Capitano Storm Euthanized On-Track at Charles Town

I have confirmed that 4-year-old Capitano Storm was euthanized on-track after breaking down at Charles Town Wednesday night (race 6). In all, this animal was put to the whip 15 times, including his death run. This is horseracing.

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  1. As a former Owner/Trainer/Steward for the CHRB, I can tell you that horse racing as been getting away with multiple deaths on racetracks for a very long time. It took years for some racing commissions to make reporting mandatory for racetrack deaths. Here’s where the mess begins due to the inconsistency of rules from track to track, state to state. So you have some racetracks reporting deaths for racing only, some for training and racing, some it’s not mandatory to report deaths, some not only report deaths, but require a necropsy be conducted.
    You would think a necropsy would reveal the answers? No, this is horse racing. When they do know the horrific truth about a particular racehorses necropsy, the racehorse owner may have a bevy of attorneys who block either all the medical evidence to the public or block specific certain pieces of information, or don’t reveal anything at all. This inconsistency is a convenient mess, one in which the racehorse industry thrives at because, deliberate or not, it is information being suppressed.
    Based on my observations, it’s usually the top trainers, with not only breakdowns, but wealthy owners with attorneys that fight to have any information blocked. In essence, the so-called “neutral” racing commissions, whose mandate is supposedly the health and welfare of the racehorse, have become a management tool for people who use it to their advantage.
    The biggest loser? The racehorse.
    The only factual evidence that we have is several studies conducted by highly regarded vets on the deaths of racehorses. All have concluded that the majority of catastrophic breakdowns are a result of chronic issues;physical and/or ongoing lameness issues that were continually undetected and/or ignored mainly due to the administration of drugs. (Preventing Breakdowns: William E. Jones DVM) The proverbial “bad step” explanation by top Trainers is inaccurate. The horse racing industry refers to these drugs as therapeutic. Whether you accept this or not, some therapeutic drugs are covering-up and/or relieving the pain of ongoing issues to keep the horse in training and/or racing. Please refer to PETA undercover video of top Trainer Steve Asmussen’s racing stable.
    Another thing that should be noted: Owner/Trainers are never, ever punished for racehorse breakdowns. They don’t receive fines and/or suspensions that I’m aware of. In fact, many on the sales end of the industry (which is where the big money is) love these trainers because the more racehorses that die, the more demand to go out and buy another one. In short, the racehorse becomes a disposable commodity.
    There were many times (how I wish I had an iphone back then) whereby I heard Trainers say “boy am I glad that rat is dead, save us a whole lot of money.” In fact, in the lower claiming ranks where many racehorses have extensive ongoing chronic issues, the connections would rather have the horse die then breakdown. This relieves the connections of financial responsibility to extensive vet bills, rehabilitation, and homing the now defunct unprofitable commodity.
    As far as I’m concerned, they couldn’t shut down this horror circus fast enough. Speaking of that, there have been some very positive developments in recent weeks regarding this.
    First, the government in Texas no longer wants to fund the huge amounts of money it takes to run a racing commission. As you may know, a Racing Commission is a mandatory state run organization that develops, and implements the rules and regulations of racing (among other things). The horse racing industry is pushing hard to get the funding in place. However, Texas doesn’t have casinos so they cash flow is not there. My only hope is that the government stands their ground and doesn’t fund the racing commissions so horse racing will end in Texas as we know it. This would be a very good thing.
    Second, the same development is happening in Pennsylvania. The only difference is that PA has enjoyed an endless cash flow due to the casino money flowing into horse racing. However, the wagering has been on a huge decline, and so has the gambling revenue. The PA government is now in huge debt not to mention the fact that most of the cash profits didn’t benefit the community or did very minimally. So now the government is threatening to stop the funding of racetracks in PA. This would be a very positive thing. Please refer to http://www.bloodhorse.com for this article. It was posted today or you can google.
    Third, the exact same thing is happening at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The thing that is absolutely insane is that the Ontario taxpayer has been footing the bill at Woodbine for years. Even when the horse racing industry was receiving 345 million per year for 12 years, they were still taking from the taxpayers. It’s incredulous that this is allowed to continue. Several years ago, then Premier had an independent auditor look at the records, and they were astounded at huge amounts of money unaccounted for. They told the horse racing industry that they had to fund themselves. That would have been the best move that the Ontario government should have done. Enter Premier Kathleen Wynne. In a stunning 360 degree reversal, and allegedly heavily funded by the horse racing industry, she announced that she would bail the industry out and give them 100 million per year for the next 5 years while they sorted themselves out. Astounding.
    This business has got to go. When the obvious animal welfare issues are exposed, nothing gets done. It’s going to take the de-funding of racetracks, and commissions to stop it once and for all. These people only relate to money. They don’t relate to the health, and welfare of the racehorse, or let’s just say, it’s not a priority when revenue is. Further, the immediate cancellation of the Interstate Horse Racing Act. This Act allows the horsemen groups access to unlimited funds because they control the money going all over the place. I allege that there are millions per year in revenue that is not reported to the United States IRS. The government is losing millions (same in Canada) while they are diverting much needed funds from casino revenues,( which should be used on community projects) to themselves, and out of the hands of communities.
    So this business exploits the racehorse, casino revenues & tax revenues, and people who are not part of the industry. It’s horrible, and I hope it ends soon.

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