17 (That We Know About) Kills at Prairie Meadows Last Year

Through a FOIA request to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at Prairie Meadows in 2019. (Please note: The Commission did not forward any stall deaths – e.g., colic, laminitis – though surely there were several of these too.)

Tarpys Zapper, May 2, training – “radius”
Moonlight Party, May 25, training – “sesamoids”
Super Bound, May 27, racing – “crashed into gates – basisphenoid and parietal bone”
Harkins Hall, May 30, racing – “sesamoid and suspensory”
Mysterious Kingdom, Jun 7, racing – “carpal fracture”
Heroic Street Boss, Jun 8, racing – “carpal fracture”
Rockin Rudy, Jun 27, racing – “condylar”
Rebel Rouser, Jun 28, racing – “condylar, suspensory, sesamoids”
Maximum Volume, Jul 19, racing – “sudden death” (three years old)
Go Spread the Word, Jul 25, training – “carpal fracture”
Noho, Jul 25, training – “carpal fracture”
Essie’s Reward, Jul 26, racing (euthanized Jul 31) – “sesamoids”
Run Baby Run, Aug 9, training – “carpal fracture”
Rm U Bet the Rocket, Sep 6, training – “ligament rupture”
Fantastic Feelyn, Sep 29, racing – “sudden death – fluid around heart” (three years old)
Hermajestythequeen, Sep 30, training – “sudden death” (three years old)
Hez Opinionated, Oct 5, racing – “sesamoid and fetlock disarticulation”

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  1. This is so sad! If trainers would take the time to care for their horses, they would certainly know if there was a heart condition, I know that my dog has a heart murmur and I’m taking care of it! Every night I pray there will be a day when owners and trainers of these magnificent animals will actually care about their safety!

  2. Thanks, Patrick for this info and for the awareness you’re spreading.
    “Sudden death”! Hmmm….really??!! 3 of them and all 3 year old babies! Disgusting cannot begin to describe what these monsters put magnificent horses through. In a society that claims it evolved! In the Middle Ages people had respect for these beings and the rule to live by was give-give, help-help. In this so called “civilized” society horses give it their all, pay with their lives so these bastards can stuff their pockets… and there never seems to be enough. They want MORE
    For You greedy people…the end is near.

  3. I don’t understand how a horse can crash into the gates during a race. I could understand how it could happen while they were attempting to load horses into the starting gates before the actual start of the race. Anyway you look at it, it is tragic and unnecessary that these horses had to die for wagering and purse money. The racetrack owners and managers could replace live horses with robots or some kind of machines that are real machines and stop treating horses like machines! They could use machines for racing and wagering and purse money instead of killing horses through cruelty and TORTURE!!!!!!!!

      • Nancy, I know what you mean. I think if this horse, SUPER BOUND, crashed into the gates while racing, where were the gates placed? It sounds more logical that SUPER BOUND was injured while attempting to load into the starting gate. I would have to see it to understand how this horrible accident happened. It just says “racing” so I guess maybe the racetrack allowed a pre-race injury to be counted as a racing injury, keeping in mind that the racing industry doesn’t like to count deaths between the track and the barn or in the barn or barn area as “racing” injuries or deaths.

    • Wanda – if you google starting gate malfunctions, you will be surprised at what you find, and that there haven’t been more deaths or injuries. If you go on YouTube, look at witness a miracle at Hoosier Downs in 2012. Or the starting gate wreck at Freehold. If i recall correctly, in recent years there have been incidences at Delta and Oaklawn also, where they couldn’t move the gate due to equipment malfunctions. Course, there are always the horses that flip in the gates, so this may have been one of those fatalities.
      I know at the tracks I raced at, for mile and mile plus races, they never actually remove the gate from the track during the race, they just park it along the outside rail. Another situation that if a spooked horse bolted, they could easily slam into the gate (google Spicer Cub’s crazy race as a prime example).

  4. I do watch for this column every day with dread. But I know it is a necessity to see it. This is alot of work to get this together. I only wish the racetracks and the Jockey Club took note of it. I’d like to know what the carnage rate is at Hoke Lawn (Oak Lawn) because they are so resistant to reform and change. They don’t keep track of horse injuries and deaths and I want them to start doing it. Is there any way to get the information short of going there myself and watching for them? There were many injuries in the feature races that I saw and heard about later but I’m sure there are many more. The first step in correcting this is exposing it. They better get ready for the blitz. Because its coming just like at Santa Anita. “loathesome paeans following”

  5. VILE.
    There’s only one reason why Prairie Meadows is still open: the millions in casino profits.
    The “horsemen” negotiate contracts with the tracks (AKA coupling) and they are very lucrative contracts with the politicians endorsing this business arrangement.
    Under the “coupling” arrangements the casinos must hold live racehorse meets.
    When really both the casinos, politicians and our communities should eliminate horse racing – they don’t need them to operate a casino and make profits without facilitating widespread carnage.
    This Kill List, like all of them, are heartbreaking, unacceptable and it needs to stop.

    • You got that RIGHT,Gina!! All the old people I know, one of which I have,to care for…all they want to do is go to the casinos (most in their wheelchairs).I’ve been saying this all along…it won’t be missed (horse racing).

  6. This is such an emotionally draining site – it’s hard to visit it each day and be confronted with the horror and misery these gentle innocent horses are forced to endure because of an archaic exploitation system run by parasitic serial animal abusers and defended by societal dregs with the moral compass of a concentration camp worker.

    • Rebecca, you covered just about everything. Well said. It reminds me of the saying, “It’s a dirty job but somebody has to it.” Please understand that I mean it is a tough job to investigate and report on the names/numbers of racehorses killed by racing. It is tough to be a witness to this unnecessary abuse and exploitation of horses. It is draining but somebody has to be there for the horses since they cannot stop their killers from killing them.

      • I continue to come here because I HAVE to – I have to read the names of horses already forgotten by their exploiters because I care who they were, even though I don’t even know what they looked like or anything else about them. But they were gentle living sentient beings who deserve to be thought about and cried over and fought for.

    • Nailed it, as usual, Rebecca! But I’m finding it’s getting easier to visit this site, knowing its recent effectiveness.
      Racing creeps have lost every battle. Now they’re actively losing the war.
      Couldn’t have happened to a nicer industry, either. Except, maybe puppy mills. On second thought…Nah. At least some of those puppies eventually end up in a caring environment. Racing creeps would just dump and slaughter them if it would earn them a buck.

      • Thank you, Kelly, for your positive attitude in the war on horseracing and horse killing. It gets so discouraging to read how bad it is in horseracing and then you come on and say that this protesting and investigative reporting is working. Sometimes I think, “Wake me up when it’s over” but at the same time that would not be fair to the horses or anyone who is fighting the good fight to stop the killing of racehorses. So I might not be doing very much to help but I’m not falling asleep to avoid the speaking out for voiceless horses exploited by tradition a.k.a. horseracing.

      • Wanda, all the thanks and appreciation go to Patrick and others at this site. They were the ones who brought out PUBLICLY all that I had known and felt about the incessant horrors of horse racing, but was afraid to speak up about. Used to feel hopeless that it would never end; now I know it won’t go any other way:)

    • Rebecca hang in there. Its advocates like you that make it worth it. Without you HRW would not be able to go forward. AND I for what its worth think you are amazing and have all the right motives and intelligence to battle through this.

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