Oh Yeah, and the Horse Died

Yesterday, in Australia, a jockey was seriously injured when the horse she was atop collapsed. Apparently, the jockey, Leah Kilner, is in an induced coma. It should go without saying that we wish her well. But I relay this to illustrate, yet again, the big lie of “equine athletes,” jockeys and horses as “teammates,” the racehorse as “member of the family.” For you see, in addition to the sentiments on social media being almost entirely centered on Ms. Kilner, the press is treating the horse as an afterthought. For example, in a lengthy piece filed by Yahoo, we only learn of the horse’s fate at the very end, in a single sentence: “Stella Turn was euthanised shortly after the incident.”

As a postscript, the final six races of the afternoon were postponed because, as Yahoo relays, onlookers were “left visibly shaken.” Understandable, of course. But – this never happens when it’s just a routine, everyday horse kill (at least not unless there’s a safety issue – for the riders – going forward). And that should tell you all you need to know about how this industry truly views its horses.

16 Comments

  1. Stella Turn was only 3 ! We watched the replay several times & it seemed to us that poor Stella Turn was not traveling well on the track just before breaking down. On the news articles we read not much mentioned of Stella Turn at all!

    • If the jockey had not been injured to the point of being hospitalized, would there even have been a mention of the horse at all? It would not have been a story considered newsworthy if the horse had collapsed and the jockey not been so seriously injured. It would have been business as usual for the racing folks, if not for the jockey being critically injured. The INHUMANE TREATMENT of the horses is nothing to get concerned about for the die-hard racing fans.

    • …..race was for 2 year old’s…I had watched young Leah and understand she is improving, so hope is still there….I watched it live yesterday and footing AGAIN on these tracks this time of the year seemed off. add to that u are running “2” YEAR OLD’S who are not even close to being ready thru structure, and u get this.. the day after this accident there were “3” tracks that had the same incidents, and each cancelled their remaining cards.. I read comment here, and sorry to tell all of you Horse racing IS NOT going to go away anytime soon. can you TRY and IMPROVE IT? SURE YOU CAN…..STOP RUNNING 2 YEARS TO BEGIN WITH….AND LIMIT “ALL” RACES on EACH CARD to 6,7 or 8. when you run on grass you HAVE TO KNOW what the footing is like, any questions CANCEL IT!!

      • ksmack, there is a greater chance of reducing the number of horses injured and killed by racing by stopping the government subsidies and government-directed benefits to horseracing. Organized horseracing has established the routine cruelty of exploiting horses for racing and wagering from the age of Yearlings and Two-Year-Olds long ago. Fat chance that will ever be a consideration for “reform”
        by any so-called “horsemen’s” groups or racing Commissions. It’s your choice to disagree with abolishing Horseracing altogether. I think you would feel much differently IF you could have empathy for the horses and their pain and suffering brought on by racing! As long as Horseracing exists, the races for TWO-YEAR-OLDS will exist. The public should not have to be forced to pay for this egregious cruelty to horses through their taxes!!!!!!

      • Ksmack, just to be clear re the 3 tracks you mentioned –
        Track 1 was at Mudgee on Sunday same day as Grafton. Mudgee was abandoned before Sunday – no races were run.
        Track 2 was Gunnedah (Soft 5) the horse Starlink clipped heels and fell. Both horse and rider fine. Clipped heels are a common occurrence in racing which can be fatal for the horse – it occurs no matter what the track rating is i.e. Hard, Good, Soft, Dead, Heavy. Meeting abandoned after this incident as riders felt it was traumatic for them to continue after incident at Grafton previous day. There was not an issue with the footing. And there was not an issue with the footing at Grafton (Soft 6).
        Track 3 was Wagga (Heavy 10) the horse Crocodile Cod stumbled and fell. Both horse and rider fine. Footing was an issue as is often the case in certain parts of a track which is rated Heavy 10. Riders not comfortable with it and meeting abandoned. Rarely are the horses comfortable with a Heavy 10 rating.
        It is to be noted that STELLA’S TURN was trialled twice before her first and final race. Both trials were on Heavy tracks (Heavy 10 and Heavy 9). Most trainers avoid trialling a baby for the very first time on a Heavy track due to the risk of an injury especially to the fetlocks.
        The reason Grafton was abandoned was because of the horrific incident. It had nothing to do with the footing of the track.

        • I have a difficult time believing that the horses that fall during a race are “fine” especially considering that STELLA’S TURN was an afterthought regarding the reporting of her fate. I can believe the riders involved in the two falls are probably okay, but I have a hard time believing the horses are okay.

          • The point i was making was in response to ksmack’s allegation that there were 3 incidents same as Stella’s Turn the following day. In other words, he alleged 3 horses died and 3 riders were seriously injured.

            • If the other three incidents had been the “same” that would suggest the horses were dead and the riders in the hospital. But, there would have been more reporting on them in the mainstream media and racing press and we would be reading about the horses here, I assume.

  2. This vile industry has no love for their so-called family. They will never mourn the loss of a horse, on to the next. Truly barbaric and the cruelest of cruel.

  3. I do not think there would be a mention of the horse dying if the jockey was not seriously injured. Horseracing is a very cruel sport and must cease to exist!

  4. The ABC exposed the footage of this shocking incident on its evening TV dinner time Australia wide news report and in a subsequent article, the ABC revealed that the young filly had been euthanased. There was no mention of the filly’s death by the relevant racing authorities.

    Stella’s Turn was two (2) years old when she suffered a horrific catastrophic injury resulting in her death. She was competing in a 2 year old maiden race on the country circuit at Grafton on Sunday 3 July 2022 – this was her first and last race start.

    Here is an excerpt from the stewards’ report –
    ‘Stella’s Turn – Slow to begin and bumped shortly after. An inquiry into the reason the filly fell and dislodged it rider, apprentice Ms L. Kilner, near the 75m was opened and adjourned to a date to be fixed. Ms Kilner was treated by the clubs ambulance officers on site before being transported to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane for a number of suspected injuries, primarily a head injury. A post race veterinary examination of the Stella’s Turn revealed it had a total dislocation of the off fore fetlock. Stella’s Turn was humanely euthanased. A post mortem urine sample was collected from the filly. Stella’s Turn’s was transported the Gatton University Hospital for a post mortem veterinary examination.’

    Click to access 03072022GRAF.pdf

    I’ve watched the video many times and she was slow to start out of the gates and then got ‘bumped’. She travelled last for a while and clearly was struggling, yet she was whipped. Just before she broke down rider appeared to be changing her whip hand and then it became a most terrible scene.

    • Carolyn, thank you for sharing the link. I believe it is significant to note that the correct spelling of the name of the filly is STELLA’S TURN.
      In a list published in COWGIRL Magazine of the top ten most dangerous equestrian activities also known as sports, horseracing on the flat is number one and steeplechase racing is number two. My point is that human beings have a choice and the horses don’t. Human beings should stop subjecting horses to perform in these hideously cruel, sadistic and dangerous bloodsport types of activities.

    • We appreciate the link as well Carolyn. Interesting how all the horses are all referred to as “its” in the report. Horses are not cars or things or its! They are sentient creatures with feelings & are very sensitive.

      • I’m always annoyed by “humanely euthanized” as if someone was doing her a favor after subjecting her to the very thing that caused her to be euthanized.

        • Exactly, Alan. It struck me the same way when I first began investigating and documenting racehorse deaths many years ago.

  5. I’m sorry that a jockey has been injured and is in hospital but, in all honesty, my sympathy and tears still fall for the horses that are killed all for the sake of money and five minutes of glory…because as every owner and trainer does is just move on to the next ‘horse victim’

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