25 horses have died at Santa Anita Park since December
One day after suffering a rare pelvis injury during a race, a 3-year-old thoroughbred named Spectacular Music was euthanized, becoming the 25th death this season at Santa Anita Park in California.
According to a press release Monday for Santa Anita Park, Spectacular Music was given a “comprehensive evaluation” after Sunday’s race before the decision was made to put him down.
After six weeks of fatality-free training and racing, Monday’s death comes just days after another 3-year-old horse, Commander Coil, suffered a fatal accident while training at the Los Angeles County track.
The park implemented stringent protocols back in mid-March after the deaths of 22 horses and suspended racing and training for a time. Two days after racing resumed in late March, a 23rd horse died.
The Stronach Group, owner of the park says it “is committed to advocating for the health and safety of horses and riders and will continue to work with stakeholders in California and nationally to drive further progress.”
Many in track circles believe that the severe wet weather this winter has been a factor in the high number of deaths. There was significant rainfall on Sunday.
In March, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office launched an investigation into the death.
Kathy Guillermo, a vice president for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), told CNN the latest deaths were “shocking.” In a statement she said that the new rules “have slowed the bloodbath,” but she said “Santa Anita should suspend racing until stronger measures are enacted.”
PETA is advocating that all horses go through a sophisticated scanning system before workouts and races.
Santa Anita’s racing season ends June 23. There is no word on whether the track will once against suspend racing and training. So far, no necropsy results have been released on any of the horses that died.