Cha Cha Charlie in the 7th at Louisiana last night, as relayed by Equibase: “CHA CHA CHARLIE forced the early pace from between foes, fell entering the second turn and was euthanized.” He was four; this was his 20th time under the whip.
At Finger Lakes yesterday morning, 6-year-old Schomberg broke down while training – euthanized, says the NYS Gaming Commission.
Last week in U.S. Horseracing (Thoroughbred and QuarterHorse only)
Amada Rafaela, Santa Anita (“collapsed after being unsaddled”)
“Vanned Off” – many, if not most, will resurface on my year-end FOIA kill-reports
War Ready, Mountaineer
Simply Tizway, Parx (“went bad”)
The Gorilla Man, Belterra (“failed to make it back to the winner’s circle”)
Cheerz to Clare, Canterbury
Westwood, Belmont (“bad step”)
Custom Paint Job, Evangeline (“apparent distress”)
See Omega, Fair Meadows
Discreet Lover, Belmont
Just Whistle, Belmont
My Erin, Belterra (“went wrong”)
Going Noble, Delta
Oasis Wells, Emerald (“went wrong”)
Little Avenger, Lone Star (“in distress”)
Brahms Music, Golden Gate
Left Out, Ruidoso
“Bled,” “Returned Bleeding From Nostrils” – usually indicates pulmonary hemorrhage
Jes Sayin, Delta (also vanned off)
The latest Stewards Minutes from Golden Gate confirm the death of Califo Cat, who, according to Equibase, was “pulled up lame and vanned off” (or, in the words of the stewards, “was given a ride home in the horse ambulance”) in the 6th June 1. “Damaged” sesamoid. The 8-year-old was “For Sale” at $7,000 the day he died. In addition, there were three other kills reported – one training on May 30, and a pair training on June 3. Those names, however, were withheld.
And – in the “Vet Report” for Santa Anita for the week May 28-June 3, two “fatalities” are listed: one was Waya Ed on June 2; one remains anonymous.
This is horseracing.
Horseracing-as-sport is an obscenity of the highest order. There are, of course, many reasons why, but perhaps the three most obvious are these: First, the athletes in question are utterly unaware of their status as such – worse, they are in fact pieces of chattel, animal slaves. Second, participation in said sport is compelled by whip-wielding human beings. Third, and most telling of all, death on the field of play.
That horseracing kills horses is settled fact. But what most of the public doesn’t know is the magnitude of that killing, nor in how it relates to other accepted sports. We estimate that roughly 1,000 racehorses are killed on “game day” (just racing, not including training) each year. In comparison, here are the game-related death totals for the four major U.S. professional sports leagues over their entire histories:
Major League Baseball, founded 1903, 116 seasons – one death (Ray Chapman)
National Hockey League, founded 1917-18, 101 seasons – one death (Bill Masterton)
National Football League, founded 1920, 98 seasons – one death (Chuck Hughes)
National Basketball Association, founded 1946-47, 72 seasons – zero deaths
In other words, horseracing kills about as many in one day as the other four have in their collective 387 years. A sport? America, you’ve been hoodwinked.