern day practices have combined to create the tragic trend
    1.) “Breeders…began breeding Thoroughbreds for how the mating looked on paper”. Consequently “…the American thoroughbred is a far more fragile animal now than the raw-boned beasts of yore. With them being inbred we’ve weakened the race” said Shug McGaughey, a prominent East Coast trainer. See Sports Illustrated, William Nack, Nov. 1993.
    Exhaustive scientific studies confirm that repeated concussive forces
    (maximum-speed workouts and racing) on 2-year-old’s bones add up to
    injury and death more frequently than on older horses.
    1. See CHRB Post Mortem Examination Program, 1990-2014. 2-year-olds more likely than older horses to suffer broken bones which lead to death. University of California, Davis
    2. Fracture injuries accounted for the majority of Thoroughbred fatalities. California Horse Racing Board’s Post Mortem Examination Program 1994 report.
    3. Cornell University. Dr. Lennart Crooks’ study of 68,397 starts found: Fracture injuries more common in 2 and 3 year-olds than in older horses. Incidence of fracture injuries continued to decrease with advancing age
    2.) Today, in willful ignorance of the proven facts, Race Tracks continue to offer races for 2-year-olds and trainers go on forcing yearlings and 2-year-olds to perform repeated maximum-speed workouts in order to enter those races and/or be sold at 2-year-old in training auctions! Proof of the destructive results of this practice: The number of average yearly starts per horse has plummeted from 12 in 1960 to 6.2 in 2013. See The Jockey Club Fact Book and the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, 2014.

  2. Unfortunately, I saw this up close more times than I could count. And each time, it made me hate the sport I grew up loving more and more. To go from being a beautiful, graceful, athletic, healthy being to writhing in the dirt, struggling to get onto feet and legs that were shattered, and in many cases, actually missing, broke my heart and spirit. And there were times that I would be the unlucky one helping the vet hold them down as the vet administered the meds and watched their life leave their eyes…I can’t support or encourage horse racing anymore.

  3. Oh…the irony of the names!
    In this case – ACT SURPRISED.
    So sorry for the pain, and suffering you experienced for this VILE business.
    Nevertheless, I won’t act surprised because this wreckless, vile, and nefarious business kills racehorses almost daily!
    I won’t act surprised when the delusional racehorse abusers and/or enablers of this abuse carry on business as usual because they don’t give a damn.
    This is horse racing!

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