Training Kill at Belmont; “Major Head Injury” Death at Finger Lakes

The NYS Gaming Commission reports that 3-year-old Charlonique was killed while training at Belmont yesterday. She is the 26th dead racehorse at a NYRA track (Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga) this year. But things are getting better, right? Oh, and the trainer? None other than “these are our children” Gary Contessa. Contessa, by the way, has now lost (at least) five of his children in the past 26 months – in NY alone.

Also yesterday, My Flying Dragon “flipped over on the blacktop in the barn area” at Finger Lakes, “suffered major head injury” and was euthanized. She was four and was last raced just a week prior.

This is horseracing.


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  1. Yes, race horses are especially high strung; that’s why special care needs to be given them. Obviously, care wasn’t the first thing. Losing 5 thoroughbreds in 26 months is disgraceful but mostly inhumane.

  2. What can be done to stop horse racing? Greyhound racing is no more, why can’t the same be done with horses?

    • May I just pick up on your mention of greyhounds, Dawn. Wish greyhound racing was no more in Australia. Just yesterday, my state government announced a $1million race for greyhounds! Never has such an obscene amount of money been put up for a greyhound race. $500,000 will come out of the taxpayers’ pockets, everyone is disgusted when that money is much needed for our hospitals. Greyhound racing has just been shut down in Macau and it was the young people there who protested and protested and protested, and demanded that their government close it down. The young people won!
      Sadly, those in power then refused to hand over the dogs (I think about 300) left behind who likely would be inhumanely killed. As most of the dogs had been sent to Macau for many years by creepy greedy Australian greyhound owners, Animals Australia and the RSPCA here pleaded that the dogs be handed over so that they could be safely re-homed. One woman was able to get the brother of a dog she had rescued here from Macau, she was relentless in tracking him down and was astounded that he ended up in Macau. To their credit, the authorities in Macau agreed to hand all of the dogs over.

  3. Charlonique – “royally-bred” by industry standards, sold for $95,000 as a yearling, and subsequently $200,000 at the 2 year-old-in-training sale.
    Just think about how many racehorses or animals this money could help save – it’s sickening.
    While these people are spending billions, collectively, on racehorses they rarely send a dime for rescue.
    These people are nuts, and then to send a horse to a trainer who has a record of killing them?
    Delusional or perhaps intentional knowing that they would get their “investment” back no matter what happens.
    Charlonique didn’t live up to her breeding or price and didn’t do much in 3 starts (equine insurance policy most likely still in place at this point), and then winds up dead on the track.
    We will never know what Gary Contessa may have shoved into this horse before it was sent out to the track.
    Nor will we ever know what doping cocktails were, most likely, given to Charlonique.
    You would think that a rational, compassionate person would immediately stop doing to their “children” what killed their other “children.”
    Gary, you racehorse killer, just who do you think your fooling?

    • I recently read that some trainers have even given their horses heroin. I cannot even express in words the absolute DISGUST I feel for the people who are involved in horse racing, in any way, shape, or form!!! In a previous post (by Gina) you said: “the stewards who comprise the racing commissions are ALL industry insiders,” and even Bo Derek – who CLAIMS TO LOVE HORSES AND ALL ANIMALS, who CLAIMS to be a staunch horse welfare proponent – is on the board of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Would somebody PLEASE send her all of these stories from PLEEEEEEASE????

  4. Gina – that’s exactly the sentiment I was thinking. If one of my children died as a result of me purposely putting them in danger – I would be mortified, ashamed, guilty, angry, and hating myself. Doubt contessa feels any of these. And then to put the other “children” in the same harm’s way – repeatedly? Please. Don’t think that rational adults would really believe you think of horses as your children. That verbalization and sentiment is completely laughable .

  5. This is insane! More horses are killed their than races. What do they get big money for killing horses? Close this place down, again Close this place down ! STOP KILLING HORSES. It’s been going on way to long . It totally makes me Sick . It’s nothing New. And the Sad part about all of this NO ONE CARES! I love horses, and to see this over and over is Horrible. I’ll never go to a horse race!!!!!!!

  6. Forward these posts to friends, family and acquaintances so they can learn the truth.
    It is physically and emotionally painful to read what these ignorant, greedy and morally corrupt trainers and owners are doing to these animals. Anyone frequenting a racetrack should hang their heads in shame. They are human vultures, profiting from the innocent horse’s death.

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