12-Year-Old Dead From “Heart Attack” at Great Meadow

The Equibase line for 12-year-old Nationbuilder in the 3rd at Great Meadow (Virginia steeplechase) Saturday: “stumbled, fell – and died from a heart attack.”

“Died from a heart attack.”

This was the fifth time this old – for Racing, that is – horse had been raced this year; twice – in April and again in May – he was a “fell, DNF.” Now, he’s dead.

This is horseracing.


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  1. This is crazy! Day after day, week after week, and so on..this carnage continues! We share, we try to educate, we try to take the ones that we can save, and still, you look at the crowds that are flocking to the tracks to bet on and watch this. Yes, this is getting through to some, but how many more will it be before it finally stops????? I use my Thoroughbred EX racehorse, Icountime, as an example, to people that get wide eyed when I tell them I have an ex-racehorse – he is 18 now, but when I got him at 4 – ONLY 4, and 21 starts – he was deemed to have “been through a lot” and is “a needy horse”. Count was in horrible shape – at that tender young age, this big guy was already slated for light riding only, walking and maybe trot a few times a week only. It took months for let down and rest and to learn to be a horse – both mentally and physically. And he is OK for that now – but only if given something for the arthritis he has in his knees (they had pin-fired him bigtime instead of giving him rest at the track). He is very sweet and definitely is bonded to me as I was the first human that must have given him the needs he had. He is one of the lucky ones….if you can call racing a horse to the ground, whether alive or dead, lucky! After reading about all of these poor souls, I had to get this off my chest. For all of us here that are trying our very best – all others that feel like I do, and Patrick for posting all of this – thank you!!!!

    • Thank you, Sandra…you can come here anytime to get things regarding racing’s cruelties off your chest! And thank you for rescuing Count and sharing HIS true story with us. We need to hear about the horses rescued and living with loving families because as you said, the continuing crippling and killing IS crazy.

  2. We had a Count also, that we rescued from a bankrupt trainer of our local track. He was also exceedingly kind and gentle and had been starved by his original breeders as they could not agree as to who was to pay the feed bill! Because he was a 1/2 starved wean-ling that was hidden in a barn at the track, he was never raced. He grew up to be the fastest, most powerful horse we ever rode.We miss him greatly as he passed away at the way to young age of 12.

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