The Gruesome Details on Gingrich

While I have already reported on the death of Gingrich (with video) at Churchill Downs June 10, here are the details from the Racing Commission: “Left forelimb: open, lateral condylar and biaxial sesamoid fractures – medial fracture was comminuted, lateral was avulsed; marked disruption of the suspensory ligament branches.” Also: “multifocal, subacute hepatitis; multifocal squamous ulcers.”

In another note from the document, and as has been the case with virtually every other Kentucky death I’ve reported, “no prohibited substances and no therapeutic medication above regulatory threshold concentrations [were] detected” in the 3-year-old Gingrich. And yes, I believe that. Drugs in racing, while a problem, are not the main culprit. In truth, the system is set up for a practically unalterable level of killing (see our annual lists). Thoroughbreds (QuarterHorses) are bred for speed; thrust into intensive, grinding training years before their bodies are fully mature; and forced to run at an unnatural rate, in an unnatural way, and through unnatural means. And that, folks, is the primary reason over 2,000 horses are dying at U.S. tracks every year.

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  1. I recently saw a Peta Podcast regarding the prevalence of underground horse racing in the US.I was horrified to see the videos of unregulated horse racing where there are no rules “anything goes”. These horses were openly injected with street drugs, electric shock and continuous whipping were the means to win a race. Needless to say this is very dangerous. the horses suffered and there were catastrophic injuries on almost every race; and the horses were shot on the spot. It was noted that this illegal gambling is going on privately in about 20 states and the American Quarter Horse Association and law enforcement needs to look into this. Do you think some of the horses that are injured or maimed in regulation wind up there as was mentioned jockeys do cross over? From my understanding this black market horse racing has been going on for a while and getting more prevalent. Can you comment?

    • Yes, Karen, they absolutely do (cross over). We saw this in California, too. It’s disgusting, of course, but no different from what goes on at sanctioned tracks every day.

      • Some of the acts of the abuse done to the horses at both the regulated and unregulated race tracks are not done right out in the open for cameras to videotape it at regulated tracks. At the unregulated track in Georgia, jockeys can be seen with the electrical buzzers for shocking racehorses taped to their wrists; and jockeys are seen doing the injection of illegal substances into the vein on the side of the horse’s neck while standing on the racing track itself. They would not be able to this illegal stuff out in the open at a regulated track, so that is somewhat different. The wagering is more lucrative at unregulated race tracks according to the exposure from the undercover sources.

    • The people who do unregulated racing are the lowest of the low. WHY is it OKAY in our supposedly advanced society to torture animals to death for sport? All of them belong in jail for a very long time. If PETA can tape it, surely the police can find them.
      Although these days life is very cheap. On my local news: man arrested for murdering another man in a bar. Sentence: Time served (3yrs) plus a ONE YEAR SENTENCE. That’s all a human life is worth. We are a very sick society that devalues the lives of every living thing, man and beast. Money and cruelty rule in this world.

    • Karen, thank you for mentioning this undercover expose on UNREGULATED horseracing.
      Bush tracks have been around for a long time. They don’t usually get too much publicity. I think unregulated horse racing at “bush tracks” has been in existence for centuries. Since Equibase doesn’t publish anything on the horses, the owners, the trainers or the jockeys that engage in “Black Market” horse racing, we will have to depend on other sources to learn more about what goes on at these bush tracks and just how many of these unregulated horse racing tracks there are in the USA.

  2. BRUTAL!!
    “Until we extend the circle of compassion to all living things man will find no peace”
    Albert Schweitzer.

    I know this is a repeat for me but we cannot escape that basic truth.
    What goes on in racing is the depravity that humans are capable of on full display. Racing provides the outlet for humans to practice the worst of human qualities.

  3. For the first time, I fractured a bone in January of this year. The pain was so sharp and intense, I felt dizzy, queasy, and thought I might pass out. And that was just my wrist!! When I read about the multiple fractures of legs and spines and the other injuries that mangle these poor horses’ bodies, I am sickened and outraged. I can’t imagine the suffering these horses go through before they are euthanized. It is beyond my comprehension that this is allowed to continue. Where are our lawmakers??? Where are the veterinary associations??

      • Rose, sadly I believe that there is very little left of the better side of humanity. Whatever is left – and I don’t see a lot – should be cherished before it’s extinct.

        • I have very little positive hope for the way people are nowadays. To say I’m not optimistic about the future …is a massive understatement!!!!!

          • I know how you feel Bonnie. At my age I can remember when the world was a kinder, gentler place. I know any comment about religion or God or conscience is automatically ridiculed but I wonder if the Devil hasn’t taken over. That seems to be the only reason I can think of for such brutal, mindless cruelty towards all living things.

            • Agree, with everything you say. Most of it can be chalked up to one of the worst sins …GREED

    • Teresa, I appreciate your experience with having a broken bone and being able to relate empathetically to the painful experiences of the horses exploited for racing! I have had a broken nose, but I was also knocked out at the same time so I didn’t feel the pain until much later. I woke up with my head on the steering wheel and my hands on my knees. Long story short, I had gotten hit by a drunk driver. I had a brain concussion and a broken nose at the same time. My car was totaled. The top half of the steering wheel was bent forward. It seems like I should have been killed in that automobile wreck, which happened in 1974. In 1987, I had a different kind of accident that caused a hairline fracture to my fourth vertebra in my neck. I experienced pain that I can’t describe. So every time I read the injuries to these horses exploited for racing I can’t imagine the pain they endure. I try but it is impossible.
      These people involved in this egregious cruelty to horses know what kind of injuries they cause to the horses and they keep on doing it; this is why the laws need to be passed to make it punishable by law for anyone to willfully and maliciously cause injuries and suffering to horses! I wish we could have laws and law enforcement that could crack down on all of the horse racing tracks, both regulated and unregulated, and be effective!!!!

      • I broke my pelvis in many places in a car accident when I was 18 years old. The pain was unbelievable and my pain relief only lasted 3 1/2 hours when it was supposed to do for 4. I remember vividly that half hour before my next shot, I was begging. For quite a while I was afraid that I would never be able to run again. Every time I hear of a horse with a broken pelvis I remember that pain. Every time I hear of someone waiting days or weeks to put a horse down with a broken pelvis, I think of how they suffer.

        • Jeanette, not only the pain of your bones being broken but also muscles get all spazzed out when it’s in the spine. It is unbelievable and unimaginable the degree of pain these horses have to suffer besides being unacceptable, of course!!!!

          • Wanda, I cannot imagine what you went through. I hope you are doing better and feeling better. Back injuries are so tricky and a lot of the time, it seems as if surgery makes it worse. (From what my friends have to say.) My neighbor has back problems and they have essentially ruined her life.

  4. I have only one wish I would like granted as I near the 3/4 century mark is that animals could talk. You can keep your yachts, fancy houses, exotic vacations, and all the rest of the things too many people think are important.

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