Sunday at the Scottish Grand National Steeplechase, one of the entrants, Claud and Goldie, collapsed and died immediately after finishing 9th. He was just 12 years old, which is right about the prime of life for horses in a more natural setting. Anyhow, his trainer, Sandy Forster, had this to say to Southern Reporter:
“For himself, one thing I do know is he didn’t suffer. He ran an absolute blinder of a race and I couldn’t be prouder of him. As a horse, he was just the biggest, gentlest giant. A complete gentleman of a horse – so it’s just heartbreaking.
“He was just galloping along within himself the whole way. It’s just one of these heartbreaking things that happens. He would not have known anything about it, so that’s the main consolation I can take from it.”
They tried. Oh, how they desperately tried. Having kills on back-to-back days, especially after all their talk of “success,” was just unthinkable. So, a broken ankle, which is almost invariably a death sentence for a racehorse, was to be “stabilized,” with the promise of a surgical fix disseminated. But I and most of you here reading knew it was but a matter of time. Just announced: Multiplier, an “injured, vanned off” in the 3rd at Santa Anita yesterday, has been euthanized. He was six years old.
While we wait for news on Multiplier’s fate after being “vanned off” yesterday at Santa Anita, there is a confirmed kill to report. Yesterday, at the Stronach Group’s other California track, Golden Gate Fields, Lady of the House “went wrong soon after the start, was pulled up and was vanned off.” “Went wrong,” of course, is one of racing’s go-to euphemisms for dead, and indeed she is. Lady was two years old, and this was her 8th time under the whip. For Golden Gate, this is dead horse #10; for all California tracks, #25. Reform is a lie; you can’t fix wicked.
I have the details on the death of Mountain Bear at Turfway February 5, courtesy of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission:
“RH limb: Multiple fractures in P1, MTIII lateral condylar fracture; severe soft tissue damage, including tearing of the deep and superficial flexor tendons, palmar annular ligaments, and sesamoidian ligaments; fetlock joint was luxated. Stomach: Severe chronic ulceration. Liver: Suppurative hepatitis. Lungs: Mild to moderate edema.”