NYRA Claims It Has “Best Proven Safety Practices”; Colt Becomes 25th Kill at Belmont This Year

Bonspiel, a 3-year-old being prepped for his debut, broke down training at Belmont Tuesday and was euthanized after emergency surgery failed. He is the 25th kill at Belmont this year. Now, juxtapose that what-should-be shocking number with this from a USA Today article (in which I was quoted) ahead of last week’s Belmont Stakes:

The New York Racing Association…is considered an industry leader in safety efforts and its high-profile tracks remain less deadly than other comparable tracks in the U.S….. “The safety and welfare of horses and jockeys competing at NYRA tracks is our highest priority,” the NYRA said in an emailed statement. “That is why NYRA is committed to providing the safest possible environment for racing and training by adopting and implementing the best proven safety practices in consultation with independent experts, veterinarians, horsemen and regulators.”

“industry leader in safety efforts”

“less deadly than other comparable tracks”

“safety and welfare…is our highest priority”

“best proven safety practices”

America, you’re being taken for a ride.

The Belmont Dead, 2020

Yorkiepoo Princess, Jan 3, Belmont S – “severe laminitis…euthanized in her stall”
Jewel Can Disco, Jan 20, Belmont T – “sustained an injury while breezing…euthanized”
A Freud of Mama, Jan 24, Belmont T (euthanized Feb 8) – “passed after complications”
yet-to-be-named, Jan 30, Belmont T – “shaft fracture…euthanized on the track”
Krugerrand, Mar 9, Belmont S – “severe laminitis” (two years old)
Starting Point, Mar 22, Belmont T – “sustained leg injury – euthanasia”
Peter’s Project, Apr 1, Belmont S – “colic, worsened throughout day…euthanasia”
Pals Invader, Apr 17, Belmont T – “sustained leg injury at the 7/8 pole”
Appealing Briefs, Apr 23, Belmont S – “euthanized due to poor prognosis of cellulitis”
O’Bushido, May 4, Belmont S – “found deceased in stall”
Call Paul, May 6, Belmont T – “sustained injury to LH leg…necessitating euthanasia”
Schiller’s Lit, May 18, Belmont T (euthanized May 21) – “acutely lame”
Lil Morning Star, May 21, Belmont T – “injury to left front leg”
Shock Therapy, May 25, Belmont S – “pleuropneumonia, laminitis”
Bluegrass Jamboree, May 28, Belmont T – “cardiovascular collapse – expired on track”
Truck Salesman, May 31, Belmont T – “leg injury while breezing, euthanized on track”
Brahe, May 31, Belmont T – “injuries to both front legs…euthanasia on track”
Abraxan, May 31, Belmont T – “leg injury necessitating euthanasia”
Too Fast to Pass, Jun 3, Belmont R (euthanized Jun 12) – “injury to left front”
Chouchou de Boo, Jun 4, Belmont T – “several injuries…euthanized”
Freedom Prince, Jun 5, Belmont S – “taken to hospital…euthanized”
Talako, Jun 7, Belmont R – “catastrophic injury…euthanized on track”
Mystical Song, Jun 17, Belmont S – “found dead in stall…gastrointestinal disease”
Smidge, Jun 18, Belmont R – “sustained injury to left rear leg”
Bonspiel, Jun 23, Belmont T – “fracture, surgical repair failed, euthanized”

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  1. This is atrocious! WAKE UP New York.No one can gloss over these statistics. Shame on this industry and it’s supporters.

    • They even die practicing. How pathetic is that? No death of horses is acceptable.

  2. “Less deadly than other comparable tracks in the U.S.”
    Now there’s a real selling point: “LESS DEADLY.” I think all horse tracks should embrace this particular brand of marketing. Since they ALL host constant horse deaths, and their kill numbers ALL stay roughly consistent, they need to get more aggressive at cannibalizing each other. Get out there, guys! Let’s see more uncovering of your competitors’ training breakdowns. More tattling on your rivals’ mysterious horse disappearances. More pointing out their “unfair” advantages of racing in states with crony-only racing commissions who won’t even acknowledge/admit horse deaths, much less report them. Save yourselves!
    (*Oh, and y’all better work extra hard at hiding your own kills, since that’s the only way you’ll maintain your coveted, “less deadly” status.)

    • Exactly what I thought, Kelly – what a comfort – “our tracks are less deadly”.

  3. The veterinarians are paid to be accomplices to the carnage. The people pretending to be horseman don’t want to keep their horses on the farms or anywhere as pets or pleasure riding horses. The true top priority is keeping the money rolling in; keeping the racing and wagering going at the expense of the race horses’ lives, more money coming in and enticing gambling addicts to spend their money on betting on horses racing at New York racetracks and more money coming in. Of course, lie like crazy to cover up as much as possible. What’s new!?!


  4. BONSPIEL – a $250,000 purchase DEAD.
    Owned by Centennial Farms whose website provides “bloodstock” evaluations, and a wide range of advice since racehorses are an “investment.”

    • As an investment at the price of $250 Thousand this horse, BONSPIEL, must have been insured, right? It doesn’t make sense that the owners would not have had him insured. It’s all about the money. Business as usual. Less deadly means all racetracks are deadly. How accommodating of the New York Racing Association to admit that racing is deadly at all racetracks…😞

  5. When reporting on deaths at tracks it would be helpful to give out websites of the owners/farms so the public can contact them.Just venting out here is useless.
    We all need monies to publish in newspapers,TV the cruelty.In the end economics will stop the industry as it did with dog racing.

    • Jim, I agree to a point that venting here doesn’t stop any horse from being killed but I disagree that venting here is completely useless. The more people that share whatever information they can here and help to educate others, the better. It takes a lot of people to fight for the lives of hundreds of thousands of horses bred solely for the purpose of being exploited from conception to foaling to training to racing to breeding to being killed one way or another. The Thoroughbred racing industry has been in existence in this country for over 146 years to the best of my knowledge. There are places in this country that had racetracks in existence that have been out of operation for so long that they are not even mentioned on this site under the Shuttered Tracks category. One example is Longacres in Kent, Washington. It was replaced with Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington. There are tracks that I don’t even know what their names were or what years they were in operation. You can do a Google research online at Equibase to find out more information on many of these horses. I have Googled two different horses listed here that seemed to have disappeared off the map in more ways than one though.

      • There used to be racing at the fairgrounds in Canby as well as Klamath Falls & in Gresham a long time ago.The Canby fairgrounds now has a Rodeo facility which we think is equally abusive to horses & other animals.

      • Fred and Joan,
        Rodeo is absolutely cruelty and torture, brutality and excessive force against any livestock they use! I took a photo of a “cowboy” on horseback pulling a dead Black Angus calf on a tarp or canvas with a rope tied to the canvas and dallied to his saddle horn from one end of the arena to the other. That was at Cheyenne Frontier Days in July 1978. They had Quarter Horse races on the track between the grandstands and the rodeo arena. I didn’t see any racehorses get hurt that day though. I have no idea if they were pumped up on Performance Enhancing Drugs or not. They were beautiful horses.
        In some places they have an extremely barbaric event where a sadistic red neck riding a horse ropes a loose horse and causes the loose horse to fall causing physical injuries to the roped horse. I can’t say what I wish I could do to those worthless pieces of cowboy excrement or my comment would be deleted.

    • It is useless regardless. Several horses I loved died via NY tracks.I’ve contacted everyone. I’m here to tell you …..they don’t give a rat’s ass.BELIEVE me, I have the ‘trail’.Just contact me via this site!!!!! This is why I’m trying to tell you people..you can’t play ‘patty cake’. All they care about is their money. ….the end

      • Bonnie, agree with you. We MUST do protests at tracks to get media attention and we must contact the media with calls and letters relentlessly. We also must hound our state legislators.

    • Jim, it’s not useless.
      The horse racing industry has controlled the message to the public for years, which is precisely why they were able to perpetrate their deliberate lies and myths about horse racing.
      It’s time for another point of view, the actual facts, to be presented as well and that’s what this site does.
      In terms of getting this horrific business shut down this is what’s needed:
      1. STOP the funding. People are not aware of the billions given to horse racing to keep it going. It hasn’t been financially sustainable for years. So it’s supported by you and me, taxpayers, but the big support comes from the billions in casino profits. Casinos couldn’t care less about horse racing, but the “horsemen” groups AKA HBPA cut back room deals with our politicians. So the money gets diverted from the community, where it’s supposed to go, into the hands of racehorse abusers and killers. The politicians, most likely, get a huge financial cut to grease their palms, and the taxpayers/communitites lose out. Of course the biggest losers are their voiceless victims – the racehorses. We’re talking BILLIONS given to horse racing in most states and without it horse racing would literally shut down over night. Even in the middle of a pandemic, even when public coffers are bankrupt, and when they must slash essential community services – they are STILL giving billions to the horse racing industry. Write your politicians and we must make a concerted effort to find out what politicians are commited to STOP this funding and give it to our communitites where it belongs,.
      2. Classify racehorses under our Felony Animal cruelty laws. Right now, they have absolutely no protections and the horse racing industry maims, dumps and kills them with total impunity.
      3. Put forth a bill in California that will BAN horse racing in that state. The trouble with this, as Nicole stated on her comment, is the amount of money it takes to get a bill introduced and passed in the California senate. We’re talking around 5 million. This is precisely why we really needed PETA & HSUS to come together and finance this bill. These 2 groups, collectively, have billions and so they could finance it and finally put an end to this public butcher show.
      I will continue to be a voice for racehorses on this site, but should I win the lottery you can say bye-bye to California horse racing.

      • Thank you, Gina, for outlining those basic things that are necessary to end horseracing! Thank you for saying how many millions it would take to get an initiative on the ballot in California to ban horseracing in California! I do not know all of the steps necessary to get the initiative to become a reality. Hopefully, that information will become available.

      • Gina, I am cutting and pasting your explanation to my page. Great, thank you so much.

  6. I think we should all protest at the race tracks like as many people that protested for Black Lives Matter that would bring alot of attention to the matter. If it doesn’t stop now it’s just keep on happening. I would b able to pay for a tv ad if it’s not outrageous just to save these innocent beautiful animals. I guess emailing the governor or whoever might help since it’s collection time.

  7. When is this Cruelty and Killing going to STOP!!~!~!! Horse people must all be Greedy Sadistic Demented People!!!!!

    • Patricia,
      Not all people that have horses are demented, greedy, money-hungry horse killing monsters as are those people who involve themselves in horseracing and pari-mutuel wagering, or rodeo.

    • Demented , that concisely sums it up. I’ve shed A Lot of tears and emotional energy, from trying to get through to owners, trainers, racing officials/executives…to no avail. You can’t talk sense to most of these ‘people’. Believe me, on my end it’s not for lack of TRYING. #IWillNotGiveUp

  8. Belmont’s 25th kill so far this year, how many more horses have to die before actual safety will be utilized at all the racetracks.

    • Sharon,
      Safety at all racetracks will be utilized when there is no more racing at all and no training for racing! Horseracing needs to be banned in order for horses to be safe from the money-grubbing, horse-killing excuses for “horseman” in horseracing!

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