Through a FOIA request to the California Horse Racing Board, I have obtained the following details on 2021 kills. (I will be posting in installments of five.)
Natural History, Feb 6, Santa Anita T
“[Multiple] open fractures accompanied by complete rupture of both branches of the suspensory ligament; changes in both fetlocks are consistent with bilateral repetitive overuse injury.”
“Repetitive overuse injury” is the incessant grinding of unformed bodies – NH was just three years old – I speak of when arguing the inevitability of dead racehorses.
Black Badge, Feb 8, San Luis Rey T
“Rider and outrider heard ‘loud pop’ while horse [was] galloping. Catastrophic breakdown with complete humeral fracture associated with stress fracture and callus formation…massive hemorrhage affecting soft tissues from the shoulder to the proximal antebrachium. Chronic changes [included] healed, mid-body fracture of lateral proximal sesamoid bone [and] moderate to severe dorsal metacarpal disease.”
Yes, Black Badge, just two years old and yet to be raced, had a previously healed fracture in the same leg that ultimately broke down. Oh, and this baby also suffered from “severe gastric ulceration.”
Munny, Feb 11, Golden Gate S (last raced Feb 4)
“Horse had upper airway surgery on 2/10 for dorsal displacement of soft palate. Recovery uneventful. Last checked on at 10 pm. Found deceased in stall this morning. Bilateral epistaxis. The amount of hemorrhage surrounding the larynx likely compressed the airway and caused respiratory distress and failure are evidenced by the large amount of blood froth observed within the trachea and bronchi. There was also evidence of hemorrhage within the guttural pouch which is the likely cause of the blood observed coming from the nose.”
Imagine this poor animal’s pain and terror: “compressed airway, respiratory distress, epistaxis.” And yes, she too suffered from “chronic gastric ulcers” – at three years of age.
Sweet Boy, Feb 20, Golden Gate T
“Galloped out and fell over dead. The cause of the sudden death was not determined.”
“Fell over dead” – Sweet Boy was just three years old.
Okoye, Feb 23, Golden Gate T
“Horse attempted to duck into saddling paddock while jogging and ran into rail…sustained severe laceration to chest with severe hemorrhage. The trauma caused a penetrating wound into the thoracic cavity with a rib fracture and collapsed the entire right lung. Additionally the tremendous amount of blood within the cavity likely resulted in exsanguination.”
“Exsanguination” – Okoye, also just three, bled out.