Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks thus far this year. (Because the details, including vet testimony, are so powerful – and damning – I will post in multiple installments so as to give each death its proper due.)
R Bs Rod, Apr 3, Laurel T (euthanized Apr 24)
“The horse returned from galloping lame – tibial fracture. [Three weeks later], private vet reported fracture had displaced…euthanized.”
Dr. Daniel (commission vet): “The goal was to keep the horse up for several weeks to allow the limb and fracture to stabilize…. At some point, apparently the ‘High Line’ broke and the colt laid down. Sadly, the fracture became much worse when he attempted to get back up. At this point, euthanasia was the humane option.”
Also, R Bs Rod, two, suffered from “chronic ulcers in the stomach,” “[some] chronic degenerative joint disease,” and “early laminitis – separation of laminae – [in three of the four] hooves.” Again, two years old. Bastards.
Friesian Days, Apr 13, Laurel S
“Trainer and horse were in barn preparing to go to the track. Trainer threw rider onto the horse and the horse reared up and started backing up. The horse then backed into the annex shed, striking its head on the wall and then flipping. The horse was then able to get outside of the barn and collapsed to the ground…unable to rise again or move back legs. [I]njuries were so severe – vertebral and brain trauma with spinal cord and brain hemorrhages/compressions – that the horse [was] euthanized.”
Then this: “History of a fracture in LH leg after a head trauma over 1 year ago, per owner.” And: “There is noted chronic degenerative joint disease in three of the four legs [and] subacute hemorrhage/ulcers in stomach.”
So, that’s two “head traumas,” the second fatal, in a little over a year; a prior fractured leg; “chronic degenerative joint disease”; and “hemorrhage/ulcers in stomach.” Friesian Days was just three years old.
Escapability, Apr 13, Laurel T
“Horse broke down near the finish line: [multiple] open [through the skin], complete, displaced fractures.”
Also: “Chronic degenerative joint disease in all four pastern and fetlock joints…most severe in front limbs.” And (of course): “stomach ulcers.” Escapability was two years old.