When Bleeding in the Lungs Is Just “Unfortunate”

In a steeplechase race at Saratoga Wednesday, French Light “hit a fence” then “came under strong urging” (you can guess what that means) and eventually “was vanned off in distress after the race.” According to French’s trainer, Keri Brion, he “only” suffered ligament damage and is to be retired. Brion, though, also tweeted this:

He bled from his lungs – at the worst level – and it’s just “unfortunate,” “not your day”? How do you sleep at night, Ms. Brion? Incidentally, the Iranistan bleed was not disclosed on the chart, but another horse, Pistol Whipped, had this note: “struggled…faltered, was vanned off [and] reported to have bled.” Helluva race, huh?


  1. Keri Brion epitomizes the puke of racing! She is selfish and callous as any so-called horse trainer must be to engage in this barbaric treatment of horses!!!!!

  2. Having mentioned Pistol whipped last week, does anyone know his status or will this stay under wraps because it didn’t turn out too great.

    • Nancy, I don’t know the current status of PISTOL WHIPPED (IRE), (Born: February 20, 2014), but it is on his race record on Equibase that he is listed as a DNF in a total of four races:
      1) Sandown Park on March 8, 2019,
      2) Leicester on January 29, 2020,
      3) Ascot on November 20, 2021, and now
      4) Saratoga on July 20, 2022. Since he was raced after the previous three DNFs, I am thinking that there might be a possibility that he will resurface in a few months. I have no idea what his INJURIES were that caused him to NOT FINISH in any of these 4 races. He is an 8-year-old Steeplechase horse with a total of 16 races on his record. I am also curious about his current condition.

      • Wanda, there were 7 horses in this race. Pistol Whipped was running(or jumping) in front. Then started fading. It is a miracle no one dropped from the heat or landed upside down on the track. BARBARIC STEEPLECHASE

        • Nancy, I can’t imagine running a horse for 3 or 4 miles non-stop while also jumping hurdles in temperatures above maybe 79°F and the humidity in NYC is ridiculous from what I have seen and heard so far. It seems logical that dehydration (and collapse) could be a serious issue EVEN MORE SO by running horses in temperatures above 90°F with humidity above 50%… It is insanely barbaric treatment of the horses!!!!!

  3. Callous is a real good word .. She is definitely disgusting. The HORSE bled from the LUNGS! You know, her beloved family member.

  4. Bleeding from the lungs is very serious. This kind of neglect and abuse should never happen to horses. Let us end this cruel sport of racing horses.

  5. I wonder if retired means actual retirement or a short trip to the slaughterhouse?

    • Ditto, Rebecca. Retirement can mean a lot of different things to different people. When I was in grade school, I would have imagined retirement for a racehorse would be being turned out to a beautiful pasture of green grass and a nice well-kept fence that the horses couldn’t get hurt on or in. You know horses can get hurt badly when getting caught up in a barb wire fence! I didn’t see any barb wire fences in the pictures of Calumet Farm.
      Not every racehorse can be buried on the farm as was BOLD RULER.

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