The Horrific Details of a Double Kill at Laurel Park

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at Laurel Park thus far this year:

Kimberly B., Jan 11, Laurel R
“This filly sustained devastating fractures to two thoracic vertebrae and four ribs, with resultant complete severing of the spinal cord. Dr. Daniel: Upon arrival, Kimberly B was lying on top of the front legs of Tuffy’s Way. The tack was loosened and we attempted to get her up. Using her front end, she pivoted off Tuffy’s Way and then collapsed. Her rear limbs did not move at all during this. I noticed that her back legs were covered in urine. At this point, I assumed that her back was broken. One more attempt was made to get her up to no avail. All connections agreed that euthanasia was the only humane option. Dr. Walsh: When I arrived…the filly had poor anal reflex/tone and was not attempting to move either hind limb. She had a deep pain withdrawal reflex when Dr. Sacksen pricked her with a needle.”

Tuffy’s Way, Jan 11, Laurel R
“The distal left front limb has ruptures in the skin…and the hoof is resting at an unnatural angle…both the fetlock and foot are rotated to unnatural angles by the fractures and avulsions/ruptures of ligaments. Through the large medio-posterior skin rupture projects the distal end of the LF cannon bone, covered in sand; most ligaments and tendons have ruptured. The lateral LF cannon bone condylar fragment is still attached to joint capsule and ligaments and the other fragment of distal LF cannon bone is ruptured from its attachments, displaced ventrally and posteriorly and sticks out through the hole in the overlying skin. The sand covered distal LF cannon bone is discolored, making it difficult to detect pre-existing articular lesions.

Dr. Daniel: Tuffy’s Way was lying in lateral recumbency with Kimberly B lying over her right shoulder and front legs. She was kicking with her rear legs. Once Kimberly B was moved, I could see an open fracture of Tuffy’s Way’s distal cannon bone and ankle. An immediate decision was made to humanely euthanize Tuffy’s Way. Dr. Walsh: I hopped on the second equine ambulance and went down where the spill occurred to assist. Dr. Daniel was euthanizing Tuffy’s Way when I arrived…I examined the leg on Tuffy’s Way following euthanasia. After digging the fetlock out of the track dirt… Pathologist: This filly had pre-existing degenerative joint disease in all four fetlocks.” (Tuffy’s Way was two years old – “degenerative joint disease in all four fetlocks.”)

Rosuri, Jan 26, Laurel R
Fracture right front knee – multiple fragments. Trainer said ‘[he] knew the filly did not like to be hit so instructed the rider to hit only on the shoulder.'”

She’s Stunning, Feb 1, Laurel R
“The right front fetlock was dropped to the ground with a closed fracture/dorso-palmar dislocation. Dr. Daniel could feel bone fragments over the medial condyle and bilateral sesamoid fracture through the bandage…euthanized on the track. Trainer Jamie Bravo-Estrada [said] the horse…maybe took a bad step, felt it was just an unlucky accident. Degenerative changes to both front fetlocks.”

8 Comments

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  1. Absolutely horrific to read!! These majestic horses lose their lives in such terrible, terrible conditions all for the horseracing greedy humans. All these tracks need closed down!! Rest in Peace precious babies, you will know nothing but love and the holy spirit, Amen..

  2. I’ve seen these kind of accidents in person. I’ve seen the panic and terror these horses feel when they are trying to scramble onto their feet, and cannot due to their broken bodies. I saw a beautiful little filly that was involved in a collision during training, she also urinated on herself, and the vet was poking her with needles to see her reaction. She pedaled with her front legs to try to stay sitting up. The vet was contemplating taking her back to her barn, carried by a tractor (!!) to see if she would recover. After numerous futile attempts the decision was made to euthanize.
    So many things I saw that I can’t ever unsee. It’s why I opted to be a voice for them.

  3. I literally just got sick and had to run to the bathroom after reading this. I can’t even imagine the pain and the terror these sweet horses went through having their bodies smashed apart. And from the sound of it, no one there tried to comfort them – it was just a cold clinical evaluation then a callous needle to the neck. Oh, yes, you racing industry people love your horses, they’re just like family to you, you treat them like royalty.
    And the vets on these tracks are nothing more than butchers with diplomas, getting paid to inflict misery on animals unable to fight back. When racing is finally banned, every vet who worked a track should have their license taken away and be fined for every life they helped destroy.

  4. Thank you, Peggy – yes, one can NEVER get the horrific suffering of these poor horses out of one’s mind! – and we just had to see it – they lived and DIED it!

    You know how racing supporters always exclaim “see how they love to race!” when a horse unseats his jockey and runs on? – they are either just that ignorant about equine behavior or they are in complete denial. It’s the same when a horse goes down with an injury – they will try their best to get to their feet – down they are vulnerable – apart from the herd they are the easiest prey.

    The terror, the suffering those two babies endured – dear God, Kimberly B. and Tuffy’s Way were only two years old!

  5. I would like to encourage people to write to the Animal Legal Defense Fund and disclose the horrors on the track. They are currently working on taking animals out of the property status and actually making it possible to legally represent animals who are victims of cruelty and abuse in lawsuits against the owners.
    Can you imagine if racehorses could sue their exploiters? The billions of dollars the racing industry would have to pay out for the cruelty and neglect?
    I honestly have to wonder if the riders were playing a sick game of chicken with these two horses. How in the holy hell do two young horses get so smashed up just running along the track? I believe there is a lot more to this accident than the racing industry will ever reveal.

  6. There are just no words to describe the misery and pain that those 2 horses suffered. I comment always on these extreme race track deaths because I know things do no have to be this way. I also have such compassions\ for all horses and was raised with them all of my life – never ever abusing or seeing any abuse of any kind. This time there are just no words to describe the horrific abuse inflicted on these 2 young horses. The vets, owners, trainer, jockeys and the racing commission all need to be gone. Horses were never put on this earth to be abused and slaughtered by all of you bastards. RIP sweet souls – your lives will be better on the other side. OMG how I hate so many humans!!

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