Race horsing can be an exciting event to watch. But sadly it does come at a high cost to many horses. 32 horses have died since December at just one track, the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. One of the most recent deaths involved a 3-year-old colt named Emtech. The colt broke both of his front legs.
“As is protocol at Santa Anita, we will open an immediate inquiry into what factors could have contributed to Emtech’s injury,” Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinarian for The Stronach Group said. “Santa Anita will work closely with the California Horse Racing Board and will continue to brief our stakeholders and all of our constituents, including the public, as more facts come in.”
Emtech is undergoing a necropsy at the University of California – Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine. The necropsy is mandatory for all track accidents. The owners, the Stronach Group released a statement. “If anything less is found which could have contributed to this incident, it will be addressed immediately,” he said
Enough Is Enough
California Governor Gavin Newsom wants an answer to so many causes of death. “Enough is enough. I am calling on the California Horse Racing Board to ensure that no horse races until they are examined by independent veterinarians and found fit to compete,” Governor Newsom said.
Investigators have looked at the track. Also, independent veterinarians have examined the horses. “Heavy rains — approximately 11 1/2 inches total — in the past two months could have seeped into the base, lessening the consistency of the track and creating a hazard for the horses,” reported SGVTribune.
CHRB Medical Director Rick Arthur said, “These are thousand-pound animals going close to 40 miles per hour, so if you don’t have a consistent surface, it can be hazardous,” CHRB Medical Director Rick Arthur said.
Governor Newson called the recent deaths at Santa Anita Park, a “disgrace”. “I’ll tell you, talk about a sport whose time is up unless they reform. That’s horse racing. Incredible abuses to these precious animals and the willingness to just to spit these animals out and literally take their lives is a disgrace,” He said.