A 27th Horse Has Died After An Injury At Santa Anita Racetrack

A colt sustained a fractured shoulder Wednesday and was euthanized. Its death follows dozens of others at the California racetrack since late December. 27th horse has been euthanized after...

A colt sustained a fractured shoulder Wednesday and was euthanized. Its death follows dozens of others at the California racetrack since late December.

27th horse has been euthanized after it was injured at Southern California’s Santa Anita racetrack, the latest in a string of mysterious fatal injuries since late December.

The 2-year-old unraced colt named River Derby suffered a fractured shoulder while galloping during training Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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The horse was taken to an equine hospital in Chino for possible surgery, but upon his arrival it was determined that surgery was not an option. He was euthanized and a necropsy will be performed, Mike Marten, spokesman for the California Horse Racing Board, told HuffPost in an email.

Horses are led to paddocks past the Seabiscuit statue during workouts at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on March 28
Horses are led to paddocks past the Seabiscuit statue during workouts at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on March 28.

“The Board regrets the loss of any horse. We are committed to working with the entire California horse racing industry in the protection of horses and riders,” Marten said.

Though the horse died outside of the track, Marten told the Times that the board will be counting the death among the others.

“In the interest of full transparency, we will be treating it as an on-track training death and do a full necropsy and count it in the statistics,” he told the paper.

Horses race at Santa Anita in late May as controversy continues over the high number of horse deaths at the track in Arcadia,
Horses race at Santa Anita in late May as controversy continues over the high number of horse deaths at the track in Arcadia, California.

The death comes 10 days after a 9-year-old gelding named Kochees had to be euthanized after suffering a leg injury during a race on May 25. Mike Willman, a spokesperson for the racetrack, told Los Angeles’ KABC-TV at the time that every attempt was made to save the horse but that he ultimately had to be euthanized.

Willman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

The bizarre string of injuries dates to Dec. 26, making the fatality rate at the park 2½ to 5 times greater than the rest of the horse racing world, The New York Times previously reported.

The park has responded by launching extensive investigations into what may be causing the injuries. Thus far, there have been no concrete answers.

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