6-Year-Old at Yonkers: “Went Down and Died”

Having been at this for four years, I now regularly receive eyewitness accounts of track deaths. Most are simply sharing the horror of what they had seen, usually accompanied by a vow never to return. But others pass along information with no apparent motivation. An email on August 3: “multiple deaths in Yonkers 7th last night.” Nothing more. (The U.S. Trotting Association chart did indeed show several horses not finishing that race, but I’ve yet to see a single death disclosed on the harness charts; this was no exception.) So, this being NY, I awaited confirmation on the Commission database. Finally, nine days after the fact, the following was posted:

(6-year-old) Jesse’s Story, August 2, Yonkers: “horse started race went down at 3/4 pole and died.” “Went down and died.”

Not multiple deaths, at least as far as we know (horses euthanized back at private farms die in anonymity), but one more name for this singularly ignominious list.

Postscript: I received a followup email just this morning. The source saw three horses stay down; hence the assumption of multiple deaths. And, he added, “there was blood on the track.” Surely, the dying Jesse’s Story’s. How profoundly sad.

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  1. Patrick, I thank you & Nicole for your 4 years of dedication to ensure that these racehorses don’t die in vain.
    That said, I have watched it for years, have witnessed the beating/whipping, doping, dumping and/or dying for years.
    Ashamed to say that I even participated in it by sending my racehorses out to support the exploitation.
    I couldn’t take it no more.
    At first, I fought very hard to change the system, to improve it, to make it better.
    Then as I tried, the gauntlet came down on me, and members of the industry made it very clear that the systemic abuse, the institutionalization, the legitimization of what amounts to cruelty to animals must continue and no little “pimple” on their a** was going to do it.
    That’s when I realized that nothing will change because this entire industry is based on the exploitation of a racehorse for profit, and egos.
    The day I went to pick up my horse, and leave for good was one of the best days of my life.
    I felt so relieved.
    I knew it was the right thing to do. I had felt so uncomfortable for so long.
    I have no regrets, but when I read pro-horse racing comments they are always the same excuses, and they are so wrong.
    I hope that someday these people will realize exactly what they are doing.
    In the meantime, I will be a voice for the voiceless.

  2. You both inspire us. The day we left we had a life changing experience! We were physically threatened about the preferred way to train race horses the ACCEPTED way. We refused. We have felt much relieve since leaving this crummy/ crooked/ corrupt business. We still read the results of those bad trainers/ owners. We notice how the races named/sponsored for certain families almost always seem to be won by those same families! We hope with the economic pressures upon this business and the education of the public that this industry will be greatly curtailed/ eliminated. In our state that will be difficult with lottery support and the HUB tax providing FREE registration of all foals in the state.

  3. All I can say with each new victim is what a damn shame that these tragedies must occur. I ask you, what is it going to take for people to wake up and replace greed and profit with kindness and compassion?! Maybe one day these tragic events will be a much relieved thing of the past.

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