“[Multiple] Severe, Complete Ruptures”; “Catastrophic Skull Fracture” – and Other California Kills

Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have obtained the following details on 2020 kills. (The Board redacted the names but, paradoxically, those horses have already been identified on the Board’s public database.)

Ruby Roundhouse, Jan 1, Los Alamitos S
“abscess in LH, colicky for six days; extremely painful yesterday, this morning no GI sounds, toxic” (two years old)

Elegant Sundown, Jan 5, Golden Gate R
“[multiple] open, comminuted fractures; [multiple] severe, complete ruptures”

Jest Famous, Jan 7, Los Alamitos S
“acute colic: found thrashing and rolling at 3 am with high HR; DVM found distended small intestine; on presentation down on trailer, HR 104, extremely painful; distended loops of small intestine on rectal and ultrasound, purulent appearance of abdominocentesis; suspect GI rupture/leakage/septic peritonitis” (three years old)

Super Beauty, Jan 18, Golden Gate S
“small intestinal incarceration and strangulation”

Data Hawk, Feb 7, Golden Gate S
“catastrophic skull fracture, massive subdural hemorrhage”

A Lonna At the Top, Feb 26, Golden Gate T
“collapsed in stall after training; cardiac failure?” (she was three years old)
“other findings: chronic ulcerative gastritis”

Thousand Oaks, Feb 29, Golden Gate S
“flipped on walker and died before vet arrived; severe, comminuted skull fracture”
“other findings: chronic gastric ulceration”

Get Like Me, Mar 12, Golden Gate R
“multiple displaced fractures; severe, complete ligament rupture”
“additional findings: chronic ulcerative gastritis”

Battalion Won, Mar 14, Golden Gate T
“[broke both front legs]; [multiple] open fractures and ruptures”
“other findings: chronic [gastric] ulcerations”

Ailish’s Buttercup, May 10, Golden Gate T
“[multiple] fractures and ruptures”
“other findings: gastric ulceration”

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  1. This is so vile.
    I’ve done everything I can from writing the politicians to educating to demand that this killing show shut down.
    I can’t stand this anymore.
    This is uncivilized, brutal corruption cesspool and killing pit needs to be shut down now.

  2. Since every one of those horses had ulcers I can only conclude that the owners and trainers did not want to pay for Succeed or Ulcer Guard. And this all goes back to MONEY. Those meds have to be given every day and its prudent to give it to every horse you’ve got. But for $100 for a month per horse thats alot of money. Owners don’t want to pay vet bills. Alot of them are so cheap they don’t even want to pay the trainer or they tell the trainer to take whatever the horse needs out of their winnings. And everyone knows….only 10% of horses make more than it costs to feed and train them. Cheap outfits are the bane of horseracing and I think at least 80% are cheap outfits. They used to be called “gyps”.

  3. If you can not or won’t take proper care of your possessions living or material then DO NOT HAVE them..

  4. Racing physically immature horses is the cause of many of these catastrophic breakdowns. Horses are not fully mature until 4 or 5 years of age. And they’re racing 2 and 3 year olds!!!!! It all comes down to money and it’s SO WRONG!!!!!

  5. Since I’ve been involved with horses, including OTTBs, for well over five decades, I’ve often wondered how anyone that professes to love horses can read these descriptions and NOT turn against this horrific industry with a vengeance, Although I never “loved” horseracing, there was a time, believe it or not, that I “liked” it and I always watched the big races but I always grappled with the fact that I was relieved when horses finished a race in one piece. I started riding at age seven and got my first horse (Sunlin, an OTTB) when I was thirteen. I never said a prayer that my horse would finish unscathed after a lesson or jumping a round on a hunter course….NEVER….yet here I was with my heart in my mouth fearing a breakdown during a race. I vividly remember, back in the 70’s, listening to the news coming from the radio that Ruffian had been euthanized and years later watching Eight Belles struggling to stand on two broken legs. That was a turning point for me. I now despised the industry that cripples, maims and kills DAILY yet often wonder how others continue to support it. Some of those supporters can barely make it from paycheck to paycheck so it isn’t always about the money. There is no doubt that some people truly believe that racing can be “cleaned up” but the wrongs in racing are multi-faceted so where do you even start if that is your goal? Those people, imo, are simply ignorant or delusional…perhaps a bit of both. No one is powerful enough or smart enough to “clean up” an industry that is vile to the core.

    I have given this dilemma a great deal of thought and felt, at one time, that the way to eradicate racing was by educating the gamblers but came to the conclusion that most gamblers just didn’t give a damn. They couldn’t care less if they were betting on a horse, dog or human as long as they profited in the end.

    Mary Baggaley states that money is the reason that horses aren’t treated with Succeed or UlcerGard and I agree with her but both of those products are for ulcer prevention. They do not “cure” ulcers and ulcers do NOT heal on their own. The proper diagnostics include a gastroscopy and GastroGard. The cost for scoping and medicine is approximately $1300 which isn’t cheap. I spent eight years on the backside of a low level track and never once did I see a horse being scoped yet the stress put on a horse at the track is humongous.

    In January of this year, I wrote a story for this blog about “Lady” – a racehorse that suffered with grade 4 bleeding ulcers and colic. “Lady” would have died within a few days if Rose Smith hadn’t stepped up for her. Yes, ulcers can kill but the despicable industry just turns a blind eye while professing to love the horses so very much. I call that love the BIG LIE.

    • That image of Eight Belles trying desperately to stand on two broken front legs was the WORST.

  6. Ulcers can be caused by the steroids they give them. Stopping those would help. But stopping this cruel “sport “ is the ultimate answer for the benefit of these beautiful animals all together.

  7. This is disgraceful. And all those responsible for the suffering and deaths of all these horses are evil.
    KARMA is a bitch!

  8. I have on thing to say… Bo Derek, where are YOU? You’re a Ca. board member, and self professed animal lover. How do YOU feel about THIS? We sure would love to hear your thoughts.

  9. As hard it is to see them, nice work on the pics, PB. They seemed, to me at least, to have raised some blood pressures (nice writing ladies). If there are watchers out there that are new to this education about this barbarous entertainment and have never posted, chime in. I love to hear from new posters.

  10. Speaking of California kills, I believe there’s three considerable upsides to yesterday’s CHRB rubber-stamp decision to keep Los Alamitos running (and breaking down) horses:

    1. Fewer Los Al victims will be allowed to hit the track, hence fewer horses will die. The CHRB and Los Al officials will still find a way to take all the credit for this so-called drop in fatalities — and to claim success for their genius, new “safety” protocols. But, hey, still a win for the horses, and for us.

    2. This is costing Los Al big money. And we all know that’s what REALLY bothers them in running their daily horror show: LOSS OF REVENUE. They’re gonna have fewer horses, in fewer races, and this will cause more degenerates to shirk them and complain about their (already low-end) product. Also, they are being forced to hire/use additional resources to pretend to care about horse safety; that’ll cost them even more money. Poor horse killers.

    3. We’ve finally got ourselves a number we can work with: 31. And, by extension, 60-PLUS+++ on the year. There it is. The CHRB welcomes all Cali tracks to kill off AT LEAST 60 horses every year, before there’s even a whisper of their invoking SB 469 (or Rule 15-whatever, or the Emergency Horse Safety Provision, or whichever laughable, non-response it’s being called). Hear that Santa Anita? How about you, Golden Gate? Del Mar? You’ll all be just fine as long as you keep it under 60 dead:) Congrats!

  11. Joy, I hope you see this,I just saw a race on tvg Mountaineer claiming 4,000 a big beautiful chestnut Charming Indy was in the race,when I heard the name I couldn’t believe it, he was really good as a 2yr old and I really loved him and followed him. He’s 7yrs old now and this was his 59th race,for the bargain basement of 4,000. I’m so distraught 😭 now because it’s so F’n SAD. I hope someone saves this big chestnut gelding 🙏

    • Yes, Bonnie, I saw your comment about Charming Indy – and like every other racehorse we know about being used and used-up in this God-forsaken industry, HE, TOO, deserves to be rescued. And this is exactly why I asked “Mary” earlier if she was serious when she insisted we are just as guilty as horses’ connections if we don’t rescue their horses…and Wanda added “when we know”. Well, WE KNOW – about them ALL – some closer to being dropped off at the auction or handed over to the kill buyer as a direct-to-kill than others – but headed for a bad ending just the same.

      There are many here who’ve been rescuing racehorses for years and I’m willing to bet those individuals, every day, think about the countless poor horses needing help. I know they do – because every day we see more of them. Auction and killpen photos of horses with their racing plates still on. Flipped lips showing tattoos and manes pushed aside to reveal them. Videos of nervous, ribby TB’s being moved through narrow chute-like enclosures. STB’s tied with worried eyes. And pleas to donate. To home. To share. But there are never enough funds. Never enough homes. Never enough. But WE’RE guilty?

      • You are so right Joy. They all deserve to be saved. ALL. That’s why this fucked up freak show of tiny little men and spoiled brain dead lazy losers who are this shitshow (owners,trainers) F them all, from white haired sunglasses wearing Bob,to the lazy rich owners,I say to all of them F you for committing ANIMAL abuse, now go get your F’n sleazy,creepy,white trash looking,lazy asses a JOB.

  12. This is dire to read. This carnage needs to stop, now. These magnificent creatures deserve better than the miserable existence they suffer, however brief this may be.

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