The Power of Protest and the Gruesome Details Behind the Killing of Racehorses
From Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies Articles Archive

FROM Horseracing Wrongs
March 2019

We at Horseracing Wrongs are proud to have had a hand in the protest last Sunday – guidance, posters, leaflets, banners, etc.

horseracing kills

Quite obviously, the goings-on in Southern California have monopolized Racing news over the past couple weeks. First, we at Horseracing Wrongs are proud to have had a hand in the protest last Sunday – guidance, posters, leaflets, banners, etc. The wonderful activists, led by Lucy Shelton, were mentioned and/or pictured in almost all media pieces on Santa Anita’s temporary closing:

  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • Los Angeles Times
  • CNN
  • PBS
  • Huffington Post
  • NBC Los Angeles
  • NBC Miami
  • Veg News
  • even international: The Sydney Morning Herald

Among the many others, this Sports Illustrated video editorial by anchor Robin Lundberg merits special mention.

Second, though, a reminder that what has happened at Santa Anita simply mirrors what takes place on racetracks across this country every single day. Through my seminal reporting, I estimate that well over 2,000 horses are killed racing or training on U.S. tracks every year. But it’s more than just names on a list, numbers to be tallied. The actual deaths suffered by these intelligent, sensitive beings are stories unto themselves – stories that all who would defend this vile industry should be made to read. Truth is, death on the track is never peaceful; most often, it is ugly, violent, and gruesome. Here, my Pennsylvania 2016 report redux:

A List That Should Be Posted at Every Betting Window:

Through a FOIA request to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, I have confirmed the following kills on Pennsylvania tracks in 2016. (These are the most detailed necropsy reports I have received to date; it should be noted that virtually every dead horse below died with stomach ulcers – most extensive to severe.)

Stand by Your Man, January 13, Penn 2, “1/3 of left scapula shattered into multiple displaced pieces…severe damage of the surrounding skeletal muscle and soft tissue including a severed blood vessel and severe hemorrhage”; “chronic synovitis of the front fetlocks”

Exceptionalism, February 27, Parx 1, “acute, complete, severely comminuted sesamoid fractures with partial ligamentous tears, joint capsule disruption, and regional hemorrhage”

Have Faith Sister, March 1, Parx 6, “acute, complete, mildly comminuted sesamoid fracture with complete intersesamoidean ligament tear, partial suspensory ligament tear, and regional hemorrhage”

Goldtique, March 5, Parx 9, “this horse was involved in a three horse collision…broken back – death due to vertebral fracture and exsanguination” (she bled out)

Digger’s Jigger, March 5, Parx 9, “this horse was involved in a three horse collision [same as above]…found dead in her stall [next] morning – death due to axial musculoskeletal trauma and exsanguination” (she bled out)

Regal Soldier, March 7, Parx 7, “severely comminuted right hind limb fracture”

Gentle Buzzing, March 24, Penn 7, “marked acute fracture of sesamoid bones”

Dancing Terror, April 9, The Meadows 10, “left hind limb was swollen…with a puncture wound, through which bone was protruding…eight large pieces of bone (and numerous small pieces) present”; “numerous small ulcers” present

Salty’s Hero, April 25, Parx 9, “catastrophic second, third, and fourth metacarpal fractures with suspensory ligament disruption…and regional hemorrhage”

Drive, April 27, Penn 6, “acute comminuted fracture of the metacarpal”

Lovelibuzz, May 3, Parx 4, “comminuted and displaced fractures of the radial, intermediate, third, and fourth carpal bones with hemarthrosis”

Joe Boo Kelly, May 6, prior to Penn 1, “horse became unstable during the post parade and then fell and died – no obvious cause of death”; “the ulceration of the stomach was severe – 90-100 erosions and ulcers”

Nasa, May 7, Parx 6, “displaced fractures of the medial and lateral sesamoid bones with disruption of the sesamoidean ligaments”

Tell Tale Friend, May 9, Parx 8, “acute, comminuted sesamoid fractures with regional hemorrhage and disruption of the sesamoidean ligaments”

Fors Fortis, May 24, Presque Isle 1, “sesamoid bones badly comminuted…suspensory ligament completely transected and avulsed from the bones”

La Moskette, June 7, Parx 2 (euthanized late July), “sesamoid fracture, ligament avulsion – horse failed to recover; “lung: locally extensive acute hemorrhage”

Forbidden Story, June 17, Penn 6, “bilateral sesamoid fractures with partial rupture of the flexor tendons with hemorrhage”

Mike the Hab, June 24, Penn 8, “multiple fractures of carpal bones” (both legs); ulcers “severe”

Lorilee, June 25, Penn 1, “sesamoid fracture, condyle fracture…luxation of MC3 with disruption of the suspensory apparatus”; “spleen is severely congested”

A. Rod Again, June 28, Parx 4, “acute, comminuted, displaced fractures of the medial and lateral sesamoid bones…[multiple joints]: mild-moderate chronic osteoarthritis”

Truly Amazing, June 28, Presque Isle 2, “cause of death was Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage”

Purple Egg, June 29, Penn 5, “sesamoid fracture with disruption of the suspensory apparatus”; “spleen is severely congested”

Maxwell’s Hammer, July 2, Parx 2, “severe tendon rupture”

Notaria, July 12, Parx 2, “sesamoid bones fractured into multiple, displaced fragments…suspensory ligament severely frayed, with near complete fiber disruption”

Anthony’s Flyer, July 16, Parx 2, “traumatic stifle laceration with joint penetration and patellar fracture”

Mr. Perseverance, July 21, Penn 1, “sesamoid fractured into three fragments…ligaments torn”

Greatwhite Buffalo, August 2, Presque Isle 4, “both front fetlocks attached by skin only, leaving the distal cannon bones exposed, covered with ground-in dirt and severe bruising”; “gastric ulcers quite extensive”

Isutalkintome, August 7, Presque Isle 3, “left front fetlock attached by skin only, leaving the distal cannon bones exposed, covered with ground-in dirt and severe bruising”; “gastric ulcers extensive”

Burst of Fire, August 7, Presque Isle 3, “glenoid rim fractured…two pieces of bone pulled away”; “gastric ulcers extensive”

Kernel Slanders, August 12, Penn 8, “sesamoid fractured into three fragments…ligaments shredded”; “score lines and bruising in front fetlocks are suggestive of repetitive osseous stress syndrome, a common finding in fetlocks of racing Thoroughbreds”

Little Louella, August 27, Penn 3, “fractures of the third and radial carpal bones, mild to severe osteoarthritis”; “stomach: severe, chronic, focally extensive ulcers”; “spleen: severe congestion”

Registrada, September 13, Parx 4, “comminuted medial sesamoid fracture”

Age of Fluffy, September 21, prior to Presque Isle 8, “spine fractured”; “gastric ulcers are common in horses on NSAIDs, and in training…these were extensive and may have caused the horse to be painful from them during the paddock period…this may have led to the horse rearing and flipping over backwards”

Rockin’ Rockstar, October 2, Presque Isle 4, “comminuted (many pieces), spiral fracture of humerus, with ends distracted…greater tubercle separated from parent bone; rib fractured”

Jennie Says So, October 10, Parx 1, “acute, complete, open sesamoid fracture with suspensory ligament disruption”

Bobby McDuffie, October 22, Penn 5, “complete rupture of the distal sesamoidean ligaments with hemorrhage”; “the spleen is enlarged and filled with blood”

Gambler Five, November 2, Penn 8, “deep digital flexor tendon completely severed and displaced…dorsal surface of the superficial digital flexor tendon shredded…[multiple] ligaments torn…medial proximal sesamoid bone has a complete mid-body fracture…lateral proximal sesamoid bone fractured into multiple pieces”

South Philly Magic, November 14, Parx 3, “horse had a broken neck and was dead when the veterinarian arrived”

Star Cover, November 26, Pocono 9, “upon exam it was both visually and palpably obvious that there was a complete breakdown injury to the suspensory apparatus; both sesamoids were fractured and the ankle was on the ground when attempting to bear weight – as a result, the horse was euthanized”

Queen Patron, December 7, Penn 5, “compound fracture of fetlock…protrusion of metacarpal and sesamoid bones through the laceration…exposed bones are covered in dirt and debris”; the mucosa of the stomach contains 53 erosions and ulcers”

Final Betrayal, December 11, Parx 8, “sesamoids fractures with extensive ligamentous tearing and hemorrhage”

Sierra Ancha, December 14, Penn 2, “compound comminuted fracture left forelimb…severe soft tissue damage with exposure of several fragments of bone”

Surfer Chub, December 27, Parx 1, “shattered knee – multiple, acute carpal fractures”

In addition, the following horses died on track grounds from what the industry calls “non-racing” causes. While this may be technically true, morally they are no less casualties of this vile business than the ones above.

Burning Point, May 26, Penn, “lymphohistiocytic meningoencephalomyelitis with necrosis” (last raced April 23)

Hoppy Hour, June 15, Penn, “marked diffuse chronic fibrinous arthritis of the left hock – the thickened joint capsule along with the abundant fibrin suggest a chronic, on-going process” (this filly was two years old and had yet to be raced)

Bird Prince, July 22, Parx, “this horse has been showing neurologic signs and was euthanized…” (four years old)

Cantina Butterfly, October 26, Parx, “on October 26, the horse was down, depressed had labored breathing and a very swollen face with a bad odor and some nasal discharge…died before a tracheotomy could be performed” – necropsy revealed “severe extensive cellulitis, severe gastric ulcers, renal papillary necrosis, severe traumatic osteoarthropathy” (three years old, last raced September 13)

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