The California Horse Racing Board has disclosed the March 22nd death of a horse named Lendell at Golden Gate Fields: “Treated for respiratory infection, became blind in one eye, started having seizures, became blind in second eye.” And apparently, euthanized – or simply just died.
Whipped for four years and 39 races (27 of the last 28, claiming), the then 7-year-old Lendell was ostensibly “retired” in 2010. But there is no such thing as “retirement” for those still within Racing’s grasp. At the time of his death, Lendell was, as the CHRB so aptly and perfectly puts it, “being used as Pony.” Truth is, Lendell’s life was just one stage of exploitation after another. He was “used” and “used” and “used” and “used” some more. And then he died. His death – a lonely and likely painful one – came at an age that while considered old by Racing standards was barely a third into a natural lifespan. How profoundly sad, on so many levels. This is horseracing.