The “International Gold Cup” steeplechase was run at Great Meadow (Virginia) on Saturday, October 23. As always with these vile events, a splendid time was guaranteed for all – including children, who if 12 and under, were “admitted free of charge.” Considering what transpired, what those children in attendance were forced to witness, I don’t think it too harsh to assert double abuses that day – child and animal. From the Stewards’ Report:
1st race: “Hail Michigan did not come off the ground well at the second-to-last fence and was a faller – awaiting necropsy report.” In other words, dead. (This may be the oddest death notification I’ve yet seen.)
3rd race: “New Member fell at the 16th fence and fractured his right front cannon bone. He was euthanized on the course.”
That’s at least two kills. I say “at least” because:
Undercover Rowdy “fell” in the 2nd and “did not finish.”
Choo Choo was “pulled up” in the 4th with a “bowed tendon.”
Schoodic was “scratched” prior to the 6th on advice of the vet.
Shadow Seven “pulled up lame” in the 7th – another “bowed tendon.”
Seville Barber was “scratched” prior to the 8th on advice of the vet.
In addition, multiple other horses were “pulled up/DNFs.” This is what is to pass for family fun in 21st Century Virginia (America)? I am sickened. But most of all, I am enraged. Enough with the excuses; there can be no more “I didn’t know.” If you attend these steeplechases – or any horse race – you are a party to animal cruelty and animal killing (whether or not one dies on that very day is wholly irrelevant). Period.