Jwala (pictured below), a 4-year-old filly, suffered a catastrophic collapse at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin on Sunday and was subsequently killed. She was ridden by Steven Drowne, trained by Robert Cowell, and owned by Manor Farm. Said Cowell in a tweet, “Jwala was a special racehorse. I am especially proud to have been part of her life.” And, Mr. Cowell, part of her death.
Pro football is perhaps the most brutal of professional sports, with laid-out players a familiar Sunday scene. Yesterday, there were 14 NFL games, yet even with violent collisions too many to enumerate, not one athlete died. In fact, over its entire 93-year history, the NFL has lost but a single player during a game, he to a heart attack. (In 137 years, Major League Baseball also has just one death.) Horseracing, speciously referred to as a sport by its apologists, records, according to The New York Times, at least three deaths a day. It’s “at least” because the industry willfully attempts to hide the carnage. Occasionally, though, it happens in full view, so confirmation comes easy.
Yesterday afternoon at Parx in Pennsylvania, two equine “athletes” died within an hour of each other: In the 2nd race, 4-year-old Full Sail Ahead (pictured above) “broke down in her left front near stretch and was humanely euthanized,” and in the 4th, 3-year-old Colour Portrait “broke down just prior to reaching the furlong marker and was humanely euthanized.” Two more youngsters cut down while entertaining gamblers. A sport? Only to the ignorant.
Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack logged 2013 victim number 40 yesterday when 5-year-old My Lovers Eyes “broke [his] right knee while switching leads [and was] euthanized on track” (curiously, Equibase had him as pulled up and vanned off). The gelding was ridden by David Lopez, trained by Michael Ferraro, and owned by the Peters family. Since NY is still the only state to disclose deaths as they happen, one wonders how many of the other nine horses vanned off American tracks Friday are already dead.
Saturday at Aqueduct, 2-year-old Long Island Lee fractured a leg and was killed back at the barn. The filly was trained by Rick Violette Jr. Mr. Violette has now lost eight horses in NY since 2009; at the times of their deaths, nary a one was physically mature.
3-year-old Snipe, 7/21/09, Aqueduct, “bleeding as result of pelvic fx”
4-year-old Air Space, 4/23/10, Aqueduct, “training”
3-year-old Sequoya Mountain, 7/16/10, Aqueduct, “fx pelvis”
3-year-old Too Big to Fail, 10/30/10, Aqueduct, “fx RH cannon bone”
3-year-old New Pais, 1/23/11, Aqueduct, “fx both RF sesamoids”
2-year-old October First, 10/15/11, Aqueduct, “adverse drug treatment reaction”
2-year-old Spurious Precision, 9/18/12, Aqueduct, “fx L knee”