Illinois, End This Cruelty and Murder; End Horseracing

Through a FOIA request to the Illinois Racing Board, I have confirmed the following kills on that state’s tracks in 2018.

Ready Poncho, March 24, Hawthorne T
“collapsed dead on track…exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”

Nite Goggles, April 7, Hawthorne T
“fractured humerus…euthanized on track”

Act of Heroism, April 19, Hawthorne R
“open fetlock…ambulance to the designated area…euthanized”

Lost Creek, May 19, Arlington T
“fractured tibia…euthanized on track”

Bank Account, June 12, Fairmount R
“fracture fetlock apparatus – ligaments torn”

Big O’s Tavern, June 15, Arlington R
“comminuted sesamoid fracture, mid-body lateral fracture, and complete rupture of [ligaments]…ambulance to the designated area…euthanized”

Sully’s Dream, July 7, Arlington R (euthanized July 12)
“complete basilar fracture of sesamoid”

Ask Alex, July 20, Arlington T
“comminuted P1 fractures”

Larry Rocks, July 20, Arlington R
“femur fracture…ambulance to designated area…euthanized”

Star Quest, July 22, Arlington R (found dead next morning after being “vanned off”)
“suspect pelvic fractures and hemorrhage”

Intrepid Humor, July 28, Arlington T
“fracture with lacerated femoral artery”

Half Ready, August 4, Arlington T
“broke down breezing; suspensory apparatus failure of previous surgery with screws”

Giant Breeze, August 5, Arlington R
“after racing the horse became recumbent…they got the horse up…it went down and never got up again…severe heat stroke…euthanized”

Get Mad Gracie, August 11, Fairmount R
“fractured ankle – shattered”

Triple Dog Dare, August 13, Arlington T
“spiral comminuted MCIII fracture”

First Attempt, August 26, Arlington T
“compound fracture MCIII, sesamoid fracture, ruptured collateral ligaments”

Ava Atticus, September 2, Arlington R (euthanized September 4)
“fracture radial carpal bone”

Hurricane Hank, September 13, Arlington R
“multiple carpal fractures…taken to the designated area…euthanized”

G P’s Girl, September 20, Arlington R
“collapsed on track…horse was in agonal breathing and the mucus membranes were white…stopped breathing within seconds of arrival” (five years old)

Altai, September 23, Arlington T
“bilateral sesamoid fractures…taken to the designated area…euthanized”

Matthew’s Thunder, October 5, Hawthorne R
“comminuted fractures of the sesamoids…suspensory ligament ruptured”

Vic the Boss, October 20, Hawthorne R
“[multiple] comminuted fractures…ambulanced to designated area…euthanized”

Semper Frey, October 21, Hawthorne T
“horse went down and was dead before [vet] got to the horse”

Twin Deuce, October 24, Hawthorne R
“open fetlock complex…euthanized on track” (chart said absolutely nothing)

Kate’s Cat, October 26, Hawthorne R
“comminuted fracture and luxation of the joint…euthanized on track” (chart merely said, “fell, vanned off”)

Del Mar Bert, October 31, Hawthorne T
“compound comminuted fracture of cannon”

Whats Up Hero, November 21, Hawthorne T
“mid-shaft compound fracture”

Thurman, November 24, Hawthorne R
“complete rupture of [multiple] ligaments and subluxation of the fetlock joint…ambulance to the designated area…euthanized”

Sailor Brodee, December 7, Hawthorne R
“comminuted sesamoid fractures…ambulance to the designated area…euthanized”

She Is Fuzzy, December 16, Hawthorne T
“fractured tibia”

Legendary Vision, December 22, Hawthorne R
“open sesamoid fractures and complete rupture of [ligaments] with disarticulation of the fetlock joint”

In addition, the following horse died on track grounds from what the industry craftily calls a “non-racing” cause. Technically true, perhaps, but morally she is no less a casualty of this vile business than the ones above. (Notably, this was the only “non-racing/training” death submitted; in an active racing-state like Illinois, there were surely many more either undocumented or apathetically disregarded by the Board.)

Black Angel, July 4, Arlington
“possible electrocution – mare dropped dead in stall after touching metal door frame; screw eye was red hot” (was last raced three days prior)


  1. Where is animal control in these cities? A horse dies of heat stroke, that horse should have never been running on the track that is clear animal abuse! I also hear a lot of pulmonary embolism and massive hemorrhaging, sounds like these horses are getting injected illegal drugs into their system! This crap has got to stop!

  2. “suspect pelvic fractures and hemorrhage”
    STAR QUEST would’ve been displaying that he was in serious trouble when it was necessary for him to be removed from the track in a horse ambulance. Clearly he needed urgent immediate veterinary care and, given that it was pelvic fractures (plural), a veterinarian would euthanase the horse to put him out of his misery.
    But no, the trainer and others who are responsible for the welfare of the horse allowed STAR QUEST to suffer a slow agonizing death.
    Cheaper than calling a vet in.
    You mongrel bastards.

  3. ACT OF HEROISM suffered an “open” fetlock which means a comminuted injury and the fetlock would’ve been smashed up, pulverized and rendering this poor horse in agony and unable to place his foot on the ground.
    How on earth did they get him onto the ambulance…?
    Well, the answer is that they forced him onto the ambulance and I hate to think of what ACT OF HEROISM went through during this ugly process with his huge weight.
    Any reasonable thinking person would ask why didn’t they euthanase him on the track ?
    The racing industry doesn’t like to do that because it’s not a good look having to put a screen around the doomed horse, getting a vet to attend with the green needle and then hauling the dead horse onto a transport, too much attention. Nup, not pretty to watch.
    Much better to force the frightened, traumatized horse who is clinging onto life all on his own onto the ambulance while his herd mates are already out the back being hosed down.
    Then he’s forced off the ambulance out the back in absolute agony in shock and in terrible fear as to what is going to happen to him.
    What a hideous way to die.

    • Carolyn, the following – verbatim and using all caps where the writer used all caps – from the AAEP Racing Committee in their Thoroughbred Race Day Injury Management Guidlines – page 7:

      “Prompt response to a catastrophic injury is mandatory. The regulatory veterinarian should make EVERY effort to load the injured horse into the ambulance before euthanasia. If loading is not possible, screens should be deployed. Tall screens are preferable and personnel should be trained in proper placement.”

      EVERY (and all caps were used by the racing committee) effort should be made to load the catastrophically injured horse into the ambulance – that is their directive for a horrifically injured horse they’ve determined requires euthanasia. Move her. Get her on that van. Get her out of sight before dropping her.

      Think on that for a bit. “Beloved family members”? “We love them like our children”?

      Liars. Abusive liars.

      • Joy, this is astounding – just cannot get my head around the fact that this is the official AAEP Racing Committee’s Thoroughbred Race Day Injury Management Guidelines when a horse breaks down on a racetrack? Reprehensible. And to my mind, irrefutable evidence of instructions to be carried out that cause an act of cruelty upon an animal.

        Do you remember this one – whenever i read that a horse has been vanned off, i think of LAGI LAGI – I’ve never been able to get him out of my mind.

        September 2015
        Saturday at the Maryland State Fair (Timonium), 5-year-old Lagi Lagi “pulled up lame” in the 3rd race and was subsequently “vanned off” (Equibase). Tuesday, I received this email from an eyewitness at the track:

        “I watched the race and then went to get in my car with my children and I saw [Lagi Lagi] get trailered off and they drove right past me and backed up to what I now know is the “death pit” and bam he was dead just like that. I heard and watched him drop like a ton of bricks. I was literally 25 feet away with my two daughters. I’m still devastated and think I always will be. So will my children. The poor horse was dripping sweat. No one shed a tear for him. Just disposed of like trash.”

      • Carolyn, I have a photo of the AAEP Racing Committee’s Race Day Injury Management Guidelines document on my FB wall. Astounding, most definitely – they so badly want to protect their “image” that they will CAUSE additional pain and suffering to their “beloved athletes”.

        I’ll also post a photo of those committee members’ names – veterinarians. So much for their oath “First, do no harm.”

  4. Why the hell has this barbaric sport not been totaled banned? It is shameful to publish a list of the deaths related to the horse racing sport and not do anything about this. What a deplorable situation this is and it needs to stop. People do not need to have horse racing as part of their lives. Too many of these gorgeous animals are being killed off daily – WHY because money is again the god damn common greed of people. No one gives a shit about the abuse to the horses. Imagine all of these horrible leg injuries because owners and trainers are pushing these animals far too hard and too early in their lives where the bones are not even developed. What a pathetic bunch of losers you all are involved in this so called “sport.” Get a life and do something else with your time and stay away from these majestic beings.

  5. Yet another horrendous list of racehorses dropping dead n the dirt with shattered bones, bodies and/or minds.
    Reading through these reports are absolutely heartbreaking.
    These racehorses literally had entire sections of their muscoskeletal system crumble from underneath them.
    So sorry for all racehorses who are bred to suffer and die for this vile business and the vile people in it.

  6. Hideous business and hideous deaths.. We see this on a daily basis.
    Forcing these mortally wounded horses in excruiting pain into so called “ambulances” in order to hide the UGLY truth about racing is pure barbarianism.
    And what is really disturbing is veternarians go along with inflicting horrible further and UNECESSARY suffering. Shame on them.
    But who in the profession will step up to say this is wrong and needs to change. – not even that drop of mercy for these animals.
    What a sorry lot of Homo sapiens !!

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