Over 300 racehorses died last year in California alone. Thirteen horses died at Del Mar in 2009 and as of the date of our protest, August 28, 2010, eight horses have died this year with two weeks left in the season.
Despite the fact that Del Mar has a new "safer" synthetic track, horses continue to be injured. It is estimated that 15,000 thoroughbreds were sold at auction last year to be slaughtered in Canada or Mexico and processed for human consumption. These animals have served the entertainment industry AKA the racing industry for their lifetimes and are then slaughtered in the most inhumane ways imaginable.
THE SAD TRUTH
Racehorses are given numerous drugs to mask pain and improve perfromances. Steroids are currently banned, but the non-steroidal pain medications and muscle relaxers are still legal in certain doses.
A surgical procedure known as "heel nerving" or Posterior Digital Neurectomy involves severing the nerves along the back of the lower leg. This allows the horse to continue running through pain. This also reduces sensitivity, making racing more dangerous for horses and jockeys.
Racehorses often suffer from a condition known in the racing comunity as EIPH-Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage, or bleeding into the air passages and lungs. Each horse must receive a therapeutic dose of a diuretic called Lasix (furosemide) prior to a race in order to decrease the risk of EIPH. The goal is to allow the horse to run faster. It also causes rapid fluid loss.
WHAT CAN WE DO ?
Contact The California Horse Racing Board, The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, The Jockey Club, The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Tell them that as a compassionate public, we are tired of the unnecessary suffering of these beautiful sensitive animals and want this to stop! This is suffering for entertainment, not sport! Boycott the races and tell them why. Visit http://www.afterthefinishline.org/, a non-profit that assists in the placement of retired racehorses. Tell our local media you want more information about horse deaths and injuries in our news coverage. Most don't report them at all.
--Thanks to Darlene for your important research
Del Mar's To-Date Death Toll
#1. Conato, broken left hind ankle July 28#2. Beach Bottom Bay, broken front leg July 31
#3 Tuscan Evening, heart attack Aug. 8
#4 Love at the Bay, broken left front leg Aug. 13
#5 Fantasy Free, broken right front leg Aug. 14
#6 Rockstar Ben
#7 Roos On The Loose