Dead: Project Mayhem at Charles Town, You Gotta Believe at Saratoga

I have confirmed that 9-year-old Project Mayhem is dead after breaking down in the 8th Friday at Charles Town. The notes for this one are particularly heartrending:

“PROJECT MAYHEM was very reluctant to load, unseated the rider and ran off pre-race, was reluctant to load again once caught, vied inside of the winner around the first turn and broke down on the backstretch.”

“Very reluctant to load…ran off…reluctant to load again once caught…” A short while later – dead. Wretched.

In other news, though “Saratoga” is still several weeks away, the first death of the year there was recorded Friday when, according to the Gaming Commission, 3-year-old You Gotta Believe “unseated [her] rider…ran loose, impaled R Stifle on rail [and was] euthanized.” “Impaled stifle on rail.” Imagine that. The filly had yet to be raced.

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    • Ms. Prather, are you celebrating since, as a racing supporter, you want the exploitation of the TB racehorse to continue? How proud you must be to support an industry where horses die horrific deaths on a daily basis.

      Now, let me challenge you. Where did Patrick say that he wanted ALL Thoroughbreds dead? You made an accusation. Now put on your “big girl pants” and produce the evidence where Patrick uttered those words.

    • Claudia, racing kills a lot of horses and sends thousands of Thoroughbreds to slaughter every year. Why you would make a comment like that is mindboggling ! Racing is pure hell for the Thoroughbred.
      Project Mayhem, like countless others, did not have a chance with these stupid merciless people. He did not want to load and for very good reason. He was not fit to run but who was listening ??? Now he is dead and, sadly, he will not be the last because of this abusive sick gambling industry.

  1. A TB that is reluctant to load should be scratched. People involved in the horse racing industry are in it for money, borrowed self esteem from the horse and something to take out their anger on. The horse gives and gives the people take… Very pathological people. Right up there with Hitler and other people who hate. The do not love their horses…

  2. That is a despicable comment, in the wake of this tragic ignorance we humans demonstrate displaying our dominion. That horse spoke! Did those THERE listen? Or were they too busy? Just as you, Carolyn, are?

    The care and possession of horses must be taken away from ignorant petulant selfish greedy people. Oversight must be given to horsepeople.

  3. I would think that if Patrick wanted all thoroughbreds dead this blog would be called “Support Thoroughbred Racing at a Racino Near You.” Horse racing insiders and supporters are among the saddest excuses for people on the planet. The fact that anyone could read this post and infer anything but the fact that their industry is without morals and conscience can only be seen as a choice to look away from fact.

  4. Claudia,

    I think there is something seriously wrong with you. You should seek help immediately. Joy is right, you are sick and demented. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to discredit Patrick, and distort completely his intentions, and the intention of this site. Patrick is a compassionate crusader, and champion of the thoroughbred. He wants their suffering to end. He is driven and motivated by his love for the thoroughbred.

    All the efforts of those of us on this blog, are fighting day and night to save the thoroughbred. These 2 latest fatalities are horrific, and we want it to end, plain and simple. Forcing horses to load against their will, and not paying attention to their behavior is negligent and reckless. Your industry murdered these two babies by not scratching them, which is what they should have done.

    This industry is void of integrity. In order to support it you must abandon your integrity, compassion, and common sense at the door. You are a prime example of the delusion of the pro-racing supporters. They run from admitting their guilt in extinguishing the lives of throughbred’s on a daily basis. You Claudia have THEIR blood on YOUR hands. I suggest you make an appointment with a therapist as soon as possible.
    Marlene Thornley

  5. Yes true animal lovers and friends pay attention to their actions there are reasons why all creatures do things they can’t talk so they are praying you will pay attention that something is wrong those race people do not have clear open minds their minds are green (money greed exploitation) its sad I would like abusers to go through the suffering and pain and neglect they impose on animals.

  6. So the horse died of reluctance? I have to ask because I’m new to all this, do horses get euthanized for not behaving? It just doesn’t sound like the horse was physically injured in this incident.

    • Project Mayhem was reluctant to race which was evidenced by his behaviour, he was voiceless. He “broke down” which could mean he broke a limb, sesamoids, suspensory, shoulder, knee, pelvis, etc. They did not disclose the reason he “broke down”. He was likely euthanased or it is possible he died particularly if he had a severe pulmonary haemorrhage and/or acute cardio respiratory failure, etc.
      This horse knew he was not up to compete in the race knowing that he had something wrong with him. I do not have the time to look up his history but being a 9 year old gelding highly likely he was racing with a pre-existing injury/condition. Hope that answers your question Ginajudd.

  7. This is the one I was told about, but what does this mean? 3-year-old You Gotta Believe “unseated [her] rider…ran loose, impaled R Stifle on rail [and was] euthanized.” “Impaled stifle on rail.” Imagine that. The filly had yet to be raced. (impaled stifle on rail)? I was told the rider was thrown and the horse kept running.

    • You Gotta Believe, a 3 year old filly, dumped her jockey doing trackwork training by the sounds of it. Riderless, she ran off in fear and being in such a state collided into a rail so badly she was impaled and it sounds as though rail had broken for this to occur. She might also have tried to hurdle the rail to escape the lethal environment she was experiencing on a racetrack. It is also possible that she might’ve been hit with an electrical device which caused her to take off. If she was being whipped that could’ve set her off. I could be wrong, I’m just trying to imagine what happened here. Due to the severity of her injury and obviously in terrible pain, she was euthanased.

      Ginajudd, on horses being reluctant to race – here are just a few examples from my 5 years’ research on racehorse behaviour incidents:

      A seven year old mare became upset in the gates, got down on the ground under the gates of its stall and pushed its way through and escaped riderless. Scratched. She was forced to race for another 3 years and disappeared when a 10 year old mare. Just over 7 years of racing and had started ninety-nine (99) times and I believe then went to slaughter. She often displayed her fear of racing. She had 5 wins, 6 seconds and 9 thirds for the grand sum of $26,730!??? Trainer (of ill repute) was the sole owner.

      Horse declared a late scratching by stewards on veterinary advice after the gelding became fractious in the gates before getting its neck caught between the front gates for an extended period of time. No record of horse racing again – disappeared.

      A seven year old mare was withdrawn on veterinary advice after the mare was very fractious in the raceday tie-up stalls before being saddled up to race, reared and struck its head, then became cast for some time.

      Horse was fractious in the mounting enclosure and after rearing up and becoming cast across the enclosure fencing was withdrawn on veterinary advice. Wonder what the onlookers thought about this? … Industry’s response was “oh, that’s just racing and horse is ok”. Horse disappeared.

      After being placed in the gates horse became fractious, reared and got its right fore leg caught over the front gate. Vetted and passed fit to start. After race vetting revealed this 3 year old filly had skin off both stifles and a skin wound to the poll. As if they would scratch this young filly – she was the hot favourite and had already won $1million as a 2 year old and this was another $1million race.

      After being loaded into the barriers horse reared over, threw itself down and became wedged under the starting gates. Scratched. No disclosure of the vet’s findings.

      After being led onto the course proper from the mounting enclosure, horse reluctantly refused on numerous occasions to proceed to the gates. Withdrawn and never seen again.

      Following the above incident, after being loaded into the gates, another horse kicked out at the back gates and became cast. Vetted and ruled unfit to start. I often came across other horses becoming upset in the gates after incidents like this one.

      Horse was scratched after the gelding became fractious in the raceday stalls and sustained a severe head injury. Horse was euthanized.

      The declaration of correct weight was delayed so Stewards could view the official footage to ascertain whether horse was denied a fair start. After viewing the official footage and taking evidence from all parties concerned, it was established that as the start was effected, horse knuckled over badly, resulting in its rider becoming badly unbalanced and being dislodged. Horse was declared a starter which was not welcome news for the trainer, owner and bettors. Horse continued on riderless which was hazardous for other horses and riders. Then horse attempted to jump the outside rail after completing a lap of the course riderless. Vetting found the mare to have sustained multiple fractures to the left fore radius. Horse was euthanized.

      Horse A became fractious when the horse B beside it in the gates was fractious and became cast. Horse A then broke through its gate riderless and galloped around the track and attempted to hurdle the outside fence at the entrance to the mounting enclosure and sustained significant injuries. After extensive veterinary treatment horse could not be moved from its position which was almost adjacent to the winning post and too high a risk to allow a field of horses to gallop past so the race was cancelled. No disclosure as to the type of injuries horse suffered. I was able to find out that this horse died from those injuries on that day but this fact was never disclosed by the racing authorities.

      There are also numerous examples of horses “injuring themselves” en route to the racetrack e.g. eye injuries, cuts, dripping wet with nervous sweat, etc. Some have become cast during the trip and arrive at the track on the floor of the truck. Some suffer heat stress during the transport. Many are passed fit to race.
      These intelligent animals know when it’s raceday (I have my own personal experience with this), they know what they’re in for and many display behaviour that they want to escape.

      • You are so right Carolyn, thanks for taking the time to respond to Gina.

        Gina when a TB doesn’t want to load, there is always a very good reason for it. They know when they are not up to the task of racing, and refuse to load. They could very well be suffering from a previous injury, and sent out to race anyway, by the neglectful trainer/owner. Many are terrified for their lives in the gate, and when set loose you will see them hit the gate, and injure themselves, or die; or run right into the rail or try to jump over it. Carolyn is right; they know what is coming and are fearing for their lives. They are running for their lives..

        These signals and this behavior is many times callously ignored, and by not paying attention, the end result is many times fatal, and the innocent horse pays with his life. Marlene Thornley

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