Two More Babies for the List

Shartle, a 2-year-old colt, was injured in the 5th at Turfway January 8. This is what ensued, according to the Racing Commission: “The on-track veterinarian summoned the ambulance and administered a sedative/analgesic to allow for application of the Kimzey splint and assist in loading onto the ambulance. The horse was transported to a veterinary hospital for further diagnosis…. After consultation, the decision was made to euthanize due to the severity of the injuries and a poor prognosis.” For the record: “comminuted fracture, severe disruption of the suspensory apparatus.”

Also: The CHRB has disclosed the death of John’s Jewel yesterday at Golden Gate – pleuropneumonia. She was two (barely) and had yet to be raced. The racing people, of course, are greatly offended when a death like this is lumped with an honest-to-goodness breakdown. A horse, they say, who impales himself, flips and fractures his skull, colicks, or, as is the case here, develops a fatal infection is not the industry’s responsibility. (Then again, some apologists aver that all racehorse deaths are simple misfortune – you know, the proverbial “bad step.”) Well.

It is fairly well known that roughly 620,000 soldiers died during the Civil War. But what many don’t realize is that roughly two-thirds of those perished from disease. With that knowledge, when have you ever heard someone try to make the case that those deaths were in any way less significant, or more to the point, could somehow be disassociated from the war itself? Doesn’t happen – nor, obviously, should it. Time, place, circumstances, and context matter. Same here: Every death in horseracing is by horseracing. And that’s that.


  1. Guilty, incorrigible people always refuse to take responsibility for their own part in anything. They always pass the buck. Anyone involved in the willful and routine abuse and neglect of horses including their own horses ought to be behind bars for a very, very long time!!!!!! Anyone with an ounce of decency would not be exploiting baby horses. The Thoroughbred racing industry threw common decency out the window when they made it routine to put a saddle and rider on yearlings; colts and fillies under 24 months of age. Racing them just added to the abuse, brutality and cruelty!

  2. Jonathan Wong. Again? Seems like his name pops up more than most on the daily lists of DNFs, van-offs, walk-offs (well, hobble-offs would be a more accurate descriptor), on-track euths, vet-voided claims, breakdowns, falls, stall deaths, training accidents, and every other conceivable racing horror that can befall his “beloved athletes.” And it’s not just in California, either. It’s like he’s proudly trying to set new kill records in each and every racing state.

    But don’t you worry, Mr. Wong. Nobody in your squeaky-clean industry will ever publicly tally up all your carnage (much less, hold you remotely accountable for it.) So carry on. You’re only about 3-4 hundred dead horses away from Hall of Fame Trainer status.

  3. I don’t believe for a second that it was necessary to take Shartle out to the vet hospital for diagnosis – it was simply a way to get him off the track for either a piss poor attempt at pretending to care or to try to hide their “on track” deaths.
    And yet another horse with pleuropneumonia. I honestly never heard about this until I started following the racing industry here – it goes right along with the obscene number of colic cases, laminitis, and “sudden deaths” which I believe are anything but. If the racing industry wasn’t so busy loving these horses like their own children and putting their health and safety as the highest priority, I would think they were actively TRYING to kill these horses at such an alarming rate.

  4. JOHN’S JEWEL is yet another clear example of a slow, painful, suffering and totally preventable death.
    This is blatant negligence that had to be deliberate with nobody being held accountable as per usual.
    Pleuropneumonia exhibits strong signs of problems that only a dumb ass and a cruel one would not recognize.
    Signs of pneumonia include nasal discharge, fever, depression and struggling with every breath under rest activity let alone the stress placed on a horse during intense exercise further exacerbated by his young age.
    What a horrific way to go down.
    John’s Jewel was yet another victim of this SNUFF SHOW.

  5. The abuse and killing of these precious creatures needed to be stopped!

  6. Rigorous exercise releases stress hormones such as cortisol that bind to cells In the immune system. This compromises the immune response to infections especially in young horses.
    Of course the death of John’s Jewel from pleuropneumonia is because of racing.

    • Exactly, Rose! Everything about how these immature horses are made to live sets them up for illness and injury! Their stressors are constant – their daily lives are just the opposite of how a horse should live, physically and psychologically.

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