Dead “Athletes” at Emerald Downs, 2018

Through a FOIA request to the Washington Horse Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at Emerald Downs in 2018.

Medicine Bundle, March 19, Emerald T
“fractured pelvis”

Oasis Wells, June 9, Emerald R
“fractured sesamoid”

Bet the Harbor, June 17, Emerald T
“fractured sesamoid”

Citizen Sam, June 29, Emerald R
“fractured sesamoid”

She Walks On Water, July 21, Emerald R
“pastern joint luxation”

Gavinator, July 22, Emerald R
“fractured sesamoid”

Emerald Candy, July 27, Emerald R
“fetlock joint luxation”

Calculated Chaos, July 28, Emerald R
“fetlock joint luxation”

Cruzin in Style, August 5, Emerald R
“fractured sesamoid”

Charming Ruler, August 5, Emerald R (euthanized for laminitis four days later)

Im Insatiable Too, August 31, Emerald R
“exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”

Az Dreamer, September 1, Emerald R
“fractured carpus”

Pepe the Legend, September 7, Emerald R
“fractured carpus”

Lofty Cause, September 14, Emerald R
“fractured sesamoid”

Ever Special, September 16, Emerald R
“fractured sesamoid”

In addition, these still-very-much-active racehorses died on track grounds from what the industry craftily calls “non-racing” causes. Technically true, perhaps, but morally they are no less casualties of this vile business than the ones above.

Jensen, February 28, Emerald
“cecal rupture intestines” (four years old, last raced in January)

Part of the Plan, April 7, Emerald
“colic” (two years old, had been raced once)

Lucy’s Eclipse, August 12, Emerald
“hematomas” (two years old, last raced in July)

15 Comments

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  1. Horrible, just horrible! What goes around comes around and someday people who do these horrible things to an animal will find out what pain they have caused. These people have no soul or heart!

  2. How in God’s world can these horrific races continue when horses die left and right? It is a sickening “sport” which drugs horses, races them at young ages, and couldn’t care less about their welfare! Tragically, it is all about greed, profit and ego! of course, at the cruel hands of man, the animals always pay the price for his idiocy! People, please boycott all races! You can make the difference between humane treatment and cruelty to horses!
    Many, many thanks!

  3. Part of the plan died of colic. He was my horse. He ran once as a two year old and WON by far. I then gave him the winter off and he was in spring training. He did colic I spent days basically living in his stall trying to get him to pull through. He had the best vets the best care and all the love in the world. He loved to run and was one of the most talented horses I’ve ever been around. Horses everywhere colic horses everywhere die from colic. How dare you use his death as an added number to spread your propaganda.

    • Wonder if it had more to do with running as a 2 year old? The ulcers, the pain meds, the whipping to win “by far?” Or the fact that he had the winter off to be a horse, as a baby, then made to come back to the track for more isolation, 22 to 23 hours of stall confinement, more whipping for spring training, more pain meds and supplements?

    • 95% of racehorses suffer from gastric ulcers as a result of the stress of stall confinement and over medication. Racehorses die from colic at 4 times the rate of pleasure horses. How dare you pretend not to know that death from colic in racehorses is race related.

    • Ashley, let me tell you about a horse with colic at another low level track. This occurred very recently. The trainer asked for help because of financial difficulties. The track vet. was then called in to evaluate and treat the horse. But after woefully inadequate treatment and rejection of respectfully suggested treatment, plus the push by the vet. to euthanize, the horse was transferred to an equine clinic /hospital. The horse was treated for severe dehydration and, incidentally, the treatment rejected by the track vet. was given with success.

      Also, Ashley, the horse was diagnosed with grade 4 ulcers after recovery from the bout of colic. As you may know, ulcers are a significant cause of colic and ulcers are present in approximately 95 percent of racehorses. You may also know, Ashley, the totally unnatural life the horses are forced to endure at the track is a causes these painful ulcers. Further, the practice of withholding food and water before racing greatly exacerbates the ulcers.

      We know horses are given a lot of Lasix, to “prevent” pulmonary bleeding whether they are bleeders or not!! In truth, Lasix is considered an all important “performance enhancer”- hence the extensive use.
      Maybe you know if the horses receive products to prevent or treat ulcers? After all, the percent of “bleeders” is far lower than the up to 95 percent of horses with painful ulcers.

    • Ashley, research has shown that stalled horses are more susceptible to colic than those that have adequate turnout. There is an article in Equus Magazine (June, 2011) that you may want to read. The title is “Why Turnout Helps Prevent Colic.” Excerpts from the article…

      “Horsemen have long observed – and statistics confirm – that horses kept on pasture colic less often than those who spend most of their time in stalls. When the data was analyzed, the researchers found that intestinal motility was significantly lower in stabled horses than in those kept on pasture, and gut motility DIMINISHED when a horse moved from turnout to stall confinement.”

      The head researcher, Sarah Freeman (BVetMed, PhD), suggests that horse owners do whatever they can to “mimic the natural lifestyle as much as possible. This means a high percentage of forage in the diet, opportunities for low levels of activity and feeding small meals often.”

      The horse that Rose Smith references came from a low level track in West Virginia and I truly believe the owner/trainer cared about the horse but didn’t have the finances to treat the horse at an equine hospital. It can easily cost thousands of dollars, which it did in this case, if immediate treatment isn’t initiated. As we all should know, horses can die from ulcers and this horse had Grade 4 bleeding ulcers! I shudder to think how many other horses suffer in silence with ulcers brought on by confinement and the stress of being forced to participate in an industry that is anything but “natural” for the horse.

      I would like to thank Rose Smith for stepping up to help yet another horse in need. The track vet was on her way to euthanize the day this horse was removed from the track. I spent some time with this same horse earlier this week and she is not only a good looking horse but incredibly sweet and, hopefully, has a very bright future.

      • Thank you again to you two amazing ladies for another save, and all the hard work you do behind the scenes. You are both angels for horses.

  4. And it’s also telling that of the love you describe is more related to his athletic ability and potential to win, “one of the most talented horses”, not that he was kind, beautiful, had a great personality, or anything else kind you could come up with to describe him more a little more humanely.

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