Four racehorses died in eight days last month at Golden Gate Fields, bringing the number of dead horses on the track to 26 this year, according to the California Horse Racing Council.
Galloping Slew died on November 14 and Ima Rumbler on November 16 from injuries sustained during training, State Council spokesperson Mike Marten confirmed. Their deaths were caused by musculoskeletal injuries, a common cause of death in racehorses.
Mary’s Great Hope died of a training injury on November 21 and Inimitable was euthanized after falling on the track during a race on November 19, Marten said. The official causes of the two deaths have not yet been released.
David Duggan, general manager of Golden Gate Fields, said that all “the injuries are necessarily musculoskeletal, as judged by the California Horse Racing Board.
“Sometimes we have cases of post-surgical incidents due to the anesthesia or we have cardiac events,” he said. “It affects us all very deeply when a horse loses its life. “
The death of any horse in racing is unacceptable to Martha Sullivan of Kill Racing Not Horses, an advocacy group dedicated to repealing legalized gambling in horse racing in California.
“This is our political goal,” said Sullivan, who added that the group had volunteers on every track to monitor the horse races. “The reality is that what kills horses is racing. ”
A measure for legalize sports betting in California may appear on a ballot next November, which Sullivan hopes will distract players from betting on racehorses.
“We can make a lot of money betting on humans,” she said. “We don’t need to continue to abuse horses to provide betting opportunities for people.”
Every horse that suffers a fatal injury at Golden Gate Fields undergoes an autopsy at UC Davis to determine the cause of death, Duggan said. The track employs more than a dozen veterinarians, two of whom are certified surgeons, and they now use a Equine PET who can detect a horse’s skeletal problems ahead of time, he said.
“We are doing everything in our power to save the horse. But sometimes that is no longer an option. … These cases are regrettable and it makes us all very sad when this happens. But they do happen from time to time.
A fifth pony died of colic at the racetrack on November 6. Last year there were 27 fatalities at the racetrack, which is owned by the Stronach Group.
In 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills it would “enhance safety and transparency in horse racing” after an unprecedented increase in the number of fatalities on the tracks in southern California.