Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks thus far this year. (Four came without necropsies.)
Bonnet, Jan 28, Laurel T
“After the training session, the horse returned to her barn. While the hot walker was cooling [her] down, she collapsed: massive internal hemorrhage.” Also: “previous surgery on ankles; degenerative joint disease [both front limbs]; stomach ulcers.” Then this: “DJD is common in racing horses. This horse is a little bit older than those we usually see, which may explain the severity.”
Dr. Daniel (commission vet): “[N]o amount of treatment would have solved the massive internal hemorrhage she suffered from on the day of her death.” And: “The degree of DJD and the loss of cartilage…certainly limited Bonnet’s future career….” Bonnet, below, was just five years old.
Petion Lass, Feb 3, Laurel R
“Horse sustained injury [and] continued running…. The injury was so severe that the horse was euthanized on the track: [multiple] fractures, ligaments torn, distal portion of limb hanging by small strand of skin, abundant dirt within joint and fracture site, possible bilateral pulmonary hemorrhage.” Also: “degenerative joint disease.”
Dr. Daniel: “The degree of damage and contamination made this injury irreparable. The fact that [she] ran loose for at least 1/8 of a mile absolutely contributed to her demise.” Petion Lass, below, was six years old.
Jamerican, Feb 6, Laurel R
“Catastrophic bilateral pelvic fractures – comminuted, complete, displaced, with abundant hemorrhage. The horse was medicated…but then went down in the equine ambulance. The horse was euthanized in the ambulance.” Also: “broken vessels in the lungs; degenerative joint disease [both] front limbs.”
Dr. Daniel: “My biggest regret in this case was not euthanizing Jamerican on the racetrack as her condition rapidly declined. I was trying to abide by the wishes of management to save as many of these horses as possible. However, I feel that, in doing so, I allowed for Jamerican to suffer for longer than needed. For that, I am deeply sorry.” Jamerican, below, was two years old, and this was her very first race.
Secret Prize, Feb 27, Laurel R
“The horse sustained a broken LF ankle – fetlock dropped, both sesamoids shattered, euthanized on the track.” Also: “chronic degenerative joint disease in all four limbs; stomach ulcers, hemorrhages.” Dr. Daniel: “There was quite advanced degenerative joint disease in this young horse.” How young? Secret Prize, below, had just turned four.
Crying for More, Mar 6, Laurel R
“RF limb: both sesamoids fractured, abundant hemorrhage, damage to surrounding ligaments; severe degenerative joint disease. LF limb: 2-3″ tendon tear, marked avulsion [away from bone], abundant hemorrhage; severe degenerative joint disease.”
Dr. Daniel: “I had concerns in the prerace exam. The RF fetlock had slight heat…and the horse was choppy at the jog with a slight intermittent lameness…. I voiced my concerns to [trainer Kevin Dove] and was told that the horse fretted all night due to a new, just-claimed horse in the stall beside that was very nervous. He felt that his horse would warm up well before the race.” Crying for More, below, was four years old.
Stormin’ Cougar, Apr 14, Laurel R
“As the horse was approaching the 5/16 pole, [she] sustained a catastrophic injury. [She then] ran loose until she stopped at the 3/16 pole: open disarticulation of the fetlock, [multiple] fractures, euthanized on the track.” Also: “chronic degenerative joint disease in all four limbs; stomach ulcers, hemorrhages.”
Dr. Daniel: “Upon arrival, the filly…was on her knees with her head on the ground. She very quietly laid down on her right side [and] never attempted to rise. Palpation of the RF limb revealed a fracture, torn ligaments with both sesamoids displaced, [and] torn tendons. I don’t know if I have ever noticed such severe bone bruising on other horses with open fractures. This was actually quite unnerving to me. After reading the necropsy report, it saddens me to see how unwell this horse was with respiratory disease as well as significant joint disease in every joint.” Stormin’ Cougar was three – three – years old. If this doesn’t profoundly sicken you, I’m not sure what will.
Union Betty, Apr 21, Laurel R
“The horse was loaded into the ambulance [and] euthanized in her barn: [multiple] fractures, LF limb.” Also: “old, chronic, complete fracture, RH limb.”
Dr. Daniel: “I made sure to get a good look at her with weight because I had flagged her in the morning for an intermittent lameness that wasn’t always apparent. This was the second time in three starts that I had commented on this to [trainer Kevin Dove]. … In previous races, [she] was very difficult to load into the starting gate. … Palpation indicated crepitus [grating sound] and pain.” Union Betty, below, was four years old.
With all the pre race concerns by veterinarians, why were these horses not scratched? Doesn’t the vet have that power? If not, it should be a federal law, that the vet doing pretty race exams should be able to have a horse scratched. As much as trainers claim they know of horses, they are not veterinarians. The vet that didn’t euthanize an obviously dying horse at once-take away his license to practice.
The MANAGEMENT tells the track vets to pass the horses to race even though they are unfit to race, because the track management wants to fill the race card. Filling the race card is THE HIGHER PRIORITY to the MANAGEMENT in horseracing than the health or well-being of any racehorse! The welfare of any horse is secondary to the money to be made off of them by USING THE HORSE to fill out the race card. The management and the owners and trainers don’t care about the horses’ suffering. They make the horses suffer in the first place by forcing horses to be racehorses. If any Federal laws are passed, enacted, enforced, it needs to be in the context of BANNING HORSERACING in all 50 states of the United States plus all of its territories which includes Puerto Rico.
Any type of “REFORM” at the Federal level (or any level) is a CRUEL joke. It must be recognized that: a) horseracing is INHUMANE TREATMENT OF HORSES,
and that: b) any human being who engages in this heinous CRUELTY to horses deserves to be and should be and must be punished severely!
Wanda,they condone it and cross their fingers and hope the horses make it over the finish line.
Many of these people involved would have enough experience to make bets on which horse will break down with whatever given type of injury and at which pole. You can imagine what that whole sick perverted conversation would be like.
The vets’ “pre-race concerns” are a lie – that’s just smoke and mirrors in an attempt to convince the public racehorse welfare and safety are the priority. They’re not.
*Bingo* ….”drop the 🎤”.
Degenerative Joint Disease at only 2 years old and dead, thanks, but no thanks, thanks to the morally depraved degenerate human beings that do this felony animal cruelty to horses on a daily routine basis. Our laws must be changed TO ADDRESS THIS CRUELTY TO HORSES. This deliberate ANIMAL CRUELTY is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE!!!!
To the moronic mentality of the people who attempt to defend this heinous killing of horses for racing and wagering: living beings die, duh. You kill horses on purpose with ABUSE, BRUTALITY and CRUELTY, duh!
ThIs is just another sad case of Human greed. The older I get the more disgusted I become with my own species. So sad these beautiful beings don’t get a day to just be at peace and be a horse. I mean they are just babies…. 2y and 3 years old come on.
Kevin Dove sounds like an incompetent ass. And maybe the vets should pay more attention to his barn and follow their gut feelings with him!!
These stories and photos are heartbreaking and revolting to any person with an ounce of compassion. I’m wondering how veterinarians can justify being involved with this industry?
Frankly all the bastards who are involved in horse racing have lost their souls already. Quite where that leaves the race betting public is anyone’s guess and the decision of whoever each worship.
May they all rot in hell for what they have all done to these beautiful innocent horses.
david wenner had an article on racehorse deaths down in ppa in express times today
I’ve been saying for years now …”these vets must have their thumbs up their asses”. How have they given the go ahead to clear so many of these horses to race?!!!! Only to have them suffer catastrophic life ending results. There actually needs to be a Congressional hearing on this at the Capital. The entire horse racing industry needs to be put to task and investigated and sworn in to be made to answer for their evil depravity.
The Attorney General of Louisiana is aware of and investigating the $2-Million that is missing from the Horsemen’s Purse Fund at Louisiana Downs. At least, someone outside of the horseracing industry is involved there.
…..have any of you ever seen the actual photos of JFK laying on the slab? terrible terrible terrible
The act of running and racing is slowly TORTURING and KILLING these sweet, innocent Animals — all those involved speak as if it’s the HORSES’ fault — the depraved indifference is unconscionable and immoral — SHUT DOWN this disgraceful industry FOREVER —
It sickens and saddens him, but doesn’t make him leave that cesspool of misery. Empty words from a licensed animal abuser.
Who the hell is Kevin Dove?????
This report is horrific but I have some compassion for Dr. Daniel – he seems to be the only person at the track that has the least bit of heart. After working as a veterinary technician for years, I know what kind of nightmares await him when he goes to sleep. I doubt that he will last long as a track vet. There is only so much horror one person can witness without having their soul destroyed.
It probably DOES bother him — but it seems NOT enough — Dr. Daniel would’ve left long ago —
He is still there, still involved in that butcher show. He might have decency or morals, but as long as he stays he is every bit as complicit as the owners and trainers putting sick and injured horses on the track.
We can only hope that he will have nightmares, because that might be a sign that his conscience has not been completely possessed by the devil so much that he is just saying what he believes the public wants to hear him say.
I agree, Jeanette. But just to clarify, Dr. Daniel is Elizabeth Daniel.
OMG Dr, Daniels is a WOMAN? Good Lord, how can she not feel anything? Now that I know that I agree with everyone else. I’m shocked. I guess some people will never develop a conscience.
Being a woman does not automatically make someone more compassionate. I have seen some truly disgusting animal abuse done by women on a variety of species.
Union Betty and Music Mandate tried, tried hard to not race. To no avail. Thank you, Patrick, my ongoing gratitude to you and all at Horseracingwrongs for advocating for the horses who are not listened to even during their last few moments of their short, pain-filled lives. I am not only profoundly sickened but deeply saddened and angry. So much waste, suffering, murder, all for human profit, happening every day over and over and over again.
I agree, Marie.
But as well as being incompetent, he obviously doesn’t give a damn about his horses.
Dove knows there is no accountability in racing, none!
P.S. Looks like this vet. is relatively new in the business. He certainly doesn’t seem to understand these people and how little they care!
Hippocratic Oath, don’t the vets at horse tracks need to take this Oath??????? Horse vets are EVIL
It’s not just horse vets, sadly. If you think your small animal veterinarian is above lying and cheating, you’re wrong. I’ve seen and heard.
I read somewhere on the internet that gave me the distinct impression that the “do no harm” part doesn’t necessarily have to be followed, or maybe any part for that matter. I’m not 100% sure, but I think it doesn’t necessarily apply in the modern world. I couldn’t say that for sure but I mean I don’t think there’s any legal thing that says that they’re bound to it as in they can take the Oath and they can say all that stuff and swear that stuff but I don’t think they can be arrested for breaking the Oath. I suppose it depends on how far off course they go with being UNETHICAL. Take Jeff Blea as an example. He was described as being “clear-minded” by the CHRB. He was in violation of the laws enough to be “defrocked” so to speak, but he’s still A.O.K. as far the CHRB is concerned. He’s one of them.
And how did (vet) Daniels think (trainer) Dove was going to respond to her “concerns” about Crying for More? – “yea, please scratch my horse”?!? How freaking more inept could she possibly be?!?
The poor horse had heat in an ankle, a choppy trot AND lameness (and I don’t give a damn how slight or intermittent – is she that clueless about the high percentage of catastrophic breakdowns happening in horses with pre-existing injuries?) – but because the symptoms (of an injury) might have been caused by “fretting”, Daniels gives the green light to race the gelding?!? Unsound is unsound! – the reason for the unsoundness should not be the determining factor to protect the horse or send him to his death!
This is just unbelievable…
I think that the vet was simply there to get a paycheck. If she wanted to “please the management” she would have to make up some lame excuse for allowing an unsound horse to run. Unsound horses are allowed to go ahead and race all of the time. It’s part of her job description as a track vet to fill out the race card, because it pleases the racetrack operators and management, the addicted gamblers, the owners and the trainers. This deliberate abuse and neglect of horses must be punishable by law and shut down forever.
If the vets cared, they would have an organized walk-out and leave this industry to go belly up!
Horses suffer too much because of this cruel sport. The racing of horses must end!
It’s NOT a “sport”. That’s the problem. Sport can only be a living being that has given CONSENT.
The Jockey Club calls the “organized” racing of Thoroughbred horses the “Sport of Kings” even though it is premeditated, willful and malicious torture of horses for purse money and wagering. Since the Pari-Mutuel wagering handle cannot support this willful and malicious torture and abuse of horses, the “organized” groups of so-called horsemen demand government subsidies and government-directed benefits to horseracing to keep themselves rolling in the dough. It’s horribly disturbing, disgusting, demented and wrong!
It’s an abomination what some people engage in and call it a sport; horseracing and shooting certain wild species of animals referred to as game animals such as deer and elk. It’s morbid, barbaric and gruesome.
Most of these horses should not have been racing with all the prexisting injuries
So the vets try to do their jobs and the trainers over rule their advice?
Proves the trainers don’t give 2 hoots about these poor souls. Why would anyone ignore the advice of someone qualified?