Through a FOIA request to the Washington Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at Emerald Downs, the state’s only currently active track, in 2021:
Regis, May 20, Emerald T
“[Multiple] sesamoid fractures with hemorrhage and partial rupture of the lateral branch of the suspensory ligament.”
Regis was three years old and being prepped for his first race.
Incredibly Lucky, Jun 1, Emerald S
This was the only death that came sans a report. When I inquired, the Commission responded: “Being as the horse arrived with illness it was not sent for necropsy.”
Demand de Lute, Jun 12, Emerald T
“Annular ligament rupture, with flexor tendon luxation; rupture of lateral suspensory ligament branch; sesamoid fracture.”
Then this: “Rupture of the annular ligament and luxation of the flexor tendons is an unusual injury, and it cannot be determined if this occurred before or after the lateral branch of the suspensory ligament ruptured and the medial sesamoid bone fractured. It is possible that there was a pre-existing injury…but unfortunately the ligament became severely macerated when it ruptured and, as a result, it will be very difficult to detect any pre-existing lesions at the rupture site.”
Scatalycat, Jun 12, Emerald T
“Right forelimb: severely comminuted, open, compound fracture of MC3. Left forelimb: Severe derangement of the left carpus with exteriorization of the majority of the proximal row of carpal bones. There are comminuted, compound fractures of most of the bones of the proximal row, save the ulnar carpal bone.”
Great Scott, Jun 19, Emerald T
“This horse’s breakdown was caused by bilateral scapular fractures [that’s both shoulders] – comminuted, acute, severe, with hemorrhage.”
Tomorrow’s Mine, Jul 1, Emerald R
“[Multiple] sesamoid fractures with open fetlock luxation. Chronic sclerosis and subchondral necrosis in both [emphasis mine] front limbs – consistent with chronic mechanical overloading; chronic osteoarthritis.”
Tomorrow’s Mine was six years old, and this was her 45th race.
Baja Sur, Jul 11, Emerald R
“Biaxial sesamoid fractures, RF fetlock, with open luxation. Acute fracture of the left accessory carpal bone is presumed to have occurred at the time of the fetlock injury.”
Then this: “The sclerosis and subchondral necrosis in the palmar aspect of both front third metacarpal bones are consistent with chronic mechanical overloading. This change occurs where the metacarpal bone comes in contact with the proximal sesamoid bones during the gallop phase of exercise. In addition to causing damage to the third metacarpal bone, repetitive overloading at this site can cause fatigue injuries in the proximal sesamoid bones that predispose to catastrophic fracture.”
Diction, Aug 5, Emerald R
“Distal sesamoidean ligament rupture, bilateral, acute, severe, with open fetlock luxation and medial proximal sesamoid fracture – both [emphasis mine] forelimbs. The associated fractures are…assumed to be secondary to the ligament rupture.”
The report ended with this: “Unfortunately, both distal sesamoidean ligaments are severely macerated and covered in dirt, and as a result it is very unlikely that a pre-existing lesion could be identified histologically.”
Constant Craving, Aug 18, Emerald S
“Hoof abscess – went into bone. Chronic infection of the distal interphalangeal joint with necrosis of portions of P3, P2, and the navicular bone, and partial disruption of the distal aspect of the deep digital flexor tendon. Chronic desmitis of the lateral branch of the suspensory ligament. It is not known if a traumatic fracture preceded these findings, but a traumatic compromise of the medial hoof capsule could readily explain the majority of these findings.”
Metatiger, Aug 19, Emerald R
“This horse’s breakdown was caused by an acute, severely comminuted slab fracture of the left third carpal bone and a smaller slab fracture of the left radiocarpal bone. In addition, there is evidence of mild chronic osteoarthritis of the left midcarpal joint and more marked chronic osteoarthritis of the right midcarpal joint.”
Metatiger was just six years old.
Lady Campbell, Aug 26, Emerald R
“This horse’s breakdown was caused by acute, severe fracture of the left medial proximal sesamoid bone and subsequent rupture of the superficial flexor tendon [with] fetlock joint luxation. The condylar sclerosis and subchondral bone hemorrhage/necrosis in both front third metacarpal bones are indicative of chronic mechanical trauma from repetitive loading. This repetitive trauma also causes sclerosis of the proximal sesamoid bones and likely predisposed to complete fracture in this case.” Also: “bilateral, chronic radiocarpal joint osteoarthritis.”
Bex, Sep 3, Emerald T
“Acute, severe sesamoid fracture with hemorrhage; palmar annular ligament rupture; superficial flexor tendon rupture; partial rupture of the deep digital flexor tendon.” And once again: “Proximal sesamoid bone fractures most commonly occur a sequela to sclerosis caused by repetitive mechanical trauma/loading during exercise.”
Bex was just three years old.
Dame of the West, Sep 11, Emerald R
“Sesamoid fractures, [both front limbs].” Also: “acute gastric ulceration.”
Dame of the West was just three years old.
Bee Einstein, Sep 26, Emerald R
“Slab fractures, left carpus; fissure fracture, LF MC3; chip fractures in each fetlock. The left radiocarpal fracture is severe and warranted humane euthanasia. Dr. Wilkinson indicated that he thought the affected carpal bones were excessively sclerotic and it is therefore assumed that the complete fractures were precipitated by pre-existing pathology from repetitive loading during training/racing.”
Bee Einstein was just four years old – still an adolescent.