A Kill at Los Al; 3-Year-Old Rebels at Thistledown

The CHRB says that Noisey Burglar died at Los Alamitos Sunday, no other details provided. She was four years old and had been put to the whip 15 times, most recently Jul 23. She becomes the 15th (that we know about) dead horse at Los Al this year.

Also, this from the 2nd at Thistledown yesterday: El Burrito, says the chartwriter, “was unruly in the post parade, fractious in the gate, threw his head when the gate opened, squatted, [and] refused to break.” I would celebrate this as a brave act of rebellion by a fully sentient, naturally autonomous being if only this were enough to get him released from his servitude. But sadly, it probably won’t be, as his exploiters/abusers (Juana and Jacinta Lopez) are likely already eyeing the next race. El Burrito is three years old.

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  1. When we were still galloping horses at the track & saw horses refuse to go out of the gate we always smart horse! Some of the horses knew that if they did not run on our hard surfaced sand based track they would not get sore from the deceptively nice looking surface.The track when not water logged from the heavy winter rains had about a 4″ cushion, below that WHAM hard as a paved road! Actually a newly paved road is no harder to fall on than our old track was.Feel so much for all those horses still having to participate in racing all over the US.

  2. Are you familiar with the congenital condition ECVM? Equine Complex Vertebral Malformation? Some horses are born with malformations of the last cervical (neck), 1st thoracic vertebrae along with 1st ribs. Frequency of occurrence is currently 40% in TBs, the same in Warmbloods but is also found in many breeds (especially those with TB lines).
    The very first paper describing this (May-Davis, 2014) was based on the dissection of a TB who fell during a race in Japan. We really wonder how many of these race horse deaths are due to some having and being affected by ECVM.

    Sadly the veterinarians do not recognize ECVM as a disease and most say there is no clinical significance. However, hundreds upon hundreds of ECVM horse owners are telling their heartbreaking stories via social media. Many have purchased OTTBs with hopes of giving them a new career but soon find themselves spending thousands of $$ trying to diagnose why their new horse is having mysterious lameness, body stiffness, bucking, refusing to go forward and some becoming behavioral and aggressive. These are the ones who end up on our dissection table and/or are composted to study their skeletons, as part of our ongoing research into ECVM.

    How do we get anyone in the racing industry to pay attention and look for it in the necropsies of these fallen horses? I don’t hold much hope that this line of investigation will ever happen because we believe the cause of the malformations is from selective inbreeding and there is too much $$ at stake to fiddle with that.

    • Thank you, Pamela. Unfortunately, making millions of dollars seems to be the only concern for breeding farms such as Spendthrift, for example.
      The people in the racing industry are too greedy for the most part. There are so many examples of how the comfort and wellness of the horses is of little to no importance to these greedy people.
      The breeders want to cash in. The owners want to cash in. The trainers want to cash in. The auction people want to cash in. The pinhookers want to cash in. Everyone in the business of seeking some sort of profit from exploiting horses in some way all just want to cash in. If any of these people cared about how much the horse suffers because of human greed, they would walk away from this inherently abusive industry.

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