I reported the following death in my 2017 Texas FOIA post:

Sendero Six, July 15, Gillespie, race 5
“horse began to buck before finish line…hit and flipped over inside rail…stood and attempted to jump back over but fell backwards landing hard…attempted to jump rail again but collapsed and became recumbent and went into shock”

I recently received an email from an eyewitness to the above. Here is his account (he wishes to remain anonymous):

“On July 15, 2017, my wife and I attended the horse races at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds outside of Fredericksburg, Texas. We had learned that Gillespie County sponsored 4 days of horse racing every year. We are not gamblers and did not intend to wager on any race. Rather, our hobby is photography, and we were interested in taking photos of the races.

We had stationed ourselves down near the starting gate so that we could get close up shots of the start. The gate and the horses were probably 40 feet from us. The gates snapped open and the horses burst from the gates. We snapped our photos as they passed by and then watched the horses complete the race.

Near the end of the race, one of the horses appeared to turn 90 degrees and run straight into the railing. I honestly could not believe what I was seeing. When the horse hit the railing, it completely flipped over the rails. The horse struggled to stand back up as though it were still racing, but it immediately collapsed. It tried to stand back up again, but collapsed again. I assumed it had broken its back or its legs. Meanwhile, attendants were rushing on horseback and in a pick-up to the horse and the jockey, who…lay motionless near the rail. They erected a barrier and euthanized the horse. It was a sickening and shocking experience. Not what we had anticipated. We left shortly afterwards.”

His photos:

start of the race; Sendero, in the #2 slot, moments before dying

“In this photo, the horse has flipped over the rail. It is on the in-field and is struggling to stand up. It is almost as if the horse still thinks he is racing.”

“The horse has managed to stand up [but] will collapse again.”

“The horse is lying on his side, but his head is raised off the ground. They set up a cover of some sort and euthanized the horse. This is the last photo I took.”

Last week in U.S. Thoroughbred and QuarterHorse Racing

Confirmed Killed
Love to Party, Charles Town (“fell…and had to be euthanized”)
Mischievous Star, Penn (“went bad…euthanized”)
Andesine, Aqueduct

“Vanned Off” – many if not most will resurface on my year-end FOIA Kill-Reports
Abc U Later, Zia
Caurenta, Aqueduct
Super Duper Girl, Gulfstream W
Makin the Dough, Remington
Half Sexy, Delta
Raspberry Swirl, Gulfstream W
Force Five, Gulfstream W
Surprise Prize, Churchill
Mega Bucks, Gulfstream W
Outamoway Girls, Remington
Oltigbitties, Will Rogers
Jess White Wine, Zia
Big Red N Bodacious, Zia
Youngin’ Fearless, Churchill
Pebble Slinger, Churchill
Graham’s Way, Gulfstream W
Romolina, Turf
Fast Regard, Zia

“Bled,” “Returned Bleeding From Nostrils” – typically, pulmonary hemorrhage
Theycalledhimbig, Delta
Bordini, Churchill (also vanned off)
Sindys Luck, Delta (also vanned off)
First Class Blitz, Zia
Dee Favorite Girl, Zia

(source: Equibase)

One of the ways horseracing has been able to survive for so long is masterful marketing – “The Sport of Kings.” But it could not have done so without complicit media partners: numerous Sports Illustrated covers; ESPN naming three racehorses to its list of the 20th Century’s greatest athletes; and in a class by itself, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), which dutifully covers all of Racing’s high holy days. And so it was last weekend at Churchill Downs, scene of this year’s Breeders’ Cup.

In the marquee race, the $6 million “Classic,” with NBC shamelessly presenting with all the drama and flair it would bring to any big sporting event, egregious animal cruelty was unfolding for the cameras – and hence, before our very eyes. In the stretch run, jockey Christophe Soumillon mercilessly whipped 4-year-old Thunder Snow – beat the hell out of him, actually. (Thunder Snow is the #1 horse; Soumillon wears blue.)

Trust your gut, folks – if it looks like animal cruelty, sounds (whack, whack, whack) like animal cruelty, and, simply, feels like animal cruelty, then that’s exactly what it is. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated. Horseracing is animal cruelty.