More From California: “Collapsed, Sudden Death”; “[Multiple] Open Fractures”; “Stomach Rupture”; “Severed Spine”; and a 2-Year-Old With “Remarkable, Severe Gastric Ulceration”

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.)

Rustic Canyon, Feb 26, San Luis Rey T
“Horse was working 5/8 mile, collapsed, sudden death, spontaneously – significant hemorrhage both within the peritoneal cavity as well as multiple organs.” Also: “chronic gastric ulceration.” Rustic was but five years old.

Squeaky Cheeky, Feb 28, Santa Anita R
“Horse collapsed past wire during race – [multiple] open fractures, [multiple] complete ruptures.” Also: “[stomach] ulcers.” Squeaky was but three years old.

One Famous Prize, Mar 2, Los Alamitos T
“Fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones accompanied by complete rupture of medial branch and body of the suspensory ligament, and collateral ligaments of the fetlock joint.” And also this: “severe dorsal metacarpal disease, [both] front forelimbs [and] remarkable, severe gastric ulceration.” OFP was just two years old.

Surfside Sunset, Mar 5, Santa Anita S
“Rupture through major curvature [of stomach] with dissecting hemorrhage [after] history of colic over [several] days.” This poor, poor horse.

Squiggy, Mar 10, Golden Gate S
“Pony horse, worked in the morning…was untacked and when rider returned, pony was down in stall. Horse displayed acute neurological signs – recumbency, poor tail tone, paraphimosis.” Why? “Complete fracture of the lumbar vertebral column between L4-L5, spinal cord completely severed.” They then added this: “An exact cause of the fracture with severing of the spinal cord is not known but it is likely due to some sort of trauma.” Yes, I would imagine it was “some sort of trauma.” Vile.

11 Comments

  1. For the extent of some of these injuries in such young horses like a severed spine and multiple fractures there must be some horrendous abuse going on while these animals are not racing. The CHRB cannot say a lot of these injuries are pre-existing from breeding as is their response to many injuries. I blame the veterinarians who are not doing their job on screening these poor animals and also abuse needs investigated as this is against the animal welfare act. What is going on behind the scenes? This must be investigated by animal welfare groups.

  2. Forgive me for saying this, but it sounds like Amber Cobb visited the pony horse named SQIGGY in his stall at Golden Gate Killing Fields. Seriously, though!

  3. Apparently the government needs to oversee this because horsing staff can’t. These animals deserve our good care and help.

  4. The very idea, that you people, continuing to work in this industry, are complicit in this abuse and torture, by your silence and cashing of paychecks, is despicable in the extreme.
    I can’t think of Anything bad enough to say about any of you.

  5. I live in California and read this column almost every day. I find myself dumbfounded that our racing commission continues to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to what is happening nearly every day at tracks in this state. A person can no longer defend these deaths by simply saying that “horses suffer injuries and die; it’s unfortunate but it happens.” Why are horses dying of gastric ulcers? Why are such horrific injuries as a severed spinal column not investigated by animal welfare organizations? The number of ghastly injuries and deaths has escalated to such a point that the public should view it as intolerable. How is this carnage escaping “lame-stream” media? I’m sorry, but people who really care about animals, racehorses in particular, need to organize a massive protest that gets the attention of national news outlets. Shame on you, California! Shame! The “grifters” in horse-racing need to be exposed and run out of the sport on a flaming wheelbarrow. This is nearly demonic and must be exposed. Thank you, Patrick, and fellow animal welfare reps. Don’t let up the pressure. I would gladly join any protest or visit to our Capitol to demand action.

  6. Severe gastric ulceration, spontaneous massive hemorrhages and ruptures, collapsed and severed spines, and multiple open fractures are inexcusable ways to allow horses to suffer and then die while being whipped and driven down a racetrack. The horrifying abuse and treatment the horseracing industry is allowed to use on horses need to be exposed by the authorities who are clearly turning away from the truth. Horseracing needs to be outlawed immediately.

  7. This is totally unacceptable horses are dying everyday because of a bunch of money-grubbing son of a b****. You all will burn in hell and that’s what you deserve

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