The Carolina Cup’s Shame: Horse Breaks Neck in Front of Small Children

From the Carolina Cup (Camden, South Carolina) website:

“The Carolina Cup is a South Carolina tradition that has achieved premier social event status in the state. This annual ‘rite of spring’ draws over 30,000 fans from across the world to enjoy the riveting sport of steeplechase horse racing. Mark your calendars and get to shopping, the Carolina Cup Races bring a flurry of bright, spring fashions and extravagant tailgate parties. From the Hospitality Terrace to our Vendor Village, friends and family unite for an exciting afternoon of racing.”

The organizers went on to note: “There is no official dress code at the races. However, most women wear bright sundresses and hats, while men wear dress shirts, slacks and often a bright colored tie. Feel free to browse our Facebook or Instagram pages for inspiration! There will be a best dressed and best hat competition held each year which you might just win!” And finally: “Children 12 and under are free”!

In short, good, clean family fun!

This year’s edition was run April 2. Here are some highlights:

That’s three different horses falling over the course of two races. The first in the clip, 4-year-old Declareatruce, “broke his neck,” the stewards report, adding: “He never left the ground and appeared to be dead on impact.” In addition to the other two fallers, Westerland and Fiddlyn, Duckett’s Grove was “pulled up lame and vanned off.”

Bad enough, but then there’s this:

“The stewards conducted a course inspection the day before the races. There was concern about the 10th fence on the turn which has historically been a trouble spot on this course. At the stewards’ request Race Director Jeff Teter adjusted the angle to this fence. The riders suggested moving the fence forward out of the turn which the stewards agreed would be a better solution but got push back from Toby Edwards as being unnecessary. At this time the stewards decided to leave the jump with the angle correction but changed the start of the race to the landing side of the first fence making the race slightly shorter for the three maiden races and jumping 9 fences instead of 11 with the theory that the horses would be less tired.

“At approximately 10:30am on race day the stewards were informed that the SOTA representative would like to meet with us. Several trainers and a few riders objected to the shortened distance and taking out 2 fences. The trainers stated that this was not the race that they entered in and it would change the race dynamic. The stewards then reluctantly agreed to run the first race with no changes and carefully monitor how the horses jumped the second last hurdle. In the first race there was a faller at this fence that suffered a broken neck and the stewards closed the fence for the remaining two maiden races.”

To recap: They knew it was potentially dangerous. They made changes. There was pushback. Changes reversed. A horse is killed (broken neck, no less). It’s downright criminal. Every bit as complicit, though, are all who attended – with a special condemnation reserved for the parents of small children. For shame.

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  1. we need protesters at these horse jumping events from now on too manyu horses die and are injured at this nonsense event that nobody nees. who needs to see horses jump over a fence at the horses peril? people have been injured too. its time to stop these horse jumping contests.

  2. On the Carolina Cup Facebook page- there are quite a few people insisting 2 horses were put down. Of course they only admit to one. And of course, we will never really know the truth unless someone comes forward to confirm the second death.
    One person did say they saw a “very lame chestnut” walking back to the barn.
    Sickening were the posts touting what a great day of racing it was, or that there is always a risk of death in horse racing.

  3. I bet there would be an outcry if it was the jockeys that were getting injured or DYING….but no, its just a horse, which, although loved like a family member (yea right!!!), can easily be replaced…..anything for the prize money and five minutes of gory.

  4. Wonder if the ones standing close to the fallen horse and got a full view are reliving it at night and then there’s that woman with the camera right there.Taking pictures because????? The regulars know on this site my distaste for Steeplechase races. When x amount of horses start this barbaric run, hardly EVER do the same amount of horses end up on all fours at the finish. It’s sickening and pathetic.

    • We have always disliked jumps races! A completely unnatural activity for horses to jump at speed objects that of that height.

  5. I believe there is some sort of a charity in Great Britain that helps retired and injured jockeys.Can you believe it, I can. What about the horses, a bullet in the head. The riders have a disgusting choice the poor creatures don’t.

  6. Hopefully, the children that witnessed the cruelty of this longstanding tradition will become activists to end this unacceptable show of barbaric cruelty to horses. Hopefully, in the future, it won’t be socially acceptable to dress up in fancy clothes to watch horses with jockeys leaping over fences to their crippling injuries and death.
    Money could be raised and donated to whatever charity/charities with an event that does not involve horses or any other kind of animal. This steeplechase jumps racing event is an unnecessary event with, it seems to me, the “justification” that it raises money for “whatever” charitable causes. Of all the money it takes to maintain the jumps course and land and put on this event, that same money could have been used to put on an event of rich (and poor) people running and maybe jumping… There are other ways to raise funds that involve people without involving Animal Cruelty.


        • Yes and they waited 3 days to say something. Have the horsecremains taken care if before questions arise.

          • It’s odd how the same thing happened with Nehro. The exact same thing. Evidently Steve Asmussen gets so excited at Derby time (since he’s never won) that he is incapable of paying any attention to the horses under his care. Nehro died on Derby Day while everyone else was partying. So very sad.

            • That baldy locks assisant trainersaid Nehro worst death he’s ever seen. There is an undercover video of that person blabbing on and on. This death of Midnight and no word til 3 days later to hide the evidence.

  7. Regarding the mentality of the people who are involved in this industry of exploiting horses for racing, wagering, breeding and meat, and an ego trip and a tax write-off, they act like they are above the law because in most cases they are treated like they are innocent. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Asmussen family is and has been in the “horse business” for decades and yet the elder Asmussen claimed he didn’t know that the livestock auction still had killbuyers that ship horses, including unwanted broodmares, to slaughterhouses. Isn’t that special?!?!
    Claim that you are a “horseman” that knows so much about horses and when you are caught doing the “socially unacceptable” thing that involves a lack of compassion and empathy for the horses, suddenly claim “ignorance” that is totally illogical in being a so-called horseman (for something like 70 years at the time of denial). So what if you have pony rides for the kids. It doesn’t give you a free pass to sell Thoroughbred broodmares at a livestock auction.

      • Yes, very pathetic and obviously dishonest. Like how low does your IQ have to be to not be able to see through that crap, right!?!?!

        • I remember the broodmare incident. That is one of the reasons I despise the entire Asmussen family, The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. And I always believed Peta’s allegations. That just shows you the entire culture of horse “love” in that barn.

    • I remember that incident, Wanda. That is one of the many things that makes me despise the entire Asmussen clan. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

      • Right, Jeanette. That old adage “like father, like son” definitely applies to the Asmussens.

  8. Those guilty of criminal abuse of horses should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Also, horeracing must end!

  9. anyone would be appalled to see a horse break its neck. i would think there were some sort of pre requisites to enter this race.

  10. Scumbag new york has hired an entertainment lawyer to try and put polish on a HEAPING pile of SHIT. Screw pathetic nyra. Look the other way people, forget all our KILLS. new york,you suck ***

    • Oh, and it doesn’t stop there kiddies ….. new york is so desperate they are going to put a night club like addition on Belmont racetrack. That’s right kiddies … our old people are dying,we need to try and be like Gulfstream Park and try and attract the young ones.🤣😂🤣😂🤣

      • Bekmont Park is owned by the State of New York. I just wish the State would put a halt to everything the New York Racing Association is doing and planning. Stop wasting the public funding to support something that should be landing these horse-abusing, horse-killers in prison.

  11. Quite possibly the worst homeless/housing problem and issues in the entire country, but by all means new york, build a structure onto Belmont racetrack to try and get young people more interested in gambling on horses lives. Who cares about all those pesky homeless souls? Maybe you can house them in this new club … what’s that you say? Oh, I see … it wouldn’t be a “good look”

  12. I am so sick of all the animal abuse that goes on. Horse racing, dog racing, bull sports, dog fighting, meat trade etc!!!!! All of it!!! God did not put animals on this earth to be abused, neglected, abandoned!!!! All they all want is to live peacefully and be loved like they should be..

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