Another Dead Horse at Santa Anita – That’s 28 Since Christmas

The most recent Stewards Minutes from Santa Anita reveal this: “Veterinarian Report, 4/1-4/7, Fatalities 1.” Yes, that’s right, while the increasingly desperate racing world has been busy congratulating SA for a “safe” couple of weeks, implying of course that recently implemented “protocols” are working, yet another horse has died, leaving SA at 28 dead (and counting) since Christmas. Now, because the above is the extent of the current information (I will FOIA current-year necropsies soon), we do not know how this (unidentified) horse died. What we do know, however, is that he or she died in the servitude of Horseracing – making him or her a Horseracing casualty. Period.

The Los Alamitos Minutes, though still anonymous, were nonetheless more specific: “One equine death was reported this week due to racing injuries.” The “week” in question comprised three days – April 5-April 7 – during which three horses were “vanned off”: Jessa Sweet Dasher on the 5th, Texting and Thorny on the 6th. It’s a good bet that the dead horse is one of those.


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  1. You people that race a horse to death should be tethered to a pole and then stompped to death by all the horses you have.

  2. I have no words ! I wonder how the owners , jockeys sleep at night ! Heartless people! You should be ashamed!

  3. Used to love horse racing but the more I learn the more I hate it! It’s amazing how many of those beautiful tbs end up in killpens!!!

  4. Can you please confirm the number because it looks like it is incorrect – where is this information coming from?

  5. They should ban horse race I know it’s possible that they give drugs to horse not sure if it’s what happened leave horses alone not smart use race . They do for the creed money.

  6. I use to watch horseracing until 1975 when Ruffian a champion filly 4 years old never lost a race until the owners decided to race her against 1975 Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure. she was way ahead middle of the race. she broke down. after surgery on her back hock. she came out of the amnesia and broke her cast . in my opinion they should of retired her she would of had some great off spring. but no they had to race her. I hate horse racing will never watch it again. too many horse are killed because the owners don’t care.

    • Ruffian has already had surgery and time off, the past year. I can’t remember what part of which leg they operated on. They should’ve retired her then.
      Also, Northern Dancer appears numerous times when n her pedigree. ND had notoriously bad hocks, which, because he appears so often in his progeny’s family lines, on both sides, he passed on pretty well. So, there’s been a lot of problems with this genetic line. Inbreeding is so cruel. It not only sets horses up with tendencies to weaknesses that cause breakdowns, but I wonder how many goals are born with such horrible birth defects, that if they are not miscarried or stillbirths, they are euthanized at once, to prevent needless suffering. Maybe it’s time the thoroughbred saw an influx of more Arab blood, to dilute these genetic defects out.

  7. Ban and shut all horse racing now
    This has gone on to long😡😡😡😡🤬
    Wheres the petition to stop this
    Ill be the first to sign it.
    Horses deserves a better life then this.
    Life is more important than money
    Money isnt nothing but shit
    Go get a job if you all want money 🤬🤬😡


  9. There is a petition on, I believe Denise Larkin has started it to ban horse racing in California and New York. Thank you Denise for starting this as well. So far 81,561 have signed and needs to get to 150,000. Please spread the word to everyone, so that they can sign.

  10. During the latest CHRB meeting HRW representatives set the record straight by correcting board members such as Chuck Winner about the amount of deaths: “there are 28 dead not 25 as you claim.”
    Mr. Winner, in true industry form fashion, responded something like this “no, those horses died of colic so they don’t count.” or something to that effect “don’t count” in the total number who died because this industry craftily calls it a “non-racing death.”
    Then a person who seemed to be not so familiar with “colic” was scolded by board members who claimed that colic is very common in wild horses – bullshit – not anywhere near common as racehorses and multiple reputable peer-reviewed equine studies clearly evidence that racehorses are prone to colic as a direct result of the stress placed on them via the operating procedures perpetrated on them – FACT.
    Now these board members were so focused on FACTS from opponents of horse racing, yet they repeated claims that are based on nonsense and no facts at all – disrespectful, unacceptable, and unprofessional.
    We know that any death within a track enclosure is a horse racing industry death and they are solely responsible for this death.
    It’s delusional and ridiculous to think or state otherwise.

  11. I just called a program on NPR that was talking about the Derby’s disqualification, and Santa Anita’s deaths.
    I told the commentator that horses are simply not old enough to race-that’s a big reason for breakdowns.
    Randy Moss blamed it on Santa Anita’s rainy season this past year., even though I pointed out that other tracks, whether racing or being used for training, had many breakdowns in the same time period.
    I also pointed out that these animals, being not fully grown, are probably not mentally mature as well, which is probably why you hear of so many racehorses being so hard to handle. This was not addressed by the commentators.
    Another commentator, Jenny Reese, said that younger horses who undergo race training , that that training is actually good for the horse physically.
    Would you ask an 11 year old to bench press 200 lbs , even with training, and not be injured ?
    If rain was the cause, why didn’t Santa Anita close earlier? Or, close on weeks when the weather was forecast to be wet?
    Money is the reason why the Derby has a field of 20. 20 horses bunched together whether at the first turn or in the homestretch is a recipe for disaster. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who think that Maximum Security should not have been disqualified, simply because he was the best horse.
    Well, was Rocket Richard never put in the penalty box? Wayne Gretzky? Ovechkin?
    It doesn’t matter that MS was the favorite. He veered out, and impeded other horses, and had one horse’s forelegs were between his hind legs at one point. Had that horse not been able to pull back, he probably would have tripped up MS and all the horses around and behind him.
    If they really have to race these horses so damned young, limit all race fields to 10. If, for a Derby, they get 20 QUALIFIED entries, run it in two installments. Then let the first 3 horses in each race, have a race off. Something like that might help avoid disasters.
    Seeing that too many owners are entering average horses in races like the Derby, I think they are also a huge problem. They only do this, because they want to say that a horse of theirs ran in the Derby. If the horse has a great pedigree ( and, since all these horses are so in bred, they all have great pedigrees), the owner can charge more in the breeding shed. If the horse hasn’t been gelded. Then, if the horse is lucky, he’s going to end up someone’s favorite riding horse, and not in a kill pen.
    I don’t care what newspaper columnists like Jenny Reece say. I’ve talked to veterinarians, who know horse anatomy and health. Every one of them really wanted to specialize in equine and large animal practice, but when they found out what goes on in racing, it made them sick. My dog’s vet is one, who made the decision to switch to small animal practice because of it. I don’t blame him.
    Anyway, this program as just too full of apologists, and they should have had on, a commentator who holds that racing is cruel.

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