Lame, Found in Kill Pen Three Weeks After Being “Vanned Off”

On February 22, 2019, in her 28th turn under the whip, Nova Nation was “vanned off” at Penn National with an unspecified injury. At the time, she was five years old. Less than three weeks later, she was spotted, lame, in a Pennsylvania kill pen. Here she is – all four racing places intact – after she was euthanized by rescuers in order to save her from being shipped to slaughter. Her trainer/owner as of that February 22 race was Carlos Rodriguez. She was bred by Rick Sutherland. Draw your own conclusions.

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  1. It is getting more difficult to say what I am feeling in appropriate ways..there is no purpose and yes the word is out..time to stop this abuse🙏😢🙏

    • Carleen, I completely agree. If this report and all of the reports of horses brutally exploited by the human beings that perpetrate this unscrupulous and unnecessary abuse on Thoroughbreds and all racing breeds of horses doesn’t put the reader in a mood to do some obnoxious bashing, what will? I know we must be able to rise above the level of this heinous abuse and people must know where there tax dollars are going. The money needs to go to things that are essential, such as getting medical treatment for people who have tested positive for COVID-19. The way it is now is that the POTUS gets the best, the most state-of-the-art medical treatment available at the expense of the tax payers, the public, and a low-income person gets a “packet” with NO medicine of any kind and sent home to quarantine for 14 days. @$€%#$$(!!!!#:@$×&%\*£@

  2. This horses name comes from the battle cry of Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
    So I guess she raced in Parx also.

  3. She was forced to give her all and beyond, and this is what she received in return. Kudos to the rescuers who paid the money and stepped up to spare her the final evil deeds that Sutherland and Rodriguez laid out for her. Thank you, Horseracing Wrongs, for not forgetting her.

  4. I have been following these horrors for years and feel that I, and maybe others, feel that we need a sense of direction on how we can take steps to stop horseracing. It is multi-faceted problem and many areas need addressed to slow its progress: breeding, doping, track conditions, trainers abuse, proceeds from racing for after-care for horses, passing the SAFE Act to prevent slaughter and Horse Racing Integrity Act for doping. (The goal is to stop this not reform). I personally have contacted Gavin Newsom, Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris and California Horseracing Board. I live In Pa. and contacted my house and senators and my Governor Wolf who does want it stopped and money to go to education. I am not getting any assistance with any of the Animal Rights Organizations who want reform and they back the Horse Racing Integrity Act thinking this is the answer. Sending these animals and (BLM horses and burros) to slaughter needs stopped there is no word on SAFE Act progress which has been in Dept. Agriculture since 3/2019. This horse Nova Nation and Holding Aces and many others need to be spotlighted in a documentary or more media attention. What steps can we take to help and make changes to this travesty? Thanks to Patrick for bringing all these animals and the nightmare of horseracing to our attention.

    • 1) Get the voters to decide. They did it in Florida with dog racing. The problem, I think, is that every human has known a dog, not a lot have even touched a horse.

      2) Get politicians to stop funding racing. Probably 90% of tracks would fold overnight if the casino money or direct subsidies dried up.

    • Karen, would it be possible to connect via email? Patrick has my consent to share my email with everyone here. Would love to discuss the documentary piece. Thanks!!!

  5. It has long been suspected that many (if not most) race horses are dumped into slaughter pipelines in keeping with horse racing’s greed and obsession to squeeze every last penny from horses they “love SO much.” “Vanned off” should mean immediate euthanasia or treatment, rehab and proper retirement. Instead, Nova Nation most likely suffered in pain, punishment, and doping for three weeks (in addition to other atrocities in her short life) while decisions were made how to cheat a new buyer, grab that last penny, or worse.
    How many race horses (vanned off or dope-functioning lame) have spent their last days, weeks, or years in agony before reaching the kill pen? To have such proof that this sleazy practice is happening is beyond maddening and should be a felony crime (federal and states) with permanent BANS from any horse ownership, roles in any type of horse industry or activities, and not be around horses (similar to penalties for sex offender and other animal cruelty restrictions with incarceration for noncompliance).
    Laws are needed to make horseracing a felony, as we do with other cruel animal gambling activities. Most likely, owner/trainers will have their crocodile tears and multiple choice alibis ready as excuses. Thank you to HRW for discovering Nova Nation was dumped and exposing this cesspool industry for what it is; and thanks to those who rescued and humanely ended her pain.

  6. The SAFE Act (H.R. 961/S. 2006) was referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture on 03/01/2019. I could not find any further updates.
    I believe there will not be any action on H.R. 961 anytime soon!!!
    Politicians will not pass legislation that would have a negative effect on racing or, indeed, the horse industry in general – too much MONEY involved.

    We know horse slaughter is “necessary” to the horse industry so the overbreeding can continue and the “surplus” horses can be disposed of through the convenient and profitable slaughter business.

    Karen Drennen, thank you for your efforts on the behalf of the horses.

  7. Lots of suggestions in the comments as to how they can improve horse racing or stop the abuses of horse racing, but there’s only one thing that will stop this massive pain, suffering, abuse, and dying – END IT.
    Instead of focusing on the “reform” approach all energy should be focused on ending this and all the suggestions set forth by Alan is spot on.
    The main goal is to end the funding because once the funding ends most tracks will shut down.
    The immoral aspect of horse racing is obvious to most of us, but is overshadowed by strong public relations put out by horse racing and/or the billions of profits/jobs that is continually used by politicians to justify diverting billions in casino profits from our community essential services such as education.
    This entire business belongs in their manure piles and the racehorses deserve to be free from their exploitation.

    • Have you read the article about the rule changes in the future to compensate for fewer horses being bred to be available for exploitation by the racing participants of this industry?
      At some point, there are older breeders of Thoroughbreds who will die of old age and their children and grandchildren want absolutely nothing to do with breeding or racing. In New York State, the rules will be tweaked to accommodate this inevitable set of circumstances to make it a little easier for more of the existing horses to be qualified and allowed to run in order to fill races. Obviously, the NYRA has no intention of stopping the abusive exploitation of horses.

  8. These MAJESTIC, gentle souls do not deserve to end up in a kill pen. This EVIL perpetrated by humans MUST end. FULL STOP. the end….

  9. Hey, how ’bout all that Churchill Downs Safety nowadays? Feel free to check my numbers, all, but I’m pretty sure they’ve vanned off THREE HORSES in their last FIVE DAYS OF RACING. Today’s looks to be the worst — so far, anyway. Rebuff went down in race 6. And, as expected, Super-Transparent Kentucky refuses to breathe a word about any of them.
    Yoo-hoo! Calling all KY Racing Lovers: Is Rebuff still breathing? How about Laughing Levi? Sir Winsalot?

  10. Please Contact the track! Most tracks will revock the trainers license for this horse going to a kill pen!

    • Gail, you bring up a good point. I am wondering if there was a “falsifying” of the paperwork/records on this horse, NOVA NATION, and if it would be actually possible to have the racing participant/owner/trainer, CARLOS RODRIGUEZ, get cited for a rule violation and have their licenses revoked.
      THANK YOU for bringing that up.

      • Wanda, you know Carlos Rodriguez or any person involved in the brutal treatment of Holding Aces will never be held accountable.
        That is how racing is at every leve, right up to the kill pen and slaughterhouse floor.
        Only those in racing who dare to rock the boat will pay a price.
        The code of silence is top to bottom and bottom to top!!!

        There is NEVER any justice for the horse even if he dies from a deliberate blow to the head..
        He is just “found dead in his stall” End of story!

      • Got it, Rose. I think the stewards, the veterinarians employed by the racetracks, everybody that’s anybody in that “inner circle” of racing participants will be getting away with breaking the rules about supposedly not being able to participate in racing if you sell a racehorse to the killbuyer. I feel certain that there are certain individuals falsifying the paperwork; and who knows what horrific abuse they do to the horses to remove their lip tattoo to further deceive and get away with the corruption inherent to horseracing. The horses that are injured and injected with whatever kind of drugs would not be accepted as “clean” if someone did NOT falsify the paperwork to pass the horses off as “clean” or free of drugs, drugs that are not intended for use on animals intended for slaughter.

  11. In her last race on 22 Feb. 2019, Nova Nation “was steadied soon after the start, dropped far back., was eased through the lane and vanned off”.
    Poor horse crossed the finish line 38 lengths back after 6 furlongs with her injury that occurred “soon after the start”. And then she is sold to the kill buyer.. No mercy…

    I wonder how many other horses this fine trainer, Carlos Rodriguez, has dumbed, and, of course, he is not alone.

    • Thanks for the details, Rose. It shows that the racetrack stewards, and whoever else that might have some authority to restrict a trainer or owner that is so horribly cold and callously unconcerned about protecting a horse, are also horribly cold and callously unconcerned about protecting a horse.

      • As the racehorse population dwindles, due to greatly reduced breeding, inability to attract and maintain owners and outright crippling them, the stewards “stand down.”
        Racehorses are not protected under normal circumstances, but this is exacerbated due to the above reasons and lack of integrity as evidenced by plenty of examples (cover-up of Justify, cover-up of multiple doping violations with no repercussions or slap on the wrist fines, deep corruption with doping rings allegedly killing horses to manipulate bets etc. etc.)
        As we see, time and time again, based on PP’s, the racehorses who die are usually ones who are screaming out to be retired but these merciless parasites don’t care.
        The vet/treatment records are deliberately kept secret and if we were to be exposed to them it would only clarify what we already know: most racehorses are running with painful pre-existing conditions that are masked and they are kept going via drugs to keep flipping a buck.
        The racetrack and wagering owners only care about filling races and their coffers with total disregard for their welfare.
        With no neutral oversight, no laws to protect them, they are reduced to nothing more than disposable gambling chips and there are no reforms that will curtail, reduce or stop this.

  12. The owners didn’t even do the right thing by this poor horse. They should have PTS if there was no way back to health and soundness for her. Out of sight out of mind. Absolutely heartbreaking way she was treated. 3 weeks in agony god knows where.
    RIP you poor horse, you deserved better. 😢😢😢😢💔💔🐴🐴😡😡

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