“Suspensory Rupture”; “Carpus Fracture”; “Epistaxis” – Hazel Park’s Dead, 2017

Through a FOIA request to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, I have confirmed the following kills at Hazel Park in 2017. Please note, however, that the Board did not forward any training deaths (though surely there were some); in addition, there was nothing on the harness track Northville Downs.

Hucks Party, May 19, Hazel, race 4
“suspensory rupture” (four races prior to dying: all last or next-to-last, average 24 lengths back – trainer/owner Reid Gross)

Testarossa Red, June 16, Hazel, race 6
“suspensory rupture”

Im Just Good, July 8, Hazel, race 8
“carpus fracture”

No Nukes, July 10, Hazel
“colic” (7-year-old, had been raced 48 times, most recently May 27)

Trisha’s Trove, July 15, Hazel, race 6
“epistaxis” (bled from the nose) (had been raced only eight days before; worse, fifth race in five weeks – trainer, James White; owner, Don White)


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  1. You can be certain there are many more dead horses than the several the MGCB provided. The Michigan horse racing industry has its own kill buyer in Jaroslav/Jaron/Jeron/Jaro Gold. Licensed by the TB racing industry as breeder, owner and trainer throughout his “career”, Gold also owns Roping J Ranch, a trucking company in Fair Haven, Michigan, that hauls livestock. Gold has been investigated by Animal’s Angels on more than one occasion – the “livestock” his trucking company transports are horses…to a Canadian slaughterhouse. Although I’m not certain if Gold still holds his OWN contract with the slaughterhouse, he does still have a feedlot which he fills with horses.

    From one of Animal’s Angels’ investigations of Gold (when he purchased horses from the Shipshewana auction), this;

    -“The second pen [of Gold’s purchased auction horses] is loaded onto the [double decker] truck. The animals struggle as they are forced into the second compartment. Standing next to the trailer, you can hear the animals kicking inside.”

    And from the same Animal’s Angels’ investigation the following day, at Gold’s holding pen which was visible from public property, this;

    -“[Gold’s horses with the green USDA slaughter tags on their hips] are loading…into…one level of the double decker trailer. One horse is down and it takes several attempts [by a man using a long, wooden stick] to make it rise. Many of them look very emaciated…we observe two horses limping severely. The truck leaves the premises and starts driving towards Port Huron [which connects to Ontario, Canada, via the Blue Water Bridge].”

    Nearly 12 hours later, the horses in Gold’s double decker arrive at the slaughter plant in Canada. Again, from the Animal’s Angels’ investigation, this;

    -“The horses unloaded are in appalling condition. Many of them are limping (more than the two we observed limping at [Gold’s] feedlot that morning) and one horse is dead. All of them are very nervous and once unloaded in the holding pen, several start biting and kicking each other.”

    And finally, this;

    -“At 9:10 PM, [Gold’s] driver leaves the [slaughterhouse]. The dead horse from [Gold’s] truck remains in the parking lot.”

    Don’t delude yourself thinking there were no racehorses on his double decker trailer…on its countless trips to that Canadian slaughterhouse.

    • Joy, this is difficult to read and it is even more difficult to realize the brutal treatment and extreme suffering of these horses on a daily basis is more or less ignored by society. The fact that racing actually facilitates the slaughter by allowing Gold to be a licensed breeder and trainer is troubling but not surprising.

      I watched a documentary on horse slaughter by a group from Switzerland. It started with the slaughter bound horses being loaded on the trucks and followed the trucks on the long journey to the pens at the slaughterhouse. The suffering and sheer terror of the horses was so heartrending and sickening I could not make it all the way through.

  2. I’m sure it was mostly thoroughbreds on some days, Joy. I have heard of Gold, also. Sad part is – many of these tracks have no slaughter rules, and yet these feedlot owners are also known owners, trainers, etc. So again, who’s fooling who? Just because the horses aren’t going through the local kill auctions- the higher ups at these tracks know damn well where these horses are going, and they know exactly who is taking them to slaughter! And when you hear the owners and trainers,-you know- the ones who “love the horses like family”, call their horses “rats” and “donkeys”, and that they “need the stall asap” and ” I don’t care where that rat goes – I just need it to go now!” You know who is providing these feedlot owners with their truckloads of thoroughbreds !

  3. And as far as Hazel park, for a track that has 4+ months of racing during their season, 5 deaths seems uncharacteristically low and makes me wonder what they are hiding.

  4. This business is shrouded in delusions from start to finish.
    We see the slaughter bound trucks here in Ontario, and they are full of racehorses!
    This is going on while they boast about their billions in wagering profits!
    Heartless assholes!
    The majority of racetracks in North America are hanging by a string, and financially dependent on casino profits or taxpayers money via corporate welfare or otherwise.
    It’s time for local and state governments to stop financially supporting this corruption, money pit, and blatant animal cruelty.

    • Thanks Billy for this amazing announcement.
      It’s about fu**ing time!!
      Detroit got this one right – finally!!
      My only wish is that many more racetracks die in the dirt just like all the racehorses.
      Thanks Richard Tindall for inspiring me as well.
      I’m not much of a drinker, but this announcement calls for a glass of wine or bottle of Heineken!
      I will toast to all the racehorses who will no longer drop dead in the dirt at the non-existent Hazel Park which should be aptly named Death Park.
      Thank you Detroit – now spend the money on some safe drinking water instead of a dying business.

  5. The apologists indicting themselves yet again.
    These comments (Paulick Report) are in response to Hazel Park (HP) shutting down:
    “It was an absolutely classless act by the track owners to drop this announcement on the heads of employees, horsemen and so many others at such a late date.” Richard C
    My response to Richard C:
    It’s an absolute classless act Richard to force non-consenting, voiceless, defenseless sentient beings into the money, maiming, dying, and corruption pit called horse racing.
    Every single day hundreds of racehorses risked their lives, and lost their lives at HP for stupid $2 bets,.
    HP has been on life support for years even getting money from taxpayers coffers while residents in Flint, MI didn’t have any safe drinking water!
    Outrageous, and governments/politicians need to STOP bailing this dying industry out.

    “These people are truly classless. I just shipped my little filly up four days ago to run at home. I spent $500 to get her here and they shut the door. Ruthless , uncaring behavior. I am a working man who loves the game and believe me this hurt my heart and my pocketbook.” Burner 5
    My response to Burner 5:
    You spent $500 shipping your filly up to that hell hole?
    You poor sucker Burner 5, but what about the filly?
    Of course, it’s about the money.
    You have the audacity to call a racetrack that shuts its doors “ruthless, uncaring behavior?”
    It’s participants/supporters/apologists like you that are the most ruthless. uncaring people.
    You suck the blood, and breath out of these poor racehorses and then you dump them at kill auctions so that they can end up on the slaughterhouse floor more often than not.
    I have no doubt in my mind that there will be hundreds of Michigan racehorses either looking for homes or dumped at kill auctions when people like you can no longer exploit them.
    What will the multi-billion dollar horse racing industry do about their profit slaves when they can no longer exploit them?
    Little to nothing, they probably won’t give one dime and neither will the HBPA who has made their millions off the misery of racehorses there for years.

    Go out and get a job like the rest of us that doesn’t prey off the innocent lives of racehorses.
    Fuck you Hazel Park, and all you racehorse exploiters.
    This is just one racetrack shutting down, but many more are sure to follow.

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