California’s August Kills

Dead Racehorses in California, August:

unidentified, August 3-August 6, Los Alamitos, racing
unidentified, August 9-August 13, Del Mar
Silver Ice, August 19, Santa Rosa, race 5, “apparent pelvic injury – euthanized”
unidentified, August 14-August 20, Del Mar
Secret Shopper, August 30, Del Mar, race 4

(source: California Horse Racing Board)

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  1. What on earth is a “pelvic injury”? And for me, the heartbreak is those who die unnamed, unloved and unnoticed. Why do we keep doing this? Why is racing still allowed? I know that the obvious answer is money, but how can any decent person sleep at night knowing they participated in this slaughter?

  2. Gaynor…… a pelvic injury usually means that the pelvis has been fractured. When a horse jumps out of the gates, he/she is under a lot of pressure by the jockey to begin fast. Ridiculous because immediately prior the horse is severely confined not being able to move. In my experience, the injury is usually sustained when jumping out when there’s a lot of stress on the pelvic area and often it’s a young horse whose skeletal structure, although formed, has not been fully developed. One of the worst I witnessed was a valuable 2 year old colt trained by Black Caviar’s trainer and ridden by her jockey. It was this baby’s second only start. Just after he jumped out of the gates his tail went up (indicating he was in pain) and I could see he was in trouble but he was expected to win and was kept going despite travelling last behind the other horses which probably exacerbated the injury and he broke down and was euthanased. If my memory serves me correctly, when the stewards questioned the jockey he was of the view that the colt was going as he usually ran. Well, he’d only had one previous race start which he won easily but no, the colt was not going well trailing behind and struggling to keep up. Black Caviar won again that day and being the best mare in the world at the time she was expected to go on racing for a while but she was prematurely retired just a few days after her stablemate colt had died.
    Another pelvic injury death I witnessed involved a severe fracture of the pelvis where some bone matter had cut into a main artery which caused a lethal internal bleed.

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