Abused – to Death

Last February 10, two horses – Majestic Heir and Dave Hoeght – were euthanized at Camarero Race Track in Puerto Rico. Both, I have learned, were put down for “arthritis” – i.e., they were irreversibly lame. Nothing unusual there, of course. Nor the fact that at age six and seven, respectively, they should have just been entering the equine prime of life. That’s racing. What struck me were the paths these poor souls traveled before meeting their respective ends at this, one of the most wretched stops on the horseracing circuit (and, often, the final stop; much more on that soon).

Majestic Heir was foaled in Kentucky in March 2013, with a “debut” in Louisiana three years later. First owner/trainer team: Brittlyn Stable, Albert Stall. To Kentucky for four races, then to New York and a race at the world-famous Saratoga Race Course. It was before that one, in August ’16, that Majestic began a streak of being “For Sale” 21 straight times. Back down to Kentucky for four more, then to Louisiana, where he finally “won” his first race. He was, at this time, also under a new trainer, Ron Faucheux. Three months later, Majestic was shipped to Florida. Here, he was sold just prior to bringing up the rear, some 23 lengths back. New owner, Joseph Krong; new trainer, Victor Barboza. Five more at Gulfstream, then the now-five-year-old disappeared for over a year before resurfacing at Camarero in December 2018.

In his first race in Puerto Rico, Majestic finished dead last, 25+ lengths back. He was also under the yoke of a new team: owner, I J Stable; trainer, Jorge Perez. Two races later, a new owner/trainer: Angel Calderon. His final five races, all under Calderon:

second-to-last, 13 back
last, 46+ back
last, 42+ back
last, 81+ back
and finally, January 30, 2020, second-to-last, 39+ back

11 days later – dead.

Dave Hoeght was also foaled in Kentucky, in March 2012. His first race came as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs. Owner (and also breeder), Mike Tarp; trainer, Dale Romans. 11 races – in KY, FL, NY – for this pair followed, then sold to World Wide Promotion and trainer Marcial Navarro. Several races later, a new trainer: Antonio Machado. In November ’17, sold again: owner/trainer, Regulo Rodriguez. Before the next race, sold back to World Wide – with yet another new trainer, Jose Camejo. A few races later, enter Tyron Benoit (at this point, he was being raced in TX and LA). Still, the training carousel continued: back to Camejo, then Angel Rodriguez.

Dave Hoeght’s final race came in Florida in April 2019. Next thing we know, he turns up dead in Puerto Rico – almost a full year later. Here was a horse who raced at some of the most prestigious tracks in the U.S. – Churchill, Saratoga, Gulfstream – and for at least one big-name trainer (Romans). In all, he “earned” over $130,000 for his various people. And yet somehow, he ends up in a dump of a place, body destroyed – his arthritis was termed “severe” – with not a soul to advocate for him. A dead horse (barely) walking. A dead horse. Nothing is more important than “equine welfare,” right? The horses are “like members of the family,” hey? Vile – to the core.

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  1. Are these the same people who would tell us that we don’t know anything about horses, or that we don’t know how to spell horse???

  2. Chestnut, named Favored just DIED at Gulfstream race 2. It was his FIRST ever race!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DEAD, from one race,at 3yrs. old.

    • Looks like the only tracks that DIDN’T have a van-off (or similar horror) today are the ones out west. Go figure. Then again, I think Los Al is just starting, so they’ve still got plenty of time to catch up in the carnage department. I swear, Patrick’s got a week’s worth of material on today’s racing alone.
      I think it’s actually getting WORSE for all racehorses. Fewer horses, but MORE breakdowns. More sudden deaths. More “euthanasia” of young, unwanted animals. It’s hideous, and it’s criminal.
      Oh, and of course, NO mention of today’s carnage (except in New York, where they sort of HAVE TO report it) from all those super-journalistic racing “reporters” on Twitter.

  3. I saw they found a horse La Carmelita tied to a tree in Puerto Rico. Last raced last week. Unbelievable

  4. Pure Evil! And to think I used to watch the prestigious races. Doesn’t matter the trainer or owner whether they are wealthy and can afford to care for the horse – the horse is disposable – in my eyes the evil humans should be disposed OF!

  5. Many American racehorses, who are lame and suffering, are sent to tracks in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Turkey etc.
    Owners and Trainers get around $1000 for their “family member” to send them away knowing full well that they are sending them to suffer and die.
    After Hurricane Maria, Shelley Blodgett of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare, describes a horror show going on at Camarero accompanied with pics:
    https://www.theracingbiz.com/2018/01/20/camarero-four-months-dire-situation-horses/
    A few excerpts:
    “The euthanasia rate has skyrocketed, and trainers are racing horses in bad physical condition, many 3 and 4-year-olds. Camarero started live racing too soon.”
    “To date, more than 100 of the total horse population of about 1,000 have been euthanized, nearly all from colic or laminitis. CTA knows the names of 67 horses, but there are 40 more that Camarero security has euthanized but hasn’t revealed the names.”
    The multibillion dollar horse racing business has no emergency or contingency plans in place for racehorses nor are there adequate facilities and funding in place for aftercare – there never has been.
    Racehorses like Majestic Heir and Dave Hoeght suffer and continue to die because this industry doesn’t care.

  6. One of the ones at scumbag ny, Capt’ Remington..the chart caller says “sluggish early on”,gee,could that be because he was dying shortly after breaking from the starting gate,during his FIRST ever race!!!!!!! This is some sick shit. Ya think?

    • This clearly needs to be exposed for what it is: ANIMAL ABUSE. At what point does it become obvious to these “brilliant rocket scientists” that the horse could not tolerate anymore abuse???
      They treat the horses like lab rats. It is like reinventing the wheel in the sense that we already know what animal abuse looks like and what the outcome will be. They don’t need to run a three-year-old and say that he ran “sluggish early on” to be able to deduce that the horse should not have been entered in the race in the first place. Horseracing is evil. It must be stopped by some outside authority because the insane psychopaths are not going to stop themselves from abusing horses to death.

  7. New York is THE WORST. In EVERY Aspect!!!!!!!!!!!! They are the EVIL KILLING Machine. I thought it would be hard to be more evil than California, but…apparently not. Hey, you asshole Apologists- if this was people being slaughtered at this rate would YOU put up with it?????????? Horses lives are just as important as your lame lives. Every life is EQUAL. This true evil must come to an end. We cannot have this in a CIVILIZED society.

    • You said it, Bonnie — THANK YOU — when will the Apologists face the facts and stop turning a blind eye to the depraved, sadistic cruelty perpetrated on our HORSES? — we MUST keep at it until this industry is SHUT DOWN.

  8. Most of these people are interested only in the money that these horses can earn for them. I don’t believe that these animals are looked after once their “big” moneymaking days are over. They are cruel, vile excuses for humans. Horse racing should be banned.

  9. people that abuse animals for their own purposes sadly have little regard for the lives of the animals or probably for other people for that matter………………………..

  10. Honestly it could have been much worse… these two were lucky enough to be euthanized at the track and not sent to a meat auction. where they would have been crammed onto a stock trailer with way to many other scared lost soles that are sick, injured, old, some to weak to even stand, who also had done nothing at all to deserve such a horrible fate. They are then forced to travel days with out rest food or water to a slaughter house (in Mexico or Canada) where they would be killed in an extremely violent inhuman manner, also just to make sure its as cruel as possible they actually have it set up so that each horse is forced to watch the one in front of them be slaughtered.( I hate horse racing as much as i hate dog fighting only the # of horses that are abused and killed on legal race tracks each year is thousands higher than the # of dogs killed in underground fighting rings. legal crack downs on dog fighting have thankfully decreased its popularity. it is well known that anyone who is arrested in connection to a dog fighting case will face sever legal consequences. And yet no one ever gets arrested or even charged with a crime in the horse racing world. SO SAD….

    • Daisy, NEITHER option is acceptable. NEITHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t get sucked into that kind of mindset (of trying to rationalize) NO.

    • I totally agree with you Bonnie! It is horrible either way that the horse racing participants choose to kill their horses, regardless of which way they choose to kill them. One way or another way, regardless of how the horses are killed, the psychopathic sociopaths that treat horses INHUMANELY and the inherent abuse and blatant disregard for the well-being of the horses is ALL BAD/EVIL!!!!
      The other horses on the racetrack are most likely very aware of another horse being killed on the racetrack as well as the horse at the slaughterhouse that is being forced to watch the horse in front of him/her being killed by a slaughterhouse worker. It’s all horrible and HORRIFYING!!!!! Attempting to say that one way is worse than the other way is agonizing and doesn’t serve any good purpose. They ALL SUFFERED HORRIBLY!!! The dead horses all died from the hands of individuals/racing participants or slaughterhouse workers that should not be allowed to continue this horror show for profit!!!!!!

  11. I am so sick of these horse owners killing these beautiful animals in one way or the other. I don’t understand why countries leave horse racing legal. I guess it’s good I don’t get elected to an important office; animal cruelty of any kind would not be tolerated.

    • Rose, I TRULY believe if this was put to a NATIONAL ballot,it would Totally pass, and horse ABUSE would be DONE.

  12. The racing-employed and apologists claim that horseracing can be likened to our horses running of their own free will in their own pastures…now you tell me, how many of YOUR horses did you have to euthanize (at 6, 7, 8, 9 or even in an equine’s prime age) because of “arthritis” caused by the exercise they chose?

  13. Horses have suffered for many hundreds of years in forced servitude to humans – war, transport, sport – with far too few to advocate on behalf of them. The dawn of acknowledgment of this cruel bondage needs to be a morning of reparation.

  14. Horses have suffered cruel abuse by humans for many hundreds of years – in war, transport, sports. The dawn of recognition of this terrible bondage needs to be a morning of reparation.

  15. Having lived in Puerto Rico, I can vouch for the fact that, this race track is a cesspool of abuse, suffering, neglect and broken horses. It should be shut down …..

    • The answer is “YES, HORSES CAN SUFFER, AND YES, THEY ARE SUFFERING AT THE HANDS OF HUMANS THAT EXPLOIT THEM.”

  16. Utterly despicable humans!! Horses, like dogs, get severely depressed when changing “homes” so often. They tortured and broke him down until he couldn’t win races anymore…then they murdered him. With modern equine care he could have lived 30-40 years!!! But what the hell do his owners care – those horses are heavily insured – they don’t loose a dime!! Why can’t we outlaw this once and for all? Let them race inanimate objects like cars!! A culture is only as evolved as the humane treatment of all life.

    • EXCELLENT points Tom. Animals do get very depressed, especially when changing homes and owners. Horses, like dogs and cats,get very depressed. They are sensitive sentient beings!!!!!!!

    • Unfortunately, humans have the capacity for the most unspeakable cruelty. That cruelty is inflicted on the most vulnerable. We know that. We see it every day.
      Dog fighting may be illegal but it goes on in just about every state. When I lived in Seattle a group tried to get law enforcement to put a stop to it. Nothing was done!
      The ongoing suffering of our voiceless is why we must continue to fight for what is right and just.
      The road will be long and hard but right will prevail.

  17. This disgusting bullshit must stop horses are some of the most majestic creatures on earth these people (?) Should be in jail or worse it is so heart breaking…

  18. Well we know who to blame. Better for these horses never to have been born then to suffer this. Human greed makes me sick.

  19. And as some may remember, horses bought from owners in the US are shipped in containers via freighter, to PR , a journey of several days of sheer misery. Some horses die during the voyage.
    Not too long ago no less than eight horses in a single container died of asphyxiation on a PR bound freighter. The racing industry proves over and over it does not give a damn what outrageous suffering is inflicted on the horses. Amazingly, they get away with it…

  20. I’m very familiar with this horrible process for I’m a biologist and animal behaviorist that work at an animal shelter evaluating dogs and cats behavior and selecting the most appropriate adopter in order to make sure that they go to a permanent home and will never be returning to a animal shelter also I’m a horse rider that started at 3 yrs of age. I have saved 7 “useless” race horses that were going to be sold in a “meat auction”I retrain them with love and patience without a dead line to become confident and having fun in their new lifestyle. I teach horse riding both dressage and jumping and whenever they acquire self confidence and learn to communicate with the rider ( and vice-versa j they go to loving homes preferably my students that are under constant
    supervision.
    If there is something I I can do to help your cause ,please feel to ask.
    I know that you are involved in a cause where the only value is Money ,the lives of sensitive animals is never taken into consideration .
    Good luck
    Adelaide Soares

  21. This is torture and murder for profit. A very slow agonizing death of these Beautiful horses for money. Shut down the Santa Anita horse races.

    Everyone knows they are slowly murdering the horses. A slow agonizing, excruciatingly, painful death. Shame on the greedy, sickening bastards and witches getting rich off of torture and murder.

  22. This is a sadistically depraved industry — the HORSES suffer greatly — in a landscape that abounds with OTHER gambling OPTIONS – casinos, lotteries, real sports involving autonomous Human Beings – hasn’t the time at long last arrived to let the racing HORSE be? — You, the Bettor, have within the capacity for MERCY — We ask only that you exercise it — PLEASE — For the HORSES — NOTE : The History of Mankind is Carried on THE BACK OF THE HORSE — ALL HORSES deserve RESPECT & PROTECTIONS — SHUT DOWN HORSE-RACING — FOREVER.

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