Does HBO’s explanation sound plausible to anyone, given the misinformation it’s shared thus far? I thought not!
Outlaw Yodeler hadn’t raced much, was suffering from severe pain and inflammation and had been given strong pain-killing drugs. Marc’s Shadow was arthritic and hadn’t been raced in four years. Still, both horses were run twice daily during racing sequences to shoot “Luck,” the now canceled HBO series; both suffered explosive fractures; and both were euthanized.
Those are the findings drawn from necropsy and eye witness reports and detailed in a letter sent Monday by PETA Attorney Lindsay Waskey to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. The purpose of the letter was to seek an investigation into individuals responsible for the horses’ deaths.
HBO may be “heartbroken” about the demise of “Luck” but if Matthew Chew, Heidi Agnic, DVM, and David Milch are found to have violated any laws, they may have plenty more to cry about.
Chew was the trainer for both Outlaw Yodeler and Marc’s Shadow on the set; Agnic supervised their veterinary care and Milch was the creator, producer and writer for “Luck.” According to Waskey’s letter, each was involved in “causing two seemingly unfit horses to be overdriven and inflicted with unnecessary pain, resulting in death, in violation of Cal. Penal Code § 597.”
Outlaw Yodeler, a five-year-old dark bay gelding, suffered his fatal injury on April 30, 2010. Marc’s Shadow, a grey, eight-year-old great-grandson of Seattle Slew, suffered a catastrophic breakdown on March 28, 2011. A third unidentified mare was euthanized last Tuesday after breaking her neck and suffering head injuries caused by what HBO says was a fall while being led by a groom.
Does HBO’s explanation sound plausible to anyone, given the misinformation it’s shared thus far? I thought not.
Given what that accident, Waskey’s letter and the necropsy reports reveal, HBO may want to retract its meaningless statement that “We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere” and lawyer up.
Outlaw Yodeler had received a potent cocktail of muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory and painkilling drugs, including Butorphanol, which is administered to horses undergoing certain types of surgery. He also showed evidence of suffering from severe pain and inflammation and had raced only once in 2010, possibly due to injury or because he was physically unfit.
Marc’s Shadow was arthritic and out of shape according to multiple witnesses. These allegations are confirmed by his necropsy report, which describes “degenerative arthrosis to both the right carpus and the left carpus” and an injury in which his “leg exploded into more than 19 pieces, some of which were poking through his skin,” according to an equine veterinarian who reviewed the report for PETA…..
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- Bad Luck? Third Horse Dies on Set of HBO Show (eonline.com)
- ‘Luck’ suspends lensing with horses (variety.com)
- HBO Cancels LUCK after Third Horse Death (rtfitchauthor.com)
- HBO suspends filming with horses on ‘Luck’ drama (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Bad ‘Luck’: Another Horse Dies On Set Of The HBO Drama (huffingtonpost.com)