What Level of Killing Must Be Achieved Before CHRB “Suspends” Racing?

In the latest Stewards Minutes for the Sonoma County Fair (Santa Rosa), we learn that It’s The Ice was scratched from the 4th race August 8 because “[he] got loose from pony, hit ¼ pole chute – deceased.” It’s The Ice was six years old, and ‘twould have been his 35th time under the whip.

California “SB-469” passed both chambers unanimously (118-0) and was signed into law by Governor Newsom on June 26. A direct result of Santa Anita’s most recent killing season (36 dead horses), the new law gives the California Horse Racing Board the authority to “at any time, immediately suspend a license to conduct a racing meeting when necessary to protect the health and safety of the horses or riders that are present at the racing meeting. The suspension shall remain in effect until the board determines that the matters jeopardizing the health and safety of the horses or riders…have been adequately addressed.” Well.

Since the June 26 enactment, this:

No New Friends, dead racing at Pleasanton June 30
Sandra Smiles, dead training at Pleasanton July 7

Charge a Bunch, dead training at Del Mar July 18
Carson Valley, dead training at Del Mar July 18
Bowl of Soul, dead training at Del Mar July 29
unidentified, dead back in stall at Del Mar July 31-August 4
Bri Bri, dead training at Del Mar August 12

unidentified, dead back in stall at Los Alamitos July 8-July 14
Cuervo Foose, dead racing at Los Alamitos July 20
Always Checking, dead racing at Los Alamitos August 17

Black Site, dead racing at Santa Rosa August 1
It’s The Ice, dead racing at Santa Rosa August 8

So the question becomes: What level of killing has to be achieved, CHRB, before you act? Three dead horses? Six? 12? 30? Please.

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  1. Stop already! this is not rocket science — these are living creatures who have absolutely no say in the matter.

      • Thank you, Heather.
        These people are not used to being questioned re their total disregard for the safety of the horse and their lack of any rules to protect him from abuse such as over work and much more….

        As we know, they police themselves. They operate with impunity and there is no accountability. In essence, racing is the “poster business” for conflict of interest – any meaningful consequences for the rampant abuse would have a negative impact on profits.

  2. There is no fathomable legitimate reason to cause the death of so many horses. Thi must stop.

  3. Like everything else the racing industry is doing lately, this is just a smoke screen to make is appear as if they are concerned about the welfare of their horses and are trying to improve. Common sense and decency would say that 1 death is cause for alarm but at this point they are in the thousands and it’s just bloody business as usual. It’s just sickening that THOUSANDS of horses are DYING and not one of the animal welfare or legislation groups has the balls or decency to stand up to the racing industry and demand immediate suspension on EVERY track for a thorough investigation (a real investigation, not one done by these panty-assed racing apologist groups like the CHRB).
    As a society, we should be horrified and ashamed that such wholesale abuse, cruelty and death is not only happening but endorsed and defended in our country in the name of entertainment.

    • So well said, Rebecca. When you read comments on horse-racing sites, the so called ‘fans’ will defend cheaters, drugs, whips, anything and everything, because according to them, Thoroughbreds will go extinct if racing stops. Right. They allow that some horses will die because of racing, but apparently this is okay. This is what we are fighting against; people who are okay with equine deaths. These beautiful animals are dying and those who claim to love them are fighting to keep the death machine intact.

      • BOTTOM LINE:A living breathing Soul,especially those that have no say,should not be forced to engage in something that could lead to their Death. It’s totally different if it’s a human,who has a CHOICE.

  4. I so agree with the comments and especially that from Rebecca – you are right on lady – this whole matter is nothing but bullshit and constant coverups. These racing commissions are a total joke and waste of time. As far as the CHRB doing the investigations – well I think we all know what will be taking place there – NOTHING – they have all of their idiot buddies to protect like the ones that are always greasing their palms or whatever the hell they are doing??? The policies put in place are a joke – no suspensions will be happening – this is just more bullshit from the top down. There needs to be an independent panel of horse people not connected to horse racing to get involved in this outrageous slaughter of these race horses. Far too many horses are being killed daily at these tracks and for no reason. I just hate most days to even open these emails regarding the deaths at the race track. This one today is just another bunch of bullshit a horse gets away from the pony horse and is killed because he hits the 1/4 pole chute – what in the hell was taking place here – obviously not much as far as control with the pony horse – right to the point of having this poor horse killed. Come on people think about this made up story because we all know there is way more to this that what is being told. These tracks have to close they need to close it is all about again human greed and money. Not a care in the world about the poor horses – this is just horrible beyond words. How humans can continue to destroy the lives of these poor horses is just so despicable and shameful.

  5. Barbarians managing Barbarians, being paid off by even more barbarians. On top of that, corrupt ‘authorities’, refusing to uphold animal cruelty laws.
    Whatever ultimately happens to these scum is their own karma. Some of us are instruments of karma.
    Can’t say much else on a public forum.


  7. Folks, I worked as an Associate Steward for the CHRB when I was a full-fledged apologist.
    The CHRB is comprised of members who actively participate and/or invest in horse racing.
    It’s the hens guarding the hen house.
    When a vacant position/appointment becomes available they are supposed to put out a public notice, but that’s never happened in the past because they plug the empty hole with yet another racehorse supporter.
    They have been killing racehorses for YEARS and nothing has changed other than their public rhetoric that has become more sophisticated as the transparency to the public increases.
    This is yet another ruse just to calm the public and Gov. Newsom had no choice, but to deliver to California residents, show that he was doing something.
    This rule governed by a bunch of racehorse supporters, CHRB, should have never been put in the hands of these racehorse killers because that’s what they are.
    It’s so encouraging to see the posts here and I applaud anybody who shows up at these meetings to hold them accountable.

  8. I just saw an article featured in the Boston Globe where a developer named Tom O’Connell is planning on creating a new race track/hotel/entertainment complex with slot machines near or in Wareham ( not sure where that is). It is response to the recent closing of the track near there – this guy smells an opportunity. I don’t know if he is truly ignorant of what really goes on in horse racing or he is just seeing dollar signs, but we have a chance to maybe get in front of this thing before another equine death yard is built. The reporter’s name is Jon Chesto and he can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com

    I didn’t know where else to post this – I apologize if this is inappropriate. Just the thought of another torture and exploitation center makes me want to scream!

    • No, not inappropriate at all, Rebecca. They would need subsidization – a new horse track would not be economically viable without slots revenue. This is something to watch, though. Thank you.

  9. It should be crystal clear that this industry is rife with corruption, abuse and literal murder. In fact, at this point, there is not one GOOD thing anyone can say about horse racing. It has been bastardized beyond all belief. It’s time to put it out of its misery.

  10. Here we go again.
    The deeply corrupt apologists on the CHRB has shown their true colors yet again.
    After 2 racehorses DIED at Los Al (Don’t Stop Lookin, three, and Noor Khan, four) while under a 6 month probationary period the CHRB APPROVED another year of racing there effectively rescinding any type of probationary measure clearing the way for this death fest to continue.
    Just think about how blatantly corrupt, shameful, and unacceptable this entire board is – they all need to be fired and they get their salaries from the public coffers.
    I’ve also maintained that as long as Dr. Arthur is the head there nothing will change and it hasn’t.
    Senate Bill 469 is yet another facet of public wallpaper like anything they pass including their recent “Reform” public relations stunt that was nothing more than a tranquilizer for the public outrage.
    Like all their public stunts they are back in business, back to usual as the killing continues unabated.
    Disgusting creeps every single one of them.

    • Gina, I’m sure you’re not surprised by those jokesters’ decision. Did you see the piece “It’s Silly Season at the CHRB”? – it’s basically racing making fun of racing. It’s perfect. Keep at it, you jokesters…just another bite in consuming the dead elephant.

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