The following is a companion list to “How They Die.” While the industry attempts to dismiss these deaths (“non-racing”), make no mistake, these stabled-at-the-track, awaiting-next-race horses are no less casualties of this vile business than the ones who snap legs on raceday or rupture hearts in morning practice. Victims, all. (Again, this is but a sampling of information I annually receive from racing commissions.)

Boat Drinks: “the horse returned to the track with laminitis in all four limbs – rotated through the sole”

Cantina Butterfly: “the horse was down, depressed had labored breathing and a very swollen face with a bad odor and some nasal discharge…died before a tracheotomy could be performed; severe extensive cellulitis, severe gastric ulcers, renal papillary necrosis, severe traumatic osteoarthropathy”

Ivory Debt: “head trauma from flipping in barn September 29, severe CNS signs September 30 – euthanasia after contacting insurance company” (yes, after suffering head trauma, this horse had to wait a day before being put down – because of money)

unnamed 2-year-old: “found dead in stall, fractured pelvis with hemorrhaging”

Blow By: “found dead in the stall; pneumonia or possible head trauma during shipping”

Big Gene: “severe septicemia rear legs with necrosis – laminitis all four” (two years old)

Honest Abe: “bowel evisceration secondary to a castration surgery earlier in the day”

Quittin Time: “the horse shipped in from Arkansas with a 103 degree temperature…developed laminitis…today the horse’s coffin bone rotated out the bottom of its foot”

name withheld: “found dead in stall – the presence of an acute traumatic lesion to the left hind limb…suggests colt became uncomfortable during the night and injured his limb while rolling/becoming cast or otherwise struggling; gastric ulceration was severe enough in this case to have caused pain, in addition to the colonic lesion…large numbers of tape worms in the cecum”

Two Step Turn: “[trainer] stated that one of his workers found the horse dead on the floor”

Hoppy Hour: “marked diffuse chronic fibrinous arthritis of the left hock – the thickened joint capsule along with the abundant fibrin suggest a chronic, on-going process” (two years old)

Genaro: “colicky, unresponsive to treatment, died next day – ruptured intestine”

JC’s Dream: “broken carpus, very thin, very lame”

Olmeca: “ruptured bladder”

Lady Lucilla: “shipped in with shipping fever, abscess, and fluid in lungs”

New Ellenton: “head trauma, seizuring, hypovolemic shock”

Rainy Night: “found lame in her stall on 11/15; euthanized on 11/22 for severe hemorrhage from gastrocnemius tear/trauma”

Sayalittlprayrfrme: “rough trip in trailer to track, sustained laceration over L eye, seemed ok initially but was found down in stall and in extreme distress later that afternoon, vet treated without improvement – euthanized”

My Precious Stolita: “severe colic – horse was found dead in stall”

Bronze Bomber: “pleural pneumonia with four-feet laminitis”

Legasistic (probably sic): “evisceration of abdomen”

Mister Dark Eagle: “tracheal collapse/trauma”

Indio: “discovered dead in its stall; horse had stopped eating the day before”

Just Dance With Me: “drowning incident”

Shotgun Love: “euthanized for severe laminitis both front feet”

Sherlock’s Hope: “acute severe laminitis in all four feet”

Arrogante de Oro: “horse treated for colic on 6/11 [five days after last race]…found dead in stall at 4:00 AM by groom/night watch”

Myarchangel: “flipped in street, fractured skull”

Classic Kate: “penetrating abdominal wound – humanely destroyed”

Kershner: “sudden death; had been treated for colic, intestinal rupture”

Bigapplehereicome: “found dead in its stall”

Lovely Elle: “dead in stall 4 am”

Mongolian Eagle: “eight weeks of ataxia”

name withheld: “colic of 2-day duration…appeared to recover, then expired suddenly, most likely due to a distended or ruptured bowel”

name withheld: “horse flipped…suspect cranial fracture, hemorrhaged”

name withheld: “found in stall – suspect colic”

name withheld: “flipped in stall – head trauma”

name withheld: “dead in stall”

El Borracho: “found dead in am, no signs of struggle”

Bettarun Realfast: “horse had laminitis of greater than 7 days duration…developed colic today – not responsive to any medications…euthanasia”

Citizen Ofthe West: “found dead – colic”

Silver Bullet Rf: “found dead in stall; 360-degree torsion of colon”

Nacimientos Clasic: “horse died during night – colic”

Wagon #1 (probably sic): “found dead in stall”

Speedy Trick: “colic – died in stall overnight”

Asophisticatedmomma: “horse was found dead – horse was insured”

Sms First Dibs: “found dead”

Carmon’s Trick: “found in stall dead”

Quick Coconut: “being treated for a cold – found dead in stall”

Freudian Dilemma: “found deceased in stall – gastric/digestive issues”

Rip Loves Maize: “collapsed in stall and expired”

Lemon Iceking: “being treated for recurring bronchopneumonia without resolution – found dead in stall”

Yodelmesomemagic: “found dead in stall – suspect colic”

Mias Mark: “flipped in washrack, fractured skull – dead on arrival”

The Grey Bullet: “found dead in stall”

Lebowski: “found dead outside stall, treated previous day for gastrointestinal issue”

Jade Run: “found down in stall, unable to stand; in distress; possible reaction to pre-race [left blank] – euthanized”

Morning Joe: “previously fx near LR pelvis, stall rest prescribed; 2 months later his health took a turn for the worse…found down in stall…got horse standing…demonstrated considerable distress – decision made to euthanize”

Mr Reid: “found dead in stall; previous surgery for severe colic…predisposed to colic”

Clever King: “found deceased in stall – being treated for colic”

Start It Up: “laminitis both front feet”

Totally Discreet: “laminitis both front feet”

Fashion Fund: “found down in stall & removed to clinic where filly was diagnosed with comminuted left femoral & pelvic fractures”

The Lucky Dream: “collapsed and died in stall – suspected heart failure or aneurysm”

Majic Laughter: “found dead in stall – history of colic”

Superbe Rulah: “horse not feeling well; found dead in stall – suspected acute colic”

Monsterinthepaint: “died after being removed from trailer – colonic ulceration with colitis”

Beautiful Mimi: “flipped in stall – hit head fracturing neck…died”

Demo: “being treated by vet for lumbosacral neuropathy with rectal/urinary disfunction; developed severe UTI and was found dead in stall”

Wild Perfection: “horse found dead in stall – unattended death”

Hawaiian Move: “sudden death post-exercise on equine wheel…died shortly after returning to barn”

Warair: “found deceased in stall”

Eye Opening Dream: “found deceased in barn” (was raced just three days prior)

Special Jessie: “dead in stall”

Floyd Hanover: “[trainer] found horse dead in barn”

Platinum Sensation: “found dead in stall”

Ladys Bad Boy: “[found] the horse dead in his stall”

Kettle’s Kid: “shipping fever”

Rangersleadtheway: “severely neurologic”

Built Bok Tuff: “horse was found dead in stall…with apparent signs of severe colic; Dr. Robinson reportedly treated the horse for colic [the day before]”

Sally Ali: “horse was found dead in barn on backside in early morning hours; showed signs of colic, endotoxemia; exact cause of death unknown – no necropsy performed”

Jumpn On Glass: “horse found dead in stall – signs of colic and endotoxic shock” (was raced just three days prior)

Jenny Cartel: “died in stall after being treated for several days for respiratory/lung disease”

My Lucky Shot: “horse died of colic and arrived at clinic deceased”

Miss Executive Gray: “found dead in stall…history of pleuritis with pulmonary abscessation”

D’forest Diva: “found dead in stall”

Phoebe Moon: “colic, enteritis – found dead in stall”

Waverly Force: “neurologic disease”

Catana: “found dead in stall”

Temple of Doom: “found dead in stall”

Hard Play: “found dead in stall – cause unknown”

The following is a sampling of information I annually receive (via FOIA) from state racing commissions. It is, clearly, a list that should sicken all Americans of good conscience, but more important, one that should force a collective introspection: Are we not better than this? Is each of us, are the whole of us, not ultimately tasked with leaving this world a bit kinder, a measure more moral than how we found it? If so, then there is no debate to be had, no other side to the argument. The wholesale abuse and killing of intelligent, sensitive beings for gambling, for “sport,” must end. Now.

Some of the horses Killed in Action on American racetracks:

ZZ Rider: “the horse took a bad step and continued on…the horse put its head down and somersaulted on track; examination showed an open, disarticulated fetlock joint with the MCIII bone sticking out; all collateral ligaments ruptured”

Heza Fast Wagon: “RF ankle was disarticulated from the parent bone and hanging by a shred of skin”

Tempting Eyes: “horse caught reins in rail and snapped neck”

Lady Angel: “collapsed while training with copious amount of blood coming out of both nostrils”

Greatwhite Buffalo: “both front fetlocks attached by skin only, leaving the distal cannon bones exposed, covered with ground-in dirt and severe bruising; gastric ulcers quite extensive”

Goldtique: “this horse was involved in a three horse collision…broken back – death due to vertebral fracture and exsanguination” (she bled out)

Digger’s Jigger: “this horse was involved in a three horse collision [same as above]…found dead in her stall [next] morning – death due to axial musculoskeletal trauma and exsanguination” (she bled out)

Wind Warrior: “horse broke down near the 3/8 pole but continued on to the finish line…examination showed bilateral sesamoid fractures, rupture of the distal ligaments and collateral ligament, disarticulation of the fetlock joint…the bone was exposed”

Cool It: “euthanasia due to shock from large laceration with arterial bleeding”

Johannah Jo: “broke down around half mile pole then continued to run half mile; repeated trauma caused ankle to [become] dislocated and destroyed soft tissues; ran to finish line where she was put down on track”

Baytown Princess: “compound, open, complete transverse fracture of both front cannon bones just below the knees”

Gambler Five: “deep digital flexor tendon completely severed and displaced…dorsal surface of the superficial digital flexor tendon shredded…[multiple] ligaments torn…medial proximal sesamoid bone has a complete mid-body fracture…lateral proximal sesamoid bone fractured into multiple pieces”

Queen Patron: “compound fracture of fetlock…protrusion of metacarpal and sesamoid bones through the laceration…exposed bones are covered in dirt and debris; the mucosa of the stomach contains 53 erosions and ulcers”

Tres Seis Luvbug: “complete compound fracture of the left MC II,III,IV with distal limb attached to the body by soft tissues”

Tizquick: “broke from gate and rider immediately tried to pull horse up – sesamoidean fracture with subluxation of fetlock; rider was unable to pull up until middle of first turn – this may have contributed to severity of injury”

Stand by Your Man: “1/3 of left scapula shattered into multiple displaced pieces…severe damage of the surrounding skeletal muscle and soft tissue including a severed blood vessel and severe hemorrhage; chronic synovitis of the front fetlocks”

Dancing Terror: “left hind limb was swollen…with a puncture wound, through which bone was protruding…eight large pieces of bone (and numerous small pieces) present; numerous small ulcers”

Isutalkintome: “left front fetlock attached by skin only, leaving the distal cannon bones exposed, covered with ground-in dirt and severe bruising; gastric ulcers extensive”

Burst of Fire: “glenoid rim fractured…two pieces of bone pulled away; gastric ulcers extensive”

Kernel Slanders: “sesamoid fractured into three fragments…ligaments shredded; score lines and bruising in front fetlocks are suggestive of repetitive osseous stress syndrome, a common finding in fetlocks of racing Thoroughbreds”

Age of Fluffy: “spine fractured; gastric ulcers are common in horses on NSAIDs, and in training…these were extensive and may have caused the horse to be painful from them during the paddock period…this may have led to the horse rearing and flipping over backwards”

South Philly Magic: “horse had a broken neck and was dead when the veterinarian arrived”

Tyeste: “fractured skull, hemorrhaging from both nostrils and ears”

Star Cover: “upon exam it was both visually and palpably obvious that there was a complete breakdown injury to the suspensory apparatus; both sesamoids were fractured and the ankle was on the ground when attempting to bear weight”

Sierra Ancha: “compound comminuted fracture left forelimb…severe soft tissue damage with exposure of several fragments of bone”

Quiet Title: “sudden cardiac arrest; horse fell and broke neck – someone saw blood from the ears”

Must See: “tore whole chest out upon hitting the rail”

Corona Favorita: “fractured left femur, bled out, died”

Apostles Creed: “started race, broke stride, pulled up – laid down and died”

Medalquest: “complete rupture of collateral ligaments – ambulanced to designated area and humanely euthanized”

Indanameofdafather: “while racing between the 1/2 mile pole and the 3/8 pole, this horse dropped dead on the track”

Notta: “lacerated tendons with extensive degloving wound with cannon bone exposed”

Brim: “following the race while walking back to the barn, horse collapsed and, [after] 3 agonal breaths, died on track”

Ruth’s Lotus: “horse fractured both knees at 3/8 pole”

El Bandito: “while racing the horse had open comminuted fractures…the horse flipped in the ambulance, went over the partition and had to be euthanized inside the ambulance”

Shakeyogroovething: “severe injury to LH limb; tearing of the digital veins and arteries bilaterally with severe hemorrhage”

name withheld: “horse died suddenly during morning gallop – marked amounts of white, foamy fluid extend the length of the trachea and up to the pharynx and nasal passages…the lungs fail to collapse, are heavy and discolored purple-red with scattered pleural petechial hemorrhage”

name withheld: “slowed down, dropped to track, instant death – gums white; suspect heart attack or ruptured aorta”

name withheld: “fell after the wire – open fracture of the lateral condyle of the third metacarpal bone…soft tissue damage includes severe tearing of the suspensory ligament throughout the length and rupture of the medial extensor branch of the suspensory”

name withheld: “horse collapsed – severe pulmonary hemorrhage; large amount of bloody froth in the trachea, nasal cavity and within the nares…marked pulmonary hemorrhage, with the right side being more severely affected than the left…large amount of blood exudes from the lungs upon sectioning”

name withheld: “the connective tissues of the distal limb are expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage…there is tearing of both the lateral and medial digital veins…fragments from the medial fracture missing…soft tissue damage is severe”

name withheld: “open fractures of the lateral condyle of the third metacarpal bone and the lateral sesamoid…extensor tendons are torn and there is bone embedded within the suspensory ligament…lateral condylar fracture is comminuted, with multiple missing fragments and spans the length of the diaphysis”

name withheld: “carpus is swollen and unstable, with the joint containing abundant bloody fluid with bony particles admixed…comminuted slab fractures of the radial, intermediate, ulnar, third and fourth carpal bones, with the slab fractures being entirely separated from the underlying bone…severe ligamentous damage, with rupture of a number of the intercarpal ligaments and the collateral ligaments”

name withheld: “multiple fractures to multiple bones; the lungs are mildly edematous and congested, suggesting increased respiratory effort terminally as the result of pain and excitation”

Anthony’s Flyer: “traumatic stifle laceration with joint penetration and patellar fracture”

Call Me an Illusion: “ran into rail; rail into pleural [lung] space”

Trisha’s Trove: “epistaxis” (bled from the nose)

Smokinisashame: “fractured hock – complete, separated”

All Lucky Lynn: “collided with another race animal and rail, severely lacerating/degloving proximal right forearm”

Royal Hard Spun: “dropped dead on main track – possible fracture of cervical spine”

He Can Run: “pelvic fracture that lacerated an artery and precipitated hypovolemic shock followed by death”

Sc Dustychampion: “fractured ankle…went airborne and landed on the entire left side – including head”

Dominant Diversion: “died on track – hemorrhage via nostrils”

Tera Inferno: “horse flipped and hit head after race due to heat stroke”

Eastern Gold: “fell down and died on [track] after race”

Giga Man: “catastrophic collision, likely neck fracture”

Finns Huckleberry: “apparent trauma/fracture of back; loss of use of hind limbs”

Yo Adrienne: “horse lethargic after training…fell and died”

Dream Player: “flipped over inside rail of training track sustaining blunt trauma”

Kibble: “pulled up lame, suspected pelvic fracture, went into shock – euthanized”

Jesse’s Story: “horse fell, sustained severe skull fracture and died”

Iwannabejustlikeu: “fractured leg, surgery; morning of August 20 found in duress, x-ray revealed leg fracture [same leg] – euthanized”

Dontevnthnkaboutit: “ran loose, impaled shoulder on rail, extensive tissue & muscle damage – euthanized”

You Gotta Believe: “unseated rider…ran loose…impaled R stifle on rail”

Blue Sixty Four: “crashed into rail and fell while training; sedated and stood up; ambulanced to barn, treated for head trauma; seized in afternoon – euthanized”

Caixa Eletronica: “suffered a fx skull and died when Six Drivers unseated rider and collided with Caixa Eletronica”

Six Drivers: “unseated rider and collided with Caixa Eletronica – Six Drivers suffered a fractured neck and died”

Boston Chief: “collapsed after workout and died from skull fractures”

Makari: “fell unseating rider after going over hurdle, died on track”

Knockher Off: “stumbled and fell after finish; horse died on the track – apparent neck trauma”

Mizz Quoted: “horse involved in head-on collision during morning training hours”

Sum Special Hum: “heat distress, picked up off racetrack and died at barn”

Zulu Echo: “multiple fractures [of pastern]…unable to bear weight; the left hock was also lacerated and the joint was exposed, most likely caused by right rear leg when horse was scrambling to recover”

Comisky’s Sister: “found deceased in stall” (after finishing second)

Roses for Romney: “clipped heels…fell; horse died of apparent neck trauma”

Saints Be Praised: “suffered fractures to both front legs”

Perfect Spot: “fractured cannon; ankle exposing bone”

Rocky Mountain Guy: “fractured cannon bone – compound, through the skin”

Mystery Taste: “complete comminuted cannon fracture…bone exposed”

Flyingpalm: “snapped leg”

TNT Party: “fractured front legs” (plural)

Tribal Journey: “pulmonary artery rupture”

You Know Juneau: “profuse hemorrhage from both nostrils”

Cali Sue Boo: “broke both knees”

Retrade: “broke both front legs”

Joe Boo Kelly: “horse became unstable during the post parade and then fell and died – no obvious cause of death; the ulceration of the stomach was severe – 90-100 erosions and ulcers”

Fors Fortis: “sesamoid bones badly comminuted…suspensory ligament completely transected and avulsed from the bones”

Rockin’ Rockstar: “comminuted, spiral fracture of humerus, with ends distracted…greater tubercle separated from parent bone; rib fractured”

Bobby McDuffie: “complete rupture of the distal sesamoidean ligaments with hemorrhage; the spleen is enlarged and filled with blood”

Digital Z Tam: “became weak and fell to the ground; horse was having trouble breathing and died naturally within two minutes”

Stef and Me: “tendon attachment ruptured causing [it] to deviate laterally”

Highly Classified: “bled out internally”

Might Be a Eagle: “broke back and neck”

This Kat of Mine: “collapsed and died on track”

Zuma Moon: “skull fracture”

Famous Attitude: “horse collapsed and died on track post-wire; horse reportedly had frothy hemorrhagic bilateral nasal discharge – no necropsy performed”

Parks Wave Dancer: “horse collapsed – spinal cord fracture”

Sendero Six: “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”

Tres Seis Zoe: “bilateral paresis of hind legs…from spinal cord dislocation”

Fancy Zoomin: “heat stroke resulted in death”

The Lefty: “horse appears to have suffered major back injury/fracture after leaving starting gate…continued down the stretch until it stopped near finish line…showed bilateral hind leg paresis prior to stopping – euthanized” (yes, this horse tried to continue running after breaking his back)

Rango B: “catastrophic spinal cord injury with paralysis”

Yagouti: “CNS trauma (spine) – unable to rise”

Fiery Fast Dash: “collided with another horse and rail after crossing the finish line, severely lacerating/degloving right forearm”

Wave Diamond: “flipped in gate with rig…acute death in gate, suspect cervical fracture”

The Knight Arrival: “sustained severe head trauma (bled from ears and nose) from thrashing in the starting gate; collapsed on track where the horse was euthanized”

Oh Carter Go: “right forelimb sustained biaxial sesamoid fractures with rupture of supporting soft tissue structures and open disarticulation of the fetlock; left forelimb had uniaxial sesamoid fractures with rupture of the supporting soft tissues and open disarticulation of the fetlock”

Jazz Track: “fell in race, possible neck fracture”

Wizards Clip: “broken back in spill”

Conference: “collapsed and died [at] finish line – vascular accident”

Concrete Cat: “fractured ribs, punctured lung”

Guybrush: “flipped over on training track, died moments later – suspect a broken neck”

Catching Fire: “collapse – lung bleeding”

Tizfun: “collapsed – bled into lungs”

La Moneda: “exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”

Red Phone: “complete disarticulation of fetlock – all supporting structures destroyed”

Blondie La Jolla: “compound fracture both cannons”

Genuine Windi Dash: “bled – died”

Pb El Chiltepin: “compound fracture of both fetlocks”

Thunderclap Newman: “trauma in the gate – died”

D E Trubador: “sesamoids shattered”

Lw Wired Val: “collapsed after race”

Happydazarehereagain: “head trauma due to fall when choking down”

Hard to Want: “collapsed [after] workout on the main track…dead upon [vet’s] arrival”

Glitzy: “right hind fracture of its metatarsal, left front cannon bone behind with complete destruction of its long pastern bone”

Five Point Star: “complete open fracture distal limb”

Book the Bet: “open wounds [two] fetlocks, stifle wounds”

Benny’s Diamond: “multiple comminuted carpal bone fractures”

Leucosia: “cardiac collapse”

Seminole Charlie: “sudden collapse and died”

Donna’s Dream: “flipped over and broke her shoulder – euthanized”; “her remains are now in the manure facility”

Hawks Linda Lou: “the horse flipped and fell while being saddled for racing, hitting its head on the ground; the horse was immediately rendered unconscious and shortly thereafter expired”

Wastin’ Away: “fractured head”

Zesty Perry: “backed out of gate during training – flipped and hit head – seizures, severe”

Jmf La Panchista: “broken back during race”

Mezuman: “possible heart attack/ruptured aorta…died on track”

Carlientita: “after work[out], the horse collapsed dead on the track”

Sistriot: “the horse flipped in the paddock; she had difficulty standing and fell again…taken by ambulance to a barn – found dead in the am”

You’re My Favorite: “broke down at 5/16 pole – shattered cannon bone – was euthanized at that spot”

Thirsty Girl: “trained normally, returned to barn – horse became wobbly…placed in a stall when it collapsed and died”

Vasilisa the Wise: “collapsed on track – dead”

Super Nova: “following the race, the horse got wobbly in the tunnel…treated with Delt Cortef and cold water – the horse collapsed dead”

Fitz’s Storm: “horse collapsed dead on the track…administered succinylcholine to end suffering”

Rory Monarchos: “open, comminuted condylar fracture…vet and trainer had to wait for owner to call back, so horse was euthanized [next day]”

Duneside Matt: “horse started pulling up around 1/2 mile then collapsed and died”

Mr. Kasdan: “suspensory apparatus failure both front legs”

name withheld: “flipped into a bench, hit head”

name withheld: “loose horse collision at full speed”

name withheld: “collapsed and died after race”

name withheld: “seizure, cranial trauma”

name withheld: “exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”

name withheld: “fractured neck”

US Scout: “catastrophic hemorrhagic event”

name withheld: “massively comminuted carpal bone fractures…majority of the intercarpal ligaments are torn”

A Risky Peace: “left forelimb: complete, comminuted fracture of the first phalanx; right forelimb: partial, non-displaced fracture of the first phalanx” (that’s two broken legs)

Langtanz: “basilar fracture of the medial sesamoid, with a second fracture dividing the basilar portion into two pieces…damage to the sesamoidian ligaments is severe, with rupture of the straight, oblique and cruciate sesamoidian ligaments”

name withheld: “approximately three centimeter full-thickness laceration over the medial sesamoid…distal limb is expanded by a large amount of edema and hemorrhage and there is massive soft tissue damage, including complete rupture of the superficial and deep digital flexors and the suspensory ligament…biaxial sesamoid fractures…moderate degenerative joint disease of the carpus in both forelimbs”

name withheld: “right hind medial condylar fracture; right front lateral condylar fracture” (that’s two broken legs)

name withheld: “horse reared up leaving stall and flipped over hitting head – complete fracture of the occipital bone, with complete separation of the occipital condyles from the rest of the skull…massive amount of blood in the calvarium, the oropharynx, nasopharynx, nasal passages”

My Bright Idea: “flipped in paddock – severe concussion and bled-out; large amount of dried blood on the external nares and on the front limbs…nasal passages contain a large amount of blood and there is marked hemorrhage within the connective tissues of the head…skull is fractured in multiple places, with the largest fracture separating the occipital condyles from the calvarium…myriad fractures of the basilar part of the occipital bone and the sphenoid bone…bone fragments are embedded in the meninges and the calvarium contains clotted blood…severe ulceration of the squamous mucosa of the stomach”

name withheld: “complete fracture of the lateral condyle of the third metacarpal bone…medial sesamoid is fractured, with an apical fracture and a second fragment in the midbody…soft tissue damage is severe”

Ten City: “complete, lateral condylar fracture…soft tissue damage is severe, including rupture of the intersesamoidian ligament”

I Am Iron Max: “lateral condylar fracture…extensive soft tissue damage, including complete rupture of the medial extensor branch of the suspensory ligament and tearing of the suspensory ligament itself”

TG Julio: “all 4, hit rail, lacerated”

Museum Tour: “trauma, sudden death”

Candy Man Can: “fractured neck”

Heather Belle: “large vessel rupture”

Siberian Rush: “collapsed and died exiting the track following the race”

Eb Traffic Rock: “impact to the track caused the horse to severely injure both front shoulders”

Here’s the Moon: “shattered carpus”

De Millie: “euthanasia due to a fractured spine which occurred two months ago [at Laurel]”

Steel N Pack: “cardiovascular collapse”

Elusive Cowgirl: “catastrophic racing injury – open, comminuted fracture both sesamoids, with ruptured suspensory and complete disarticulation of left front fetlock”

Hearts n’ Diamonds: “ligaments ruptured, dislocation of fetlock joint”

Patty Del Rey: “suspected lumbosacral [spine] fracture”

Zoomin Effortlessly: “cardiovascular collapse”

Riot Act: “horse in severe pain [broken shoulder] in trailer – drew blood prior to animal being euthanized”

Bar Bandit: “flipped – head trauma”

Blue Over You: “sudden death – possible heart attack”

Wood Be a Bullet: “compound, open, displaced sesamoids; compound, open, displaced carpal; closed spine; DOA of track vet”

Pfinding Jessie: “possible stroke”

Rey Del Mar: “owner believes horse fell from heart attack”

Roll Smash Roll: “fell dead after race”

Bonita Bully: “went down…dead when D.S. arrived”

Hiclass Local: “collapsed and died”

Wise Option: “skull injury – not euthanized, died in paddock”

Hot Dom: “died after post-lasix injection”

Lucy’s Tacos: “stroke”

Gabis Fortune (probably sic): “run off track and hit pole – broken hock”

James Bordeaux: “exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”

Phyilming: “right front knee shattered”

Zenon’s Star: “cut LH to coffin bone”

Smiling Seen (probably sic): “got loose, slid on pavement, hit rail and died”

Mo Valiant: “end of race – died in van”

Grace Victoria: “hit rail”

Gallant Version: “hit rail”

Flyin Fish: “horse collapsed [and died] after race”

Chappstick: “tumbled headfirst – died acutely, suspected CV rupture”

Jaretts Royal Dream: “sudden death prior to race”

Happy Humor: “dropped dead after race”

Felicias Prettylucky: “flipped in paddock, cracked skull and died”

Chicks Luv Roses: “shattered both [illegible] – put down on track”

Reality Cat: “flipped in saddling paddock, hit head, massive hemorrhage”

Intoxication: “busted front left leg”

Dynastys First Call: “horse died post-race – collapsed – died quickly”

Perry Point: “severe EIPH [exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage]”

A First Class: “death – immediately post race – on track!”

Eyesa Llano: “suspected severe EIPH”

Design by Who: “apparent heart attack – dropped dead during gallop”

Mac’s Posse: “fell…several attempts to stand unsuccessful; severe traumatic back/pelvic injury – euthanized on track”

Flatterfly: “fell, stood up and ran loose; fx RF leg – euthanized on track”

All Class: “flipped and fractured its back”

Mere Aglise: “horse collapsed and died on track”

Classy Chris: “ran through rail, sustained fx LR leg”

Lakalas: “collapsed and died”

Sporty Big Boy: “collision with another horse; fx RR leg”

Non Stop: “rider attempted to pull up but jumped off, horse ran loose, caught, vanned to barn; fx RF sesamoid with ligament rupture”

Ed’s Dream: “died on track after race – possible heart problem”

Fashion Delight: “shattered pastern – euthanized on track”

Brooklyn Major: “collapsed after wire…and died – suspected CV event”

Fall Colors: “horse fell at second fence and died on track from trauma sustained in fall”

Cougar Hanover: “collapsed and died after race – suspected aortic rupture”

Love You Bad: “collapsed and died in stall after racing”

Hot Cajun Sauce: “ran off track over embankment, sustained spinal injury”

Wanna Rock N Roll: “horse collapsed and died in barn after lasix administration”

Alpha Dance: “pulled up…exited track – collapsed and died”

Momma’s Moonshine: “condylar fxs both front legs”

Wild Target: “collapsed and died after breezing – suspected cardiovascular event”

Report For Duty N: “fell to the ground, chest compressions and meds administered unsuccessfully – suspected ruptured aorta”

Copper Forest: “collapsed and died while galloping out after breezing – suspected cardiovascular event”

Ideal Brandi: “collapsed and died on track, possibly bled internally or heart condition”

Hypnotist: “died on track after race – suspect cardiac event”

Tug River Dylan: “collapsed and died on track after race – possible cardiac event”

Soho Highroller A: “collapsed and died after race – possible cardiac event”

Feels Like Magic N: “shattered pastern”

Indian Nobility: “ruptured ligaments”

Prince Corredor: “collapsed and died after breezing – cardiovascular event”

Git On Bob: “collapsed and died”

Desert Trial: “collapsed and died – suspect cardiovascular”

Its Only Fair: “collapsed and died after breezing – suspect cardiovascular event”

Flaming Fever: “hard collision out of gate, fractured sesamoid”

Sinistra: “pulled up after breezing – collapsed and died”

Senso: “unseated rider and ran loose, ran into rail – possible pelvic fx”

Fashion Shark: “collapsed and died on track (artery rupture)”

Lunar Tales: “collapsed and died after breezing”

Jay Bird: “collapsed and died on the training track – sudden death, pulmonary hemorrhage”

Sunshine Bliss: “suffered injury to LR limb…non-weight bearing; overnight in obvious distress”

Fancy Pancy: “collapsed and died on track after workout”

Icprideicpower: “collapsed and died during morning workout, suffering a catastrophic cardiac event”

Soul House: “collapsed after being unsaddled, vet administered medication; horse died – cardiovascular collapse”

Marked Bills: “collapsed and died while breezing – investigation continues”

Flynn Bug: “collapsed and died after breezing – cardiovascular collapse”

In Haste: “collapsed and died after jogging on training track – cardiovascular collapse”

D Terminata: “horse fell and died on the track”

Blooper: “collapsed and died – investigation continues”

Hickory Louie: “sluggish and unsteady at the half, finished 2nd but died on backside of track after finish”

Itsagoodtendollars: “died from apparent cardiovascular collapse while breezing on training track”

Liberty Cruise: “found down in stall…after [pre-race] Lasix administration”

See the Music: “collapsed at the 3/16 pole and died – to be continued”

Lemon Sundae: “behind in race, eased up, finished race…collapsed and died enroute to test barn”

Dalglish: “crossed finish last; collapsed and died at paddock gate”

Michonne: “broke through gate and ran into rail fracturing leg”

Missy Zelliott: “collapsed and died while training”

Double Gold: “spooked unseating rider, ran loose and fell over rail suffering paralysis both hind legs due to trauma to lumbar spine”

Lavender Road: “collapsed on horse path leaving track; treated for heat exhaustion with no resolution; sent to vet hospital where xrays revealed a fx to the 7th vertebrae – euthanized next day”

Sir William Bruce: “pulled up without incident, collapsed after unsaddling and died”

Regretless: “pulled up, collapsed and died on track”

M B and Tee: “won race, collapsed after finish – died on track”

Major Battle: “fell and died while breezing – case continues”

Ego Friendly: “galloping on training track, collapsed and died”

Saint Kris (probably sic): “collapsed and died while breezing – pulmonary hemorrhage”

Zo Sophisticated: “collapsed and died while galloping”

Quick Money: “fell after clipping heels, horse died on track due to neck trauma”

Half Nelson: “fell over fallen horse [above], fx L shoulder”

Sage Valley: “fell after finish, horse died on track”

Rita’s Resort: “fractured proximal sesamoid bones, ruptured fetlock joint and flexor tendons”

Mary’s Vow: “slab fracture, multiple pieces”

Sky Kerridge: “collapsed and died”

Chick Meter: “collapse – sudden death” (after winning)

Snap To It A: “horse collapsed after the race of a heart attack”

Jailhouse Jessica: “collapsed in paddock post-race – died naturally”

Northern Rail: “heat stroke – [broke] shoulder”

Trueville: “heart failure during practice – died instantly”

Unclear: “collapsed while training on main track and died”

Olivia My Girl: “died on track”

Campeona: “horse expired in stall shortly after leaving test barn”

Exceptionalism: “acute, complete, severely comminuted sesamoid fractures with partial ligamentous tears, joint capsule disruption, and regional hemorrhage”

Have Faith Sister: “acute, complete, mildly comminuted sesamoid fracture with complete intersesamoidean ligament tear, partial suspensory ligament tear, and regional hemorrhage”

Truly Amazing: “cause of death was Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage”

Maxwell’s Hammer: “severe tendon rupture”

Notaria: “sesamoid bones fractured into multiple, displaced fragments…suspensory ligament severely frayed, with near complete fiber disruption”

Little Louella: “fractures of the third and radial carpal bones, mild to severe osteoarthritis; stomach: severe, chronic, focally extensive ulcers; spleen: severe congestion”

Surfer Chub: “shattered knee – multiple, acute carpal fractures”

Bracket Buster: “heart attack – dropped after finishing race”

Quietly Prim: “collapsed and died on track following 1/2 mile work”

Landry Jack: “horse collapsed – sudden death”

Hooked On the Lady: “horse collapsed and died just past the finish line”

Widow’s Jewel: “exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”

Cowabunga: “traumatic head injury”

Vision of Romance: “possible aneurysm”

Huff’n Hughes: “collapsed and died on track”

Trekas: “trauma to femur leaving gate”

Perry Dash Back: “horse collapsed on track post-workout – unknown cause”

Carters Regal Eye: “horse collapsed and died”

Final Time: “sesamoid fractures [both front legs] with open luxation of fetlock”

Carving Hearts: “horse colicked and died during training”

Jump for Pie: “sudden death”

Fudge Bar: “condylar fracture – euthanized due to economic reasons”

Ziddle: “died suddenly on track…vanned for removal…no necropsy performed”

Twelfth Fan: “skull fracture”

Pretty Darn Good: “neurological”

Madam Machen: “contact with manure dumpster”

Do the Nae Nae: “collapsed and died”

Bullet Bobby: “died after involved in spill – internal injuries”

Turkey Creek: “collapsed and died”

Nofinancingneeded: “collapsed and died”

He’s a Delight: “flipped in paddock, cranial fracture – dead on arrival”

Da Big Dawg: “sudden death” (10 years old, 82nd race)

Purses Galore: “sudden death after race”

Mrs Loud Mouth: “MCIII open fracture – shattered”

Nite Thunder: “sudden death during race”

My Mans Out West: “sudden death”

No Problem Paddy: “fell, died on track – neck fracture?”

Full Moon’s Mass: “carps shattered”

I Got a Headache: “sudden death prior to race”

Helton: “pastern shattered”

Acceptance Letter: “broken neck”

Mr. Reattatude: “flipped in paddock, fractured skull – DOA”

Fiddlers Elbow: “sudden death during race”

Country Warning: “sudden death”

Big Dividend: “sudden death”

Blue Book: “sudden death”

Song for Krismike: “sudden death”

The Caller: “head trauma – died”

Chigoe: “sudden death after race”

Hrh Burning Corona: “collapsed and died – aneurysm”

DD Twist N Shout: “horse fell, cannon fracture – outcome fatal”

Taras Ruler: “collapsed, cannon to knee fracture – outcome fatal”

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.”

We posted the following petition yesterday on change.org. We see this as another effective tool, a fine addition to an already formidable arsenal (protests, tabling, speaking engagements, media interviews, editorials, and, of course, this very website). And the beauty here is in its simplicity – sign and share. That’s it. Sign and share…

For far too long, horseracing has been given cover under the banner of sport, indeed “The Sport of Kings.” In truth, however, it is no such thing. If you dig deeper, if you look beyond the mint juleps and bugle calls, you’ll see that horseracing, at its most basic level, is but a simple vehicle for gambling. $2 bets. The “pampered athlete,” too, is a grotesque lie, for life for the typical racehorse is ugly and mean:

Commodification: Racehorses are literal chattel, pieces of property to be bought, sold, traded, and dumped whenever and however their owners decide.

Subjugation: The horse people thoroughly control every moment of their assets’ lives – control effected through, among other things, lip tattoos, nose chains, metal mouth-bits, and leather whips. Force and power; domination of a weaker species.

Drugging and Doping: Racehorses are injected, legally and otherwise, with myriad substances to enhance performance, mask injury, and numb pain. The horseman’s credo: Keep ’em earning, by any means necessary.

Confinement and Isolation: In perhaps the worst of it all, racehorses are locked in tiny stalls for over 23 hours a day, making a mockery of the industry claim that horses are born to run, love to run. As if not enough, these naturally social, herd-oriented animals are, as babes, forever torn from their families and, except for brief moments on the track itself or while in transport, kept utterly isolated. In a word, heartrending.

Death: Since 2009, when the Gaming Commission began to make these things public, over 1,300 racehorses have died at New York tracks – an average of 138 every year. But that’s just onsite. How many more of the “catastrophically injured” were euthanized back at the owner’s farm? How many more, still, killed at private training facilities? Nationally, Horseracing Wrongs, primarily through our unprecedented FOIA reporting, has documented over 5,000 confirmed deaths; we estimate that over 2,000 horses are killed racing or training on U.S. tracks annually. Pulmonary hemorrhage, head trauma, “sudden cardiac event.” Shattered limbs, ruptured ligaments, broken necks, crushed spines. What’s more, countless other still-active racehorses succumb to colic, laminitis, “barn accidents,” or are simply “found dead” in their stalls.

Slaughter: While the industry desperately tries to downplay the extent of the problem, cunningly flashing its hollow zero-tolerance policies and drop-in-the-bucket aftercare initiatives, the truth is, the vast majority of spent racehorses are brutally and violently slaughtered – over 15,000 Thoroughbreds alone each year. In short, it is no exaggeration to say that the American horseracing industry is engaged in wholesale carnage. Again, not hyperbole – carnage.

Horseracing is in decline, and has been for some time: Since 2000, U.S. Racing has suffered a net loss of 34 tracks; all other metrics – racedays, races, fields, “foal crop,” and, yes, attendance and handle – are also down. Moreover, a majority of tracks – including 9 of NY’s 11 – are being wholly propped up by subsidies – corporate welfare. Clearly, lotteries and independent casinos are winning the market, but politicians, swayed by industry talk of lost jobs and economic havoc should it be allowed to fail, keep sending lifeboats. It is unfair and horses continue to suffer (and die) for it.

Sensibilities toward animal exploitation are rapidly changing, most especially regarding entertainment. Ringling Bros. is no more; Greyhound Racing will soon be; SeaWorld, owing mostly to the film “Blackfish,” has ended its captive-breeding program for orcas; and, as you know, it will soon be illegal to use elephants for any form of entertainment in NYS. Why can’t, why shouldn’t, racehorses be next?

Governor Cuomo, be bold, set an example for the rest of the nation by moving our collective morality forward. End the cruelty. End the suffering. End the killing.

End horseracing.

From a reader:

Two decades ago, I went to work at Saratoga Race Course. I had no experience with racehorses, but a summer job “walking hots” was easy to find – I held horses for their baths after exercise, and walked them in a circle until they were cool.

Back then, there were few, if any, organized protests against horseracing. At larger races I would sometimes see a protestor or two, but even though their presence made me uncomfortable, they didn’t stop me from going. “The thing they don’t get,” a coworker told me, “is that these horses wouldn’t even be alive if it weren’t for racing.”

I don’t remember if I thought of those words the first time I saw a horse fall, but I do remember the horse. He went down in front of the grandstand. Some fans gasped, while others cheered the dramatic turn of events and their resulting good fortune. I felt ill as the veterinary ambulance pulled its curtain. I said nothing to my friends. The sun was shining, the drinks were flowing. We were having a good time.

Over the years I witnessed dozens of accidents at Saratoga and other tracks, but the last involved a mare who spent 23 hours a day confined to a stall at a training facility near Finger Lakes Racetrack. During her 20 minutes of daily exercise in the EuroXciser – a rotating carousel of stalls – her hind leg lodged between panels. The stalls kept moving, and panicked horses cantered over her. The mare’s leg sustained massive damage, and she was euthanized later that day.

It’s taken years to admit my responsibility in the mare’s death. I had led her from stationary stall to mobile one, yanking her over-the-nose chain to make her behave. I didn’t like her much; she was angry, bored, and difficult to groom. In retrospect, her defiance reflected what I was slow to admit: that I was complicit in her suffering.

Afterwards, I had nightmares not only about the horses whose deaths I had seen, but about those who weren’t good enough, who didn’t win, who stopped winning. Some were sold to breeding facilities, while others were “repurposed” as riding or show horses. Others were too broken to be of use, and I knew they had gone to slaughter.

I understand now that my coworker was right to say that racehorses wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for racing, though not in the way she thought she was. I no longer agree that any life is better than none, or that the horses I saw fall were lucky to have lived. About 2000 Thoroughbreds die annually on U.S. tracks; an estimated 15,000 are shipped to slaughterhouses when they’re no longer useful. Some argue that the solution is to strengthen rehoming efforts, but because the lifetime care of a horse is prohibitively expensive and requires appropriate facilities and experience, there are never enough homes to absorb the industry’s excess.

Hundreds of protestors are expected at this year’s Travers Stakes in Saratoga. No matter their numbers, it’s unlikely that devoted fans of the track will be dissuaded, though I hope that casual attendees who have yet to understand the darker side of horseracing will reconsider their patronage. Saratoga and other tracks will perpetuate exploitation as long as people attend. The longevity of horseracing depends upon the consumer. Years ago, I went to the Travers as a fan and NYRA employee; this year I’ll be joining Horseracing Wrongs in protest.

Ashley Pankratz, August 2018