The horse racing industry has been plunged into a significant shaking after the twenty-sixth horse dies since the 26th of December at Santa Anita Park. The worrisome episodes have brought Santa Anita on the spotlight since Tuesday after a top animal’s rights group passed a word to the country to now embrace safety reforms which are presently being implemented in California.
It follows two days soon after Santa Anita lost its third horse to death nine days ago, which comes after almost six weeks of continuous racing and training without any fatality reported.
The Senior Vice President for Ethical Treatment of Animals, Kathy Guillermo, called for a national l suspension of racing until reforms similar to those valid to those in California are put in place. Guillermo highlighted New York as having fifteen horses dead this year either while racing or training.
She reported that there had been one hundred and forty-eight fatalities recorded in New York in the past two years that includes the three major New York Racing Assn, tracks and smaller Finger Lakes.
The number includes deaths that were not exercise-induced — nonetheless, it concluded that they were caused by something that took place on the track.
An argument can be made that New York has been conducting a sequence of safe racing. Till now, one fatality has occurred at Aqueduct and two at Belmont which is in complete contrast to fifteen racing-related deaths noted in Santa Anita.
The other remaining New York deaths occurred during training sessions, most notably in Belmont were nine horses died. It is a facility with intensive use for training throughout the year. During the past year, eighteen racing fatalities at the three major New York tracks out of fourteen thousand nine hundred as eighty-seven starts.
“NYRA has put in place extensive reforms and made key investments in the recent past years to update and modernize track surface evaluation, upgrade the facilities and offer their veterinary personnel with the independent mandate and all necessary resources needed to properly check and monitor thoroughbred health and welfare,” Pat McKenna the NYRA director of communications said . “These efforts have brought forth significant outcomes. This has also led to demonstrably safer racing activities and operations at Aqueduct Racetrack, Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park.”
PETA’s announcement is meant to correspond with the Belmont Stakes, the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown, which will be taking place one week from Saturday.
Guillermo continued to say that, New York and other states have not yet enacted the regulations the Stronach Group and California Horse Racing Board put in place and continue to fortify and that there is no viable excuse for inaction.“
Searching more in-depth into what could be causing the fatalities, California being wettest during winter, has made the dirt track too soft and that’s where most deaths of racing horses occurred more. Treating the surface is tricky, a sealant can be used to avoid surface wearing away, but the trainers complain of the surface being too hard once the rains subside.