By now, many of you have heard about the heartrending saga of 4-year-old Creative Plan, who was euthanized this past Friday at a California rehab. Creative was last raced on January 7 at Turf, finishing last, 22+ lengths back. The owner of the rehab posted this the day after Creative was euthanized:
“Upon our veterinarian’s evaluation yesterday which included X-rays, it was determined Creative Plan never should have been allowed to run at Turf Paradise on 1/7/2022 and would never be able to live a life without pain, even as a pasture pet. I asked [the vet] so many different ways [if the horse could be rehabilitated], he started looking at me like I had lost my mind.
“Creative Plan’s ankle had no support of ligaments or structure and was merely skin holding everything together, so much that it had started ‘weeping’ as the skin was beginning to split. One wrong step and it would have been catastrophic. There was only one…thing to do for this sweet boy, and that was to put him out of his misery.”
There is, of course, more to the story, including Creative landing at an auction where, apparently, a kill-buyer bid on him. But for this post, I’d like to focus on Turf’s reaction to the swirl of negative publicity, more specifically track GM Vince Francia’s take:
“If anything, Creative Plan has been the great wake-up call for all of us. This is an opportunity for us to get it right.”
Okay. Here are Turf’s kill totals for the past five calendar years (still waiting on 2021 final numbers), plus the beginning of this year:
2017: 40 dead horses
2018: 45 dead horses
2019: 43 dead horses
2020: 17 dead horses (significantly impacted by covid)
2021: 39 dead horses (with more to come)
2022: 12 dead horses – in barely over a month
So, Mr. Francia, it took this one death – as opposed to the hundreds (Francia has been GM since 2010) that came before – for you to achieve your “great wake-up call”? Only now comes the “opportunity to get it right”? Are these people really that daft? More important, do they really think that we are?
Other recent posts on Turf:
“We’re still killing horses at a terrible rate out there, and I’m sick of it.”