Two Kills on Opening Day at Rillito

Rillito Park is a part-time track in Tucson. Beginning yesterday, it will run Saturdays and Sundays till the first weekend in April, 12 dates in all. Proudly billing itself the “birthplace of modern QuarterHorse racing,” Rillito is, this year, also boasting “highest ever” purses, “new and improved food and beverage service,” and “live entertainment throughout the meet.” Oh, and then there’s this: “23 University of Arizona students [have been] hired to receive hands-on experience, including providing the record of safety with the Equine Wellness Program” – an obscenity unto itself.

So what did those students – along with everyone else there – “experience” on “Opening Day”? Two kills. Yes, two horses were sacrificed, pardon the expression, right out of the gate. While the official chart claims only that Prime Cartel (first race) and Brastika (sixth race) were “vanned off,” they were, I have confirmed, actually euthanized where they lay. Both horses were three years old.

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  1. The renegades in Arizona continue the carnage.
    Racing in that state is the worst of the worst and that takes some doing!!!

    P.S. When one tries to contact the officials about a particularly egregious situations they either don’t return calls or, if they do, they say there is nothing they can do because no rules were broken!!!! That’s an easy one since there are no rules to prevent horse abuse – NONE!!!
    And whose fault is that?! These people are so disingenuous.

  2. It’s hard to read these stories over and over again. I have to give credit to Patrick Battuello for continuing to cover these reports. It must take a toll.

    • So true, thank you Karen for appreciating the torturous, hard work Patrick does, I get so upset learning of these horrific senseless deaths that I literally shake with emotion and rage.

  3. Equine Wellness Program sounds good on the surface (if you didn’t know better), but what is it meant to cover up or deflect? The only true wellness program for racehorses would be to ban racing and wagering on horses. Turn the horses out to safely-fenced pastures for at least 14 hours a day and stop forcing horses to perform as though they were machines. Stop the routine abuse and torture of horses for racing and wagering revenue.
    I have seen one horse “vanned off” of a racetrack in 1980 in Colorado. She was upside down in the “van” which had open sides enough to where her hooves were visible. It was very apparent that she was dead while being vanned off. That was 41+ years ago and I still can see that in my mind’s eye. I wonder what these college students have seen and what they will see at the racetrack that will haunt them for the rest of their lives…? What kind of vocabulary will they be instructed to use for the atrocities and abuses of horses at Rillito Park Race Track in Tucson, Arizona so it doesn’t sound as horrible as it really is…?

  4. Remember the horse Out for Justice?
    He raced on the 26th in a $2,000 claimer at Rillito and made his owner/trainer (abuser), Alejandro Gomez, $3,500.
    In 32 starts, Out for Justice has earned $41, 768.
    His abuse will end when his life ends!!
    But with those earnings he will not make the press and nobody will “grieve” and shed crocodile tears for him.
    Racing cannon fodder!!!!

  5. Once again the killing continues….but don’t forget that ALL the owners, trainers, jockeys and stable workers LOVE their horses and treat them like family…all I can say is ‘God help their families’

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