Another Death at Santa Anita

The California Horse Racing Board has disclosed the colic death of Surfside Sunset Friday at Santa Anita. He was six years old and had been put to the whip 24 times, most recently Feb 12 at that same track. For those racing apologists who would dismiss a colic death as something that can and does happen to any kind of horse – and therefore not the industry’s fault – see this.

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  1. Surfside Sunset – sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?
    Sadly, the magnificent equine going by this name suffered confinement, forced to gallop at fast speed whilst being whipped to go faster, likely had health issues, did his best and yet every day he obligingly went along with whatever the horseracing industry demanded of him.
    And then he suffers one of the worst deaths a horse can have, COLIC. And there’s research out there evidencing that racehorses are more likely to come down with colic than any other domesticated equine.
    So sorry Surfside Sunset, you were given a beautiful name but the life you endured was far from beautiful.
    Shame on the horseracing industry, once again.

    • Well said, Carolyn. There seems to be way too many racehorses dying of colic. The industry needs to take more responsibility and accountability.

  2. All this is true but it can also be true for boarded riding and “pleasure” horses. If racehorses are more at risk for colic it is because 90% of them have ulcers and probably hind gut issues as well. The grooms who are men and women who work with the horses at the racetrack are poorly educated for the most part but mainly kindly people. They feed the way THE TRAINER orders them. And trainers are about as smart as a box of rocks. I don’t think racetrack veterinarians are much better. From your standpoint Patrick, yes Horseracing is dangerous to the health of horses. But so is every other sport involving a relationship where humans use animals.

  3. And, again (and again, and again…) We’ve only learned about Surfside Sunset’s colic death because he DIED ON TRACK PROPERTY(!). The fine, horse-loving folks at the SADT could have spared themselves and this “trainer” the CHRB-mandated shame of public exposure, if they’d only moved the poor, ailing animal off-site for treatment (or euth) in time. Don’t believe me? Just ask outgoing Equine Medical Director Dr. Rick Arthur. He’ll tell you. Anyone in Cali racing has every motivation to MOVE sick, injured, broken-down, collapsed, dying or otherwise due-to-die equines AWAY from CHRB-licensed property.
    Then, ta-da! No public reporting. Secret’s safe. Hooray!
    (Bet they won’t be making that mistake again.)

      • Yes, that. But far worse, it forces these poor horses to SUFFER more, and longer, so that racing creeps can avoid exposure to the public.

      • You’re right, Kelly!!! There is one investigative journalist that wrote about the racing industry in Korea and he tells the truth I believe. Joy Aten shared a link to his article in a previous blog.

        I don’t know what the authorities in charge of investigating animal abuse issues and cases are doing, or can do, to keep an eye on what these so-called horsemen are doing to cause more, and unnecessary, pain and suffering to horses. There needs to be a watchdog group to constantly be on the alert to the horrendous abuses inflicted upon the horses and the subsequent neglect of horses. There needs to be someone or a group of people who can report to law enforcement the abuses that are being hidden! It is as you have mentioned many times, Kelly, that there is so much abuse and willful neglect of racehorses. There should be a court order to have these individuals arrested for criminal abuse and neglect of their horses! Plus, any horse that is owned and trained by these same individuals should be seized and removed from their possession immediately and become protected from further abuse and neglect.

  4. This is blatant animal abuse and must be prosecuted as the heinous crime it is. There is no rehabilitating this disgusting excuse of a “sport”. It must be shutdown completely.

    • I agree with the prosecution of the heinous abuse and neglect of horses!!!! It needs to be happening now as we speak!

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