Investigators decode the reason for sudden death of several horses at Santa Anita


On 29th March morning, the Santa Anita Park was about to reopen for the racing event. This was the 1st time in a term of 3 weeks after the overwhelming death of close to 2 dozen horses. A line of national reporters, satellite trucks, as well as activists for animal rights,  came together for something that had been highlighted as a disheartening death watch.

However, the regulators at California had been watching the live feed of the trainer’s assistant taking the bucket into a stall belonging to the horse dubbed Tick Tock. Just moments after this assistant left the stall; white colored foam was seen over the lips of the horse. This was a classic sign of something called the performance-enhancing drug. Later, the investigators found some syringes inside the bucket. This was in concoction with another fatigue-fighting drug known to be popular in the racing parlance by the name milkshake. This was confirmed by the hearing transcripts acquired from Horse Racing Board in the state.

Investigators believe that Tick-Tock received this concoction right before the very first race that occurred on the 1st day of this track’s return back to the race. This was a strong indication of dysfunction which might have enveloped the Santa Anita Park in the last 6 months. This was a period when the horses were euthanized after they suffered multiple fractures at alarming rates. Around 30 horses have suffered from this issue since 26th December at the Santa Anita Park which is a racetrack that became the prime news point for activists who aim to ban this sport completely.

Racetracks all around the U.S. currently ail from an issue with the horses dying at an alarming rate. Around 10 horses die on an average per week at the American Racetracks in the year 2018. These numbers were confirmed by the Equine Injury Database computed by Jockey Club. This figure is around 21/2 to 5 times greater as compared to the overall fatality rate seen in Asia and Europe. These continents have a rather stringent rule against the performance-enhancing drugs used with the horses. Even so, the thing that transpired at the Santa Anita Park was actually news that stands out from the rest. This is because a horse was being put down every week which was really alarming. Regardless of the advanced veterinary care, having a horse rehabilitated from fractured bones is very rare. This is because the animal cannot easily be immobilized.


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