Per the annual necropsy report by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, in 2013 60 racehorses died or were euthanized (well, they all died) at the three Oklahoma tracks: 28 at Remington, 18 at Will Rogers, and 14 at Fair Meadows. Although most of the deaths were musculoskeletal in nature, there were three (on raceday) who perished from “Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage” – they drowned in their own blood. Imagine that.
A couple points. First, since Oklahoma only counts those who died at its tracks, the toll is significantly understated. As a matter of fact, when discussing training deaths, the Commission practically admits as much: “Oklahoma continues to report more race day fatalities than training fatalities compared to some other jurisdictions. This reflects the large number of animals that train off-site of OHRC facilities.” Bottom line: Other horses are dying from their racing/training injuries away from the tracks. So it’s considerably more than 60.
Second, and more importantly, the report itself is but more industry subterfuge. By breaking down these deaths in every possible manner – gender, breed, age, spot, race type, etc. – the Commission seeks to give the impression that it’s on top of things, that it will eventually figure this out, that it actually cares about its “equine athletes.” But 20 pages of mostly extraneous data cannot (or we will not allow it to) obfuscate two simple truths: One, last year in Oklahoma, at least 60 intelligent, sensitive beings were destroyed for $2 bets and racino-jacked pots of gold. Two, as long as they continue to race horses, there is nothing they can do to stop it. Nothing.