Hunt the Front at Churchill: “severe tearing of ligaments with avulsion from the [bone].”

In the 7th at Churchill May 29, Hunt the Front finished last – “never a factor,” said the chart. But, turns out, there was more to the story. The Racing Commission picks it up from there: “While pulling up, the horse took a bad step and required the ambulance.” Hunt was subsequently euthanized “due to a poor prognosis.” The specific details: “fetlock luxated, severe tearing of ligaments with avulsion from the [bone].” The necropsy did note that “previous history of [ankle] surgery and being on the vets list made this horse subject to increased scrutiny, but was ok in the warm-up.”

This is horseracing.


  1. Oh, OK in the warm up where they are being led around the paddock in a choke hold with a lip chain, or OK in the warm up where they are bouncing around ungracefully and uncoordinatedly entangled. with a pony? THOSE warm ups??
    I’m sure the vet was able to discern a lot while looking at the horses!
    And vet lists are a joke. Even if they work off the list a split second under the time allowed they are cleared to race, as the more warm bodies they have in the starting gates the better!

  2. Believe this or not, but about 90% of racehorses running in the claiming ranks have serious pre-existing conditions that would negate retirement from any type of activity level that horse racing requires.
    Horse racing knows this, but they have races and wagering profits to fill at the sole detriment of the racehorse.
    The key to ending racehorses running with pre-existing conditions is to gain access to the private vet treatment records to be handed into the state vet prior to the vet check in the stable area.
    As I’ve often noted, back in 2005 as an Associate Steward myself and some others were pushing hard for this and we were met with hateful opposition especially from the vets and those trainers/owners who didn’t want their treatment records disclose
    Why? – because they all knew they were running racehorses with issues.
    Horse racing backs up this disturbing policy that ENSURES racehorses run and suffer daily.
    The game of Russian Roulette goes on every single day in horse racing and they refuse to do the one thing that would mean short fields, and less wagering profits.
    That’s horse racing – their reforms are a ruse, public wallpaper.

  3. On March 17, the racing rag DRF reported on race results at Oaklawn…finishing second was Scales of Justice and finishing third, Hunt the Front – a little over only two months later, BOTH of those racehorses would be dead. Although there’s a good amount of tweeting about the two while still alive (Hunt the Front was a “hopeful” for the 2020 KD for Zito), I cannot find any mention of their deaths by industry mouthpieces. They make it obvious every single day they’d rather ignore them when they die…their equine athletes that they love so much.

  4. The infamous “bad step” is just a scapegoat used over and over by these people. The bad step probably occurs because the horse is already compromised/injured and the next step is the finale!
    Another one is the “awkward step”!

    Reminds me of saying the person fell and fractured their hip when it is usually a spontaneous fracture that caused the fall.

    This “privacy” thing re vet. records is great for keeping horses on the track that should be nowhere near one. It protects the “privacy” of unethical activity to say the least!!!

  5. HUNT THE FRONT was determined to be “ok” in the warm-up because the horse’s limping could not be seen by a blind man from thirty-feet away and the horse did not fall on his face during the warm-up.

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